Friday, July 6, 2012

A Diffle County Fourth of July


On April 30th, Kandee Dalton passed the forty-year mark and finally matched her bra size. She celebrated at the District Justice's office with her fifth marriage ceremony. Of course, there was open betting within Diffle County that her latest husband, Harvin Williams would be down the road by June. A secondary bet was how empty his pockets would be on the trip out.  Her last husband had to borrow bus fare from Big Don to get himself on that one way bus.
According to informed sources (two of her ex-husbands) 42 year-old Kandee was a ball of fire in the bedroom. But her yapping mouth was a true paralyzer of love.  She stood just about 5'4" foot tall in 4" heels and her curly blonde hair spilled over her petite shoulders like a bad 70's perm.  Think Barbara Streisand in Main Event, but with a smaller, upturned nose and bright blue eyes.
When she was a younger woman, she and a girlfriend had a few too many sangrias and decided to stand on an Interstate overpass and flash the truckers travelling East. She thought it would make their long journey more enjoyable.  Two jack-knifed trucks later, Kandee Dalton earned herself a household name.  Of course, she embraced it, hanging a sign on her mailbox that read,
    ~Kandee's Truck Stop~
Now sometimes God provides brains and beauty, sometimes brains and no beauty, and sometimes beauty and no brains.  Kandee was somewhere between the latter two.  She was pretty enough and smart enough not to go to jail for risking a catastrophe.  Naturally, it was love at first sight and she married District Attorney Mark Holmes six months after his office declined to prosecute her.  He was Kandee's first husband and they were divorced within a year. She bought a BMW to celebrate. He moved to Monroe County and never returned.
Kandee was always looking to insert herself into an idea.   It basically worked like this:  Kandee would be talking to a neighbor or co-worker at Diffle County Children and Youth, where she was a secretary.  After thirty minutes of a Kandee monologue, the other person would try to find an out-subject. An out-subject is where you interrupt almost rudely, float a sentence to change the subject and hope it gets you out of the conversation and the room.  Mary Timpson-Smith, a wall-flower of a case worker, decided it was time to employ an out-subject on Kandee, who had been rattling for a half hour over living room draperies. 

