Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Climbing the Greasy Pole (a SILC entry)

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.

The other problem is my current assistant, Ollie Mayweather. Thoughts must be like butterflies for him, he can barely catch and hold one at a time. Two is simply impossible. He's the most forgetful person I've ever tried to deal with and it is driving me mad.

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.

"Oh gosh, Mr Grant, I don't have your appointment book. Should I get it?"

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?"

For one brief moment, I thought he had an answer. "It's with Katrina Pala from the Business Centre at 10." Then he paused. "No wait, the first appointment is at 9 with ... let me think."

"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.

I settled down to some of the infinite quantities of work I have to attend to. After a while, I realised that Ollie hadn't returned with the appointment book. It took some rummaging around on his desk but I finally found it. Fortunately, the first appointment wasn't until 10, I had time to double check the facts before Romeo Rake arrived.

"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."

Ollie looked properly appalled at the stuff up. "Now, Oliver, take them back and get a reprint done. Everything else is right. Have them do a rush job. Tell them I expect a discount since this batch is wrong." I was building up to a decent rant. It was easy to tell the volume of shouting was growing by the way Ollie was backing up, very quietly.

"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.

"Mr Grant, would you care to say a few words to our readers?"

"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.

I put Ollie in touch with the best catering company in town. They won't let him ruin the function, their reputation is spotless. They are very expensive, of course, but it's imperative that this party go off perfectly.

"Mr Grant, sir?" Ollie was looking fairly confident for one. He has been growing noticeably more and more nervous in my presence. I've snapped at him more than once in the past week. Missed appointments, forgotten notes, simple errands that have never been completed. His head is strictly there as a platform to hold his hair, there can't be an ounce of brain inside.

"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.

We had a great turn out. Many of the city movers and shakers came to the party. Not a lot of dancing on the dance floor but there was plenty of music, conversation and nectar flowing.

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.

"Romeo, my dear fellow. How is the city's best cop?"

"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?"

"Matthew, mon cher ami. Your latest movie has surpassed all records. Do you think you'll be able to top it?"

"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.

"Lola, you gorgeous creature! Are you getting younger every time I see you?"

"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.

I was pleased that Kacyn and her new husband Ben came to offer their support. They are still far more interested in each other than anyone else in the room. Which is fair enough, I would hope that only a few days past the honeymoon that they'd be far more interested in each other than anything else.

"Oh Mr Grant?"
"I don't believe I've had the pleasure?"

"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."

"Oh no, Mr Grant. The pleasure is all mine." She practically purred at me.

"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 ..."

"True enough, Miss Tomasi. I haven't been on a date in years."

"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.

"Mr Grant, do you have any words for the paper today?"

"I am in this campaign to win. And you can see that I have a lot of support in this town."


"Well, Ollie, last night went well. How much did we collect from donations?"

"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."

I exploded, "Oliver! You idiot! You imbecile! You utter utter nincompoop! You were supposed to donate 10% to charity and the rest was our funds for the campaign. Are you working for Harkness? Was this an intentional sabotage of my campaign?"

"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."

"Mr Grant, I'm so sorry." Ollie looked downright frightened.

"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.

The debate

The next morning, 9am sharp, I was entering my office. On my desk was my appointment list for the day and a cup of coffee. Strong, black coffee and lots of it. Exactly what I need.

"Kacyn?" My old assistant never failed to have my list and my coffee ready for when I stepped into the office.

"Sorry, Mr Grant, it's still just me," Ollie was in a chair in the far corner of 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.

"And now for the debate that you've all been waiting for. I'm your host Devon Ashton. The race for governor has been unusually close this time."

"We'd like to welcome Captain Jack Harkness and his assistant Rick Shawn. Jack is on of our local representatives. His record is online for those wishing to find out more about Captain Harkness."

"I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to participate in this debate."

"We would also like to welcome Mr Sam Grant and his assistant Ollie Mayweather. Mr Grant, current mayor of our fair city. Again, his record is online for those wanting more facts."

