With all the turmoil afoot in Sitwell, Mayor Dufresne was doing what any good public servant would do – figure out away to make more money. His Honor was up, bright and early on his car lot, getting prepped by a production crew he hired for his latest local television commercial.
“What do you suppose happened at the college last night, Mayor?” a makeup artist asked as he applied some rouge to the Mayor’s flabby cheeks.
“Oh, hell if I know,” the Mayor said. “These goddamn millennials, always with their drugs and their drinking, their sex and their social media. Rotting their brands instead of serving their community. Why, it’s enough to make a bonafide public servant like myself sick, but I carry on because I know that’s what the good lord would want me to do.”
The makeup artist rested his hand on the Mayor’s shoulder. “You’re very brave.”
“I know,” the Mayor said.
Carl, the Mayor’s top seller, walked on over. Carl was a good enough looking fellow, save for his wall-eye. At any given moment, it was hard to tell where exactly Carl was looking at.
“Just sold another one, boss,” Carl said.
“Hot damn,” the Mayor said as he slapped his knee. “Who’s the lucky sucker…er, I mean, customer?”
“Edna Dinkus,” Carl said.
“That old battle axe?” the Mayor said. “Shee-it. I’ve been barking up that tree for months, but that old dog wouldn’t hunt. How’d you seal the deal?”
“She wanted a car with less than a hundred thousand miles,” Carl said.
“Yeah,” the Mayor said. “Well, like I told her, I want to be the King of Siam and have throngs of bodacious babes tickling my nut sack but wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up first.”
Carl had long learned to not try to decipher the Mayor’s strange sayings or “Mayorisms” as they were known about town. “I let her test drive an old Caddy. She liked it, but wanted one with less wear and tear. So I took it around back, cranked the odometer back to a thousand, told her it was a different that was only owned by a little old lady who only drove it to church and bingo! Sold!”
The Mayor slapped Carl on the back. “Aww, atta boy, Carl. Atta boy. You are the son I wish I had.”
“Thanks Boss,” Carl said. “That sure does mean a lot, coming from a pillar of the community like you.”
“Don’t mention, my boy,” the Mayor said. “Speaking of sons, where’s the one I wish I never had?”
“Buford?” Carl asked. “He’s holed up in his office.”
The makeup artist finished and removed the white paper smock from the Mayor’s chest. The Mayor picked up a martini glass and a lit cigar, both of which had been resting on a nearby stool. Together, Carl and the Mayor walked over to the middle of the lot, where a hole slew of video cameras had been set up.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with that boy,” the Mayor said.
“Aww,” Carl said. “Don’t be too hard on him, Boss. He’s just adjusting to his new position.”
“New position?” the Mayor said. “Boy’s been here for three goddamn years and hasn’t made a single sale. I have half a mind to have him tested. No one way of my golden sperms could have produced a boy who can’t make a sale. Hell, I could sell an outhouse to a man without an asshole but that boy couldn’t even sell penicillin to a discount prostitute.”
“He’ll figure it out one day, Boss,” Carl said. “Growing pains, you know.”
“Growing pains?” the Mayor said. “Shee-it. Boy’s nearly thirty years old and as far as I know the only pussy he’s touched is the one that belonged to his Momma when the doctor yanked him out of it.”
Carl snickered. “That’s a good one, Boss.”
The director of the commercial, a young man with a backwards baseball cap on, called out to the star. “We’re going to roll in five minutes, Beau!”
“That’s good,” the Mayor said. “Let’s get this show on the road. Time is money, you know.”
The Mayor took a sip of his martini, then a puff of his cigar. He looked around the lot. Juggling clowns were entertaining families. Strippers turned part-time models were striking seductive poses by cars as crusty old perverted men stopped to oggle. Lot workers passed out cotton candy and popcorn. Kids went nuts in bouncy houses.
The Mayor shook his head. “I’ve told that boy time and time again, ‘All this will one day be yours.’ And it just doesn’t get through to his pea brain.”
“Some people just don’t appreciate what they got, Boss,” Carl said.
The Mayor stared at Carl’s lazy eye. The old man moved to the left, then to the right. “Carl, where the hell are you looking?”
“At you, Boss,” Carl said.
The Mayor looked over to a nearby El Camino, where a model was standing.
“Are you looking at me or that model’s ass?” the Mayor asked.
Carl blushed. “Both.”
“Shee-it,” the Mayor said. “If that isn’t a super power.”
“It comes in handy,” Carl said.
“Yeah,” the Mayor said. “Still, it freaks the bejesus out of me. How many times do I have to tell you to wear a pair of sunglasses in my presence?”
“I forgot, Boss,” Carl said.
“Stop forgetting,” the Mayor said as he scratched his chubby gut. “I need my people to look presentable, you hear?”
“I hear, Boss,” Carl said.
