Letter: A dime novel for our times

Picture this: You and your lifelong friends are swapping stories and playing checkers at the town watering hole. A gunslinger (who also happens to be town sheriff, name of Sullivan) walks in with his guns a-blazing and hollers:

“Listen up here folks. This here ’stablishment is under new management.”

The locals stop everything and look up at him in confusion.

Then, right behind the sheriff, in walks the new owner, dressed in black complete with black hat, brocade vest and pencil moustache, accompanied by a man wearing white pants with black spots all over them.

“I’m the new owner of this here waterin’ hole. Name’s Abdo. I’m gonna make this place the finest west of the Rappahannock River. You folks don’t mind if I make a few changes ’round here, do you?”

The locals mouths are open and now have stunned looks on their faces.

He continues: “You see folks, this here waterin’ hole is dull, slow, and frankly pretty borin’ for us high-falutin’ citified people. I’m gonna liven it up and it’s gonna bring in some fancy people from up D.C. way. They’re gonna like all the new comfy accommodations and I’m gonna make lots of mon . . .” (He coughs and clears throat.)

“I mean to say, you town folks are gonna reap the rewards of my plan. You’re a-gonna like what we’re gonna do . . . or else.” He then says, “Oh, I’m sorry folks, I’m just flappin’ my gums and furgettin’ my manners. Let me introduce my business partners and good friends. You know good ol’ Sheriff Sullivan and this here is O’Connell. O’Connell is gonna run the business. He’s got the cookin’ and boardin’ house all taken care of. Of course you po’ folks won’t be able to afford to eat, drink or stay here. But what the hay, you’re welcome to stop and look at any time. You jest cain’t come in.”

Clearing his throat, he continues, “Did I mention that I’ve been busy buying up all the town property while you weren’t lookin’ so’s things are gonna have ta change in town? Y’all are welcome to stay if’n you can afford it. And if’n you cain’t stay, please leave quietly and don‘t make a fuss. We wouldn’t want to distress those fine city folks coming to enjoy themselves.”

Abdo looks over at Farmer Miller seated at a nearby table, winks and says, “Hey there Cliff, how’s that nine-hole golf course coming along?” He slaps Miller on the back and turns to go. The three men walk out of the watering hole.

Stunned and looking at one another, the town folks start saying, “What just happened?”

The end.

P.S. This doesn’t have to be the ending of the story; it’s up to you.

Barb Sharp

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