Home > Politics > Obama/McCain Debate at Oldsmar Flea Market

Obama/McCain Debate at Oldsmar Flea Market

Responding to complaints that neither presidential candidate is really in touch with the working class of America, an impromptu debate was held on a recent Sunday in Oldsmar, FL, while the two Senators were sitting around killing time before the big debate in Mississippi. This small forum was held at the Oldsmar Flea Market, a large indoor/outdoor political hotspot for the not-so-well-to-do in west central Florida, and it gave the candidates a chance to show off their “improv” skills since neither was given much time to prepare.  

A performance by a semi-skilled Elvis impersonator set the tone for afternoon, getting the crowd revved up for the big performance by the REAL “hound dogs” to follow. The odor from the nearby port-a-potties gave apt inspiration for what became the debate’s theme — “Lemons: Are They the Problem or the Solution?” 

As the candidates took the stage on a rickety 10×10 platform set up toward the back of the market, Mr. McCain stumbled slightly and Mr. Obama grabbed his arm. Senator McCain flashed his grimace-smile and Senator Obama waved as the crowd applauded, but one of the technicians who was resetting the Elvis karaoke machine to be used as a sound system for the debate saw Mr. McCain mutter an expletive when his back was turned away from the audience.

A gentleman in the crowd, wearing a large tank-top that tented out over his severely herniated belly, graciously offered the two candidates some freshly-squeezed lemonade from a nearby stand. Mr. Obama’s polished countenance was interrupted when he noticed a smear on the side of his cup where it might have come in contact with a chili dog. He recovered nicely as he closed his eyes and took a sip, and then was asked to deliver a few opening thoughts. Suppressing a gag reflex, he swallowed hard and began…

“Senator McCain and I welcome you to the Oldsmar Flea Market today. We appreciate the opportunity to discuss the issues that are so important to all of you.” The small crowd of 20 or so people, worn out from the exuberance of the Elvis performance nodded as they sat at the picnic benches noisily unwrapping their Philly Cheesesteaks. A large woman in pink spandex pants did her best to wipe off a spilled bit of her sandwich that a neighbor had pointed out to her. The woman hadn’t noticed it herself, as the errant food had landed in a fold of flesh that obscured her view. 

Mr. McCain chimed in, “Yes, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to be here with us as we share in this important part of the electoral process with you.” Mouths full, the crowd grunted their enthusiasm.

The Elvis impersonator, who had been tapped at the last minute to serve as moderator for the event, widened his stance, shook out his arms, dipped his head, and said to the candidates, “Thank you. Thank you verrah much for being here today. We have an open forum and would like you to tell us what you think of our little system of free enterprise here in Oldsmar. Senator Obama, why don’t you start.”

Mr. Obama had been slowly twisting his glass of lemonade to turn the offending chili-smear away from his view. It now faced Mr. McCain, but the elderly senator did not look over at Senator Obama even once during the debate and therefore was not subjected to the same experience Mr. Obama had suffered when he first saw the gag-inducing smudge.

“My fellow Americans”, Mr. Obama began, “Today I am here to honor a segment of our society that is so often maligned — the illegal migrant worker. As I take in the sights and smells of this great institution, this grassroots effort at cooperative capitalism, I am reminded of my great-great-great grandfather, a migrant worker himself who, of his own free-will, sailed with 250 of his friends on a ship from Africa in order to realize the American dream. Despite the fact that he had no teeth due to a lack of dental health care for the poor and disenfranchised in this country, I understood him to say, “Son, the people that provide the food in this country are our nation’s backbone. Someday, you will stand before a crowd of those providers, people who stood out in the blazing sun to pick the lemons that made this wonderful lemonade, and have the opportunity to thank them for me. So I am here today on behalf of great-great-great grandpa Joe to express his gratitude to you for continuing this wonderful tradition, and I promise that someday, you will all be able to say the same thing to your descendants through a full set of teeth”. The crowd, now made up mostly of Spanish-speaking people since the others had walked away to use the port-a-potties until it was Senator McCain’s turn, just looked at each other and shrugged.

Senator McCain, a steely glint in his eye, took the podium. The doors to the restrooms slammed open and a dozen men and women emerged, wearing anything red, white, and blue that they had been able to scarf up in a hurry from nearby booths.  “That’s a nice story, but what Senator Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that when times get tough, we must rely on the ingenuity of the real backbone of this country — the true Americans, like these people here today. When I was a prisoner of war in Viet Nam, I was given one lemon every day in order to ward off scurvy. My captors knew that a sick prisoner was worse than a dead prisoner. What they didn’t know was that the principles of capitalism were still alive and well in me, and during the long hours in my cell, I had collected my lemons and learned to make lemonade. When they would come in to torture me, instead of information, I would sell them lemonade from a little stand I’d constructed using my cot, which wasn’t very comfortable anyway. The peels provided a pleasant scent that covered up the stench of my own filth. I did end up getting scurvy which contributed to later health problems, but I bought myself more time to figure out how to make my escape.” The red-white-and-blue crowd, bellies bolstered by their cheesesteaks, cheered loudly.

Senator Obama scribbled a note with his imaginary pencil and responded, “Senator, lemonade without sugar is a bitter drink to swallow. If it weren’t for the sugar cane workers who come to this country, sometimes without permission but not without determination to succeed, you and I could not be enjoying this fine lemonade today. We need to figure out a way to let them continue to do the work that has made lemonade the official drink of summer here in our country of plenty.” 

Apparently deciding that this line of discussion had been exhausted, the Elvis impersonator interceded. “Senators, as a representative of the entertainment industry, I wonder how you intend to regulate the “piratization” of the Internet, the illegal downloading of copyrighted material by people who use it in live performances in front of…uh….” He looked down and began twisting the toe of his blue suede shoe in the dirt when Senator McCain came to the rescue. Having been criticized in the past for his lack of technology expertise and his weak stance on environmental issues, Mr. McCain tried out a new concept for this receptive crowd. “These folks are exhibiting the trickle-down theory of our economy that allows them to continue to make money from the sale of VCR tapes, beta-discs, and 8-track tapes that still have plenty of life in them. By doing this, they are also helping the environment by not filling up the landfills with perfectly good products. People will be able to re-watch the classic “Girls, Girls, Girls” for years to come.” The owner of the adult video store in the back let out a whoop as Elvis pensively looked around, relieved that his own gaff had not placed him in jeopardy.

Senator Obama, much better versed in technology issues, interjected. “John, those technologies are obsolete. We must find a way to put Blue Ray players in every home in America, complete with free introductory discs of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 911″ so that everyone will have the same opportunities for education in this country.” The audience boo’ed.  

With that, the crowd started chanting “El-vis! El-vis! El-vis!” signaling the end of the debate. The candidates thanked the crowd for their rapt attention and for not test-driving their scooters down the middle of the “debate hall” during the forum. 

Political wrap-up discussions scored a big win for Senator McCain in this debate. Due to his success here, the McCain campaign has scheduled a follow-up visit by Sarah Palin. After consulting with several of the fashion booth owners, it was determined that Governor Palin would be best received with her hair dyed pink-blond, wearing blue glitter eye shadow, and a Harley-Davidson top with short-shorts. They would leave it up to her whether she wanted to get a temporary tattoo or not. 

The tentative theme for the upcoming visit will be: “Who Needs Grassroots When You Can Have Brunette Roots?”

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Categories: Politics
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