"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."

"Jack, what's your take on this issue?"

"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."

"So, Captain Harkness, what would you define as the most pressing issue this city faces?"

"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."

"Sam, would you like to reply to Jack's concerns?"

"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."

"Captain Harkness, any further words?"

"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?"

"We would welcome any auditors to review the funding. Would you care to match our donation, Mr Harkness? My assistant will happily show you the proof of where the funds went, when and how much down to the last cent."

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 results

We 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.

"Early returns from the polls suggest that this is a close race. Mayor Grant has the edge in some of the downtown districts while Representative Harkness has the edge in our wealthiest portion of town along with much of the vote from our fairer sex."

"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.

"Marta, gorgeous."

"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.


  1. This was good! It's weird seeing Sam in that position of powerful politician, because so far in my game he's still a pretty naive person. I like to think he'll always be that way to an extent, and that maybe - just maybe - his way of seeing things may be for the better.

    I'm hoping to do an update of my own soon, so keep your eyes open for that. Wedding bells for Sam, maybe? ;)

    Again, so glad that you're writing on here again. And Ollie? He may be an idiot but he was still a sweetheart.

    Best of luck and keep writing!

    ~ J

  2. Hey J.

    After a few clones of Sam, I decided that each one was a little less naive because starting each one that dopey was getting ridiculous. But you get to write it the way you want.

    Will keep an eye for your update - and there will be another Sam here once I install Generations.

    :) I've been busy posting new stuff to my short story blog - Sam usually gets a longer holiday after any story he dies in. If you read across all 5 (yes, 5) of my Sims blogs, you'll find that I post fairly regularly.

    Ollie is a sweety, and I love him. He just had to play the dunce to give Sam something to shout about.

  3. Just the title gave me a chuckle!

    Ollie, Ollie, Ollie. You were always absent minded but you're a genius for goodness sakes! Obviously, something has you distracted. Jack Harkness and his dreamy eyes or your boss and his gruff voice? You better kiss Sam because I think that's the only way you're going to save your job.

    Ollie's good at sharing so I'm sure he won't mind if Marta gets a taste or two of the new mayor. Sam put up with a lot of nuttiness in this one.

    I liked the different pace. I totally see Sam as a tough, smart politician. In a world with Vita Alto in the workplace you can't be...Ollie. :P

    This is for a contest, PiB? Best of luck!

  4. Ah this was an excellently written chapter i really enjoyed it - Sam is a tough boss though!

  5. First off, I think it's hilarious that you have Jack Harkness in here. A formidable opponent indeed.

    He really needs a new assistant, doesn't he? Yikes. Sounds like he had some feelings for Kacyn- should have made a move, Sammy boy. I love Sammy repeating "I must not kill him." XD This is clearly not a patient Sam- I can see why he's grumpy!

    Ollie cracks me up, seriously. He really is not cut out for this job.

    Love seeing all the Bridgeport residents, plus a few familiar faces! Marta and Sam are always cute together.

    Sam has quite a lot of good ideas for running the city! I think he'll do a great job. Great story, PiB!

  6. Hi Chrysame,

    I imagined that poor Ollie started off on a bad foot because Sam was grumpy which frightened Ollie and made him more absent-minded then usual. Which made Sam grumpier... :)
    At home, they were actually quite happy lovers.

    Marta will have to work her little tail off if she wants Sam's attention. And Ollie might eventually have a choice of two cause Jack noticed him and decided there was a guy worth kissing.

    Sam is getting to be a bit more than that gullible naive Sam of the early clones. Evil vampire Sam, smart tough politician Sam...

  7. Hi Angiebeno,

    glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Aahahaha... Man. Ollie sure is a piece of work. XD His airheadedness definitely provided a ton of amusement! " His head is strictly there as a platform to hold his hair, there can't be an ounce of brain inside." I loved that line so much. XD

    Sam's grumpiness really showed through in this story--love it. It's nice to really see that side of him. ^^ I feel bad for Ollie, though, that it all seems to be channeled through at him! The guy just can't do anything right, can he? At least he got better, towards the end.

