The competition was City Manager Rick Davis’ way of announcing the “newly up-to-the-minute organized well-thought-out Department of Redundancy” and I heard it came in under or nearly-nearly under budget. It was a “huge and gigantic announcement” according to him and kicked off the invigorating competition.
I must say, I had no idea Mayor DonCarlos could hula hoop like that! The man is simply amazing… and agile as a Zumba instructor! Maybe it’s just me, but until I saw that man in tights, I always thought he was a little doughy around the middle, but not anymore.
The newly refurbished Texas Avenue was the perfect place for the competition and they had the streets blocked from North Main to the old Sears building. Ken Pridgeon and I were judges and if I have a complaint, its Ken’s constant request for me to listen to some of his gospel karaoke recordings he made at his house. Between you and me, there is more heart and soul there than actual talent, but don’t quote me.
Baytown Police officer Stewart Beasley should never ever be allowed to get on a pogo stick, let alone in a crowed street atmosphere. There. I said it. The man is dangerous. He is so physically strong that a special reinforced device had to be flown in from the bowels of industrial Channelview so he could compete. The frame was made by Caterpillar Inc. and had railcar springs to put it in perspective.
Okay, okay, I am getting ahead of myself here. First off, I am not a reporter. I am a columnist, so sometimes I get my facts behind or in front of the other. The event was the idea of our honored Parks Superintendent, Scott Johnson – who I respect to the third knuckle. The premise was to launch this new new Department of Redundancy and he thought a “friendly” competition between our city Councilmen and Mayor against the expertly led Baytown Police Department would be “Neat-O Neat-O” (evidently his favorite word).
Team Captains were, of course Chief Dougherty and Mayor DonCarlos and I was a bit surprised when the Chief showed up in full SWAT gear. I had an idea they came to win, but geeze. He looked like Chuck Norris and the Mayor’s get up was almost embarrassing in contrast, except for the tights of course.
I knew the city councilmen were taking it serious when they arrived in six limousines and Daniel Blackford was running around with five other “men in black” acting like they were guarding Hillary Clinton. Bob Hoskins later told me that he had trained for the pogo stick event using the John Belushi “little chocolate donut” diet and the definition in his abs was apparent to all.
I didn’t quite understand the reason for David McCartney’s cape until he was disqualified for having a Nitros Oxide tank and a small block Hemi under it. For the love of all that is sacred, come on guys. It’s supposed to be fair. The City took another hit when Brandon Capetillo got in an argument with the other councilmen over who was the handsomest of the six. It got ugly until Assistant Chief David Alford told them to “Can it!” and made them all do push-ups. I’ve always admired a man who can snuff out a fire like that. Semper Fi, Marine!
Councilman Capetillo didn’t take it well and said (and I quote) “That right there is why I’m not seeking re-election!” There was one wild-eyed scruffy fellow in the crowd eating donuts and he yelled out his support to the man, but for the most part, everyone ignored him and went back to enjoying the competition. Another old curmudgeon stole an opportunity to get people to vote for “either Hillary or Kasich!” and was taken into custody for psychological testing, as he was clearly delusional.
Each team pitted one select “volunteer” to go up against their opposite in five separate heats and the first four went fairly well. The fifth one got up close ugly and personal when Stewart Beasley and Kevin Troller squared off on them danged pogo sticks.
Ken Pridgeon and I were sitting in front of the Art League and Ken handed me a pair of ear plugs, a rubber apron, and safety glasses and said, “Trust me.” Well, Ken and I go way back to the Brown shoe days of the Air Force and I did as was instructed.
Kevin is an ex-Army Colonel and Stewart runs the Baytown Police departments gym, so when I heard Stewart making those funny engine sounds with his lips, I knew this was going to be something for the books. City potentate Rick Davis held up a flare gun and unexpectedly fired it and this is when Stewart went blind-missile crazy and launched himself clear past TSO and landed next to the old Brunson theater.
Assistant Chief Alford tackled the city manager and cuffed him, yelling “GUN!” and Kevin Troller was spotted a short distance away eating tacos off a food truck. The bright light of the flare incensed Baytown Fire Department’s Shon Blake and he put a Judo chop on police educator Stewart after they removed him from the roof of the old Brunson. In a brilliant move straight out of the Obama Administration, the Mayor, declaring executive powers, crowned Troller the winner.
Chief Dougherty, being the humble civil servant that he is, conceded the match and it was over almost as quickly as it started. The very next day, the council double disbanded the Department of Redundancy stating the City Manager “was getting his cart in front of the horse, or vice versa”. All in all it made for a grand time and I’m glad I was there to witness it. I guess no one can argue that Baytown is most decidedly, a city on the move move.