Initial reports from the sleepy seaside town of Punta Gorda, FL, are beginning to reach the outside world that indicate the city is in flames and there are some reports of bodies in the streets. It is not known at this time, however, whether those bodies are casualties or just elderly citizens who have fallen and can't get back up.
Apparently, a group of residents went to the home of Mayor Larry Friedman to see for themselves the fence erected along his side yard by his neighbor, 88-year old widow, Gerda Craig. They hoped to bring an amicable end to this source of embarrassment to their hamlet, since the onset of allegations that the mayor used his political office to browbeat those in the building department to condemn the fence.
When the group arrived, however, they were stunned to see that Ms. Craig's house being demolished by heavy equipment owned and operated by the Public Works Dept. Other city machinery and workers were next door, building what appeared to be a moat and an earthen breastwork around the mayor's residence.
Punta Gorda police, augmented by a "special militia" of the mayor's supporters, quickly turned their attention to the awe-struck group of onlookers, wading into them with truncheons swinging, inflicting a heavy toll upon the fleeing citizenry.
Newly-appointed 'Chief of Domestic Security' for Punta Gorda, Guido "No-Neck" Antonucci, announced to the gathered media outside of City Hall, "The Mayor has declared martial law in Punta Gorda. We have blocked entry into the city to keep disruptive influences from the outside from coming into our town. There is a "shoot-to-kill" order in effect for any persons on the street after 7:00 PM until further notice. We are here to enforce the law, ensure the peace and do the will of God, as interpreted by the Lord High Mayor himself, Larry Friedman, Mayor for Life. I will take no questions and there will be no further statements issued by the Mayor's office and all media personnel are to be escorted back to wherever the hell it is youse came from forthwith."
Refugees were streaming across the bridge into Port Charlotte, overwhelming their meager services almost immediately. Gas was in short supply and convenience stores and supermarkets had already run out of milk, bread and toilet paper, as the fleeing throng descended like a horde of locusts upon the Rt. 41 business corridor of Port Charlotte, on their way northward to safety. North Fort Myers to the south was reporting a similar situation.
One couple, who did not want to be indentified, said that, just prior to their leaving, there was a wholesale roundup of political opponents to Mayor Friedman. They were unsure of there whereabouts and could not vouch for their well-being. "It's hard to believe that all this started over a fence, " said the visibly-shaken woman. "Oh, the humanity...."
Late Saturday afternoon, a major clash between forces loyal to the mayor and citizens brave enough--or foolhardy enough--to confront the newly-crowned despot was averted at the last minute when the bell in the City Hall clocktower chimed 4 o'clock. The angry mob laid down their pitchforks and extinguished their torches, while the security militia defending the seat of government in Punta Gorda set aside their automatic weapons and light artillery, defusing what would surely have resulted in an inordinate amount of bloodshed on both sides.
It was time for the 'early-bird specials' at local restaurants.
No word yet on whether the demonstration will resume after dinner.
Mayor For Life Larry Friedman's newly-remodeled home in Punta Gorda. Note fence in foreground.......