SENATOR THARPE'S UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT
Most of us in our greater metropolitan area have either heard about or read of the numerous injuries sustained by State Senator J. Gregory Tharpe on the first Monday of this past December. It seems the poor man had barely started his morning bicycle trip to work when he was suddenly forced to steer his vintage three speed National Flier into a newspaper vending box. Said collision caused the noted businessman turned politician to be thrown over top of the box and land on the hard concrete in a resounding thud which resulted in two broken legs along with several scrapes and other minor injuries. The rumor on the street is that the bicycle followed the Senator over the box and that half a dozen wheel spokes had to be removed from what is generally considered to be a very private part of the human body.
The "Exclusive Scoop" immediately put out by the Daily Express had declared the accident to be the result of the Senator intentionally crashing the bike in order to keep from injuring a child. Their story was that a baby carriage had suddenly gone wheeling into the street and the Senator quickly swerved to avoid hitting it. The Express went on to say that it was the mother of the child who had called the police and requested an ambulance just after the accident.
Numerous local and regional civic leaders immediately proclaimed the man a hero for specifically choosing to risk his own health and safety in order to guarantee that an infant would not be harmed. Virtually every news reporter in the nine counties of this metro region was eagerly salivating at the prospect of being the one to inform his or her loyal followers that the baby and mother were doing perfectly fine. But this is where the matter starts to drift into a bit of a gray area since it seems that no one other than the distinguished Senator Tharpe can recall seeing a baby carriage on that particular street during that particular morning.
The most recent twist on the tale, which has just been put out by this morning's Globe Examiner, is that Senator Tharpe's savior in this unfortunate mishap was actually a Mrs. Dinkleborough of 362 Postlethwaite Avenue. Her house is that cobble stone place, with the quartz colored roofing shingles, which stands on the corner lot at the bottom of the hill, right by the slightly twisted stop sign. Were the house turned around clockwise by ninety degrees, she would officially be a resident of Coffee Street.
The Widow Dinkleborough turns out to be a very distinguished matron, well past the age of eighty, who heads the Women's Auxiliary of the Bulldog Lodge. Most of the people who truly know her will tell you that she's a reasonably friendly little woman who has a rather odd limp that seems to change from leg to leg according to a complex timetable which factors in both the color of the new moon and the last time boysenberry schnapps went on sale at the liquor market. Mrs. Dinkleborough immediately called for help early that morning after stepping out to buy a newspaper and finding the unfortunate man laying in a state of semi consciousness on the ground next to the vending box. She herself swears that all spokes were still properly in place on the bicycle at the time.
So now the question has become "If there was no baby carriage ... What particular event caused an otherwise healthy and alert man in his early fifties to send himself flying over the top of a very large and quite conspicuous metal box?" There is an answer to this puzzle but the nature of the facts can be quite disturbing. Looked at in the proper light, they could begin to point towards some serious signs the human race might soon find itself being challenged for its position as the dominant form of life here on this planet we call Earth.
When I had the occasion to conduct a rather lengthy interview with Senator Tharpe two Februaries ago ... We took that afternoon to enjoy a leisurely stroll through his neighborhood as we talked about the nature of politics and the nuances serving the public. On more than one occasion the Senator seemed to make a somewhat nervous point of mentioning that the wooded areas close to his home had become overrun with a virtual army of squirrels ... The reason for this massive increase in their population being that the intervention of humans has caused most of the predators that would prey upon these creatures to be killed off or chased away.
The particular squirrels the Senator was pointing out to me that afternoon were actually quite brazen in their actions and attitudes. They seemed to show absolutely no fear of these much larger men creatures that were trodding through their territory in the local park. With the kinks and quirks of evolution being what they are ... It doesn't take any great leap of faith or logic to accept and understand that these particular little furballs have advanced far beyond the simple small brained nut gatherers which once lived in the wild and cowered from almost anything that moved. These little mischief-makers have begun to come together in small bands late at night to swap stories of the great squirrel adventures they have experienced.
