The Colonel delivered his annual address to the citizens and legal residents of the Tallahatchie Republic (a virtual nation state established with tongue in cheek and hand on wallet) yesterday. It was neither televised nor recorded in any fashion, save indelible imprint on the very psyche of each and everyone in attendance.
The address was delivered in the cavernous family room of the Big House, sited on a ridge overlooking Eegeebeegee -- the Colonel's vast holdings at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere.
Excerpts, and description of the speech's reception, follow:
"Citizens, residents, and friends of our great enterprise: the Colonel bids you well and wishes to bring you up to date on the progress of projects and future plans to keep Eegeebeegee great. Please hold your applause until the end."
The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda sighed and interjected, "Are you going to do this, now? Wheel of Fortune is on."
The Colonel leveled his steely-eyed gaze on his bride, "What part of 'hold your applause until the end' did you not understand?"
The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda returned the Colonel's steely-eyed gaze with her patented look that can cook a steak well-done, "Wasn't applauding, knucklehead. Take your incoherent babbling to another room, willya."
"Who you callin' incoherent?" the Colonel retorted indignantly. "Be careful that the Colonel doesn't declare you 'an enemy of the people' and have you deported."
"Deported?!" The wattage of the Colonel's Lady's gaze increased exponentially, approaching temperatures suitable for welding steel. "Who do you think you are? And, stop referring to yourself in the third person -- it's seriously getting on my nerves."
The Colonel comported himself, shuffled the ream of papers in his hands, and resumed his address, albeit in a lower tone and from a position out of the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda's line of sight to Vanna flipping letters.
"The long dreary days of the month whose name will not be spoken come to an end this evening. Tomorrow will dawn with the promise of brighter, warmer days. And, the Colonel assures you the tempo of infrastructure projects will increase with the lengthening daylight and rising warmth. There is no project too tough for us to tackle."
"Huh!," the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda huffed. "What is this 'us' business? You mean 'no project is too tough' for ME to tackle!"
Sensing an opportunity to deviate from his prepared text in response to the crowd's enthusiastic reception, the Colonel ad libbed, "The Colonel pledges a redoubling of his supervisory effort to ensure that our republic's workforce stays on task."
"Workforce?! So, now I'm just 'the workforce!' Listen hear, knucklehead," the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda intoned, using her favorite term of endearment for her man, your 'workforce' is hereby on strike!"
The Colonel deviated further from his prepared remarks, "Strikes, slow-downs, stoppages, and other forms of workforce rebellion will be dealt with swiftly and severely..."
"Rebellion?! I'll show you 'rebellion!' I'll stomp a mudhole in your Manassas!"
Sensing an undercurrent of discontent in the crowd, the Colonel summarily adjourned the joint session of the Congress of the Tallahatchie Republic and beat an organized, if hasty, withdrawal to the friendlier confines of the Oblong Office, formerly known as the Colonel's Knotty Room, to revise and extend the contents of his remarks for the record.
The Colonel hopes the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda cools off soon. It'll be time to plant and tend the garden before too long, and the Colonel is loathe to bring in migrant labor.