Ever since Dolores took to the road to console herself over the loss of the election, we've been wondering where she is. Well, Harry has been wondering. I've just been enjoying the smoke-free environment, no to mention going into the bathroom in the morning without fear of finding a bleary-eyed dancer from the Lucky Horseshoe lolling in the tub with my rubber duckie.
There was a postcard about a week ago from Texas, indicating she'd found work in "a ground-breaking stage production of a classic work," but that was it. I figured if there was any state in the union able to deal with Dolores, it would be Texas. Hell, in Texas she might not even stick out in a crowd.
Those little wrinkles in my forehead were just starting to smooth out when Harry called me over to read a news item he found during his habitual morning perusal of CNN.com.
DISGRUNTLED SHEEP DESTROYS CHRISTMAS PAGEANT
Waxahachie, TX. Visitors to last night’s performance of the annual Living Nativity Pageant sponsored by the Waxahachie Full Bible Baptist Church were horrified to see a beloved local tradition come to an unexpected and violent end.
Witnesses say that as the Herald Angel (played by Wanda Meeks, daughter of the Reverend Lou Meeks) was lowered into the scene to begin her speech to the shepherds, a sheep broke loose from her tether and threw what appeared to be a half-empty bottle of Four Roses Bourbon into the air, narrowly missing Meeks’ head and knocking one of her wings to the ground.
Meeks began screaming to be let down, but remained suspended helplessly above the scenery while stagehands attempted to corral and subdue the angry sheep, whom police have identified as Dolores Van Hoofen of Chicago, Illinois.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Betsy Cartright of Midlothian, who was cast in the role of Shepherdess #2. “She just came out of nowhere cussing a blue streak. I knew she was trouble from day one. We had to keep telling her to put out her cigarettes around all the hay.”
According to pageant director Louise-Lynn Butler, the sheep had been a constant source of disruption during rehearsals, making overtures of a sexual nature to two of the three wise men and offering suggestions for enlarging her own role. At one point, Butler and Van Hoofen came to blows after Van Hoofen insisted on taking over Wanda Meeks' role as the Herald Angel, and replacing the traditional “Fear not, I bring you tidings of great joy” speech with a harmonica arrangement of the Frank Sinatra hit “Come Fly With Me.”
“I should’ve fired her, I guess,” says Butler. “But it was a big deal for Waxahachie to have a real sheep in the pageant this year instead of dressing up Lulu McWhirter’s lhasa apso the way we usually do.”
Before police and fire fighters could secure the scene, Van Hoofen bit or kicked at least three-quarters of her fellow cast members, and her cigarette sparked a blaze that within minutes had consumed most of the stable and severely damaged two papier-mache palm trees. A donkey and three chickens on loan to the production broke loose and were later apprehended in the parking lot of Pizza Hut.
Van Hoofen, who is presently in custody at the Waxahachie Jail, had no comment on the incident but says she still expects to receive the $35 she was promised in exchange for her performance in the Living Nativity. To which Louise-Lynn Butler responded, “Dream on, crazy Yankee bitch.”
As Texas state law has no precedent for filing criminal charges against livestock, the Waxahachie sheriff’s office has confirmed that tomorrow morning Van Hoofen will be escorted to the edge of town and put on a Greyhound bus heading north. A large crowd is expected to make sure she doesn’t try to turn around and come back.
On the Calendar
I'm pleased as punch to be signing the little book in two, two, two places this week. On Thursday, December 11, I'll be at Sister Arts Studio in Lincoln Park from 6:30–8:30 p.m. And on Saturday, December 13, I'll be at Prairie Arts and Fibers in Grayslake, Illinois from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
And, in a late-breaking addition to the travel calendar, I'll be at Purl Diva in Brunswick, Maine twice this month. On December 20, I'll be reading from It Itches at 3 p.m. and then signing copies until 6 p.m. Then, on December 27, I'll be teaching a class on photographing your fiber–with an emphasis on making the best of your available equipment, whatever it may be. For information about class fees and registration, check out the Purl Diva Web site.
Looking into the future, by the way, I've been asked to sail along with Sea Socks 2009. Amy Singer's coming, too. If you'd like to sail with us, click here for more information.