The owners of Crotonblog, announced today that they have accepted an offer from the Croton Republican Committee to purchase their innovative and irreverent blog after three years two months and 18 days of operation. The selling price was not disclosed, but it included a substantial amount of cash, a valuable collection of Topps baseball cards plus a set of highly collectible toy soldiers in exquisite detail made by the W. Britain firm.
“We decided to sell because it was getting somewhat boring going after the Republicans year after year,” announced the principal owner and editor in a news release. “They have no imagination politically and allow themselves to be manipulated by a small coterie of lobbyists and people with an axe to grind. Their 2008 ticket is a good example. The Croton Republicans today are about as far as you can get from the party of Abraham Lincoln.”
Crotonblog’s ace reporter interviewed two members of the Croton Republican Committee about the terms of the sale. “Frankly,” said Chairman Charles “Chuck” Trendell, “I thought Vice Chairman Otto Wintermeier here would make the announcement.” Your alert reporter noticed that both were wearing lapel flag pins. He decided not to mention that flag pins had gone out of style. Even the President no longer wears them.
“No, no, Chuck. You were going to do the announcing,” said Mr. Wintermeier. Then he added quietly to this reporter, “He always calls me ‘Otto’ when he’s peeved with me.”
“But isn’t that your name?” this award-winning reporter asked. “It’s the name by which you’re registered on the Board of Elections registration lists.”
‘Yeah, sure. But it’s not the name I use. Anyway, we’re getting away from the subject here,” Mr. Wintermeier pointed out.
“You screwed up. Otto. Why don’t you just admit it?” Mr. Trendell demanded.
“Okay, okay, Chuck. So I screwed up. But your baseball cards weren’t enough. I’m the one who threw the toy soldiers into the pot and clinched the deal.”
“Otto, you dummy. Can’t you see that this guy is taking notes on everything we’re saying?”
“Can we get back to the reason the Croton Republican Committee bought the Crotonblog?” your crack reporter asked.
“That’s easy, ” Mr. Trendell offered. “They caused our defeat by harpooning everything we said and did.”
“You mean lampooning,” Mr. Wintermeier suggested.
“That, too,” Mr. Trendell said brightly.
“So you really bought Crotonblog to shut them up,” your prize-winning reporter declared.
“Yeah, I suppose you could put it that way,” Mr. Wintermeier acknowledged, somewhat reluctantly. “I wanted to start our own blog with Rob DiFrancesco as editor. You know, kinda bring him back into the fold, sort of, ” he added. “But Chuck wouldn’t have it.”
“You bet your bippy I wouldn’t have it. That kid could screw up a two-car funeral. He almost cost us the 2007 election.”
“And there’ll be some policy changes, too. Crotonblog will be more like Fox News, only different,” Mr. Wintermeier said.
“That’s right,” Mr. Trendell joined in. “No more of that ‘fair and balanced’ crap. It’s our way or the highway from now on.”
At this point, the door opened and in came Joan Minett, former secretary of the Croton Republican Committee. We had heard that she had been replaced by Mrs. Jean Kraemer because nobody could read Mrs. Minett’s shorthand notes, including Mrs. Minett.
She was out of breath. “It’s raining cats and dogs out there. I just stepped in a poodle,” she explained as she closed her umbrella. Nobody laughed. “I rushed over here because I heard a rumor that the Committee was thinking about buying that awful Crotonblog from Mr. Russ Whale.”
“We’ve already bought it. And you’ve got his name wrong,” Messrs. Trendell and Winterneier suggested simultaneously, proffering the correct name.
“Wheel, Whale. Whatever.” Joann Minett replied. “He’s evil.”
Sensing that the conversation in front of a crackerjack reporter was getting onto thin ice, Mr. Trendell said, “Well, Joann, now that we own Crotonblog there’ll be no more film clips showing you at the microphone wildly waving your arms.”
“Gesticulating,” said Mr. Wintermeier.
“That, too,” added Mr. Trendell.
“I don’t see why everybody got their underwear in a twist because I do that all the time when I talk. I can’t help it. I’m Italian, and we all talk with our hands. It’s in our blood. Who’s this guy here?” she asked, nodding in the direction of your investigative reporter.
“He’s a reporter from the Crotonblog,” Mr. Trendell explained.
“Then he’s the enemy.” She shook her umbrella at me, getting water all over my notes. “Are you the one who does all the strolling? You better watch out. You don’t want me after you. Remember, we pay your salary.”
“In that case, how about a raise?” this overworked reporter asked, dodging the wet umbrella that sailed right by his head. It looked like this was going to be the beginning of an unusual working relationship.