What do you love most about the city / town / place that you live in? What do you like the least about it? If you were mayor, what would be the most important problem you’d tackle? How would you tackle it?
The parade was winding down. Mayor Rose picked his way from his place in the reviewing stand. He didn’t really care about the final float or the finale performance of the high school band. Teddy was bored and Gerald had never shown up at all.
Teddy was ready to get home and watch the game. He loved this town. He loved the perks of being mayor of this town and that was one of the perks of being the boss. You could leave whenever you wanted and no one could criticize you. His driver saw him weaving across the field and opened the limo door. “How was the parade, Mayor?”
“Bully,” Teddy Rose said in reply. Then he snorted and blustered a bit. That was another benefit of being Mayor, he thought to himself. You can say shit like “Bully” or “Harrumph” in reply to most questions and leave it up to the listener to interpret what you might mean. You never really have to commit yourself to any one position or another.
He had taken to saying “Bully” almost exclusively. He spoke in full sentences only to his most trusted aide, Gerald Templeton. He would tell Gerald what needed to be done and Gerald would take care of it. Teddy had realized just how powerful this team of he and Gerald could be immediately after his first election. After a big night celebrating his victory with lots of booze, cocaine, women and song, He had mentioned to Gerald that he really wasn’t looking forward to going home and listening to his wife question him about where he had been, who he had been with. He had even called her a “Harpy”. Teddy didn’t even know what a harpy was, but he had called his wife one. Gerald had nodded, and spoken to one of his deputies. When Teddy stumbled into the house that morning at 6:00AM his wife was gone, and so were the kids. He had never seen or heard from her again. Her place had been taken by a handful of domestic staff and two or three young bimbos who always seemed to be hanging around.
“Bully” thought Teddy.
The first order of business after taking office was to deal with the homeless problem. Gerald’s men scoured the shelters, bushes, overpasses, and freeway onramps to round them all up. They were arrested and charged with vagrancy. After a week or so in jail they were moved into interrogation rooms one at a time. It was explained to them that the new city administration would not tolerate their freewheeling squatting, panhandling and public drunkenness like the old regime had done. There was a new tax imposed on panhandlers. If they were going to ply their trade in this town they could pay the tax ($200 a week) or face stiff penalties. Most of them agreed to the “tax”. Those who didn’t agree simply… disappeared.
New taxes were imposed on all the businesses, farmers, laborers and senior citizens as well. Gerald and Teddy were a force to be reckoned with in this town. Everyone knew it.
The driver pulled into the underground garage at the Mayor’s Mansion. Teddy got out of the back of the limo and took the lift up to the main floor. There were two of those women waiting to greet him when the doors slid open. The blonde one had been hanging around for a month or so. Teddy was beginning to tire of her and he thought to himself that he really should have a word with Gerald about moving her out of the rotation. The other woman was new and he was intrigued. He stopped and stared at her. She was petite, tiny. Her hair was dyed blue. She fluttered her eyelashes and came over to him. Taking his hand, she said, “Why don’t we retire to the game room Mayor Rose?”
“Bully” and he allowed himself to be lead by her towards the back of the house.
At the game room, she turned to lock the door then headed towards the wet bar. She grabbed a glass and poured two fingers of single malt whiskey into it. She raised the glass in Teddy’s direction and drank it down.
“We need to talk Mr. Mayor,” she said.
“Let me get right down to the crux of the discussion. You’ve held power in town for a lot of years, You had a good run but we’re taking over now. We’ve established a new tax.” She began, “We’re taxing booze, cocaine, the wanton use of innocent women and the sex trade. It’s a tax on abuse of power and corruption. You can continue to carry on the way you always have but I get 100% of the proceeds from the illegal taxes you collect.”
“Harrumph, where’s Templeton?” he asked.
Her eyes narrowed just a bit, “Let’s just say that he and his men have gone to visit your wife. He can’t help you anymore.”
Teddy plopped down in the closest chair. “Let’s negotiate.”
“We just did. Let’s discuss your payment plans now.”
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