Kingmaker

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

“I’m the … king of England!”

“No, you’re not.”

My friend Eli was feeling full of himself.

We’d started a neighborhood knothole gang of sorts back when we were kids, and kept it going over the years.

Every year, we elect a new person-in-charge – you know, to arrange our monthly soirees to watch rasslin and MMA and football or whatever.

This year’s election caused something of a ruckus.

“I think it’s Mordecai’s turn,” I said as the temporary chair of our annual meeting, an honor bestowed upon me because we were meeting at my house.

“Sure, whatever,” our buddy Earl Earl said.

“I dun care, man,” my sportswriting pal Dobie Madison chimed in, for posterity.

We let Dobie in a few years ago mainly because we needed to spread the cost of pay-per-view TV out to a broader range of people.

“I don’t want the blasted thing, that’s all I’m saying,” said my lawyer and agent, Harvey D. Shyster III, Esquire.

Another bill payer, if I can call him that.

And so it was settled. Mordy was The Boss.

Except …

“This meeting was a sham!”

Eli apparently had had some issues of some sort or another.

“I’m in charge. And I’m …”

“Um, Eli …”

He’d thrown the same sort of fit last year, which was why he’d been given the honor, such as it is, of being The Big Kahuna for an unprecedented second term at the time.

Now he was going for a threepeat, and I wasn’t sure how comfortable I was with the whole deal.

“Seriously, man, this isn’t about you.”

“I’m in charge!”

He surprised with me with his ferocity. We’ve been friends since we were kids, and he looked like he wanted to punch me.

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” Mordecai said.

“I want to order the pay-per-views! If I want nachos, I say we get nachos! If I want pizza, I say we get pizza!”

So it was about … the power.

And here I thought that he’d been doing it for the good of the group.

I mean, last year would probably have been my turn, and ’07 was a pretty busy year for me. I didn’t mind him taking another turn.

And now obviously the power had gone to his head.

“I declare you out of order!” he yelled at me.

My miniature poodle was aroused from her slumber and moved to the other couch.

This was big.

“I think we need to let Mordy …”

“I’m in charge! I’m The Boss! The Big Enchilada!”

He paused.

“I’m the … king of England!”

“No, you’re not.”


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