Saturday, May 21, 2011

Animal House Revisited (2010 Elections)

To say the least, I was a bit surprised when the El Paso Times' editor, Chris Lopez, greeted me wearing a toga, a tie, and a corona civica.  It was November 2nd, and he had invited me to join the staff in their coverage of the election.
     The newsroom was filled with men and women all dressed in togas and dancing wildly.  I ducked as a bottle of beer flew past my head and shattered against the door behind me.  I felt like I was in college again.  I looked over at the band.  Ramon Renteria was standing next to them with a shot of Jose Cuervo in one hand and a rolled taco from Chico's in the other.  He was singing into the taco as if it was a micro-phone.  Sunny Ozuna and his band were playing a corrida-influenced version of the classic Isley Brothers' song Shout.  37 minutes later they were still playing it.  A mountain of empty kegs filled one corner.  Old bathroom records were undoubtedly being broken.
     I heard an engine roar in the distance.  It grew louder.  Charles Edgren came bursting through the front door in his Harley-Davidson.  His hair was greased back into a ducktail, Fonzie-style.  He had his dog Mikey on his lap.  Mikey had on a pair of Ray-Bans and was busy licking his paws, oblivious to the shenanigans around him, as if this was an everyday occurance.  Maybe it was.  Edgren grabbed a long-neck from a barrel filled with ice and beer.  He broke off the neck against the edge of a desk, and poured the frothy liquid down his throat.  With a rebel yell he aimed his hog out the door and was never heard from again.
     I walked over to the stairwell where I saw a group of mature ladies surrounding Mayor John Cook.  He was sitting on the forth step and playing his guitar. 
     "I gave my love a cherry, it had no stone..." he sang.  The women all swooned, and looked at him adoringly.  Joe Muench, not so much.  He happened to be walking down the stairs right then.  He sniffed the air as if he had stepped in something, grabbed the guitar out of the Mayor's hands, and smashed it against the wall.  It splintered into a thousand pieces.  Everybody looked at Joe in shock.
     "Sorry," Joe said, sheepishly, and continued down the stairs.
     Chris Lopez got on the make-shift stage.  The band had just begun playing Louie, Louie.  Chris held up his hands, and the room quieted down.
     "It's official, guys," he announced.  "The Democrats have lost so bad even the Dallas Cowboys are laughing at them.  You know what that means, don't you?"
     Everybody yelled at once.
     "ROAD TRIP!"
American Chimpanzee

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