At first I thought running a self-financed campaign (one hundred and eight dollars so far) for governor under the Flatlander ticket would be easy.
No special interests to pander to and no wasted time talking to and shaking hands with boring people, who I would normally go out of my way to ignore, just because they have a few extra bucks.
Still, the political life can throw a lot of curveballs and when I realized that a couple of dozen bumper stickers alone would break the bank, I knew I needed more cash.
I recently took on my old friend Vinnie as campaign manager/fundraising coordinator. He was great at managing and raising funds back in Brooklyn back in the 1970s before he came to New Hampshire under the witness prot….uh…the…uh…before he moved here.
Today is far removed from the old, very successful methods he used to employ in Brooklyn to get people to give him the money he was owed and he is now trying to figure out ways to get me some money using more traditional methods. He has recently scheduled a few unique fundraising events where I will have to, unfortunately, engage in a lot of boring small talk and pound the flesh (that’s political speak for shaking hands).
The first event we have planned is coming up soon this spring. Since it was such a warm and dry winter and we probably won’t have much of a mud season, Vinnie has planned the “mudslinging dinner.”
At this event, which will cost about one hundred dollars a plate (silverware, napkins and food included), I will, after dinner, make a speech and do my best to offend every other candidate running for governor.
Right now Vinnie is working very hard gathering as much dirt on every single thing that each candidate has done since birth that will bring their character and reputation into question. (He has a very unique way of getting people to talk.)
Which candidate once shouted “here” to cover for a friend during gym class roll call? Which one once used a phony ID to buy beer when they were underage? We will find out these and many more and we will expose them all at the “mudslinging dinner.”
Next we are planning a summertime “Political Roundtable Pontoon Cruise.” This will be a Pontoon boat ride around Lake Winnipesaukee offered to anyone willing to shell out three hundred bucks (Vinnie “guarantees” me that the boat will be filled. I don’t ask questions). After a few snacks and a complimentary glass of white wine served in a paper cup, I will ramble on for about an hour giving incoherent solutions to boring problems that everyone on board will know are things I can really do nothing about as governor.
After an hour of rambling is over, Vinnie will get up and offer to drop off anyone at shore who ponies up another two hundred bucks, otherwise they will be obligated to stay on the boat for another two hours. (Vinnie will make it clear that people who don’t cough up the extra cash shouldn’t even think about trying to get off the boat.)
Vinnie is also trying to organize a Bean Hole Bean supper where anyone can attend for five dollars. Vinnie explained to me that it won’t bring in much money but he really just wants to dig the hole that the beans are going to be cooked in.
“I like to keep in practice,” he told me.
I don’t dare question his motives.
Of course, Vinnie also has some private fundraising going on as he has tracked down a few of his old friends from the old Brooklyn neighborhood who he thinks he has recognized around town. It seems they still owe him a few bucks and he will be making some visits to them on his own to persuade them to donate.
These and many other “Flatlander For Governor” fundraisers are in the works. If you’d like more details on when and where these events are going to take place you can contact me directly.
Don’t go looking for Vinnie, he likes to keep a low profile, if you know what I mean!
Brendan Smith is the author of “The Flatlander Chronicles” and “The Best OF A F.O.O.L. In New Hampshire” Autographed copies are for sale at www.BrendanTSmith.com