On the road…again!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
Electing the Winner of the Talent Contest
Dear Granddaughter Roxanne,
The year 2014 ushers in the rebirth of the old fashioned talent contest. Plans for the inaugural launch of the national gala later this fall will go something like this: Regional and preliminary contests will take place in every state in November 2014 to filter out the least talented and to reduce the number of contestants to a manageable level for the upcoming grand nationals in 2016. The preliminary contests in 2014 will be held in those colorful old music halls, stages and playhouses across the land that have long been host to aspiring actors, singers, dancers and performers that occasionally amaze us with their talents. As my granddaughter, you will be a perfect candidate.
The audience in attendance at the performances will vote on the eventual winners at each location. In breaking with past tradition, however; only those with tickets and attending in person will have a vote. Those with a ticket will get only one vote. The winner at each location will then go on to compete for the title America’s Most Talented Person, in 2016.
Now is the time for me to assure you that, as my granddaughter, you are going to win in your little hometown of Lake Lucky, Louisiana because I’m going to help you out. First I’m going to buy the vacant old Palace of the Stars Theatre on Main Street, then lobby the City Council to have the 2014 talent contest there. Then I plan to sell 397 tickets to those I will ask to vote for your performance; the other 3 tickets for the full capacity audience of merely 400 will be up for grabs to anyone who wants to come. That way, I can always say that tickets were available and open to the pubic.
What talent does Roxanne have, others may ask? It doesn’t matter; you know that I can launch your career, and your name will become a household word by the time you reach the finals in 2016. But how can you lose? My theatre house, my printed tickets, sold only to my friends, and with the understanding that they will vote for you. It’s the oligarch’s way. With a certain majority of votes for your performance, dear Roxanne, you should not fret about your singing or dancing.
Just in case the audience doesn’t seem inclined to choose my Roxanne because of your local reputation or juvenile record, or for a few off-key notes during your performance, I plan to fete the entire audience with free popcorn and soda pop at intermission; plus a special house prize at the end of the show. That should do it. Just in case, I’ll remind them that I own the Palace of the Stars Theatre; and if they want to come to my theatre in the future, they should try to see things my way. And if any of that doesn’t work, the next time around, I’ll secretly buy all the tickets and let my darling Roxanne play to an empty house. OK, an almost empty house; I’ll probably get dragged down there with your nagging grandma (sorry dear, that thought kind of slipped out). But it will be worth it …the name Roxanne will go on to be a household word and I can grab a little more of the attention for myself, as we move into the national spotlight. After all, Roxanne you are named after me. I had wanted to name you Rocky II, but your parents just wouldn’t go along. Oh well …I wonder if the organizers at the national level will spring for our travel expenses?
There is little risk to me, except maybe to earn a few enemies along the way. But they can say whatever they want; after all, it is a free country and they have freedom of speech. On the other hand, the tickets I plan to sell to my friends and the ones I plan to stash away for contingencies are my form of free speech. The Supreme Court of the United States said so. My rights to usher my little Roxanne upward and onward to greater things is doubly protected. After all, my name is Rocky Feller, President, CEO and sole owner of Offshore Drugs Unlimited, Inc. My business associates remind me that “corporations are people, my friend;” and my money is free speech. I plan to be in the audience at upcoming talent shows and to talk over the voices of everyone who doesn’t have as many tickets as I have.
President and CEO, Offshore Drugs Unlimited, Inc.