Look at all these friendly faces out in the crowd!
You know, some politicians hate campaigning, but not me. No sir, not me. I love a good campaign. I love seeing democracy in action. I love shaking the hands. I love kissing the babies. I love eating all those deep-fried butter sticks you all keep cooking up. I cannot believe how many things you can deep-fry these days. Will the wonders of America ever cease?
Now, as much as I’d like to stand up here and pretend everything is right as rain at the Annual Sleepy Hollow Fair and Horse Pageant, we all know that simply isn’t true.
My opponent has been slinging some pretty serious allegations in my general direction. He’s been saying I’m a crook and a coward and everything but a child of God.
You all know me here. I grew up in Sleepy Hollow after all. So you know I am not one to get in the mud when all you’ll find there is pigs, but this time, folks, I simply cannot bite my tongue.
The latest accusation against me is that I am in cahoots with the Headless Horseman. It has been suggested--nay, declared--that I am in business with the supernatural madman who has been terrorizing our beautiful town for over a century.
First off, I have no idea how in the world I could be in business with a headless man. Could I do business with somebody missing an ear? Sure. A toe? Why not? A pancreas? It would be difficult, but I’m sure I could manage it. My friends and neighbors, there is no way to come up with any kind of business arrangement with a person who cannot see, hear, talk, or smell. It simply isn’t possible.
Also, as many of you may know, I’m allergic to pumpkins. I’ve been allergic my whole life. If I even go near a pumpkin, a rash breaks out all over my face that looks like the state of West Virginia. Not the rash you see on my face now, of course. That is clearly a rash shaped like South Carolina. Two different rashes. This one is from a sourdough bread I sampled earlier at Mrs. Ludvenko’s marvelous breadstand not realizing that I am also allergic to sourdough. You learn something new everyday, folks, isn’t that right? Stay in school, kids. Learning is earning. Education is elevation. Teachers are…They’re great. We love our teachers. We’re going to have that union contract all done any day now.
Now I don’t want to bring family into this, but I’m sure many of you are aware that my Great-Great-Great Uncle twice removed was killed by a Hessian. A Hessian just like the Headless Horseman. If you think, I would actually get myself tangled up with the kind of ilk that cost my poor Great-Great-Great Uncle his life, then you do not know your four-time Mayor one bit. I hate Hessians. Can’t stand them. If you were to drop me out of a plane into Hessia right now, I guarantee you, I would burn that whole country to the ground. Country or island. Whichever it is. I went looking for a map, but wouldn’t you know, most of the stores in town don’t have them. Then again, most of the stores in town are closed. Tough economy right now. We’re going to fix that though, aren’t we? That pesky Horseman sure is keeping all the tourists at bay, but once we take care of him, you’ll see them all flooding back.
I know what some of you are thinking.
Mayor B, you’re thinking, You’ve been promising year after year that you’re going to take care of this Headless Horseman and you never do!
Need I remind some of you that ridding specters from a town is not as simple as snapping your fingers or tap dancing like a frog in a top hat? You have to have patience. You have to be diligent. You have to stay two miles ahead of the Horseman and get to that bridge before he hurls that flaming pumpkin of his at you. You think my opponent can manage all that? No!
Why do you think everybody who runs against me ends up missing? Because as soon as they announce their candidacy, the Horseman goes chasing them down to prove his point. And what is that point, you may ask? The point is--I’m the only one who can survive a tussle with him.
Now, my current foe may want you to think that all of that is planned out ahead of time. That me and the Horseman worked out a deal wherein he keeps scaring you all and I keep getting reelected, but that just isn’t true. If I wanted to scare you all, I could just get dressed up like a clown and wander through town every night knocking on windows and tying red balloons to your door knobs.
I realize that did happen last year, but that was not me. I was just using that as an example of something I could do. Besides, it turns out many of you aren’t even scared of clowns. Your kids loved those red balloons, didn’t they? So, in a way, if I did dress up like a clown trying to frighten you, you’d actually have to thank me, wouldn’t you? Not that you have to, because I didn’t, but if I did, you're welcome.
After I am reelected, I am confident that this year will be the year we rid ourselves of the scourge that has plagued us since the days of Ichabod Crane. My Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaddy Brom Bones was a good friend to Ichabod and dedicated his life to tracking down and eliminating the Headless Horseman. While he may not have succeeded, he laid the groundwork for me, his descendant, to carry on that fight and see it through to victory.
In the meantime, you would all be well-advised to beware people speaking ill of your best protector against the nemesis we all face each time we leave the house at night. Without me, I can’t say it would ever be safe to live in Sleepy Hollow again. We wouldn’t want that, would we?
Look at all those terror-stricken faces of yours staring back at me knowing I’m going to do everything in my power to keep you preserved for as long as I have breath.
Why, it warms my heart. Truly, it does.
Now--let’s go fry up some more butter.