Stone, Menconi muddle in the mud
It was a dirty fight, but in the end Eagle County’s two long-standing special-interest and conflict-of-interest champions, Arn Menconi and Tom Stone, puzzled and surprised only a panel of referees from their respective back pocket constituencies, when they both lifted an arm in victory.
The common crowd – after booing both professional self-promoters for a good half hour – came away with what seemed a unified result.
Stone: 0. Menconi: 0.
Lots of hot air and little action.
“It was kind of fun when they first hopped into the pit,” said Irah Giveadam, a lift operator who came to newly built Liberty Pit with his girlfriend, Toszie What, to witness what had been billed as the May-The-Truth-Come-Out fight of the century in Eagle County. Of course, the century’s still pretty young.
“Then they started finger-pointing and accusing each other instead of just throwing dirt on each other. It was all posturing after that,” he said.
“I kind of liked the cute, tiny and shiny shorts the guys were wearing,” added What with an embarrassed giggle, “although all those stickers on them looked kind of weird.”
Few were surprised by the amazing number of “supporters” each of the two prize-politicians had in his entourage. But the openness with which they displayed their affection to their back pocket charges was new even to this hardened crowd.
Stone, an early favorite with the mature, mountain-casual wearing “middle-class” crowd, strutted into the stadium (which he and Menconi, both alternately voted for and against) followed by his “dear friends” from the Texas building industry.
Dressed in red-white-and-blue and as many stars as fit on his shorts, Stone warmed up throwing ill-timed and poorly aimed punches in his corner to the cooing of the various real-estate agents, who had coached him in the four months leading up to what should have been a historical match.
His moves became a bit more aimed, when Menconi, favored by young, much-pierced, little indoctrinated fans of poli-picking, arrived under the bright lights.
Wearing matching shorts and shoes – his confidantes know how important color-coordination is to the ambitious, one-term, never-sit-in-the-middle man – Menconi dabbed on a last little helping of hair mousse, before he pranced into the ring.
“I just want everyone here for this historic and almost amazing event to know that most of the time I have no idea what I’m saying when I’m talking,” he said in a surprisingly spontaneous and frank outburst.
Stone’s comments were drowned out by the poofing of his chest. Spectators in the front row claim he made utterances that sounded like “let’s build, let’s build it all out, open space, big boxes” or something akin.
The fight, held at the newly built Middle Wrench for people too busy with real work to scam others for a living, lasted all of 3.5 minutes.
Stone, who claims the world would likely not rotate around its own axis let alone around the sun without him, had to take frequent breaks to schmooze with his many sponsors.
Menconi, meanwhile, was busy hailing the “children,” the “poor” and “disadvantaged” and everyone else who cared little to be hailed by him. His “sponsors,” Vail Reforms, had simply attached a very big cape to their champion, announcing the company’s next great ideas that no-one-should-disagree-with.
As the two poli-talkers visited with “friends” in their respective corners, a disgruntled audience started demanding that the two actually prove what they had been talking about for weeks.
Menconi – “I’m not as hapless as I appear.”
Stone – “I’m not as self-serving as I come across.”
But as often with well-matched dirt fights, the 0-0 tie was inevitable, partly because both champions couldn’t agree on who had more conflicts-of-interest to even get in the ring, and partly because both had to rush off to a series of fund raisers and mixers where talk is overpaid.
Neither was available for comment after the fight, both were too busy talking about themselves and accusing each other to make any rational observations.
“I can’t believe that two grown men, both living in really nice glass houses, keep throwing rocks at each other so haphazardly,” said Dolittle Idle, who’s still shopping for the poli-talker who’ll give her the biggest government handout. “Despite all the mud-slinging, little is clearer now.”