Hi Mum, it's Sammy,
I know, I know, I should have written before. It has been insanely busy.
You may or may not remember that I joined politics. It's been a breeze so far, I made mayor fairly easily. Now I've been trying to climb that greasy pole to new heights. My next goal is that of governor. I have two small problems.
The first is my opponent, Captain Jack Harkness. He's handsome, charismatic, a war veteran and could easily knock my campaign completely off the rails. He's so smooth, a few minutes of personal time and he could talk anyone into anything his heart desires, including his bed. I do mean anyone.
I had a really great personal assistant, Kacyn McPherson, who was everything I could have wanted. She has brains and beauty. Plus after the last few campaigns, she knows everything there is to know about what needs to be done. Unfortunately for me, she fell in love and picked now to get married and go on a honeymoon. I should have married her myself.
That was why I had to hire a new assistant during the last month of the campaign. I picked the best applicant. Being the best isn't hard if you happen to be the only applicant.
"Ollie! Where are you?"
"Coming, Mr Grant."
"So what's my schedule for today?" I miss Kacyn so much. Right now, I should have this morning's appointment list in one hand, and a long black coffee in the other.
Should I take his head off his shoulders? It's not like he uses it for anything.
"How many times do we have to go through this? You keep track of my appointments. I need to know the list for the day first thing, every day. You answer my phone, run my errands, smooth the path for me. Can't you do any of it right?" I gave up on coffee. In his first three days, he brought a latte, a cappuccino and a cafe vienna. A long black is what I want, how hard is that?
"Oh yes, Mr Grant. I can do it right."
"So when and with whom is my first appointment?"
"Go get the book, Ollie." He turned to go. "No wait, did you pick up the invitations from the printer yesterday?"
I must not kill him. I must not boot him around the office. Shaking him till his brain works is probably not actually going to accomplish a damn thing. "Yesterday, I asked you to pick up the invitations to the big campaign fundraiser from the printers before you went home." I shook my head. "Right, you go find the appointment book and bring it here to me. Then go to the printer and get those cards. Check the details before you pay for them. Now, what are you to do?"
"Go to the printers, get the invitations and pay for them."
"Oliver, pay attention. You bring the appointment book to me. You go to the printers. You check the invitations. If they are right, you pay for them. Then you bring them here." From the way Ollie was backing up, I might have been getting a bit loud at this point.
One thing is sure, this is going to be the longest month of my life.
"Mr Grant, sir, I have the invitations." Ollie looked very proud of himself. I suppose not getting lost between here and the printer is an accomplishment for him. It must be all of three blocks away. He handed me the package. The obviously unopened package.
"Did you check them before you paid?"
"Why no, sir. The printer assured me that everything was fine."
"So who is the party host?"
"Ummm, you sir?"
"No, apparently a Mr Granite is hosting this party."
"Yes sir, Mr Grant. Sir."
I wonder if Harkness put Ollie up to this.
During the campaign, there's a lot more attention paid to politicians than usual. On my way home, I was stopped by a cute little reporter.
"A few words? Vote for me."
"Seriously Mr Grant, what do you see as the major issue of the campaign?"
"The issue that is causing our city the most grief at the moment is the traffic problem. We simply must reduce the number of vehicles in the city."
"Any thing you'd like to say about your opponent?"
"Mr Harkness is a fine politician who would serve the city well. I'm just sure that I'll be even better."
"Thank you, Mr Grant."
I'm not sure why they send interviewers out. It's not like they actually quote you in the article. They do claim to quote you but the words in the paper are never the words you said.
The campaign party
The biggest night outside of election night would be the campaign party night. It's meet, greet, wine and dine every major player in town. All for the glory of the cha-ching of money in the campaign funding chest. Naturally a portion of it goes to charity, just to make everyone feel better about digging deep in the pockets. Granted, a small portion but a portion nonetheless.
"Well done, Mr Mayweather. It's looking quite splendid." Indeed, I was pleased. The room, the food, the table settings, it was all going to be ideal. If I couldn't milk the crowd down to their last few coins, it would be my fault.
It was my turn to put on a performance. I need to connect with everyone in this room and make sure that each and every one of them was going to donate big.
"Well, I'm just back from a honeymoon you know? I noticed that no one managed to steal the city while I was away."
"Where is your lovely bride Anya?"
"Unfortunately, she wasn't too well today."
"I'm sorry, perhaps next time? Now I can expect your vote come Saturday?"
"Naturally, Sam. I've always supported you, haven't I?"
"If the studio is willing to spend the money to let us destroy even more cars, blow up more props and cause even more mayhem, I'm sure it will."
"Ever the action hero. Will you be my hero and donate to the campaign?"
"Don't you have goons stationed outside to shake us down?"
"With you here? I wouldn't dare hire goons." We laughed, he'll pay up. He always does. The city supports the studio in a major way.
"Sam, you cad. I wish."
"The life of a rock goddess does suit you."
"Yes Sam, you can count on my donation." Lola is a no nonsense kind of a woman. I like that.
"Oh Mr Grant?"
"I'm Marta Tomasi. I wanted to meet you forever, and crashing your party seemed like one way to get my wish."
"Miss Tomasi, it's my pleasure."
"So why were you so anxious to meet me?"
"I just thought that someone who works as much as you do deserves a bit more fun. Time off for yourself. And a handsome man as yourself needs an attractive companion. Since there doesn't seem to be anyone currently in your life ..."
