A large Provost tour bus pulled up and parked in the vacant lot across from the courthouse Wednesday. Curious shopkeepers and passersby came out to see if it might be someone famous like Toby Keith or Sarah Palin. Instead, a ragtag group of young, unshaven men and women descended carrying a wide assortment of drums. The group meandered into the Courthouse and made themselves at home on the floor of the main foyer. Shortly thereafter, loud drumming and shouting ensued as onlookers rolled their eyes and returned to their regular errands.
Mayor Meyer calmly exited his office and asked if the group could please pause the drum circle for moment to explain their grievances. A young man named Dylan spoke up that they were part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and taking their cause to Main Street America. He stated the group had no plans of leaving until “major changes were made in Washington, and Wall Street took responsibility for the excessive greed that destroyed our economy.” The mayor pointed out that they “may have made a wrong turn, since LaCucaracha is nowhere near Washington or Wall Street.” Dylan’s response was, “Yeah, whatever. We all anticipated you’d say something dictatorial like that.”
The Mayor asked to be excused for a moment, and then returned with his laptop, joining the protesters seated on the courthouse floor. “Let me show you my Scott Trade and retirement accounts. I’ve lost more than 60 percent of my net worth – which wasn’t much to begin with – during the past few years. Last week, I filled out an application to be a Wal-Mart Greeter on weekends and city holidays. I honestly think you may be in the wrong place. I’ll confess we pass a lot of resolutions at City Hall about national issues we have absolutely no control over, but I don’t think there’s anything I can do to help you folks, or I would have already done it.”
The protesters looked mildly confused, but declared they refused to be swayed by some Wall Street psychological warfare and reached for their bongos. Mayor Meyer, politely offered to have lunch ordered in, if they were hungry. Dylan’s anger softened a bit, but explained this was a strictly vegetarian protest, and he doubted there was anything locally available in such a small town. The mayor explained, “On the contrary, most locals tend their own gardens, and I know for a fact all the veggies at Granny’s Café are homegrown with no pesticides. She even has a ‘bacon grease free’ menu for folks watching their cholesterol.” Dylan thanked the Mayor, and said he appreciated his hospitality.
While the group was waiting with the Mayor for lunch to be delivered, one of the large drum heads cracked. Mayor Meyer offered to give them directions to a custom drum shop over in Sintown that could “fix that right up for you.” He said, “Those folks are real craftsmen, and have been trading with the local slaughterhouse for years. You know, I’ve got to commend you all for your commitment to your cause. I mean, seriously, a bunch of vegetarians beating dead animal skins with their bare hands – now, that’s dedication.”
Dylan and the other protesters recoiled from their instruments with shocked expressions on their faces. After a brief huddle, Dylan announced to the Mayor that there had been a change of plans, and would be staging a silent drum circle protest at a festival in Austin’s Zilker Park.
The Mayor said he understood, and walked the group to their bus and asked Dylan, “I’m still confused how you found LaCucaracha in the first place?”
Dylan chuckled and replied, “You know, you’re all right Mayor. I’m sorry if we hassled you, dude. See, most of our fathers worked together on Wall Street, making obscene loads of cash. None of us had any reason to leave home – I mean – there was never any way we could make that kind of cash on our own. It was like living at the Ritz. We just hung out gaming with our posse until my Dad bought us this tour bus from Michael Bolton to get us out of the house. The only requirement was we had to stay at least 500 miles away from NYC for the next year. So, we just kind of wander around the country – sticking it to the man, you know. So, yeah, we were just driving by. It was totally random that we found your town.”
As Dylan was climbing on the bus he turned back and shouted to the Mayor, “Hey, if you already paid for those veggie plates, do you think we could get them to go?”