…and the cupboards were bare.

From under dark clouds

Part 13


skint
I need a dollar

The constituency was broke, the coffers empty. I looked through the various accounts and ledgers then got somebody who knew what they were looking at but even though some had enough for a bloody good night on the sauce, it wasn’t nearly enough to run a small town and a bunch or provincial villages. My staff, including the well-assembled secretary had been labouring on hope for well over six months now and my wife was not going to be best pleased with my own chances of bringing in a good salary. The cupboards were bare, dear Blogees and a bone was most definitely out of the question. 


According to some crackpot quack I once 
saw if I continued to drink everything under the sink I would eventually have no memory at all. Now, memory had never been one of my strong points but realising that from time to time I would need to remember at least some key facts, kids’ names, wife’s birthday, change my underwear, I had devised a little method of retaining information. I sang. By singing the things I wanted to remember I’d be able to recall them later on with incredible accuracy and it must have been my joy at winning the election but I was singing for Europe the night I had first taken my place in this now spartan office. More importantly, I had sung my way through all the usernames and passcodes. Humming a tune, the well-assembled secretary took my arm as she realised the relevance of the series of secure international banking sites. Site after site I effortlessly gained access to the previous mayor’s transactions and my secretary leaned over me to press the PrtSc key to file all the dirt we may need to sling at those who might have objections to our actions.  

By the end we had enough to cover some of the municipal wage areers and a new coffee percolator but we weren’t nearly out of the woods yet. 


I had a flash! We would go public, appeal to the goodwill of the people. No. Fuck. They would eat us alive, there would be a run on the bank. No, we had to keep this schtum, no-one must know. I swore everyone to complete and utter silence.


Somehow the cat had got out of the bag

The next day I arrived at the town hall to find the usual nook for the Vespa occupied by a huge van with a dish on the roof and it wasn’t alone there were at least another three, some with unfamiliar, foreign lettering on the side, and the entrance to the town hall was infested with paparazzi. We had a mole. 

“Mr. Mayor, what do you have to say about the bankruptcy of the prefecture,” a microphone shoved irrespectfully in my face. 

I chose the fifth amendment and told them to fuck off and that by the way we had plenty of money to run the prefecture.

One of the paparazzi shouted a figure, the others scribbled and I went cross-eyed in thought; it was exactly the amount we had in the bank. We had a numerate mole. 


Within the halls of government a cup of instant coffee sat on a pile of IKEA remnants passing itself of as a desk, my desk. 


The rest of the day continued as badly, until it got worse.

There parked in the middle of the main street was a big black Mercedes van. Its back doors were open and three or four men hewn from dubious stone with minimalist haircuts giving out food parcels. They had created quite a stir and an impatient crowd had gathered but did not dare to push or shove. I walked through the crowd up to the most generous chaps. I asked what they were doing and one turned his attention to me.


“S’fer tha pipple,” he belched then paused but it was his collegue that made the di
stinction.

“Where are you from, eh?” my accent maybe more obvious than I remembered.

I replied that I was from the Town hall.


“You ain’t one of tha pipple!” he pointed out and turned his head looking for recognition from  ‘tha pipple’.


“I’m not getting you, young man,” I raised my self out of a slouch which belied my slightly above average height. 


“You some kinda ponce foreigner then?” his enunciation started to become a spray. “You not like the good pipple of this country,” he flashed a pitbull smile at them and they murmured in response.  


“No, young man, I may not be but they did choose me to represent them around here,” I realised I was sounding more foreign by the moment and I could not expect any support from those around me, who ever defended a politician? “Just finish oiling the good people and get the fuck out of here, you’re blocking the road, if nothing else.”


With that he began raining blows about my head yelling incomprehensible gibberish. 


I was later lucky enough to be able to nurse my wounds in the relative safety of my office, the well-assembled secretary dabbing my head with something that stung like hell.


Beating an elected official in broad daylight, what had we come to?   



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