|Wear’s the beef?
I was still licking my wounds, dear Blogees after the pasting from the peoples’ pitbulls. I had a face like a findus lasagne. The police had not wanted to know and if the truth be told there did seem to be a new fashion of minimalist haircuts down the station house. The people were, mostly, quite horrified about the incident but it had blown over a damn sight quicker than the pain in my noggin and anyway, these guys were actually doing something rather than banging their gums about it down at the city hall. They were, of course, quite right about that but banging someone else’s gums is not really the best way to deal with the problem either.
Since that day their presence in the town had been marked but as they hadn’t bounced anyone around since then, since me, I was willing to give them a wide birth and at least let the people get the benefits of their provisions. This was a decision I would live to regret.
We had managed to recover a good amount of my predecessor, Mr. Mayor’s embezzled funds but it wasn’t going to keep us going for long. Central government had promised to help us out but so far all they had sent was a promise.
I had to clear my head so I kicked the Vespa into life and let it take me on a tour of my kingdom. It took me down streets I barely knew existed and on a number of occasions very nearly bucked me off while swinging into a narrow passage. Apart from the boarded up shops I noted all the unfinished and empty flats and houses. The winter air was cold and my swollen face was beginning to throb, I pulled over to put a bit of liquid warmer into my veins. There, opposite was a block of apartments maybe 6 or 7, completely unoccupied with a big sign outside advertising them being for sale. The name of the developer was familiar but I couldn’t place it at all. I noted in my newly acquired filofax, took another nip of Irish and set off. The Vespa seemed to have decided on an early shower that day because next thing I knew I was pulling up outside my house.
The wife was as cold as a Penguin’s pants but I knew that she cared. The kids assaulted my head with questions and irrelevancies but their sublime sanity was soothing. I read them a story at bedtime and had a glass of red stuff, maybe wine, in front of the telly with the wife. She made one comment about keeping my trap shut and another time she winced and asked me if it hurt; she did care.
The empty properties occupied my dreams. The name I couldn’t place came out in a song, it was the mayor, at least the previous mayor, it was his name but more importantly he hadn’t embezzled it all, some was in bricks and mortar in the middle of town.
When I woke it was still dark so I crept around gathering my clothes and brushing my teeth in stealth mode. I needn’t have bothered. Nothing short of putting a bus stop by the wardrobe would stir this sleeping beauty.
The morning air was icy and my face was a map of numbness and pain. By the time I reached the town hall and realised I didn’t have the keys again, I was mute. I did, however have my trusty Swiss army knife so it wasn’t long before I was in the building.
The birds were in a bit of a fluster but there was still little sign of the sun making an appearance. What I could hear was a shuffling from somewhere below the entrance level. I had never explored the building so had little idea of its layout but it occurred to me now that not only did it have a basement but that it also had rats. I picked up a plastic leaflet rack that had long since given its last information and made my way to the door by the stairs. The handle twisted in my hand and the door punched me in the nose.
On the other side was Mike, the IT guy looking profoundly pre-corn flakes. “Good morning, Sir.”
I asked him what the hell he was doing here at such an ungodly hour. He offered that he was putting in some overtime; I laughed out loud.
“Overtime?” we weren’t liquid enough to cover the undertime! I asked him what IT we had down there but he closed the door and offered me a cup of coffee.
I heard another shuffling from behind the door, “ Mike, do we have rats?”