The Mayor sipped his martini.
“Two minutes, Beau!” the director shouted.
“Damn it!” the Mayor shouted at the director. “You don’t need to count down like this is some kind of fancy newfangled nuclear missile launch, son! Just tell me when you’re ready to shoot!”
“OK, Beau,” the director said.
The Mayor used the sleeve of his white suit to wipe the sweat off his brow. “Goddamn it. I live a burdensome life, let me tell you. I gotta do everything around here. If only that useless, good-for-nothing son of mine would step up to the plate once in awhile, I could enjoy my golden years before I shuffle off this mortal coil.”
“I’m sorry, Boss,” Carl said.
“Not your fault, Carl,” the Mayor said. “You’re the wind beneath my wings and the apple in my dumpling. I don’t know what I’d do without you. But that son of mine? Shee-it. When I was his age, I was broker than a train hopping hobo. I didn’t have more than two pennies to rub together but through strength and hard work and determination, I became a great success. My Daddy didn’t have a pot to piss in to leave me. If my Daddy had left me a classy operation like this, I’d have jerked him off on command and been happy to do it.”
“I’m sure it will all work out someday, Boss,” Carl said.
“I hope so,” the Mayor said. “You’re a good boy, Carl. I don’t say that enough.”
“Thanks, Boss,” Carl said. “You know, I didn’t see my Daddy growing up all that much, so sometimes I look at you like you’re my…”
The director shouted, “Action!”
The Mayor pushed Carl away. “Get the hell outta my frame, ya’ googly-eyed, monster!”
The illustrious car salesman composed himself. He contorted his ugly face to form a wide-grin, right into the camera.
“Hooo, dawgies!” the Mayor said. “How y’all doin’ out there in TV land? Mayor Beaumont Dufresne of Beaumont Dufresne’s Slightly Used Car Emporium here. You know, people say my cars are slightly used, but I like to say they’re previously loved. Every car on my lot was treated with a gentle touch by their previous owners, the kind of gentle touch that you only see in one of them fancy French romance films.”
The Mayor stepped in front of an extremely old beige sedan. “Take this beauty here. Owned by a shut-in who never even drove it. Why, this baby is in such tip top shape that…
Whack! The Mayor slapped the hood of the car. The front bumper instantly fell and clattered to the ground.
The Mayor was furious. He looked around. “Who the hell put that car out here?”
The director waved his hand. “Keep going! We’ll fix it in post!”
The Mayor composed himself and returned his gaze to the camera. “Boy, it’s a hot Florida summer, folks. Hell, I just looked at a thermometer and it told me that it’s hotter outside than Scarlett Johansson’s behind. You know what y’all should do on a hot day like this? Come on down to Beaumont Dufresne’s Slightly Used Car Emporium. Have yourself a nice, cool glass of lemonade and talk to one of my highly qualified, intensely trained salesmen. Each one is guaranteed to make you a deal that’s right for you. No pressure. No gimmicks. Just straight up southern hospitality with a smile.”
Just off to the Mayor’s left, a model dumped a dab of white powder onto the back of her hand and sniffed it. The Mayor glared at her. She looked around with a surprised look on her face.
“Oh,” the model said. “Are we still rolling?”
“Post!” the director shouted. “We’ll fix it in post!”
“I’m fixin’ to post my foot up all your asses!” the Mayor shouted.
“You’re doing great, Beau,” the director said. “Keep going.”
The Mayor composed himself again. “Here at Beaumont Dufresne’s Slightly Used Car Emporium, we provide service with a smile and we aim to please. Why, if you’re not happy with your experience in the slightest way, I want you to bend my ear about it and we’ll get you fixed up in two shakes of a dog’s leg.”
The Mayor climbed behind the wheel of a used convertible. The top was down. The Mayor tipped his cowboy hat at the camera.
“Life is short, folks,” the Mayor said. “And you deserve to look good. Hell, even the ugliest ignoramus will look like a Hollywood star behind the wheel of this fabulous…”
The Mayor turned the key. The engine stalled.
“…behind this fabulous….”
The Mayor turned the key. The engine stalled again.
“I say, even the ugliest ignoramus will look like a Hollywood star behind the wheel of this fabulous…”
The Mayor turned the key a third time. Kaboom! The engine exploded. The hood flew twenty feet into the air before it crashed on top of one of the bouncy tents, causing the air to rush out of it. Lot workers ran over in a desperate attempt to save all the children inside. Flames and smoke chugged out of the engine.
“I can’t work like this,” the Mayor said as he hopped out of the front seat. He started walking towards the lot’s main office building.
“Come on, Beau!” the director said. “We’ll fix it in post!”
“You can kiss my cotton pickin’ ass in post, son,” the Mayor said as he gulped the last drop out of his martini glass. “I need a refill.”