No one knew De Mayor’s real name. He’d been in office for so long he was known far and wide as De Mayor. Or Sir. Even his wife, the Mayoress, didn’t know it. She knew him as Hon.
Over the years, he’d been referred to as the Teflon Mayor. Every scandal rolled off him. But not this year. His karma had finally caught up with him. This year he might actually lose the election and become known as De Ex.
That’s how unpopular he was. His poll numbers were a minus five. It looked like Anybody Else could have beaten De Mayor in a landslide.
Over the last twenty years of his leading The City, graft had developed into graft. De Mayor had figured a way to collect taxes on all the money passed under the table. That money somehow ended up in his bank account. He was not only accused of being in bed with the local crime lord. He was literally in bed with the local crime lord, Morgana Buzz.
For the first time in five elections, he had an opponent, a skinny thirty year old named Toby. He’d grown up in The City a poor kid, gone off to Harvard Law, started a business that was now employing several hundred local folks. And it looked like he might actually win. His poll numbers were 105 percent and no unfavorables.
De Mayor started off his campaign with the slogan, “Ain’t Things Nice.” Sure things were nice for De Mayor. His street had all the potholes filled in. They were nice for the Mayoress. She’d gotten a loan from The City to buy the local pro soccer team at minus five percent.
Things were nice for De Mayor’s brother. He was Chief of Police. They were nice for De Mayor’s sister. She was the local Tax Collector. And they were nice for De Mayor’s daughter. She took over the gambling concessions in the town.
When the slogan, “Ain’t things nice,” didn’t work, De Mayor started denigrating his opponent by calling Toby “the Candidate of Good Intentions.” But that only helped the kid with the nice smile. Toby kept saying, “We need a change real bad.” The poll numbers showed that the citizens agreed with him.
During the debate, De Mayor reminded the locals, “At least, I know where the graft is.”
Toby came back with, “Why do we need graft in the first place?”
“Why do we need graft?” De Mayor asked, then repeated himself, “Why do we need graft?”
“Yes, why do we need graft?” Toby asked again.
“America was built on graft. You think we would have won the American Revolution without paying off General Cornwallis. You think we’d have gotten Manhattan without paying off the Indians. You think Jefferson would have gotten Louisiana without paying off Napoleon.”
“Yeah, and Jefferson paid three times more than the French were asking. And that’s just the start. Panama Canal. World War I. The Great Depression. All purchased with graft. And why was Custer wiped out? He wouldn’t pay off Crazy Horse. Man, wake up and get to know your history.”
With that diatribe, Toby walked off the stage, shaking his head. He couldn’t believe his ears. And neither could the voters. It looked like De Mayor was done for.
After that, things went from bad to worse. Crime Lord Morgana Buzz quit taking his phone calls. She had gone on to the Governor for a bed mate. De Mayor’s police chief brother raided his daughter’s gambling establishments. De Mayoress’s loans were called in, and she was arrested by the FBI for bank fraud. Only his sister escaped scrutiny by raising De Mayor’s taxes.
On Sunday before the election, De Mayor went to his campaign headquarters.
Toby was waiting for him. “How did I get myself in this mess?”
De Mayor was shocked. “How did you get yourself in this mess? You ran. And I have to admit you’ve had a brilliant campaign. You haven’t done anything, and I’ve beat myself.”
“I don’t want to be mayor,” Toby said. “I don’t know how to be mayor. How am I going to keep folks liking me. I just wanted a little p.r. for my business.”
De Mayor reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a bottle of scotch. He poured himself a glass, and he poured his opponent a glass. By the time they finished the bottle and started on a second, they came up with a new slogan for De Mayor’s campaign. And it worked wonders. De Mayor won in a landslide. The slogan was: “Vote for De Mayor. You could be stuck with something worse.”