"Speaking of those old colonial drapes. I just don't understand why we have a Halloween parade but we don't have a parade to celebrate our Nation's Independence!" exclaimed Mary, building herself up for the big finale, "Why I get so angry it's all I can do to deliver this very important letter to my bosswhich I better get to right away. You have a good day Kandee!"  And off she went, an out-subject success.
At that moment an idea birthed inside Kandee's brain - followed closely by a question
Kandee's Idea:   We should have a Fourth of July festival in Diffle County.  One with a parade, games for kids, food booths, and fireworks!  I bet the only reason it hasn't happened is because nobody has tried.  I should organize it!
Kandee Question:  I wonder if I can get paid for my efforts? I wouldn't ask for alot..just enough to cover my expenses plus 15%. That seems fair enough.
Kandee was quite talented at getting donations from local male merchants.She was a flirt and men are dogs which was perfect for the July 4th celebration.  Millers Grocery Store donated 4000 hot dogs, the East Greenvvale Elks donated 4000 hot dog buns,  Antonicci Pizza donated 40 pizza pies,  Johnston Office Supplies donated paper products for 4000 people, Happy Lucky Chinese Take-Out donated 4000 fortune cookies, and Millers Grocery Store ( this required more flirting), donated 6000 cans of Roadhouse Root Beer.  It's amazing what a pretty smile and a low-cut blouse can accomplish in  Greenvale.
By March, Kandee had a parade organized that was partly sponsored  by the VFW and American Legion. A 15 minute fireworks display costing 10,000 dollars was sponsored by the Fraternal Order of the Masons, Lodge No. 0110 and the Knights of Columbus, East Greenvale Chapter.
Kandee had one last hurdle: County Council approval.  On Monday, April 4th, Kandee attended the Council meeting. Her request for a parade permit and permission for a fireworks display was scheduled for a vote.  The Council consisted of 5 women and 4 men.  
When Kandee entered the meeting room , the women on the Council grimaced, sneered, clucked their tongues, and sent eye daggers by the thousands,  The men sat with twinkly eyes and bright, little boy smiles. Kandee was wearing a leopard print, body-clinging, spandex workout suit with 6 inch heels. She had teased her hair and looked like she stepped out of a movie- perhaps Saturday Night Fever or perhaps Saturday Night Sex Fever,
The meeting was not going smoothly. Every decision was decided along the gender line.   A proposed new shopping center, their plans not quite up to snuff- lost an extension request by a vote of 5-4.  A request for approval to allow the Warden to attend a conference on jailhouse security: No by a 5-4 vote.  And so it went until the last item on the agenda made it to the floor- The 1st Annual Diffle County 4th of July Parade and Picnic.   The meeting was already two hours old yet the room was still packed- there wasn't an extra seat in the house.
Kandee pitched her proposal to County Council.   Rebecca Lohman, Chairperson,  watched Kandee with clear disdain. She began peppering Kandee with questions.
" What about insurance for the event?  You want to use our roads, our park and our lake for this event.  Our insurance carrier insists you provide additional coverage."  Horst Muhlman of Old Farm Insurance jumped up from his seat.
"Old Farm Insurance has already issued a 2 million dollar coverage policy for the event, Madam Chair."  Kandee smiled at Horst. Horst winked at Kandee.
"We will not use taxpayers' money to police this event." sneered Ms. Lohman at Kandee.
County Sheriff Terence Drunkhenbeeter stood up. "My deputies who are off-duty have volunteered their time to provide traffic control.  I will also be assisting on my day off."  Kandee winked at the grinning Sheriff.
Chair Lohman frowned,  "We have an endangered species at the lake.  We can not risk damaging their habitat."
Mr, Randy Smart of the Difle County Conservation District stood up.  "Those turtles are already back down in the mud, in the bog end of the lake.  This event is more than 300 feet away and is perfectly acceptable to our office. Mr. Smart nodded to Kandee, his face blushing ever so slightly. Kandee was grinning from ear to ear.
Chairperson  Lohman stared at the papers on her desk for a moment, then asked.  "Can I get a motion, please?"
"Councilman John Henry made the motion to approve Kandee's project, seconded by Paul Rodgers.  The vote was called for and Kandee lost 5-4- right down the gender line.
She appealed.  In late May, Kandee and her attorney, Mark Holmes, made her case before Senior Judge William Butler.  She won. Judge Butler ordered Diffle County to issue a permit for the parade and fireworks display.
Diffle County did not appeal Judge Butler's decision based upon the advice of their solicitor, James Dunce. In an Executive session, he advised County Council that the legal cost of fighting Kandee's discrimination lawsuit (filed in Federal Court in Philadelphia) could exceed 100,000 dollars. Solicitor Dunce recommended  settlement.  Diffle County Council voted 5-4 for the settlement, Chairperson Lohman switching over to vote with the men.  "Just this one time!" She stated, her upper lip stiff as a corpse at the city morgue.  The settlement was for $35,00.00.  Kandee considered it as payment for services rendered.
On July 4th,  Diffle County held the largest parade in County history.  Veterans marched, 15 high school bands marched, patriotic floats rolled down the main drag in between drum corps, clown troupes, and baton twirlers. Two Mummer companies from Philadelphia marched in their own merry way, umbrellas twirling high in the air.  People packed the sidewalks five deep and street merchants sold American flags and glow in the dark necklaces.
The parade ended at the County Park where a grand picnic was held. Directly behind huge tubs of potato salad (donated by the East Greenvale German Lutheran Society) and holding a large serving spoon stood a bikini-clad Kandee Dalton. Standing to her right was Attorney Mark Holmes, dishing out the baked beans.
After dark, thousands of  Diffle County folk sat on their blankets and beach chairs waiting for the fireworks show. Across whe lake, the Lucky Happy Fireworks Company shot off the first round.  But something went wrong and all the fireworks went off at once. The display lasted 12 seconds.  The entire crowd moaned in unison.

Kandee giggled, spoon in one hand and Attorney Mark Holmes in the palm of the other hand.
~~~






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