Capone and the mayor are incomparable
The mayor’s Blue Suit and the Leader Herald’s Josh Resnek are close friends. They trade secrets from week to week about the mayor and everything under the sun. The Blue Suit lives in fear of the mayor, like everyone else in the city. He doesn’t fear talking to Josh because he knows Josh has his back. They met earlier this week at the Stop & Shop on the Parkway.
By JOSH RESNEK
We watched the people come and go as I shopped for a few things. The Blue Suit walked along my side up and down the aisles of the Stop and Shop. We traded short talk.
I saw more than a few people who saw us and who must have wondered to themselves: “What the hell is that guy doing talking with a Blue Suit?”
The Stop and Shop is a popular Everett shopping destination for many families and individuals who don’t want to shop at the Market Basket and fight crowds even though it costs less.
While I was shopping, we talked.
“Do you think Carlo is a handsome man?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Answer me straight, please. The boss isn’t listening.”
“What kind of question is that, Josh?”
“Make believe you’re on television news and the reporter is asking you to answer the question.”
The Blue Suit hesitated. He looked down at the floor. He unbuttoned his suit jacket.
“Is Carlo handsome? Is that what you asked me?”
“Yes,” I answered the Blue Suit.
“I wouldn’t say he is particularly good-looking. You know what I mean, Josh? He’s out of shape, a bit pudgy. He always has that fake serious look and the half-hearted, see-through attempt at a genuine smile. There isn’t much that is physically endearing about him,” the Blue Suit added.
“How would you compare him to say, Fred Capone?” I asked.
“Funny you should ask. I was making a comparison between the two since you predicted they’d be running against one another two weeks ago.”
The Blue Suit collected himself. We were in the tomato sauce and pasta section. I grabbed a box of rigatoni and a container of Virgilio’s tomato sauce and basil. I know it’s unforgivable to eat store-bought sauce, but I know Virgilio’s Market on Main Street in Gloucester. First-class place for righteous Italian treats…including bottled tomato sauce and basil, and quite likely the best made-to-order sandwiches on incredible Italian bread that money can buy. The “Saint Joseph” is one of their classic creations. Genoa salami, German bologna, mortadella cheese, cooked salami, imported provolone cheese, oil, and oregano. It is to die for.
Back to the discussion.
“How would I compare Carlo to Fred Capone, you ask, Josh?”
“I wouldn’t compare them. They are incomparable. One is a pitbull; the other is an antelope. The mayor is nasty and somehow well-liked or feared or both. Fred isn’t nasty. He certainly isn’t feared. He’s well-liked. He has no history like the mayor if you know what I mean,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“But what about how they look? The expression they carry on their faces? What do you think?” I asked the Blue Suit.
He grew thoughtful. He let out a sigh.
“The mayor is nasty through and through. He’s got a nasty streak, and another worse streak, if you know what I mean. The nasty streak causes his face to contort in that Carlo scowl – you know – the nasty look at enemies with everyone all the time the potential enemy. That isn’t ingratiating. It puts people off. Without opposition that is all people have. But with opposition from a gentleman like Fred, comparisons are going to inevitably be made, aren’t they?”
“Yes, indeed,” I agreed.
“I watched Fred give out food last Saturday at the Grace Food Pantry. He looked to be in pretty good shape. He is older than the mayor, but he looks years younger and if you’ll forgive me, Carlo,” the Blue Suit said mockingly looking up at the ceiling in the Stop and Shop, “he’s a better-looking guy.”
The Blue Suit went on and on.
“I know Fred has more money than the mayor. He could buy and sell the mayor, but he’d never say anything like that. He’s very quiet. He’s very self-assured. He’s a lawyer all the way – careful, immaculate, pristine about his business dealings, articulate and pretty good looking, friendly, dressed appropriately at all times and quite appealing when compared to Carlo” the Blue Suit added.
“How do you know all this about Fred?” I asked.
“Carlo talks about him on and on. He’s obsessed with him. He doesn’t believe Fred can win. Carlo doesn’t believe he can lose. Carlo thinks Fred believes he’s smarter and better than him. That drives Carlo crazy. Carlo really can’t compare to Fred’s success in life. And so recently, hearing all this stuff, I’ve come to think that if Fred actually announces and runs, he’s going to do well if he put’s everything into it,” the Blue Suit said.
“He will present the image of an attractive, genuine candidate to replace Carlo, who believes he owns the mayor’s seat.”
“Bottom line, Fred Capone is going to be an attractive candidate, especially to those who know they won’t have to contribute to his campaign to keep their jobs if he wins,” the Blue Suit added.
I gave the Blue Suit a high-five on that one.
“You’ve got that down, my man,” I said to him. “Carlo never treats me like you do, Josh,” he said. “He treats me like a torn piece of worthless dirty cloth when in fact I am the best thing about his non-existent wardrobe. He doesn’t want to waste money cleaning me – but then – he doesn’t even have to pay for cleaning. He gets it free.”
“I know that,” I replied.
The Blue Suit grew angry.
“Carlo has a bad attitude. He doesn’t believe he owes anyone anything. He believes he’s the only one in the city that knows what to do with the city. He’s got that wrong. Anyone can do what he’s been doing. Capone or Adrien could bring 21-story buildings here without shaking anyone down. Everything is all about Carlo. He doesn’t really listen. He doesn’t want to learn. He has no empathy for people. That’s what will bring him down. I think everyone knows these things about him at this point. Twelve years is a long time to serve as may- or. I hear a great deal of talk claiming his time has come,” he added.
Whether or not the mayor’s time has come or not, he is going to be facing Fred Capone in the election.
We can’t know how the election will come out until it is held, and the votes counted.
We do know this, and the Blue Suit helped me to figure this out.
The mayor’s perpetual scowl and disingenuousness will be met in battle with Fred Capone’s smile and his friendly, genuine manner.
I was underestimating Fred Capone. I believe the mayor is underestimating him.
Fred’s face looks bright and happy.
Carlo’s face is not so bright, so honest or so happy and free of baggage. He has the face of a middle-aged man all wrapped up in a very weak psychodrama.
I know this also. Once Capone announces, some people in this city will break ranks with the mayor and contribute to his campaign. This will embolden others to do the same. That’s how his mayoralty will begin to unravel.
Once Capone announces voters will begin to make comparisons between him and Carlo.
It can’t get worse than that for Carlo.