Monday, February 21, 2011
As it turned out, the City Council and mayor of Bedford, New Hampshire were as spineless as the city's school board administration.
So, when citizen activist, Dennis Taylor, showed up at the City Council meeting to argue that city garbage collection was unconstitutional, Mayor Shrimpton heaved a sigh and said, "Well, maybe you think you could do a better job?"
"I bet I could!" Dennis said.
City Council exchanged glances. Mayor Shrimpton looked at Dennis Taylor and in a moment of executive huff, removed his mayoral sash and presented Taylor with the mayor's gavel.
"Have at it!" former mayor Shrimpton said. "I'm sick of this shit!"
Former mayor Shrimpton stormed out of the chamber. City Council looked at him and then turned their gazes onto Mayor Taylor.
"Please leave," the mayor said.
Like the school board, which caved every time Taylor came before them seeking to ban another book from the school libraries, the City Council obeyed.
* * *
Since books could be banned in Bedford, New Hampshire without public consultation, Dennis Taylor assumed the office of mayor with no opposition.
"My first dictate as Mayor," mayor Taylor said, "is to change the name of this city to 'Crossford' because the first three letters of 'Bedford' evoke impurity, filth and sexiness."
Henceforth, Bedford became Crossford.
The second order of business on mayor Taylor's agenda was to eradicate public education in Crossford.
"Maybe if we were trying to raise a generation of pornographers, prostitutes, wastrels and degenerates," mayor Taylor said in his press statement, "then our current education system would be of some use. But we're raising young men and women of Gawd in the City of Crossford, so I am completely rewriting the curriculum.
"As well," mayor Taylor went on, "not all children need, want or should attend school. For this reason I'm instituting a mechanism that will separate the wheat from the chaff and determine which students should and should not attend school.
"This mechanism is fair to all: prospective students must write a 5,000 word essay stating why President Ronald Reagan was the greatest of all American presidents and why his likeness should appear on all American currency."
It wasn't until mayor Taylor instituted a city-wide curfew that the first rumblings of discontent were heard.
"A 9 p.m. curfew?" one letter to the editor groused. "What about kids who have part-time jobs or after school sports, or simply have a social life and their parents know where they are and whom they're with? This is outrageous!"
The following day, mayor Taylor called a press conference: "I would like to clarify the misconceptions surrounding the 9 p.m. curfew I've instituted in Crossford. Kids are to be home and in bed by 9 p.m.. All children under the age of 32 in Crossford are to be indoors by 6 p.m.."
"What about kids who have part-time jobs or play sports?" a reporter from the Union Leader asked.
"I never had a part-time job, growing up, and I wasn't any good at sports, so that was never an issue for me," mayor Taylor said.
"But what about kids who do?" asked a journalist of from the Holsboro Honeycomb.
"I don't understand the question," mayor Taylor said and ended the press conference.
* * *
It wasn't until mayor Taylor's next pronouncement that a minor exodus of citizens moved out of Crossford.
"One thing that has always bothered me," mayor Taylor said at the next City Council meeting -- since there was no longer a City Council, he held court alone -- "are the sewer systems of Crossford. Specifically, what kind of fetid chaos would ensue if every Crossfordian were to flush their toilet at the same time? From this day forward, I will issue a schedule for when Crossfordians -- street by street -- may flush their toilets, so that we may ensure the continued integrity of our sewer system."
There was a protest the following day at City Hall. Mayor Taylor had the local militia -- with which he'd replaced the Crossford police force -- disperse the few dozen citizens with pepper spray and rubber bullets.
The governor of New Hampshire attempted to intervene, but his call to mayor Taylor ended when the Crossford mayor shouted at him: "Don't tread on me!"
* * *
The story of mayor Taylor's quashing the peaceful protest at Crossford City Hall made the national news. A few days later, he was a guest on The O'Reilly Factor.
"Tide comes in," Bill O'Reilly was saying to mayor Taylor, "and the tide goes out. You can't explain that!"
"Well, actually, you can, Bill."
Bill O'Reilly looked at mayor Taylor, panicked, thinking he was being contradicted.
Mayor Taylor smiled and said, "Gawd. It's explained by the existence of Gawd and his grand design of the universe."
O'Reilly relaxed. "Of course -- that explanation. Now, what do you say to people who criticize your autocratic governing style, saying it's antithetical to American democracy?"
"I don't say anything," mayor Taylor said. "I'm building a wall."
"Yes, we're building a wall around Crossford. Outsiders are not welcome in and any Crossfordian who doesn't like my way of governing will be thrown out."
"So, dissent --"
"What dissent?" mayor Taylor said and smiled. He and O'Reilly laughed.
"I understand that construction of the town wall will begin as soon as your $12 million prayer tower is completed."
"That's correct," mayor Taylor said. "When we eradicated the old, useless education system, we found there was all this money lying around. So, we're doing Gawd's work with it."
"What do you say to your detractors?" O'Reilly said. "The cowardly bloggers, pseudo journalists and the rest of the lamestream media?"
"Right now I'm purusing various possibilities for suing the Internet."
