HARLINGEN, Texas - A rare calm moved across this noisy city's Old Guard sector all afternoon yesterday, hours after MyLeaderNews.com - Harlingen's uber-conservative Blog - lost to its chief rival, MyHarlingenNews.com, in The Tribune's Best Blog in Town poll.
"It's a graveyard scene over there, is what I hear," said one wag who'd supported Tony Chapa's MyHarlingenNews.com. "You can almost hear the life-sapping guttural swallows of Maalox on that side of town..."
On his Blog, MyLeaderNews.com's editor Jerry Deal posted this sobering note: "I am surprised that I received 60-plus votes since many of my readers did not know of the poll (I did not either until someone wrote me about it) and I did not ask them to vote for Myleadernews as Tony Chapa did for Myharlingennews."
The final tally was 85 to 63 in favor of Tony Chapa's blog.
"It's huge!" added another resident. "Tony's taken a lingering beating from the crazy neo-cons. MyHarlingenNews.com is doing the people's bidding, while Jerry Deal works for the Old Guard in town, that small group of self-serving politicians and business suits who have run this community into the ground. The time has come for Jerry to dance his last waltz..."
Deal was not saying much more. Instead, as he often does when criticized, he buried his head in abstract stories he posted following release of the poll results. Indeed, his best journalistic efforts of late have been a Twilight Zone-angled story about mutilated cats and something about how business is done in McAllen - fluff pieces extraordinaire, as his readers might say.
How Deal rebounds from this mind-numbing defeat is what readers now await. There is no Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings game tonight and no Freak Show that was disgraced baseball player Jose Canseco to bail him out. There is no hurricane headed his way to write about. There is nothing new on new City Manager Carlos Yerena or controversial Police Chief Danny Castillo.
No, about all Jerry Deal can hope for is a new assault by Tony Chapa on his pet City Commissioner Kori Marra. When that happens, Deal will bolt from his doldrums like a crazed banshee in her defense, eyes ablaze, arms flailing, feet hoofing it to the computer, mind spinning tales of all-out support and thinning fingers ready to play the only song he knows to play when her name pops up on MyHarlingenNews.com - "You Are My Sunshine."
For the moment, his tires are flat and the only sound being emitted by MyLeaderNews.com readers is a cow-killing symphony of haunting, barnyard sobbing. Cue the battered wagon train pulling out of Tombstone...