There are 492 stories on the naked island. This is one of them.
A political consultant — John Yob’s his name — was out tomcatting at a Mackinac Island watering hole Thursday night. One drink became three, three drinks turned to 10, and by 2 a.m. he was feeling every drop of his Oberon Ale. Yob had a mouth full of cotton and a belly full of regret. Little did he know, the night was just getting started.
Most people think of Mackinac Island as a family place. A dot of green in a great lake of blue topped with B&B’s, fudge shops, and horse-drawn carriages. But there’s another side to Ol’ Mac. A darker side.
We might not have the motorized vehicles or the crime you’ll find in big cities like Sault Ste. Marie, Petoskey, or Escanaba. But you’ll never forget the distinctive sound of a Mackinac Island drive-by.
Clop, clop, clop, clop … BANG! … clop, clop, clop.
It haunts a man, whether he’s a lifelong islander or a three-day weekender like Yob.
Seems the Republican Leadership Conference landed on the island this week. And where politicians go, trouble follows. Yob was representing the Paul Family and another joe named Beeson was from Miami’s Rubio Cartel. The locals locked their shutters and hoped the truce would hold. Well, they should have bought a few more rabbit feet at the Lutheran craft fair because their luck was about to run out.
Word is Beeson cut his teeth buying flashy motorboats for the boss and getting Mrs. Rubio out of speeding tickets. All the bosses have fixers and maybe these are just so many spook stories. But with what happened next, you can call me a believer.
Yob was the first to spill the beans:
“Ran into a guy named Rich Beeson, who frankly I didn’t even know who it was at first because he isn’t relevant in our political world. Anyway, he is Marco Rubio’s national campaign manager. He literally physically assaulted me by punching me in the face. The state police are looking for him. I have it on video, from multiple angles. This will play out in the national media in the next few hours.”
Literally and physically. That’s a double whammy. But you show me the man who hasn’t thrown a haymaker in Horn’s Bar, and I’ll show you an armless agoraphobe.
Yob was new to Ol’ Mac. He told Rubio to drop Beeson off the bridge and let him sleep with the muskies. But if I know the “Florida Gator,” he gave his man Beeson a raise.
I was walking the long patio of the Grand Hotel when I got the call from the island constable. “Get in here,” he said. “There’s been a literal and physical punching.”
Told him I was still trying to crack the weekend riot that rocked the town. A group of thugs had torn up the Grand, flipping three Adirondack chairs like cinnamon toothpicks and smudged fudge on the bunting something awful.
Thought I fingered the culprits, but their mom swore they were drinking malts in town at the time. They don’t make fifth graders like they used to. Nor do they make dames like that. All the DEET repellent in the world couldn’t keep me away from those gams.
When I arrived at the constable’s one-room office, I was mad as a deerfly stung by a mosquito. “I’m hot on their trail, chief! I’ll have ‘em in the clink before my head hits the pillow!”
“Forget it, Jon. It’s Mackinac.” That’s when he slid a small pink box across the desk.
“I’m on a diet, chief,” I said. “I’ve quit the fudge.”
“It’s Ryba’s new pumpkin spice flavor.”
He knows I’m a sucker for Ryba’s. Before I could finish the first line of the Serenity Prayer I emptied that box and fell off the wagon.
We sent a citizen posse to track down Beeson. They bicycled from Arch Rock to Point Aux Pins. Searchlights roamed Lake Huron halfway to Bois Blanc.
Elma Gunderson thought she saw Beeson jump a Shepler’s Ferry to St. Ignace, but that’s just Elma. Her nerves are shot after all those years working the marble slabs and copper kettles of Main Street. Spent too long in the fudge game.
All that’s left for us to do is wait for Beeson to show his face. For all I know, he’s eating a Cornish pasty at the Pink Pony right now or chasing Monarchs at the Butterfly House. Whatever happens, crime is getting a little too common here on Ol’ Mac. Might need to settle down in a quieter place.
I hear houses are cheap in Detroit.