"Good luck," O'Reilly scoffed. "I've already tried that!"
Worried about unvoiced dissent in Crossford, mayor Taylor began a civic lodge, which he called "Crossfordians for Ignoring Worldly Worldliness Which Doesn't Conform to Scripture" -- known by its short-form: the Ignore Club.
Adherents were known as Ignorents.
The organization wasn't so much a social or charitable organization. The Ignorents acted as informants against anyone in the community whom they overheard speaking against the dictates of mayor Taylor.
At one of the few gatherings of the Ignorents, a small group of them started a bonfire with books from the school library in City Hall Square.
Seeing the flames through the tinted windows of his prayer tower, mayor Taylor sent down word that the fire be extinguished immediately.
The Ignorents dowsed the fire, but griped about doing so. Mayor Taylor addressed them through the PA system surrounding the base of the prayer tower:
"Ignorents! Burn not those books! We need them for building the Town Wall!"
* * *
As Easter approached, mayor Taylor was in City Hall Square announcing his latest dictate: "It wasn't Gawd who demanded 'right' and 'left' shoes! That's a non-believer's creation! From this day forward, let there simply be shoes. Straight and made to be worn on either foot, at any time. It's time this schism was healed!"
Suddenly, members of the militia that replaced the police converged on mayor Taylor.
The townsfolk of Crossford had been silent when Citizen Taylor banned books and were silent when mayor Taylor took power. And they were silent when he was hauled away.
After spending a day in jail, mayor Taylor was brought to City Hall Square, along with the local dogcatcher and town drunk, Noel Barabas.
One of the militia men addressed the citizens. "Crossfordians, Ignorents," he said. "The theocracy of Crossford has failed to properly sanctify itself. Sure, all of the books have been built into the Town Wall, attending daily church services is mandatory under punishment of law and Friday fasting is enforced. But that is not enough! Crossfordian women still wear pants, the Ignorents are not coming forward with enough names of the faithless. Therefore, we have no choice but to sacrifice one of these men.
"Say it now -- the name of the man whom we should free."
The Crossfordians looked at one another.
"Who should go free?" the militia man yelled.
"Barabas?" a voice in the crowd said.
"Barabas?" said another voice.
Nobody sounded sure of themselves, but more voices joined in: "Barabas?"
Finally, enough voices had spoken to satisfy the militia men. Mayor Taylor was then slapped in the face and knocked to the ground.
The rest of the militia men came forward with a 13-foot wooden cross. Mayor Taylor was dragged to his feet and the cross set upon his shoulder.
It took more than an hour to march the mayor to the high school football field.
There, mayor Taylor was nailed to the cross and the cross mounted in a hole four feet deep; the straining, writhing put on display for all to see.
As the Crossford townsfolk gathered to quietly gawk at their mayor, the militia men slipped away and disappeared.
"Vengeance is mine, Father!" mayor Taylor wheezed. "May all of my enemies be forced to drink the blood of their children while cowering at my feet . . . in your heavenly kingdom."
Mayor Taylor died the next day of slow asphyxiation. A hellish way to go, really. His last act as mayor was to shit himself on the cross, making it unusable to anyone who might have had a mind of performing another crucifixion.
The townsfolk milled about for days after the loss of their mayor, having no clear idea how to continue. When state authorities finally arrived in Crossford two weeks later, they found the citizens malnourished, dazed, and in some cases, half crazy.
Hearings were held, an investigation launched to find out how a citizen could simply walk into the job of mayor, cordon off his city with a wall made of library books, build himself a $12 million prayer tower and put the citizens on a toilet flushing schedule.
Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly were quick to comment in favor of mayor Taylor.
"You've got to take the bull by the horns," Sarah Palin said. "Like I did when I quit my job as governor."
"Guy goes to the City Hall with a complaint and comes out mayor. You can't explain that," said Bill O'Reilly.
Glenn Beck was unavailable for comment after embarking on a strict regimen of examining all of his fecal matter for government listening devices.
Sean Hannity was also unavailable for comment as he was out shilling his bogus veterans' charity that benefited the Hannity family and not a single veteran.
Walter Cronkite was not available for comment because he was deceased.
* * *
One conclusion made by the investigating body was that mayor Taylor had inexplicably instructed the militia men to crucify him. The crucifixion team was never identified or found or brought to justice.
Due to mayor Taylor's toilet flushing schedule, Crossford was made uninhabitable. The schedule, in fact, had achieved exactly what mayor Taylor had hoped to avoid: it compromised the sewer system beyond all repair.
Crossford was eventually purchased by Halliburton where it established a rendering plant.
The road leading through the gate in the wall of books into the plant was named Taylor Lane.
The saga of mayor Taylor might have been a cautionary tale, but anyone who might have benefited from its lesson was on the wrong side of the old saying, "Those who do not know the past are condemned to repeat it."
Legal disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, parody and satire. The author in no way advocates violence in any form against any person. Anyone who reads this piece as more than a mere political joke can, in the words of Inside the Hotdog Factory's legal counsel, go fuck themselves.
Posted by Whetam Gnauckweirst at 6:12 PM