writing from
Scars Publications

Audio/Video chapbooks cc&d magazine Down in the Dirt magazine books


This writing was accepted for publication
in the 84 page perfect-bound issue of
cc&d (v235) (the August 2012 Issue)

You can also order this 5.5" x 8.5"
issue as an ISSN# paperback book:
order issue

cc&d magazine cover

Order this writing
in the book
the Mission
(issue edition)

cc&d 2012
collection book
the Mission (issues edition) cc&d collectoin book get the 228 page
May - August 2012
cc&d magazine
issue collection
6" x 9" ISBN#
paperback book:

order ISBN# book

Order this writing in the book
After the Apocalypse
(prose edition)

(the 2012 prose
collection book)
After the Apocalypse (prose edition) (2012 prose collection book) issue collection book get this poem
6" x 9" ISBN#
paperback book:

order ISBN# book

The Legend of Boitown

Eric W Jepson


    The signs were all over the city. The positive response to Mayor Graff’s reelection bid had astonished the newspaper editors and local political blowhards. When the major opposing candidate, “Long” Joel Smith, had cornered the mayor with a local news crew, he could hardly have guessed that his sneering reply to the mayor would become the most successful campaign slogan Boitown had ever known. Mayor Graff’s campaigners had even taken to saving time at the end of their tv spots for the clip:

    Smith: Out with it, will you? Mayor, do you really think the people of Boitown will subject themselves to another three years of your blundering?
    Graff: Well . . . . [deep breath] Okay, yes. I am running for mayor again! And Joel, you know I was good for this city, for Boitown. [directly to the camera] People of Boitown, I would like to serve you further. I have decided to run for reelection.
    Smith: Oh, have you now?

[cut to black with white lettering]

