Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Hooligan Circus Political Technique
Sipping my Whiskey Sour as the somewhat slapdash and informal program started, I thought to ask Tommy about whether he would be voting for Maggie in a couple of weeks as I planned to do. I actually can’t remember if I thought about this before the emcees brought up the Roy vs. Maggie race. I do remember thinking about how the closest behavior to the deceptive bastard I had been told existed that I had experienced firsthand came in the minutes after both Tommy and I had lost the elector election coming in seventh and eighth place out of a field of six. Tommy told me he would call me the next day to talk about how to get myself appointed to the elector position (don’t the losers always get appointed?). But he did not. Of course, now we were both appointed electors and as far as I know he could have very well been involved in making sure that happened.
When I finally leaned over to him to whisper incautiously my question about Maggie, he turned to me with that grin of his and snapped, “What’s my last name?” At first I thought he was teasing me and I responded louder than I should have: “Fitzgerald!” And then, after a pause, “Oh,” I thought and said at the same time. Roy Fitzgerald. Maggie Pierce versus Roy Fitzgerald. “I’m his son, Tommy Fitzgerald,” he explained to my imbalanced embarrassment. I started to apologize without saying sorry and he stopped me by saying, “I love Maggie, she’s great.” I had seen them hug jovially just moments earlier but I continued nonetheless and he stopped me again by laughing without seeming to smile. “Tommy Fitzgerald is Roy’s son but I’m not that Tommy Fitzgerald. We have the same name though, it’s pretty funny.”
I found out that Tommy’s father, Jim Fitzgerald, is the fire commissioner for the city. Apparently he was not Roy Fitzgerald and that same evening I found out I was not allowed to vote for Maggie and against Roy until I was “released” to do so. I stumbled outside in a muddled temper. In the orange and gloomy dusk I felt I could have signed my life away to the IRS or some other heartless agency, and I probably did. I needed to get my ID card back, as I had left it up one town to the north. Mostly, I experienced a matchless remorse for the modestly nightmarish scheming world I could never really understand. It had been too long since I arrived, and it was not nearly long enough until I will depart.