How hard do you have to hit a man with the butt of your .38 to make him crumble to the floor in silence like they do in the movies? As it turns out, pretty damned hard… and multiple times to boot. I must have hit that man seven or eight times before he finally succumbed to the blows. It was a violent and ugly scene drenched in blood and sweat – not all his. But it was a wrong that had to be done in order to secure the future that honored the past.
See, Frank was a judge at this year’s Grand National Roadster Show and I needed his suit as well as his ID badge and Handy Dandy Clipboard. His suit didn’t fit worth a shit, but a quick trip to JC Penney’s solved that problem. I just transferred the lapel pins over. And with all that and for the first time ever, I was able to enter the hollowed grounds of the GNRS without question or suspicion… AS A JUDGE!
I played the roll perfectly too. I donned white gloves and approached each car cautiously and carefully as if they were heirlooms left by gods from above. I knelt to my knees at each and studied every last detail, marking my judge sheet judiciously and without any hesitation. And I made thoughtful remarks to other judges to rid of any suspicion they might have towards my identity.
“Did you see that 3/8″ bolt head located right above the exhaust on the driver’s side floor board? My calipers showed that it was miss-clocked by a fews hundredths of an inch. Surely you didn’t miss that one, did ya bub?”
“I’m almost certain I saw some bluing on that header. Are we docking five or seven points for that this year?”
“I noticed the owner and his wife aren’t wearing matching satin jackets. And the husband’s features a really poor embroidered rendering of the car. I don’t think the stitch pattern is tight enough. I, for one, am really disappointed that ‘appropriateness’ is not a check box on our judging form. How about you?”
They never suspected a thing. I fit right in. And that made it all the more easier to infiltrate the voting box. Out with the new and in with the old – I replaced every last vote with one of my own. By mid afternoon on Sunday, the “results” were in. The other judges and I gathered around an internal blackboard located deep within the offices of the Fairplex and stared balefully as the clerk posted the returns. The first figures stunned him visibly and by the time he set his chalk down, he was raving incoherently about “fraud” and “recounts” and “those dirty bastards that had turned on him.”
The other judges looked lost. Confused. Violated.
“What had happened?” they wondered silently and aloud. “How can this be?”
You are welcomed Mr. Mumford. You are welcomed Mr. Niekamp.