“Carlo wants everyone to think he’s turned into a powder puff.”– The mayor’s Blue Suit to Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
I picked up the Blue Suit a few blocks away from the mayor’s mansion on Abbott Avenue. It was Tuesday afternoon on a partly cloudy early summer day.
The Blue Suit waved for me to pull over. He was standing on the sidewalk on Elm Street. I came to a stop in front of him. He opened the passenger side door and sat down. He slammed shut the door.
“Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s get out of here. I don’t want Carlo to see me with you. He is so uptight and paranoid. I can’t stand it.”
I pressed down on the accelerator. We darted forward. We took off on our weekly jaunt around the city.
The Blue Suit lit a Marlboro.
“You want one?” he asked me.
“You know I don’t smoke,” I answered. “You shouldn’t be smoking either. Bad for your health.”
“Open the window, please,” I demanded. “I hate the cigarette smoke.”
“Get a life, Josh. I’m just smoking a cigarette.”
He opened the window. We passed the police station. I turned right onto Ferry Street.
“Funny thing. I was just thinking. You know how you like to call the mayor’s house the mansion…well, I’ve got a story about the builder of the mansion. I still feel sorry for that guy. I think he was from East Boston. The mayor stiffed him.”
‘What do you mean?” I asked.
“Just what I said, Josh,” the Blue Suit answered with an edge in his voice.
“Are you getting testy with me today?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“I’m sorry. This election stuff has gotten the mayor so uptight I think it’s rubbing off on me,” he said to me apologetically.
“Anyway…yeah. He stiffed the contractor. That means when all was said and done and the mayor moved in, the contractor didn’t get paid what he was owed…”
“That’s a nice touch. How’s that for honesty and integrity?” I wondered aloud. “How do you know this,” I asked.
“I was there.”
The Blue Suit cleared his throat as we headed up Broadway. “Something about the contractor using the wrong size 2X4s.
The mayor said the contractor should eat the difference. You have to understand, the mayor wanted the contractor to buy the wood from Home Depot at the mall where he was getting a mayor’s discount,” the Blue Suit said.
“What do you mean by mayor’s discount?” I asked.
“You know, Josh. The Carlo DeMaria I’m the mayor of Everett discount. It’s the same as the discount he gets for his cleaning, which by the way is a 100% discount, and for his gasoline, which he doesn’t pay for…do you want me to go on?”
“No. I get it.”
“What was with the 2X4’s?”
I watched the Blue Suit crush his cigarette against the outside of my car door.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing!” I complained. “I’m so sorry,” he apologized. “So much of Carlo is rubbing off on me. “Then again, your car is a piece of junk,” he added. “I guess so. I mean my car is a piece of junk, but the passenger side door is not an ashtray. Please,” I said bitterly.
Back to the contractor story.
“The contractor needed a certain size 2X4 that Home Depot didn’t stock. He had to buy larger ones that Home Depot did stock. He told the mayor about it. The mayor was pissed because he wanted the mayor’s discount for all the wasted wood as the Home Depot 2X4’s had to be cut down to be used for framing. The 2X4’s at Home Depot cost more to buy because they were longer than what was needed. Carlo charged the contractor for the wasted pieces of 2X4. That’s the mayor of Everett for you.”
“That’s not all the contractor got stiffed…but that’s the way it goes with Carlo. Try to collect when he owes you money,” the Blue Suit added.
“You know what’s worse, Josh? When the mansion was done and the mayor moved in, guess who moved in the furniture and his personal belongings? City employees. And guess where they got the U-Haul’s? From Uncle Al.”
“Whatever he does is an attempt to put money in his pocket at everyone else’s expense. He thinks the world owes him a living with all the add-ons. He has expert status at ripping people off and then hiding behind being the mayor.”
The Blue Suit grew thoughtful.
“Why do you think a guy with integrity like Fred Capone has a shot? Why do you think a Black woman with integrity like Adrien, has a shot this time around?” he asked me.
Then he answered his own question.
“Because integrity matters. Transparency matters. Honesty counts for something around this city, and you better believe that. I know the mayor doesn’t. But the voters…they will make up their minds about that,” he added.
Passing through Everett Square we didn’t see a single person we knew.
“The city is a real different place now, isn’t it?” the Blue Suit said to me.
“There was a time, not so long ago when a pass-through Everett Square was like being at a party where everyone was related to everyone else at the Schiavo Club. I mean, even the mayor used to know everyone. Now half the people walking around on the streets don’t know who the mayor is. Think of that,” the Blue Suit said.
“I know what you mean,” I answered.
“Let me repeat myself, Josh. The voters of Everett are better, smarter, and more intelligent about who they vote for than the mayor makes them out to be. The mayor thinks voters are idiots married to him because he acts like a roly-poly gangster. Capone and Adrien represent honesty, transparency, and integrity. The mayor represents just the opposite. In fact, the mayor kind of blew it when Jerry told him about the new slogan making the rounds,” he said to me.
“What’s that?” I asked. “What slogan are you talking about?”
“ABC,” the Blue Suit repeated with a smile.
“What the hell does ABC mean?” I asked.
“Anyone but Carlo,” the Blue Suit said with great satisfaction.
“Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Josh!” he added.