Monday, June 23, 2008

The Worst Day of Martha Sue Flay's Life Up to This Point

Dear Martha Sue,

I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but it turns out you have not been selected to represent our town in the 1937 Miss Pea Vine pageant after all. I have had a serious talk with Mrs. Pujols about why she would choose to do such a thing as telling you that you were the only serious contender when she knew full well that my own daughter Edna Mae Durset was also in the running and had a decided edge due to all the years my wife spent making her walk around with a volume of my dear departed mother's treasured Bernie's Encyclopedia of Extensive World Knowledge and History and Other Important Things Your Friends Will Laugh at You if You Don't Know set (usually volume 23, Opium - Ostriches) on her head. I'll admit I worried a little when Edna Mae's head started to look a mite flat on the top, but you know that my wife Ida Lou is a determined woman and when she sets her mind to something, it is difficult even for a man in my important public position to dissuade her. Well, imagine my surprise and pride when Ida Lou turned out to be right and all that book-carrying gave Edna the superior posture a girl needs to win a coveted position in a pageant like our own Miss Pea Shoot, which would enable her to go on to compete for the coveted title of Miss Freshly Picked Ear of Corn in the state capital. I for one don't give any credence to the school teacher's notion that the book-carrying and the resulting flatness of head were responsible for Edna Lou's inability to read or count higher than three. As my wife says whenever I try to bring the subject up, "Counting never won nobody a tiara." My wife is a wise woman, and very determined.

In any case, Martha Sue, I hope you will not take it too hard that Edna Mae has been chosen to represent our beloved town of Sprague's Bottom instead of you. I know that you tried mightily to awe the judges with your tap dance interpretation of The Burning of the Gaspee and we were all greatly impressed with your knowledge of the life cycles of the Hungarian Stink Beetle, but the truth is that not everyone in his world can be a shining star like Edna Mae, and most of us just have to settle for living quiet lives and helping other when we can.

To this end, I recommend that you reconsider your answer to the Honorable Reverend Oscopee when he asked you about marrying him and accompanying him to bring the Word of the Lord to the heathens in darkest Africa. It's true that our Rev. Colin is not a romantic sort, but the things he said in his public proposal speech about you being, "A fine, solid, plain-faced sort of girl," who while, "not a beauty or particularly bright," would doubtless "be a help to him in building proper American-style houses for the natives," and "bear strapping children to carry the work on into the next generation," are all true, and doubtless he meant them as a compliment. I'm sure if you went to him and apologized for the things you said about his double chin in front of the whole congregation, he would accept your humble contriteness and renew his offer.

In any case, Martha, please do not hold it against me that I am on the committee for choosing the annual Miss Pea Pod. It may seem strange as my daughter has competed in the pageant for the last twelve years, but after all, I am the town mayor, and it would be a serious miscalculation of my duties to refuse to be on such an important committee in my own town. At least that's what Mrs. Pudelle says. I tell you Martha Jane, she is a determined woman.

Mayor T. Cup Pudelle

Hey, check this out.
If it doesn't make you laugh I'll send you a million dollars. In loose pennies. On an installment plan.

Edited: 7-7-07

1 comment:

Jocelyn said...

This is like an abstract of a Flannery O'Connor novel. My.