It’s been over a month since Jon Seagull last spoke with me. It’s hard to tell when that old bird is going to show up to talk about us and to remind me of what’s running through the recesses of our muddled-down minds. The last thing he said was pretty powerful stuff. That’s why I like when he visits. He said Nov. 6, the day after local elections, that it could be awhile until we see each other. He was going out to practice his flying techniques with the elders — far beyond the horizon.
“I don’t know when we’re going to see each other again. Heck, I can’t say for sure if we’re ever going to see each other again,” as he put it.
He caught me off guard that day with the sincerity of his greeting. To be blunt, it isn’t usually like him to be nice. He can be downright condescending, even arrogant at times. He’s the type of ol’ bird who will say what’s on his mind and he says it right to your face and not behind your back. I respect him for that. Our conversation that day was comforting. He was quiet and kind when he saw me shaking my head as I combed through shell beds.
“What’s going on, bum? I thought we were at peace with ourselves now days.”
“Oh, not much. And I am..we are at peace with ourselves. I was havin’ a good time finding sharks’ teeth and not thinkin’ about much of anything when local politics crossed..”
“Oh, cripes! The election. That made me sick, too. The ‘nice guys’ got re-elected. Nice guys my…”
“They are nice guys, Jon. Especially when it comes to being nice to people who further their business interests. Yeah, it gets tiresome knowing that voters seem to be happy being force fed garbage. Comfortable with status quo..”
“Election day,” Jon said. “Reminded me of when Marco Polo Sanford was elected to his seat down in the low country. It hasn’t been that long since he scampered off to South America to be with his sweetheart when he was supposed to be running The Palmetto State.”
“Come to think of it. You’re right. It was sort of like that. I can’t see where..”
“Remember when the editorial page editor, the Golden One, Danny Boy, at the Pablum Puke Pioneer wouldn’t publish your blog about Sanford because it was too ‘expository’.” (Sanford blog link: http://dharmabeachbum.com/2013/04/08/take-a-hike-mr-sanford/)
“Don’t rub it in, Jon. I did make the mistake, as he pointed out via email, of writing Sanford represented our district in that piece. Thankful he did. It took me all of one minute to fix. I don’t like making factual errors in my stuff.”
“The Pablum Puking Pioneer might as well change its name to something like, ‘The Sunny Not News.’ Very little newsworthy to read. Except for that guy who does some good investigative reporting. What’s his name? Come on. You know. His last name sounds like that of a bird.”
“You’re talking about David. And ‘good’ my butt. He’s exceptional. What a journalist should be.”
“Yeah, but without him and a couple others who work the cop shop that rag would be nothing more than public relations.”
“Can’t disagree with you there. Back to local politics..”
“What boy? I thought we were talking about David. Let’s get back to politics.”
“Sorry, bum. My mind skips now and then. I meant the Golden One. He needs a suppository. A seven-point suppository like Clint mentioned in ‘The Enforcer’.”
“Are you going to let me finish now or are you going to keep interrupting?”
“Geesh, Dharma. Usually I’m the crabby one. You know I’ve been manic for months and I can’t stop from squawking. Go ahead.”
“Gee, thanks. We just had two people re-elected who should have done the community a favor and not run at all. A pretentious mayor who says nothing publicly about either the gigantic, gaping sore in the middle of town where the Myrtle Square Mall once stood or the former Pavilion site where the skeleton-like frames for the zipline stand. Temporarily, that is. ‘Duh, golly gee, I have nothin’ else better to do, so I thought I might as well run again. Somebody has to show up for the photo ops.’ Burroughs $ Chapin owns both properties…”
Jon cut me off. “…and just sits on them. Not to mention, they whined about the slow economy when razing the Myrtle Square Mall and The Pavilion then turned around and provided land for the new mall and land for the new development west of Bypass 17 up where we live. But we both know, bum, property owners can do what they want with their digs for the most part without government intervention. Well, at least property owners with a lot of clout.”
I gave Jon a glare that he recognized immediately and he expressed his sorrow. “Go ahead. It’s a bad habit, Dharma. You know we suffer from diarrhea of the mouth sometimes. Can’t keep from spoutin’ off to save our lives. Go ahead. Keep going. You were on a roll.”
“Sure, they can do what they want, Jon. That doesn’t mean they have to do it at the expense of the city’s image. That’s not the point anyway. A decent mayor would be speaking for his constituency, not just standing for the same people who get him elected time-and-time again. Then we have the councilman linked to a stolen document scandal through, if nothing else, association. Image is everything when it comes to attracting tourists. So what does he do? He stays in the race instead of bowing out gracefully and saving the city from more shame.”
“What happened? What did he do? What did he do?” Jon knew very well the details of the scandal of which I was speaking. He just wanted to hear it from me. He feeds on drama. That and sand fleas.
“As I was saying. He probably did nothing. Nothing! But someone acting in his best interests sure did. The missing documents were taken from the Horry County courthouse and they’re a huge part in a probate court case in which the councilman was accused of mishandling a widow and her childrens’ estate.”
“I bet she sure as hell was surprised. Go. Go. Tell me more. More!”
“Surprised probably doesn’t begin to cover what she’s feeling. There really isn’t much more to say at this point, Jon. As far as I know, the theft of the documents is still being ‘investigated’ and the outcome of the probate case is up in the air.”
“Up in the air. A space cadet. Like me,” the bird said while laughing.
That one gave me a much-needed chuckle. “I mean. What kind of unethical puppets would vote for these self-serving schmucks.”
“Well-to-do unethical ones, Dharma. People with business interests. You know what Dylan said. ‘Power, greed and corruptible seed seem to be all that there is.'”
I nodded in agreement and smiled at my friend. Jon gave me one last look with his beady eyes and flew away.
Bum raps: This blog is Part X of the Seagull Saga series. Most likely the last in the storyline. Even if that’s the case, I’m sure I’ll be mentioning him from time-to-time. He and I are birds of a feather. Besides, Master Po has been begging for column space. He’s a peaceful personality, much more so than Jon, but he likes playing devil’s advocate. Like Jon.