I don’t know anyone in our town who can pronounce our mayor’s last name. The sign by his office reads Jim Mxyhunlln. When I first saw it, I thought the printer had had a stroke and smashed his head on the keyboard. The thing is, our mayor is an alien, and I don’t mean he’s from Europe. Not that I know where he’s from, but he has baby-blue skin, four arms and a long jagged tongue. He’s a really nice guy though.
I’m proud of our town for being open and multi-cultural in its public officials and I don’t have any complaints whatsoever about Mayor Jim. The only reason I’m writing this is that our town’s in a wee bit of trouble. Well, it’s more like an interstellar war and in case there’s nothing left here next week but glowing ash, I thought it would be good to let someone out there know what was going on.
Mayor Jim, God bless him, arrived in town one day and almost immediately opened up a deli. He didn’t get much business at first, because people didn’t really know what to think of him and they weren’t sure what was in the pepperoni. But after a while he kind of grew on everyone. He had this nice little way of looking at you that just made you want to go into his shop and buy twelve pounds of bratwurst and a wheel of Gorgonzola cheese, and then vote for him for mayor. Which is weird, because at that point he wasn’t even running.
Good old Jim made such an impression on everyone that soon people were just lining up in front of his shop to buy things at his deli. He once ran out of supplies and it still didn’t matter. They must have liked Jim pretty well, since they’d just go up, put money on the counter and then walk away. He really knew how to touch people’s hearts and minds.
This went on for about a year or so until the time came for the mayoral elections. The guy before Jim was Mayor Harold Harper, who had been the mayor here for as long as I could remember. He ran again, but after Jim announced his candidacy, there wasn’t much doubt as to who would win. It was a landslide, to say the least. I think even Mayor Harper voted for Jim.
Our little town held a parade for the newly-elected Mayor Jim the very next day, we were all so happy to have him leading us. There was a bit of a shock the next week when Mayor Jim started appointing his new town council. For one thing, everyone was under the impression that the town councilors were elected, but Jim said no, and that was good enough for us. It sure was an interesting crowd that started showing up and moving into the Town Hall offices. The town clerk was a spiky little guy that smelled a bit like feet. The director of the Housing Committee was a floating cloud of metallic dust and the director of the War Committee (who knew?) looked like a cross between a wombat and a bad day.
Not that anyone was complaining, of course. We were just enthralled by the whole group of them and especially by Mayor Jim. For one thing, he wiped out unemployment in the town in one stroke. Mayor Jim selected everyone without a job to build, and then work in, his massive factory. After a while, we experienced something that Mayor Jim called “negative unemployment” which sounded pretty good. Turns out that it meant a lot of other businesses were closed to free up people to work in the factory. I even worked there for a while. I’m not sure what the pay was like but the morale was sky-high and there was as much free pepperoni as you could eat.
We never did find out what the factory produced because the first thing we made was a machine that put all the pieces together at the end of the line. Whatever it was though, it made someone somewhere pretty mad. The whole town was woken up one night by a massive boom that shook the houses. The next day the factory was gone, with nothing left but a smoking hole and tiny scraps of processed meat.
Mayor Jim got down to business after that and we were glad to see that he was fighting for our town. Lots of big weapons and a whole legion of grey-skinned guards appeared out of nowhere, but they helped me sleep easier at night, knowing that Mayor Jim had our backs. In the evenings, we’d go up on the roof and watch the laser beams arcing up into space. Every so often there would be a bloom of orange fire and we’d all cheer, because we knew that there was one less bad guy to attack our town. Even when the laser gun accidentally shot down a satellite and knocked out our TV, we didn’t mind.
That’s what life has been like here lately. There’s a lot of talk about “hyper-radioactive dispersion” which is a little troubling although Mayor Jim assures us there are suits that can stop it. He and the town council wear them everywhere and I breathe easier knowing they are safe.
Seriously, I don’t know where we would be without Mayor Jim. He’s such a talented guy and he cares about each and every one of his citizens. I know because he can read our thoughts and he tells us every night. He knows I’m writing this, of course, but I’m sure that’s fine with him, because he’s just that kind of guy.
If you read this message, just remember there’s no need to intervene or come anywhere near our little beleaguered town. Mayor Jim has everything here under control.