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Hail to the Chief
by Jim Harrington

Boy, that was some inauguration. And one Betty May Halpern won’t ever forget.

She was at Gus’ with me and the boys watching the event on the big screen TV. Betty and I were at a table sharing a roast beef sandwich, chips and a pitcher of Budweiser, while we waited for the ceremony to start. The others sat at the bar and talked about how the new president was going to get their jobs back, and how he would kick all those crooked CEOs out on the street, and how he’d show them commies who was boss.

A big cheer went up when Obama stepped into view, especially from Cletus Boyer. He jumped off his stool, let out a good old yell and held his bottle of Old Milwaukee high in salute. He did it again once the president finished his oath. It was after the benediction, though, when Betty May ended up having to go to the hospital. You see, when that preacher told people to say “amen,’ Cletus jumped up and joined in. When the preacher said to do it again, Cletus lifted his beer and said it louder. The third time Cletus raised his arm, the lone working suspender strap let loose and his pants fell to the floor. When that happened, Betty May fainted and hit her head on the table pretty good.

I learned later, when I picked her up at the hospital, it wasn’t that Cletus wasn’t wearing any underwear that made her pass out. No she didn’t faint until after she thought she saw the face of Jesus on his right butt cheek.

I just left Betty May at her home after her second visit to the emergency room. We stopped at Ginnie’s Liquor Mart on the way home the first time so Betty May could buy some medicine to help her sleep. When I opened the store door, Cletus stepped out and gave her a big howdy and asked how she was feeling. Just the sight of him reminded Betty May of her earlier vision, and she dropped into my arms like a tree hit by lightning.

I gave Cletus twenty bucks and told him to go to Gus’ and stay there until I showed up. Yes sir, this was an inauguration for the ages. And before the next one, I’ll make sure to buy a TV so Betty May and I can watch it somewhere Cletus won’t be. We don’t need Jesus crashing the party again.