Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Voters To The Left Of Me, Voters To The Right! ...


An earlier post entitled "One And Done" - along with talk of deceit and corruption in politics and government brought to mind the following story of how incumbent Sheriff Clarence A. VanMeter won re-election to a second term as County Sheriff ... Clarence was being challenged by a well-known and worthy opponent in one Howard P. Slaughter, "Howie P." as he was affectionately known had just retired after 30+ years as a highly decorated and respected state policeman, having risen through the ranks to the attainment of captain, and was proud of the fact that he had never arrested a crook that he didn't like ... consequently, things weren't  looking good for Clarence, as Howie P. appeared to be the more popular and qualified man for the job ... Clarence figured he needed to somehow gain an advantage over Howie P. ... so that night, a couple days prior to the election, Clarence recruited the aid of his head Deputy Sheriff Cletus A. VanMeter, who was also his first cousin, and the pair proceeded to the local cemetery with flashlight, pencil and writing tablet in tow ... Clarence ground the big V-8 to a halt in the middle of the gravel lane that divided the graveyard equally into two sections ... curious Cletus then enquired as to the purpose of this eerie, late-night visit ... had there been some type of theft or vandalism that necessitated their immediate investigation? ... to the contrary, Clarence explained that he was running way behind in the polls, and word on the street was that if something drastic didn't soon happen in his favor, there was no way he could beat Howie P. Slaughter in his bid for re-election as County Sheriff ... so Clarence was about to do a little last-minute, good ol' boy campaigning!

Sheriff Clarence A. VanMeter ordered Deputy Sheriff Cletus A. VanMeter to take flashlight, pencil and writing tablet in hand and go write down all the names he could find of eligible, registered voters from all headstones located to the left of the road while he remained behind in the patrol car to monitor the police radio and keep an eye peeled so they wouldn't get caught, besides, Clarence's eyesight was so bad he couldn't read the markings on the stones, especially in the pitch-black darkness - but more importantly, Clarence was deathly afraid of ghosts ... Cletus collected all the names he could find and returned to the car to show Clarence the results, he had done quite well and Clarence was pleased with the numbers thinking they would be sufficient to put him over the top ... Clarence then abruptly ordered Cletus back into the patrol car so they could scram before attracting unwanted attention ... Cletus, his countenance turning a bit ashen, his conscience eating away at him, hesitated for a moment before getting back inside the car, then he blurted out the following ... "Sheriff I just don't think what we're doin' here is right!" ... Clarence quickly admonished his cousin, advising him that without availing himself of the unscrupulous advantages of electoral fraud he would assuredly lose the election, possibly by a landslide, and they would both soon be out of a job ... to which Cletus nobly replied ... "oh that's not what concerns me Clarence, I just think that folks on the right side of this road have just as much right to cast a vote as those on the left!"

Clarence A. VanMeter went on to spend most of his entire adult life holding some form or another of public office, but one thing could be said of ol' Clarence ... he never forgot those folks that put and kept him there ... every Decoration Day, faithfully and without fail, he would place flags or flowers on the graves of his loyal constituents.


--sja

7 comments:

BOB said...

Now that's political!

Humor abounds most everywhere, especially in Whitehall and Washington ... but, good humor is sure at home on the backroads, in the villages, small towns and out in the country.

Out where most everybody knows everybody else and the funny, colorful stories ring true, give or take a lie or two.

This is SJA at his best, methinks ... breathing life into his words in his own special way ... remindful a bit of Henry Fielding, allowing the reader to enjoy the meal regardless of appetite or reading level, while making his case.

Hopefully we'll see more of the VanMeters with the episodes becoming part of a larger work where they belong!

Kudos grasshopper!!

BOB said...

While nobody has commented to either of SJA's last two posts following my last two comments, I am moved to conclude that those or perhaps some of my earlier comments were deemed inappropriate by those of his audience who would have offered their much appreciated comments.

for those whom I have so impacted, I ask for your indulgence ... it is seldom my intent to offend and when I sense the possibility that I have so done, I am quick to apologize.

It is important we hold ourselves accountable for our actions but it is equally important for us to recognize that the actions of others are generally predicated upon the sincere belief that their own beliefs are correct and their behavior appropriate, well founded and well intended.

If I have failed to be sensitive to that simple fact or if my behavior has in any way had a negative impact of the blog's audience, I do sincerely apologize.

However, as I too am part of "us" I do not apologize for my opinions or their flawed expression, for I do sincerely believe them to be correct and certainly their proffering was well intended.

My comment regarding this last post was intended simply as an honest expression of appreciation for yet another of the donkey's fantastic artistic renderings ... but this one was extra special to me ... so again, kudos to my good friend!

I strongly believe that apathy is at the heart of the dilemma with which we're now faced ... and I believe that belief is widely shared. Returning to those principles enumerated in SJA's previous post is certainly key to resolving that dilemma.

Regardless of my limitations of self expression, I believe that a super majority of Americans hold those principles in high regard and all that is missing is effective leadership ... to rekindle the spirit of the people and restore adherence.

In my opinion, there is no need for revolution ... we can work within the system ... rich and poor, black, white, red, yellow, brown ... working together, the principles apply to all.

We have no no commoners here, we're all of royal blood!

Again, it was well intended ... as is this!

sja said...

No need for apologies here ... all opinions are welcome ... that's the purpose of allowing commenting ...

nothingprofound said...

From your description of Clarence he seems the perfect candidate to represent the dead, if not the living. Besides, anybody running for public office with the surname of Slaughter deserves to be defeated by any means.

BOB said...

Well, when you express it like that ...

However, it would seem that my comments have the unwitting effect of stifling those of others and it is neither my desire nor my intent to continue to so do.

Mama always said to be nice ... and so I shall, or at least try.

Them's still mighty fine principles ... and if we really returned to them, my guess is that most of our problems would resolve
themselves.

That we could eliminate the excessive cost associated with the selection of candidates and their election is a given!

Within the governmental operational framework should address it and make proper provision for its funding so that it is so ... should and could.

True ... but that's a comment or maybe a post for later.

Hey, I could get used to this being nice ... well, maybe

sja said...

Yea Nothingprofound, ol' Clarence was an average, run-of-the-mill, everyday generic politician ... just like those of today, only on a smaller scale ...

Bob, it takes all kinds to make the world go round ... keep 'er spinnin' my man! ...

BOB said...

Cletus gets my vote as the man for the job ... his sense of fairness will hold him in good stead!

Sick and headed to bed but first, an expected thought triggered methinks by the previous post ... I've strongly opposed all entitlements ... their very thought being repugnant. All save one ... a fair trial!

I do think we all should be entitled to a fair trial ... the question is "what constitutes a fair trial?"

The objective is to determine the truth ... aka guilt or innocence. It isn't a game between lawyers where winning is the objective, regardless of contrariwise protestations.