By JOSH RESNEK
“He wore me for the lead photograph in his new publication, Everett Matters,” the Blue Suit started out. The Blue Suit was glum.
“I don’t like being made a fool of,” the Blue Suit added with dismay.
“What’s wrong buddy? What’s so embarrassing. I think you look pretty good in the photograph,” I said to him.
“Yeah. I know that. Luckily Carlo didn’t sit down or eat a meal during the shoot.”
“I didn’t think about it that way,” I replied.
“Of course not. He’s not wearing you. He’s wearing me… and it hurts. When he drops into a chair I feel as though I am being suffocated. I can’t really catch my breath. If it’s the summertime and he’s sweating it makes everything worse. At least he wears an overcoat during the colder weather,” the Blue Suit added.
“Can you make it possible for me to talk with his overcoat?” I asked.
“No way. The overcoat talks with no one. Besides, I know more about Carlo than his overcoat. You can bet on that, Josh.”
The Blue Suit seemed troubled, as though his sleeve might have caught on a wire or part of the meal the mayor ate had fallen onto his pants.
Steak sauces of all kinds are deadly to the well-being of suit pants. They not only carry an odor, but they stain.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You want to know the truth; I think Carlo is listening in to us. Can you see or hear anything that looks like surveillance equipment?”
“No. I think we’re OK. Besides, who cares if he’s listening in? I certainly don’t care,” I added.
The Blue Suit went on with his thinking about Everett Matters.
“I can’t get out of my mind what a fraudulent piece of cheap political rubbish Everett Matters has come to be. It is the stuff of a big lie. I thought it might be something useful. The more I listened to Carlo talk about it with his communications executives, the more I realized Everett Matters would be another way for Carlo to spread his name, his face, and me around the city at the cost of the taxpayers. It is a total rip-off – and that bit of comedy about the elderly demanding the publication is way beyond the pale.
“So, you’re saying you really like Everett Matters?” I asked the Blue Suit. I’m always sarcastic with him. I thought he appreciated my sense of humor. I guess not.
“That’s almost funny, Josh,” he replied. “No. I don’t like Everett Matters. It is irrelevant. It is an obscene, terrible waste of taxpayer funds.”
“At $4,000 a month with the taxpayers paying the tab kind of says it all. There are 48,000 reasons in a year not to publish the thing,” the Blue Suit complained.
“Did you look through it?” the Blue Suit asked me. “Of course,” I answered.
“What do you think about it?”
“I never thought you’d ask,” I replied.
“My first thought was as the mayor let everyone know, the elderly demanded this publication. He said he didn’t just decide to do this. “The elderly wanted this,” Carlo was quoted as saying. “The last thing it is – is political,” Carlo told Jerry Navarro.
“Jerry thought that was hilarious,” I was told by one of the city employees not allowed to speak with me,” I said.
“That’s a pretty long list, isn’t it Josh?”
“Indeed,” I said. “No one working for the city – the entire workforce – is allowed to speak to me. I consider this an accomplishment. No one, well almost no one, will answer my questions. That’s what makes being banned so much fun. A lot of city employees talk with me despite being warned not to. I wear that as a badge of honor if you want to know,” I added.
“Going back to the elderly besieging city hall in the highest places with requests for Everett Matters is a beautiful image to conjure up. I wonder how many elderly Everett residents enjoyed the Watersmart Program story or the Excellence in Financial Reporting Award story about the city winning an award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada? I heard those two stories alone justified the $4,000 spent printing it and delivering it around the city. At least that’s what the mayor’s communications executives were saying.
“At Glendale Towers, the elderly living there couldn’t stop talking about those two stories. The elderly inside the public areas of the building were moving about from one to another all praising the pamphlet. Several of the elderly said they didn’t know how they lived without it before it began publishing recently. Others said they had never read such interesting and informative pieces.”
“Are you on LSD?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Or are you serious?”
”LSD might be nice, especially when Carlo is wearing me. I’ve tried it to tell you the truth. I’m not on it now. I was using acid when he was wearing me to a buffet in Malden several years back. What a disaster. Carlo dropped a bowl of beef stew with heavy gravy on my pants. What a mess! He wiped it off with a dirty tablecloth. Then he splashed ice cold water on me. It was awful. I thought I was going to vomit. Ruined my trip. I began hallucinating. It was so hot in the place. Carlo heated up. He broke into a full-body sweat. In the midst of all that he rose to give a speech! Yikes! I wanted to donate myself to the Salvation Army used clothing store!” the Blue Suit revealed.
“Tell me the truth?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Does Everett Matters matter?”
“Are you kidding me, Josh? Everett Matters to Carlo as an election tool. He could care less about the elderly. He cares even less about his staff, who were put up to create this silly thing. That’s what I think about mostly when Everett Matters comes to mind. I think about what a waste of taxpayer dollars it is. What a waste of time and energy is required to make the thing up and get it printed, mailed, and delivered. I think the city might be better off buying another $50,000 worth of flowers to be planted,” the Blue Suit said.
“The elderly like flowers. I know they do,” the Blue Suit concluded.