"Marta, please. I'd like to get to know you better, Mr Mayor."
"Call me Sam. I don't know when I might have time."
"Here's my number. Give me a ring when you need a break. I promise I know some great ways to relax." I watched her waltzed back into the crowd. Now that is some kind of woman. I took a few deep breaths before I turned to the next person wanting my attention.
"I am in this campaign to win. And you can see that I have a lot of support in this town."
"Mr Grant, there was a total of 47,000. So with the 90% sent off to the Save the Llama foundation..."
I blinked in disbelief. "Ollie, did you just say you gave 90% of the money to charity? What's left will barely cover last night."
"Actually, I think we are about 200 in the red, all up."
"No, Mr Grant." He was so quiet, I could barely hear him.
Honestly, I can't put another bite on my supporters. I can't run another function. And I can't afford to run any more campaign. That idiot Ollie. So help me, one of these days, I will shake him and see if I can hear that pea-sized brain of his rattle around in his skull.
"By the way, Oliver, are you in this for the money or the experience?"
"Oh the experience, Mr Grant, definitely the experience."
"Good thing because there is no money to pay your salary now. The rest of it was to come out of the campaign funds."
"If you stay and I win, you will get your pay. But if I lose, experience is all you will be getting from this campaign, no more money."
"I will stay, Mr Grant, if you will keep me. I will make this up to you." Interesting, he almost sounded determined. Not the blithering, absent-minded soul I'm used to.
"Kacyn?" My old assistant never failed to have my list and my coffee ready for when I stepped into the office.
"How did you manage to get it right?"
"I rang Ms Kacyn last night to ask her advice. She kindly sent me an email detailing some of the things that will make your days better."
Fortunately, we only had a few more days of campaigning and just getting out and meeting people was nearly as effective as more flyers and tv ads. Plus the local station arranged a debate between Harkness and myself.
"I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to participate in this debate."
"Thank you for extending your invitation."
"Mr Grant, Let's start with you. What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the city?"
"It's the cars. We have far too many people driving. We need to increase the use of public transport, increase use of bicycles, and reduce the number of taxis."
"Increase the cost of parking in the city centre, increase the fees of the cabs and use those fees to provide more public transport and trial a bicycle and pedestrian friendly area in the city."
"Well, the city streets are crowded but we would be better served by increasing the number of traffic lanes and parking places in the city."
"It's the vampire population. Their mere presence upsets many of our citizens, they clearly need to more controlled for the sake of everyone else. They feed off plasma, our blood."
"The vampires have a well established area and they enforce a strict code of rules amongst themselves. William Fangman is a fine officer who is a vampire and specialises in investigating any complaints of vampire compulsion to plasma donations. The only place in the city dangerous to humans is Plasma 501. Entry to that club is accepting that you may donate plasma to a vampire before the night is through."
"Mr Grant, it has been noticeable that your campaign activities have slowed since the fund raising party. I believe that an audit of the accounts would show a serious misappropriation of funds."
I had to smile. "Why? Is donating 90% of the funds raised at an event to a worthy charity considered misappropriation?"
"What? Can you prove it was donated and not lining your pockets Mr Grant? What if an audit team was called in to review the records?"
If Ollie fails to produce the receipts on request, I will kill him. But this could work nicely in our favour.
The blithering idiot Ollie has vanished. He's actually quite bright when he focuses on the task in hand. He's been very focused since the fundraiser debacle.
The election resultsWe rented the same room as the fund raiser. I rented the best big screen tv in town for the day. Our friends, family and major contributors all had invitations to come and watch. Win or lose, I've tried my best. Which is all I can ask of myself and my support team. It wasn't as big a party as the fundraiser. Just the best of my supporters and people.
"All six polling stations are now closed. Final tallies are expected soon."
"Ollie? What was that?"
"Just a little kiss for luck, Mr Grant."
"Since when ..." I trailed off not quite sure how to phrase this.
"Jack Harkness had a chat with me after the debate. One minute discussion, the next he was kissing me. Damn he's a fine kisser. I admire you a lot, Mr Grant. But now that I've met Jack, well."
I hope Ollie is careful. Jack has a bit of a reputation. Ollie's come a long way in these last few days.
My attention was drawn to the TV. "The votes have been counted in 3 of our 6 districts. The tally so far is 4,903 votes for Sam Grant and 5,245 votes for Jack Harkness. The count will continue, poll officials expect the result soon now."
I stare in disbelief at the TV. I don't think that the city has had such a close election in nearly 20 years.
There is a lot of inane chatter as the presenters fill time until the next official announcement.
"Hey there sexy." Well, well, Marta was here.
"Hey, hot stuff, what was that?"
"Just getting a kiss for luck, Marta. I'm not sure I got it right, want to try again?"
"That sounds like a good plan. Let's practice until you have it just perfect."
Unfortunately, the plan was interrupted.
"The final votes have been tallied. The votes for governor are 10,946 for Jack Harkness and 11,584 for Sam Grant. Sam Grant will be sworn in as governor by the assembly next week." That was such a close result.
My cell almost immediately rang.
"Thanks Jack, you were a tough opponent."
"Well, I hear that the city needs a new mayor. You game?"
"Excellent, you can expect my complete support. The city needs a good mayor."
Mum, I'm that much further up the greasy pole. I can see much further from here, but I'm still not at the top. Nevertheless, it's a good stopping point for now.