The Business

Please Vote … For Me

By Lyle R. Hill

I answered the phone as it began its third ring and offered up my usual salutation.

“Hey, Hill, long time no talk. How you doin?”

Instantly, I recognized who the caller was. Loved by few, yet feared by many, it was the unmistakable voice of Johnny “The Mooch” Rago.

“Listen, Mooch, I always find our conversations interesting, but I’m pretty busy today. Could I maybe call you back in a month or two and we can get caught up then?”

“I won’t be long, Hill, and besides, I thought you might want to know that I have finally taken your advice on a few things and I am now a new man.”

“What advice was that, Mooch?”

“Well, to begin with, I am starting my life over. Remember how you used to say how I should put my past behind me and start fresh?”

“Isn’t it a little late for that, Mooch?”

“And remember how you used to say I needed to have a plan for my life, set goals and try to find something positive to do with myself?”

“I kinda remember that, although I think that was a long time ago,” I replied.

“And remember how you always said you would help me turn a new leaf?”

“Maybe I said that, but again, it’s been a long time.”

“And how you said you would always be there to help me?”

“I’m pretty sure I would have never said that, Mooch.”

“Well here I stand today, Hill, a new man with a plan and a goal and ready to help the world.”

“You’re not becoming one of those ‘Big Brother’ guys are you Mooch?”

“No, Hill. I have decided to go into politics and run for public office.”

“Okay. I feel better already. And you know, with your background and contacts, you may have found your place in society after all. Don’t they say it takes a crook to find a crook?”

“I’m serious, Hill. I’m going to run for president and I think I can do it. If I play that electoral thing right, I don’t even need half of the voters to go my way. And with all the current dysfunction in government … I mean, people can’t stand the current state of affairs … I could actually win. So do you want to hear some of my ideas?”

“Not really.”

“After we eliminate the two party system, we ban all DNA testing to deter-mine nationalities. After all, who cares where we came from? We’re here now so that makes us all Americans. Another thing, you don’t stand for the National Anthem at a sporting event, you get sent back to the country of your origin.”

“Mooch, how ya gonna know where they came from if you don’t do the DNA thing?”

“Good point, Hill. I’ll have to work on that one. But let me give you my best one—no taxes for new business for five years. We keep giving all these tax breaks to the jumbo corporations, and the little guy gets the shaft. I’m gonna stop that. Plus, I think that will get a bunch of votes.”

“Okay, Mooch, I gotta go now but …”

“Hang on, Hill. I’m not done yet! I’m gonna invade North Korea and Venezuela, cancel the border wall and replace it with a piranha filled mote … much cheaper … and cut welfare costs in half with my new “Work for Dough” program. It will be like the old 1930s CCC program where the government put you to work if you couldn’t get a job on your own. Last thing, I’m gonna give free college education to anyone with a high school diploma. Remember that old guy almost won with that program in the last election.”

“Mooch, you’re gonna have the same problem all of the politicians have. They promise all kinds of stuff, but don’t have the money to see it through.”

“Not a problem, Hill. We tell ‘em we’re gonna become more efficient by cutting wasteful spending and eliminating government excess. When they ask how, we tell them we’re still in the planning phase, but it’s gonna be great. After I get my government pension thing and insurance, what do I care? Let the next guy figure it all out. That’s what the current politicians do.”

“What if they check into your background, Mooch?”

“I lie, and if someone accuses me of lying I say they’re lying and blame it on fake news. You know, it has been proven that if you tell a lie enough times you cannot only convince yourself that it’s not a lie, but a whole bunch of other people will be convinced, too. Also, in politics, haven’t you noticed that if people don’t want to believe one guy, they will automatically believe the other guy? Truth has nothing to do with anything.”

“And you really think you have a chance?”

“I actually do, Hill. Everybody is sick of the way things are now with all the claims and counter claims, finger-pointing and such. And now we have politicians telling people to harass people from the other party at public venues and such. These people have gone crazy and who better than me to get them back under control? I’m tellin ya, people have had enough of it!”

“Are you sure, that, given your record, that you can even legally run for political office Mooch?”

“I had it checked out, Hill, and while I could not be mayor of my little town of 940 people in Indiana, I can run for president of the United States. I’m working on a catchy campaign slogan now and then I’ll design my baseball hat. Already set up my first campaign office in the garage and I spend about ten hours every day planning this thing out.”

“I guess at least it keeps you from doing other question-able things, so maybe some good comes from it. But why did you call me to talk about this? As you know, I avoid all things political as much as humanly possible. While I always vote, I don’t discuss politics and do not contribute my time or money to any of them. So why me, Mooch?”

“Well Hill, I’ll tell you why I called you. I need a running mate.”

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