    And Sam certainly doesn't have to be very persuasive to gain his votes. ;) I have a feeling that Ollie's little mess-up did inevitably help him; such a large donation to charity is sure to change people's perceptions about Sam possibly being a greedy politician. Much different than Jack, it would seem.

    Ollie's kiss at the end: very unexpected. So was it Jack screwing your head on the right way, Ollie? XD Hahahaha.

    And Marta, always swooping in to add her lovely romantic flair to the ending--bravo! ^-^

    Great story, PiB--Sam's on his way, and it's awesome to get a glimpse into what his life as a politician would be like!


  9. Hi Amelia

    Yes, Jack would be quite an opponent. I kept thinking about which Sim in my bin would be the best for the job and it came down to Jack - who could charm his way to the top or Jeb who would run the dirtiest campaign ever. Jack won. :)

    Sam didn't realise how fond he was of Kacyn until she up and married Ben Lee on him. By then, it was a little late. And yes, Ollie being completely absent-minded was driving Sam up the wall (in the story - in their house they were quite happy lovers *snicker*)

    This was a good story for Bridgeport since it was never going to last long enough to be a complete lag. :)

    Sam should be a good governor and Jack will be mayor soon enough.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Kaleeko!

    Poor Ollie, he just couldn't quite keep it together when near a grumpy Sam. And Sam with no coffee and mid-campaign == very grumpy.

    Ollie's mistake with the donations did two things - it helped make Sam look very good and it made Ollie determined to start doing things right. So at that point, Ollie finally got over how his boss is scary as a zombie bear. :)

    As for Ollie kissing Sam - well, I really gotta learn how to have a household of friendly Sims for more than 2 days without converting the lot of them to lovers. Cause Sam, Ollie, Jack and Rick were sharing a house and it wasn't long before they had more than friendship when sharing the beds.

    Sam makes a good politician. His charisma means that he'll do well. His fundraiser party was enough to satisfy his current requirements for the career.

    Thanks so much for stopping by

  11. Technical note - first story I ever did that the pics are all on sets I built - there is a grand total of two pics that show bits of Bridgeport as is. And one of those is the special header for the story. :)

  12. "As for Ollie kissing Sam - well, I really gotta learn how to have a household of friendly Sims for more than 2 days without converting the lot of them to lovers. Cause Sam, Ollie, Jack and Rick were sharing a house and it wasn't long before they had more than friendship when sharing the beds."

    *laugh* Boys will be boys!

  13. I tells you, Ollie is quite the popular boyfriend. Cause Sam (who was his romantic interest officially) was wanting woohoo and Jack suddenly noticed him and wanted a kiss. I'm sure that it wouldn't take Jack long to rival Sam in Ollie's affections.

    Rick was looking elsewhere, he and Jack don't click.

    Poor Ollie needs a bachelor challenge to sort out his love life once and for all. LOL

  14. Hello fine squire,

    My name is MILESTONE MAN and I would like to let you know that your excellent blog has inspired me to create my own Sam Grant adventure (see here http://ilovereachingmilestones.wordpress.com/). Though perhaps my version is a little more deranged than yours!

    Anyway, I found your blog opened my mind to new sims possibilities. Keep up the good work.

    Regards (I'm not sure why I am writing this comment like an e-mail)


  15. Hi Milestone man,

    Gotta give you, that's a very different Sam - assuming it really is Sam under there. :) Cute job, may he do well (or badly)

    I'll check back and see.

  16. So, this story did win one award from SILC

    The Golden Inkwell for Best Blend-In goes to Nicarra60, for her story ‘Climbing The Greasy Pole.’

    "Golden Inkwells - Golden Inkwells are presented for the "details." Awards are presented ... : Best Blend-In (Synchronizing of pictures and text)"

  17. Lynn, I really enjoyed this one :D
    Excellent job!
    So glad the Ollie debarcle turned out in his favour in the end!


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