The politics of summer

At the Cafe in the Bailiwick the other morning, the local politicians were gathered for their caffeine intake and ruminating over the events of the July 1 celebrations.
This celebration is the main occasion of the year when Bailiwick’s politicians–young and old–get out and press the flesh in anticipation of bitter political campaigns to come.
With no elections in sight, it’s also an ideal opportunity to polish one’s political skills.
The dean of this fraternity, Mayor Cec, was holding court at the debating table, his comfortable paunch restrained by a good leather belt, and straining shirt buttons.
“So I see you made the court news again,” commented Mayor Cec, directing his jibe at Otto “Junkyard” Recker–the Bailiwick’s premier collector of antique iron.
“What’s the problem? Can’t hold the speed down on that old bucket of bolts?” he queried.
“Well, y’see, the speedometer don’t work on that truck, and I misjudged how much speed she’d pick up comin’ down the hill,” Junkyard said.
“I was just coastin’ with my foot off the gas but Ticket Tom still nailed me when I hit that speed zone,” he explained as he shifted his own sizable paunch into a more comfortable position.
“Well, you knew the speed limit had been lowered there. You presented that bylaw when you were on council,” Mayor Cec interjected. “Why didn’t you just put on the brakes.”
“Brakes? Who’s got brakes? I figured I was lucky to get off with a speeding ticket. Why if I raised a fuss, ol’ Ticket Tom’d done a safety on me an’ I’d be walkin,” countered Junkyard as he slathered a layer of butter on his toast and dived into his bacon and eggs.
“What’s young Politico Pye bein’ so quiet and sombre about this mornin’,” asked Junkyard, changing the subject and gesturing with his fork at their tablemate, who had his head propped on one hand as he morosely nursed his first cup of coffee.
“Oh, he just had a little mishap while he was out politickin’ at the parade. Show ’im your eye,” snickered Mayor Cec as his paunch jiggled with mirth, straining the shirt buttons dangerously.
Reluctantly Politico lowered his hand to reveal a beaut of a shiner.
“Tell ’m how you got it,” urged Mayor Cec as his snicker broke into a belly laugh and a shirt button let go, ricocheting off the wall and landing in Junkyard’s coffee.
“It’s no laughing matter. It was an honest to goodness accident,” protested Politco as Junkyard fished Mayor Cec’s shirt button out of his coffee.
“I was just out pressin’ the flesh, practicin’ up for the next election, like Mayor Cec advised, and kissin’ a few babies to boot,” he explained, warming to the task.
“Well, sir, this one mother had a blanket over her baby’s face as she cradled it in her arm so I just lifted the blanket an’ gave it a quick smooch.
“Trouble was, I didn’t realize she was nursing the babe an’ with the bright sun an’ all, I’d smooched her right on the breast before my reflexes kicked in an’ I backed off,” related Politico, blushing at the remembrance.
“An’ before I could apologize, the mother let go with a right cross, givin’ me this shiner. It was most embarrassing. I guess I’m not cut out for politickin’,” he concluded.
“Oh, don’t be a quitter now. Get right back in there. She dropped the sexual assault charges so your record is spotless,” advised Mayor Cec, wiping tears from his eyes.
“’Course, the way things are, a couple of good sex scandals might just be what you need for gainin’ high political office,” was the sage advice from the expert.

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