    Although earlier polls had clearly indicated Boitown was ready for change, in the wake of the Have You Now? campaign, Mayor Graff slid back into office on a stunning margin, doubling “Long” Joel Smith’s numbers. A landslide. That very week, rumors appeared regarding the mayor and next year’s Senate race.
    But although this was flattering to the mayor and distressing to his family, local issues pressed more immediately upon his mind. One month into his new term found Boitown in a record heatwave, as well as deep into the final plans for the International Health Officers Conference, expected to draw at least 450 important dignitaries and an untold number of anxious minderbinders, hoping to peddle their wares and services to entire nations. Boitown itself had several large companies—pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural—that were particularly hopeful.
    The Chamber of Commerce was, if possible, over-concerned about the conference and was demanding constant audience with one or another of the mayor’s key people. There were meetings on restaurants; there were meetings on hotels; there were meetings on telecommunications. It was driving the mayor batty. And on top of all the bureaucratic bothers, there were the food bank riots.
    At the Clinical Family Preparation Institute, a band of local ministers and priests of various faiths had organized their parishioners into a 24/7 prayer watch. Although Family Prep had complained about their presence, the pro-lifers had been perfectly peaceful—making it a point to not so much as glance at the clinic’s patients or to step on the clinic’s grass. After Family Prep was forced to admit at a hearing that, really, they hadn’t suffered financially from the prayer group whatsoever, Mayor Graff instructed his office to ignore further complaints.
    But the demonstrators were faced with a rather serious challenge to their pacifism when the local Wimmin Warriors began to drive by the Institute yelling obscenities, flashing their breasts, and throwing Dixie cups packed with flour. Rather than fighting back or contacting the authorities, the head pastor, Reverend Marlin of Boitown New Presbyterian Worshippers of God, invited a news crew out to film the Warriors. The assignment fell to the station’s star new employee, Davey Robbison, who had won a record number of Audience Choice Awards at the Boitown International Documentary Film Festival, and who, it was said, could make a grown man cry just by the way he angled a camera. When the story aired that night, Boitown was shocked and outraged. And so was the Baby Militia. Which drove into Boitown the next morning and chased the WW down Davis Parkway, ending in a fistfight right outside the new library. And that was just the first day after the broadcast.
    The continuing tension between the visiting Baby Militia and the local Wimmin Warriors set off the first riot at the food bank. The line outside the food bank was longer than usual—even for a Sunday. The homeless were weak, tired, and irritable from the record summer heat, so when the WW went screeching by, throwing flour bombs, followed by the Militia waving their paintball guns, and the police, sirens screaming, it wasn’t that surprising they snapped. And since the police were busy with the WW and the Baby Militia (not to mention the hostage situation at Safee’s Bank that same day), when the homeless stormed the food bank, no one came to stop them until the five-hour rampage had been over nearly an hour fifteen.
    Which put Mayor Graff in a pickle. He had always championed both free speech and the rights of the homeless, but now Boitown was crying for the jailing of the WW and the Milita both—as well as the expulsion of anyone who was temporarily or permanently between addresses (Mayor Graff’s favorite euphemistic phrasing). The mayor was forced to call in a long-treasured favor from Judge Lecticor, and to personally spend two nights in the homeless shelter to demonstrate the virtues of the place.
    With the newly-minted court order keeping the Baby Militia from entering the city and the appendicitis of Grand Mama Cain of the WW, things had mostly calmed down by the time the International Health Officers Conference began. It was substantially more successful than anyone had expected; not only did four hundred more people attend than were anticipated, but three of Boitown’s largest companies signed major, international contracts to provide health training, services and products abroad. This boosted Mayor Graff’s approval rating to its highest level since his reelection. Boitown was nothing if not pro-business.
    The last day of the conference, a K-9 team stumbled across a bomb beneath Jonathon Moiming Hall, directly under the round robin on Malaria and the Twenty-First Century: Saving Lives and Making Money. Fortunately there was plenty of time to disarm it, but when the feds grounded all international flights out of Boitown “until the presumed terrorists were apprehended,” the delegates were personally offended—after all, hadn’t their lives been the ones in jeopardy? Mayor Graff’s office was flooded with angry and belligerent calls from ambassadors and heads of state and, twice, soccer stars. The Mayor spent the entire weekend fielding calls, apologizing profusely, sympathizing wildly, and explaining that he had no control—that it was all above his jurisdictional head. Two of the large contracts were burnt in hotel trash cans live on national television instead of being taken home for government validation, and a freak hail storm set off the second food bank riot just as a set of third-world delegates were touring the premises.
    It was three weeks before the final delegates were allowed to fly home. Mayor Graff was exhausted and the year’s budget surplus was depleted from all the complementary meals, hotel beds and dry cleaning for the inconvenienced dignitaries. As the mayor lay collapsed on his office couch, contemplating the obvious wisdom of taking an entire week off rather than his planned three-day escape into the country, his secretary walked in with a list of demands from the Neighborhood Reps. Mayor Graff sighed, but sat up to examine them. They were more absurd than usual, one demanding that 50% of all streets be cul-de-sacs.
    “The Neighborhood Reps are a self-important bunch of wannabe, would-be, never-was gangsters,” Mayor Graff had once blurted to a cub reporter who had either been too scared or too sensible to print it. The Reps’ leadership were elected by those willing to pay the $45 membership fee and the $250 voting privilege donation (though most Reps boasted of paying much higher VPDs—and of the consequently larger tax deduction). The Reps were under the impression that they were well on their way to becoming a powerful political machine. One of them once boasted that “The Reps control the Herald,” but based on the harsh editorials and political cartoons that appeared off and on in the Herald over the following month, this seemed unlikely. As did their claim of assuring their retirements by coercing the mayor’s office to keep real estate prices high.
    Mayor Graff re-re-re-reminded himself to contact the IRS about the Reps’ tax-exempt status and had nearly dropped the latest screams and shouts of Organized Suburbia into the recycle bin when he thought of a better fate for the 45-page report. After peeking out the door to make sure his secretary had successfully shooed away whichever Rep had delivered the papers, he left his office and, using her paper cutter, made squares. Back in his office, he rummaged through his bottom junk drawer until he found his old, worn copy of Origami So Easy.
    The mayor had been trying to make the dragon on page 53 for over a month now, but folding each piece just right and then getting them all to stay together was not as easy as the book suggested. But maybe this time, the mayor mumbled as the Reps’ simulated statistics became a pointy-eared dragon’s head.
    About an hour after everyone else had left for the weekend, he was finally done. Or would have been had the tail’s weight not kept it falling off the body. The mayor kept glancing at the Scotch tape dispenser on his desk, but his lauded integrity kept him from using it.
    Rather than risk getting upset and destroying what he had accomplished so far, Mayor Graff called it a day. He set the body and tail on the taller filing cabinet and stretched his back. He picked up all his papers and whatnot, tossed them into his briefcase, and headed out.
    He had pushed the button and was waiting for the elevator when he realized he had forgotten the scarf and hat his daughter had given him for his birthday the day before. Since he had missed most of his own party trying to keep the last delegates focused on vodka rather than American imperialism, he wanted to make sure his little girl knew he still loved her and that he appreciated her gift. So he sighed and headed back to his office, hearing the elevator doors open and close behind him.
    As he fumbled through his darkened office, he was glad he had decided to come back. After all, even though it was hardly scarf-and-hat weather, he had always wanted a fedora—ever since law school—and besides, it made him feel more mayorly. As he reopened his office door into the pasty light of the hallway, he was startled by the sound of a gunshot. As he lay in shock, barely cognizant of the blood puddling underneath and around him, he was only absently aware of the gunman standing directly over him and wading in his gore.
    “I tolja,” was all that he said.

Scars Publications

Copyright of written pieces remain with the author, who has allowed it to be shown through Scars Publications and Design.Web site © Scars Publications and Design. All rights reserved. No material may be reprinted without express permission from the author.

Problems with this page? Then deal with it...