AP Little Rock, Ar. -- Arkansas Times newbie blogger Hugh Mann won 2009's coveted Authentic Heirloom Collectors' Edition Norma Bates Plaque of ExcellenceAward for the "Huckabee Haiku" sweepstakes midnight Wednesday with this memorably profound entry:
“Reach out upward palm. Check waistline for stigmata. One more Autumn run.”
In a blistering online dead heat, 5 finalists from over 40 entries alternately fell back then surged ahead to cheers from 24,500+ white-knuckled voters during the grueling one-week marathon polling.
"I haven't been this excited since Kris beat Adam!" enthused Melody Puryear, Benton shut-in.
Midnight's Photo-Finish results (screenshot fails in limited blog width):
"Nobody but me anticipated this voting turnout," said Norma Bates by telephone moments ago. "I knew last year when Max and I got Little Rock's Magnet Schools involved in the A-T Blog that this day would come. Hungry young curious minds flock here in huge numbers to learn and join discussions and carry back extremely upsetting information and precociously expanded vocabularies to their colleagues, instructors, parents and pastors. Maybe the odd rabbi or imam. It's all about the children.
"The astounding voting has not been just a hands-on pro-active witness to fair and balanced electronic Democracy up close and personal for multitudes of motivated Magnet School students but adult A-T Bloggers too. And ALL the entries showed such creative talent! Pity there's no money in haikus but there IS my fabulous trophy. Only one other like it in existence.
(Please email Max Brantley your confidential shipping address. As soon as I've engraved and buffed your brass, my coveted Authentic Heirloom Collectors' Edition Norma Bates Plaque of ExcellenceAward will be at your door!)