Boom Town, Delilah

Delilah’s past is a true horror show, and she’s overcome far more in life with much more dignity than all those who dismiss her as a gold-digging beauty queen. I didn’t know Herb Templeton well — he ran one of those temporary staffing agencies that supplies office workers making a fraction of what the company charges for them. A lot of people blame her for Herb dumping his wife, Wendy, when she was being treated for cancer, but Herb did that on his own before he even met DeDe, mainly because he was a heartless prick who thought he could avoid paying Wendy’s medical bills if he cut her loose when he did.

At about the same time, DeDe was busy avoiding Herb’s sniveling son, Felix, who seemed to believe that being on an advisory counsel for the Falcons entitled him to his pick of the cheerleading squad. He set his sights on DeDe and relentlessly pursued her despite her lack of interest. I’m not sure what Herb offered her that was better, unless she just wanted to rub Felix’s nose in the fact that she was so disgusted with him she’d even consider marrying his father. I never believed it would last, and wasn’t at all surprised she dumped Herb after Cairo cleaned his clock.

When I first met DeDe she was volunteering with a group that went into children’s hospitals to entertain the kids. She did a ventriloquism act. I interviewed her for the AJC and was duly impressed. Anyone who knew her as a beauty pageant contestant and a Falcons cheerleader wouldn’t have recognized her in clown makeup and baggy overalls. Beneath the bubbly personality was a savvy judge of character with clear goals she wanted to accomplish — being the plaything of a spoiled rich asshole wasn’t part of the plan, but one of DeDe’s talents was improvisation. She could think on her feet and adapted when necessary.

Felix eventually retaliated for her choosing his father by publishing a graphic novel entitled The Egyptian after the marriage had failed. That was how people in Buckhead referred to Cairo, even though he wasn’t Middle Eastern and folks in Georgia know his name isn’t pronounced like the city in Egypt but “kay-ro” like the town down South. The storyline was about a ruthless CEO who seduced the wife of a local businessman driving the poor sap to booze and ruin. The wife was depicted as a large-breasted airhead completely cowed by the dark and dangerous protagonist. For reasons unknown, Cairo was drawn to look sort of like Submariner from Marvel Comics. A few advanced copies made it into the hands of reviewers, myself included, before the threat of a lawsuit led to the entire run being confiscated and destroyed.

Felix likes to brag to his wealthy cronies that he went toe to toe with Cairo and persevered, but the truth is it wasn’t Cairo who took him to court over the book. Cairo couldn’t have cared less about an insignificant pissant like Felix. It was Delilah, who served Felix with the cease and desist order face to face at his office. Felix could never admit he’d had his balls handed to him by a woman. Wasn’t the first time, or the last.

I wanted to show some panels from my personal copy that had been published by Right Think Publications, the entire run of which Delilah had sent to a pulp mill. I contacted Delilah to see if she’d mind. She rather cheerily said, “Of course not, Lenny, but if you do, I’ll sue you back into the Stone Age.”

So, readers will need to content themselves with their imaginations here.

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