Mayor’s Hat Missing, Reward Offered.
Ah, the Pine Meadow Times. Right there on the front page, too. The next article has a picture from last night’s ceremony. Town Wowed by Annual Event. We don’t get a lot of excitement around here. The Charity Gala for Worthy Individuals is like the Academy Awards for Pine Meadow. After last night, you can call me Lou Peterson. He’s our Billy Crystal… well, he was.
I’m still riding the high. My introductions were poignant, my flubs forgotten, even as I sweat through my suit under those stage lights. You’d never guess I was a first-time host. All the credit goes to Pine Meadow Community Education. God bless Mrs. Odegaard and her “Talk of the Town” public speaking course. It extroverted me. My opener? “If you think I look bad in this suit, you should see the guy I dug up to get it.” Lesson 19: Deadpanning. I killed it. After a touching tribute to those we’ve lost in the past year, I left the stage. What a comedown. No longer was I Craig Little, bold orator. I was Craig Little, claims adjuster at Lyle Gustafson’s Family Insurance.
I stepped into the coat check room and there it was. That pine green Alpine with the little feathers and everything. I couldn’t resist. Tomorrow I’ll go check out the dent the Anderson kid put in his dad’s pickup. I’ll find it in the back seat. He won’t get in trouble—youthful indiscretion. And I’ll get to hand-deliver the hat to the Mayor.
I’ll make the front page of the Pine Meadow Times. I can picture the caption under my photo: Craig Little, local hero. No—Craig Little, local celebrity. I might win Person of the Year, although that might conflict with my hosting duties, if they ask me to return. I bet they will.