PALESTINE, TX—During a special meeting on June 7, the Palestine City Council voted 5-1 to dismiss the Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer, Larry Pannell. District 4 council member Joseph Thompson was the lone “no” vote while district 1 council member , Will Brule, a known friend and confidant of Pannell’s, abstained from voting, a move that apparently left Pannell “dazed and confused” given the fact Brule had been such a staunch supporter when he (Pannell) was known as Wendy and more recently the two had been seen sharing a glass or two of Brule’s red “cane wine” on the bench outside city hall. Pannell was hired in January and was recently revealed to be the former Wendy Ellis after a sex-change operation.
When asked for comment, Pannell stated, “I don’t know why I came back here, I thought I could fool everyone by becoming a man, but it didn’t take long for The Dogwood Tale to out me. I guess it’s hard to hide my charming personality.” Pannell said he regrets not being able to complete his mission which was to return the city to “my good old days as Wendy,” which included assembling a handful of loyal anti-resident employees who don’t mind exploiting taxpayer monies for personal gain and he feels a deep sorrow in knowing he will not be able to save the city from “open and transparent” government or be in a position to give big pay raises to a handful of faithful followers.
Wiping away tears, the emotional Pannell expressed extreme disappointment in council member Steve Presley who would come over late at night during his “Wendy” days, according to Pannell, and read inspirational bedtime stories to ease the pain of dealing with Mayor Bob Herrington. “Steve was such a help in my days of dealing with Mayor Hair, I would just cry and cry after a tough day of critical questioning, but hearing Steve’s calm voice reading to me put me at ease,” and he further explained that it was Presley who suggested he grow a “set of balls” to deal with the Mayor.
Pannell said one of his favorite stories was Pinocchio “because every time Pinocchio lied, his nose would grow longer, so, I figured if I became a man and I lied, well, let’s just say I went from being a loner to having a boner and now I get a lot of attention as Larry the able guy!”
Pannell had some favorites at city hall, but said his least favorite people were Mayor Hair, Confederate General Douglas MacArthur Smith, Airhead Jordan and Vickey Goosebumps calling them, “Idiots.” He then stated that his biggest disappointment during his tenure occurred when the city auctioned off the Frost Fest ice skating rink in March noting, “Had the city given it another 125 years or so it likely would have made a little money.” Pannell said Wendy had a great vision about the cheap, artificial ice rink and that she just picked the wrong time of year, “Imagine if we had featured the ice rink during Dogwood Trails or the July 4th fireworks show, why we’d probably be building a statue for her right now.”
Upon hearing of the council decision, Pannell quickly left city hall after cleaning out his office and was busy in the parking lot loading his car as City Manager Mike Alexander and Assistant Finance Director Steve Groom checked Pannell’s office one last time to be sure he hadn’t forgotten anything. Groom spotted something on the floor under Pannell’s desk and picked it up. He stared curiously at the object and remarked, “This looks like a pickle,” to which Alexander replied, “It is a pickle, a Christmas pickle, it’s a long story…..”
Outside, Pannell’s vehicle sped from the parking lot onto Crawford Street as Larry exclaimed as he went out of sight, “Merry kiss-my-ass to all and you can bite me goodnight!” He then reached toward the dashboard and pressed the big red button on a remote control device that turned off all the Christmas lights in Palestine forever!