Having been out on the campaign trail for several weeks, I have been heartened by the widespread support and feel more confident than ever. With election day right around the corner, I am convinced that I will soon have an engraved nameplate on the door to the animal control office (located in the maintenance shed, directly behind Wapatusset Town Hall).
But whether I win or lose, this campaign ordeal has taught me several very important lessons. Here is my short list:
1. When you borrow a penguin from the aquarium, work through the proper channels and receive the proper sign-off.
I was terribly mistaken in thinking that these creatures were participating in aquarium activities by their own free will. Although my former penguin sidekick, Chauncey, received an overwhelming share of positive attention as we waved signs and flippers to vehicles entering and exiting the Super Stop & Chat, I did not anticipate things going so far. What was thought to be a brief “bio-break” turned out to be Chauncey’s premeditated visit to the seafood counter. Some found his tap dancing routine hilarious, others found it unsanitary and disturbing. To avoid a lengthy court proceeding, the damages were absorbed by my own pocketbook and I have agreed to step neither foot nor flipper in the store again. The tuxedoed pescetarian was returned to captivity, and all criminal charges have been dropped. For future campaigning, I might recommend a chimpanzee or heavily sedated squirrel.
2. Upon the recommendation of my campaign manager, underwriting and chaperoning a Boy Scouts overnight in the abandoned wolf dens seemed like a really good idea at the time.
Besides, how might one achieve the wild animal husbandry merit badge, without a real-time experience? Perhaps it was the ignition of the smuggled fireworks that set things in motion. There is also a good chance that the loud and horribly off-key campfire songs started the snowball rolling down the steep and slippery slope. Whatever it was, or whoever was to blame, it awoke the 600 lb. narcoleptic Sasquatch with a start and within seconds cleared the immediate area of all animals, vegetables and minerals. In the end, all scouts and leaders were accounted for, but the matter is still under investigation with the Old Colony regional scouting board.
3. The Easter Sunday/Campaign Bunny Hop was a “fun-raiser” intended to bring friends and family together on the town common, to watch the adorable white rabbits hop through the green grass.
For those who gathered up their children and left early, it was a delightful event. For those who witnessed the birds of prey attack, it is a deeply etched visual memory that will linger in craniums for many years ahead. After the first two hares were snatched, shocked volunteers were unable to herd the remaining bunnies into their hutches. The full-scale aerial assault left five rabbits heading to the happy hopping ground.
4. For those who volunteered their tropical fish for the licensing demonstration, I owe you a trip to the pet store.
Duct tape has always been a staple in my toolbox, and who would not consider it the perfect solution to attaching license collars to the necks of small fish? We never imagined that the strong adhesive might remove a substantial portion of a small fish’s scales. Despite the terrible blunder, we have retooled and returned to our initial concept: applying a fish’s registered license number with an ultra-fine, waterproof Sharpie.
Time to get back on the campaign merry-go-round. I still have several “meet and greets” and koffee klatches to attend, plus the hot dog and beans jamboree. Thank you for your time. Remember to get out and vote—and when you vote, vote Scrim Shaw for animal control officer!