Chapter VIII, Episode 3: Campaign Red, White and Blues
Brenda Sue Wynette heard the door behind her open and close at Hartmans’ but she was so busy talking to Pat at the counter about signage for her Miss Charlotte County commissioner campaign, that she did not notice her campaign rival was standing right behind her curvaceous behind.
Wilhelm Makersmarkarova recognized Brenda Sue’s signature hot pink spandex jeans immediately and started to fume. She looked better in spandex than he did!
“Look, it’s Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. and we are now officially closed,” said Pat. “Besides, we can’t possibly print 60,000 posters before the polls open on Tuesday.” And with quick thinking, Pat switched off the lights, barely giving Brenda Sue and Wilhelm enough time to get out the front door before she turned the lock.
Brenda Sue let out the scream of a banshee when she realized that she could not get her campaign posters printed. Wilhelm bolted for his motorcycle and sidecar, which his partner in crime, the lovely Olga Makersmarkarova, had kept running. They were out of Tiffany Square before you could say hanging chad. Ray Chung, who had been chatting with Olga, strolled over to Brenda Sue. His kimono was flapping in the breeze. He thought to himself: “Ray look good. Wonder if Olga notice?”
The sharp tongue of his candidate brought him back to reality.
“Ray Chung, I saw you talking to Olga Makersmarkarova while I was struggling to get my campaign posters printed. Do I have to remind you that she is the partner of my opponent and lower than the bottom shelf at Wal-Mart? I hope you did not give any of our campaign secrets away?”
“No worry, Brenda Sue. Ray complete professional. Ray and Olga trade recipes. Olga make mean bowl of borsht. Ray place time bomb under sidecar. Motorcycle go kaboom. Brenda Sue win write-in vote. Ray ready to put up signs now. Where we go next? Ray say Dome Flea Market.”
“ Why Ray Chung! You do think of everything. How can I reward you for your quick thinking?”
“Ray say: How about kiss?”
“I would rather rinse out my pantyhose in the Myakka River and suck them dry than kiss you, Ray Chung, but thanks all the same. Besides, a dampness has fallen on my campaign aspirations.”
“Ray say that just Florida humility.”
“You mean “humidity.” said Brenda Sue.
“Ray say: Same thing.”
“I don’t know, Ray. Hartmans’ can’t print my signs. My campaign dreams of becoming Miss County Commissioner are all but dashed. I am about ready to cry.” And with that, a single tear rolled down Brenda Sue’s highly blushed cheek.”
“No. No! No!!! Brenda Sue no cry. Look. Look at Ray! Ray have megaphone. Ray manage campaign. Pull Brenda Sue through Rotonda in rickshaw. Brenda Sue tell all people to vote for Brenda Sue. Everybody happy!”
A small smile came to Brenda Sue’s glossy pink pageant lips. She liked megaphones. She liked it when Ray Chung pulled her around in his rickshaw. Maybe things weren’t so bad after all.
“Well.... you might have a plan, Ray. I’m willing to give it a shot. Let’s just stop at the Winn Dixie for some Slim-fast and vodka so I can keep up my perky smile. You know, running for office isn’t much different from being in a pageant. You have to put Vaseline on your gums to keep your teeth flashing for both. Let me just fetch some out of my pale pink purse.”
“Ray say: O.K.! Brenda Sue back on campaign trail. Brenda Sue make big comeback. Celebrate victory at Rotary Wine and Cheese Fest! Everybody happy!”
But little did the pair realize what awaited them in Rotonda. Of course, does anyone ever really know what awaits them in Rotonda? And will Brenda Sue become Miss County Commissioner? Will Olga and Wilhelm be blown to bits? Anything is possible in.... Englewood!!
Elizabeth first wrote about these Englewood characters in a play. She has rewritten her script specifically for The Englewood REVIEW. See our next issue for the next exciting installment of ENGLEWOOD: THE SOAP! Don’t miss it, you might be in it!