Commanding a Christ-based militia isn't easy. Much of my time is spent dealing with challenges to my leadership. Internal rivals like Cletis and Jethro are constantly trying to stir up the troops with their complaints about things like our economic viability--they, like the courts, insist on portraying the our strong financial position as a bankruptcy--or the fact that Old Man Johnson keeps pantsing me at church picnics--they call it an embarrassment; I call it a victory because last time, he only got the pants and not the briefs last time.
I usually reassert my authority by instituting a round of disciplinary spankings, but that approach has proven itself to be ineffectual since the unfortunate "arousal incident." I'm going to have to take more drastic action. I'm going to have to reassert my authority by beating the hell out of some one.
Yes, I know what you're thinking. It's a risky strategy, What if I get my butt kicked? Well, don't worry. This isn't the first time I've employed this particular tactic. I know what to do. It's just a matter of picking the right target.
That's why I picked Old Man Johnson last time. At 78, he's not as quick as he once was. There was no way I could lose.
Still, it wouldn't be enough to kick an old man's butt. I had to portray him as a threat to the community. That was a lot easier than it sounds. He's crotchety and cantankerous so people wanted an excuse to hate him. All I had to do was play on their fears about him by telling everyone he had a big stick, and he was going to start sneaking up on people and hitting them with it if someone didn't take preemptive action. It was an effective message. Before long, most of the people in town were demanding that I do something about Old Man Johnson, and they cheered me when I did.
This time it's not going to be as easy. By now, most people have figured out Old Man Johnson didn't really have a stick, and that the beating I gave him didn't really change his behavior all that much. Indeed, it merely encouraged him to launch this pantsing jihad against me.
It also doesn't help that people decided to check my initial claims that Old Man Harrington, my new target, was whittling a big piece hickory into a hitting stick. They snuck over to his place and found he was just making little troll carvings to sell to the tourists.
So now I have to up the ante. I have to goad Old Man Harrington into making an aggressive move against me. That's going to be a difficult thing to accomplish, because he knows I'll kick his butt. I still think it's doable though. I just need to go up on his porch and pound on the side of his house a dozen or so times every day. Eventually, he's going to lose his composure and try to forcibly eject me from his property. Then all I need to do is point to the incident as evidence that he's a threat to the community and before long, everyone will be demanding that I do something about the Old Man Harrington threat.
Elsewhere: They report and they decide.