DOWNTOWN, MONDAY — The hand-puppet of street preacher Charlie Chiaromonte announced Thursday that it is switching its support from Chiaromonte to Jan Davis, an incumbent City Council member who defeated Chiaromonte in the primary.
“Betrayal,” mutters Chris Chiaromonte, whose own bid for a seat on City Council was dashed in the primary.
The news has left Chiaromonte’s supporters shocked. Both yelled down the street to offer him support during this tough period.
Chiaromonte sits in silence at a local coffee shop staring at his puppet. When asked if he knew this was coming, he answers, “No, this is very unexpected.”
“I think the Ellington will be a nice addition to downtown,” his puppet Charlie interrupts. “I also support forced annexation.”
Chiaromonte is visibly hurt by this but his puppet continues.
“Have you ever asked me what I thought about immigration? Taxes? Do you ever consider that maybe I’d like for you to wash your hand before you stick it into me?”
Watching this exchange, it is obvious that this is much more than a man’s argument with his own hand — it’s about a strained friendship torn by opposing philosophies. It’s about a candidate whose own puppet has told him he will no longer be just a shill, a mouthpiece if you will, a cloth device manipulated by a hand as if actually talking or moving.
“Jan’s offered me a cush job at his tire store and to wash me with scented dryer sheets,” continues Charlie. “And, of course, some money… under the table if you know what I’m saying.”
Chiaromonte rips the puppet off his hand and throws it across the booth and yells, “How could you!” Amid the stares and gasps, he quietly picks up Charlie, stuffs him in his pocket and leaves.
Davis hasn’t confirmed Charlie’s support but has stated that after a thorough washing he would be willing to consider using Charlie to promote his ideas for the I-26 corridor.