I’m telling you, the thing literally came out of nowhere, and I feel lucky to be alive. Can I have a drink of water, maybe that’ll calm my nerves. Anyway, I was walking north along Ender Street like always, just thinking about what kind of bagel I was going to get from Lippy’s, and yes, I had my iPod on, but it was at really low volume. Suddenly, WHAM---there it was. I walked right into it. On my left instead of an empty sidewalk there was a woman selling homemade candles and on my right there was some Jamaican-looking dude with a cart full of handbags. As I was falling to the pavement the first time, I caught sight up ahead of some housewife trying to hawk copies of her self-published romance novel, and I almost totally lost consciousness right then. I managed to get to my feet but it just got thicker and scarier---beadwork everywhere, papier mache rabbits, hand-painted cuckoo clocks, and I swear to God, a fifty-four year old man with a ponytail. I’m telling you, we DESPERATELY need some kind of warning system to alert people that there may be an arts and crafts festival up ahead. You have no idea what it’s like to try to get past all those tables with crappy jewelry on them. What happened to Herb is NOT going to happen to me. That dude had looked forward to having a Saturday off for months, and I still remember him smiling at me as he and his girlfriend headed out for an innocent morning walk, then disappearing around the corner of 8th and Duvall just to pop in on Howie, and you KNOW what happened next. The look on his face when he came out the other side of the Arts Council’s Folk Art Block Party…something in him had died inside. He was carrying a freakin’ LANYARD some graduate student had made, man. He even got caught in some theater subscription pitch at the table where they were handing out flyers for the Crescent Hill Players. Yes, the very same Crescent Hill Players that did that total botch number on West Side Story. Now, the last time I checked, I am still mayor of this crappy town, and from now on I want gigantic day-glo orange signs alerting pedestrians to the possible presence of arts and crafts fairs, and I want them COMPLETELY encircling the area. I don’t care how much it costs---we’ll find the money in the budget. To start with, we might want to think about cutting the number of cop cars on noon patrol down to thirty-five or so. To be honest with you, I’m not sure why a town with a population of sixty-seven would even need that many. Just because two different mass murderers strangled the entire population in two separate incidents seven years apart, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen on my watch.

You seriously missed the Crescent Hill Players do West Side Story? Amazing. They literally forgot to sing the first two songs. Just skipped right past ‘em. You could see it on their faces. “Aw crap, we forgot a couple of songs, didn’t we?” Love it.