(In our last installment, Sluice Tundra, Private Eye, was pulled out of retirement by a mysterious woman and hired to find out who killed the Republican Party.)

I decided to start right at the top, with the chairman. I found him in his office, looking as nervous as a cat at the Westminster Dog Show.

“Thanks for seeing me, Mr. Prius,” I said.

His expression changed from anxious to annoyed.

“It’s Priebus,” he said. “Reince Priebus.”

“Right,” I said. “So tell me, Raunch …”

“Reince,” he corrected me.

“OK, Rinse. I was seeing if you knew anything about who might have killed your party.”

“Killed?” he said, sweat breaking on his brow. “It’s not dead.” He took out a hankie and wiped his face. “It’s fine. Everything’s going to be fine. Really.” His right eye started to twitch. “We’re going to unite behind the nominee. Mr. … Mr. …”

“Trump,” I said.

He visibly flinched. “Yeah. Him.”

I could tell I was getting nowhere with this guy. He was deeper in denial than a Sanders supporter looking at the delegate count. “You have a nice day, Mr. Peebles.”

He stopped shaking and looked at me with narrowed eyes. “Are you doing that on purpose, or are you just an idiot?” he said.

“You’ll never know,” I said.

Next, I decided to pay a visit to the governor. He was seated on the veranda at his palatial Massachusetts mansion. I was startled to see a short, balding guy standing behind him, running a comb through his perfect hair.

“William Kristol?” I said. “What are you doing here?”

Kristol gave me a contemptuous look and whispered something in the governor’s ear.

“Bill here is talking to me about running as a protest candidate,” the governor said.

“You know he’s always wrong, don’t you?” I said. “I mean, like, always.”

Kristol whispered again. “He says you’re one of the takers. The 47 percent. Why should I talk to you when you’ll never vote for me anyway?”

“Whatever,” I said. “If you want to run, all I can say is what another guy said to you last time.”

“Oh yeah? What’s that?”

“Please proceed, governor.”

“Get out!” he bellowed. I did.

Next, I headed down to Texas to talk to The Cowboy. I found him hard at work on his ranch, engaged in his favorite pastime: clearing brush.

“Wow,” I said. “I would have thought you’d have cleared away all the brush after this many years.”

“No problemo, amigo,” he said. “I have new brush trucked in every night.”

“Amazing. So, what do you know about who might have killed the Republican Party?”

He stopped clearing for a moment and eyed me suspiciously. “That sounds like the kind of traitoristical talk that risks emboldenating our enemies.”


“Remember, muchacho, you’re either with us or with the terrorists. Hey, would you like to see one of my paintings? I have a new self-portrait of me in the bathtub.”

“Um … thanks, but no thanks.”

I got out of there as quickly as I could. I felt like I was running out of options. I had one more visit to make.

Suddenly, everything clicked into place. I had the answer. I dialed the woman who’d hired me, who I knew only as “dollface,” “kitten” or “precious” — at least until now. I got her voice mail.

“Meet me at my old office,” I said. “I have the answer.”

She arrived just as I was pulling the dust covers off the furniture. “Take a seat, angel,” I said. “Or should I call you … Gov. Palin?”

She hesitated, then pulled the mask off, revealing the face of the half-term governor of Alaska. “Guess you think you’re pretty smart, doncha, big fella?” she sneered. “Well, smart don’t feed the bulldog there sonny, not in the real America where we’re gun-clingin’, Bible-slingin’…”

“Can it, sister,” I said. “I know you did it. But you didn’t do it alone.”

She looked confused. Maybe she always looked like that. “I didn’t?”

“No. All of you did. You pretended to be pushing low taxes and limited government, but all you were really selling was fear. Fear and resentment. Fear of Scary Brown People, and resentment of anyone you could convince people was getting something they weren’t. You also promised people things you couldn’t deliver. You were going to ‘deport all the illegals’ and repeal ‘every word of Obamacare.’ But you couldn’t. And after a while, someone came along who did fear and resentment better than anyone. You all created this monster, and now he’s going to eat your party alive while he takes it over a cliff.”

“Wow,” Palin said. “I thought I was bad about mixing metaphors.”

I got up and showed her to the door.

“I got a million of ’em, toots. Now scram.”

If I hurried, I could still make the Early Bird Special at the Retirement Home for Private Eyes.

Dusty Rhoades lives, writes and practices law in Carthage. His latest novel, “Ice Chest,” is available now.

(2) comments

Mark Hayes

I would imagine that the amount HRC has spent on her quest to be the 1st woman President, she deserves it, I mean if you total this campaign and her last, this woman has spent over $500 million. While the donors are not expecting any returns, so she has stated, people with access to that kind of cash are usually not stupid with their money, they will be looking for a return on that investment. Watching these people who do attend her campaign speeches, their uncontrolled clapping like trained seals, they do not realize it is those they are being abused by are her biggest donors, those wealthy donors don't attend her campaign, they would not be caught dead in the crowd of commoners, preferring to sit back and watch on their big screen, in the comfort of their in home entertainment studio. This is not an election, it has turned into a contest of who can tell the biggest lie and get away with it. Sanders, you gotta hand it to him, he has attempted to run a campaign based on honesty and high moral judgment, like a fish out of water, so far out of his league when it comes to lies and deceit, he is crazy as a bed bug, but he has been an honest bed bug. I look for Bernie to shed that skin soon, relent to the pressure of the Democratic party, dismiss himself, throw in with Hillary and be rewarded for his complicity by the Democratic party. Corruption and deceit have been winning elections since the first ballot box was put to use.

Roger Glass

For inane comedy...see Hillary

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Comments that violate any of the rules above are subject to removal by staff.

Thank you for Reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. Subscribe today and support local community journalism.

Digital Only Subscriptions

Thank you for visiting ThePilot.com and supporting award-winning community journalism. Not everyone wants to have a newspaper delivered to their home, but they want to keep up with the latest news in Moore County. Click here to gain digital-only access and support local journalism.

Starting at
$1.07 for 1 day

Connect Print Subscription to Digital Access

Thank you for visiting ThePilot.com. Your Pilot subscription entitles you to unlimited digital access. Simply log in. From the home page, click on Subscription Services. Then click on "Pilot All Access Print Subscribers." It should show your phone number . If so, click "Sign Up." After a few seconds, it will take you back to the home page. Log out, then log back in. You're set! For any problems, call our customer service number at 910-693-2487 or 693-2488.

Free access for current print subscribers