Thursday, January 9, 2014

Loose Screws

            “The arms on my chair are loose,” said Mayor Belkin.
            “I’m so sorry sir. I’ll have that fixed immediately,” said sycophant number one.
            “No, no, that’s okay. I just need a screwdriver and I can fix it myself,” said Mayor Belkin.

The sycophant, Glenn, dropped the small clipboard he was holding. It rattled on the hard marble floor of the Mayor’s office.

“What did you say sir,” asked Glenn.

The Mayor looked up from his wobbly chair arms and saw Glenn’s gasping face.

“I said I’d fix it if I just had a screwdriver. Can you get me a screwdriver, or just show me where the tool room is and I’ll just take care of it,” said the Mayor.
            “Uh, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do here, um…,” stammered Glenn.

The mayor wiggled the loose arms of his new office chair. He reached underneath and found the loose screw. He could easily fix it.

“Sir, um, we can get maintenance to fix the chair. There’s a press conference to attend, then the plans for your charity ball for the children’s hospital, then you have to take your wife to her mother’s, and then review the budget requirements for your new administration,” said Glenn.
             “Sure, sure, we’ll get to all that. I just want to sit in a chair that doesn’t have loose arms,” said the Mayor.

Glenn finally picked up his clipboard and took out his cell phone. He called the maintenance department, was put on hold, got a teenage intern who didn’t know what he wanted, was put back on hold, got the director of maintenance who assured Glenn they would come up with a selection of screwdrivers by 2:00 in the afternoon.

“2:00,” asked the Mayor, “it’s 9:30 in the morning right now. Why the delay?”

Glenn shrugged and tucked his phone back into its holster on his belt. The Mayor sighed and sat down in his wobbly armed office chair. The chair squeaked and groaned.

“My goodness, I’d almost rather a damn folding chair,” said the Mayor.
            “It’s a traditional chair. Every mayor since the great Adulius Tucker has sat in that chair,” said Glenn.
            “Wasn’t Adulius Tucker a three hundred pound plus sized man,” asked the Mayor.
            “He was indeed a man of tremendous girth,” said Glenn.

The mayor looked at the portrait of Adulius Tucker from 1924 hanging across the room over the large classic fireplace. He wondered what kind of liberties the painter took to get the former Mayor Tucker to fit on the canvas, and account for the frame. Mayor Belkin let Glenn place document after document in front of him for his signature. Mayor Belkin barely had a chance to read the document’s content before Glenn scooped it up and tucked it under other papers on his clipboard.

“You gotta slow this whole thing down buddy,” said Mayor Belkin.
            “Yes sir. Sorry Sir,” said Glenn.

Mayor Belkin could tell there was no real apology in Glenn’s young suck-up voice. He sighed and wondered if he could actually fill all the promises he made during the campaign. Glenn placed a sanitation agreement proposal in front of Mayor Belkin and held out a pen. Mayor Belkin looked up at Glenn and felt a strange hopelessness start to creep in.

“Damn it,” said Mayor Belkin.
            “Sir,” asked Glenn.
            “Nothing,” said the Mayor as he put his hands on the arm rests and wiggled them back and forth.

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