— Eye on Everett —

The Blue Suit makes a joke

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Look, Josh. It’s just before Thanksgiving. It should be a happy time for me, but it isn’t.

The boss has been grumpy and nervous, miserable, really. He doesn’t trust anyone – not even Jerry. In addition, he recently had a good yell at Eric (Demas). Demas didn’t utter a word. He took the verbal beating and the implied threat. He knows better than to challenge Carlo,” the Blue Suit told me earlier this week.

“Do you think he’d fire Demas?” I asked.

“In a heartbeat,” the Blue Suit added. “The only employee of the city he won’t fire is himself.”

“The only time I ever heard Demas talk back to the mayor was when they got in a heated discussion about whether Beethoven was a better composer of symphonies than Bach. That devolved into a bitter fight about who was the better conductor, Rachmaninoff or Leonard Bernstein.”

“Are you serious?” I asked the Blue Suit. I was amazed a dispute like that between Demas and the mayor could ever have taken place.

The Blue Suit laughed heartily. I knew I had been given some of my own medicine.

“Of course, I’m not serious,” the Blue Suit composed himself and said to me. He scoffed at me. “You think you’re the only one who can make a good joke, Josh? The mayor can talk about the Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy. He knows nothing about Rachmaninoff or Bach.”

The Blue Suit had a point, I must admit. He’s pretty smart for a worn-out Blue Suit who has to put up with the mayor wearing him all of the time.

“OK. Let’s forget about Beethoven and Bach. Let’s talk about the mayor doing a tour in the middle of the worst pandemic to strike the city since the 1918 flu.”

“Oh, you mean the “Virtual Listening Tour” the mayor held to discuss with residents their feelings about whether or not he should become a voting member of the School Committee?” the Blue Suit asked.

“Yes. Exactly,” I answered.

“What a joke that was.”

“What do you mean?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“Come on Josh. You know exactly what I mean.”

“OK. You’re right about that. You’re telling me Carlo’s staff got a whole bunch of Carlo types wearing MAGA hats and jerseys to call in to talk about how important it is to make him a voting member of the School Committee,” I answered.

“Bingo,” said the Blue Suit. “It was like a Trump rally. Utterly, entirely ridiculous,” the Blue Suit added.

“You know,” I said, “in a city crawling with the virus it’s kind of amazing the mayor had time to discuss the advantages of him becoming a voting member of the School Committee – and it is also a curious thing that people would actually call in. Who really cares but the mayor anyway? Is this what the mayor ought to do when the city is being marinated in the virus?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“From my experience with this guy, and I know him like a tailor in a cramped dressing room, he could care less what the people think. When you come to know Carlo as I have, how the people think is not so important to him as what he can get people to do for him. The virus can infect people but can’t pay him anything. What good is the virus to him?”

“Please explain,” I demanded.

“Carlo’s major motivation is to hire people in return for a bit of quid pro quo if you know what I mean. The second part of his equation is determining what size campaign contribution they should make and how it should relate to the salary they are being paid. And I hate to say it, but for several women, he hired there have been different payments demanded over the years that apparently went way beyond their salaries.”

“Are you serious?” I asked. “Care to get specific?”

“Not really,” he answered.

“There you go again, Josh wanting all the low hanging fruit, Carlo’s secrets. I know his secrets. Believe me when I tell you this.”

“What secrets?” I asked.

“Come on, Josh. You’ve read all the articles with the gory details in the Boston Globe. There’s no way to hide that stuff much less to live it down. I’ve always wondered how he lives it down. How he gets away with everything. He’s really masterful at getting away with everything if you know what I mean,” the Blue Suit said.

The Blue Suit pulled out a cigarette, a king-size Kool Menthol. He lit it with a grand flourish with a gold plated Zippo lighter. He inhaled deeply. He slowly let out a plume of smoke. He told me he enjoys the high nicotine content in Kool’s.

“Where’d you get that Zippo. That’s quite a piece?”

“A dark Grey Suit worn by a former mayor of Everett gave it to me.”

That answer set me back just a bit.

“Does Carlo know you smoke?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Yeah. He doesn’t seem to care. I smoke joints all the time,” the Blue Suit revealed. “You must understand, him wearing me is impossible to endure without being stoned. I’m stoned all the time.”

“I never would have expected that,” I answered him.

“Carlo ignores my behavior. He doesn’t seem to care about me. It doesn’t bother me until he’s in the bathroom jelling up his hair and staring at himself, adoring what he is seeing in the cabinet mirror’s reflection. That’s when I get pretty upset.”

“Does he look at himself a lot in the mirror?” I asked.

“Oh yes. He’s incredibly vain. He thinks he looks like a Hollywood movie star.”

“What do you think he will do when he’s done being the mayor?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“You want to know the truth?” he asked me.

“Yes, please.”

The Blue Suit whispered to me.

“What will he do when he is done being mayor?” you ask. The Blue Suit spoke in a hushed tone.

“Nothing. Carlo isn’t qualified to do anything. He has a terrible work ethic. He’s lazy. He’s a gambler,” thoroughly qualified to be the mayor of Everett. He’s so lazy, he can’t even manage to get his mask on.”

“What’s so bad about that?” I asked.

“You know why he closed city hall for the next week? You know why he did that?” the Blue Suit asked me.

“I heard him talking about some employees at city hall coming down with the virus. Maybe now he’ll be a bit more careful about wearing his mask,” the Blue Suit told me.

“But I doubt it. He doesn’t believe in science. He’s a Trumper at heart.”

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