In all honesty, they have usually just been strutting from here to there and bragging about the occasional rabbit they managed to gang up on and beat the tarnation out of. But ambition and ego do often tend to get the better of common sense and the leader of one particular band of bird feed raiders was really gunning to make a name for himself and his people. Chief Silver Stripe was what his followers called him and he was one very cocky little tail wagger.
"We've been nut gatherers long enough, boys" Stripe had proclaimed to his followers that particular Sunday Evening. "Tomorrow morning we're going for Wooly Mammoth."
Early that next morning, Stripe and thirty of his followers massed behind the garage at the home of our previously mentioned Mrs. Dinkleborough. Then they carefully positioned themselves for the completion of their mission.
Less than twenty minutes later ... Clyde Axminster was just far enough away from his Mother's home that he felt comfortable unleashing Jaybo and allowing him to run loose for a few minutes. Had Mama Axminster been able to see what Clyde was allowing her babydoll to do she would have gone into an immediate coronary over her youngest son's actions. With Jaybo being only seven and a half pounds lighter than a full grown Argentinean War Pony; all sorts of mayhem could be prone to happen should he be allowed to roam the streets completely free of a restraining cord.
As Jaybo made his usual playful dash around Mrs. Dinkleborough's garage ... Chief Silver Stripe began his leap from the peak of the garage roof. Shouting "ONWARD TO VICTORY" as he made his move, the little showoff then used the convenient positioning of the garage drainage gutter and the roof of the storage shed to take the two bounces needed for doing a double reverse pile driver as he dropped onto the head of the completely unsuspecting Saint Bernard.
Stripe immediately bit into Jaybo's ear and, at the sound of a dog yelping his thirty little partners in crime quickly sprang from their hidden positions in one single gloriously choreographed motion. Suddenly finding himself covered with and surrounded by more furry little buggers than would normally be dredged up by a greedy Sorcerer's completely botched "lead into gold" spell ... Jaybo immediately lunged forward and used his massive jaws to snap in half the furry little thing standing most directly in front of him.
Algonquia Dinkleborough will most likely lay awake many a long and agonizing night as she attempts to rationalize how some crazed wolf like creature could have gotten inside the town limits and managed to find and dismember her poor Barnabie just moments after she allowed him out the back door to take care of his morning business while she herself stepped out the front door to grab a morning paper. But the immediate and unforgiving destruction of the innocent miniature dachshund did cause most of the squirrels to suddenly freeze in their tracks for one brief moment. And now that he had managed to seize the initiative ... Jaybo made his break for it.
What then followed was a mad scramble out the side gate of Mrs. Dinkleborough's yard as Jaybo, with Chief Silver Stripe hanging tightly to a couple of tufts of saint bernard hair, made a hard left turn onto the side walk that paralleled Coffee Street and then proceeded full gallop for a distance of approximately seventy feet. Having just removed his bicycle from the garage, Senator Tharpe had mounted the seat and then peddled down the driveway where he then took a right turn onto Postlethwaite Avenue and began his decent towards the bottom of the hill. He had just crossed Jordan Street and was beginning to pick up a good rate of speed when a Saint Bernard, being ridden by a very determined looking squirrel, suddenly bounded into the the intersection of Postlethwaite and Coffee. The Senator found himself watching quite astoundedly as Jaybo, taking advantage of the significant drop from the edge of the sidewalk down to the street below, did a dive and roll over his own right shoulder in a desperate attempt to dislodge his unwelcome rider. Then the massive dog began a frantic gallop up the street heading towards the general direction of our bicycle-riding politician.
As Jaybo literally flew up up the street past the downward moving bicycle, Senator Tharpe tried desperately to convince himself that he had not just heard a squirrel shout "YEEE HAWWWWW! Get Along Little Doggie!" This momentary distraction caused him to completely miss the fact that a mass of more than two dozen additional little furry monsters had also jumped into the intersection and they were now quickly making their way up towards him. Suddenly discovering that he was about to plough through a virtual army of dog hunting squirrels, Senator Tharpe immediately attempted to swerve and brake.
And the newspapers have already told us the rest of this story.