The Eternal Mayor - Part III

"I got one last thing to say," Bob shouted, quieting the crowd. "These meetings bore me. I ain't coming again unless things start getting slipshod. Come meeting nights, I'll be in my room over at Appleton's Tavern, nursing a bottle or two of bourbon. If any of you fine citizens think someone's lying down on the job, why just come and get me. I'll come straight here, and God help whoever it is I'm looking for."

With that Bob weaved his way out of the Town Hall and back to Appleton's. Motions were quickly passed to expedite Walnutwood's new industry. When it came time for citizens to talk, they for once found their Council quite receptive. Nobody wanted Bob fetched back from Appleton's.

Over the next few months, town government was a marvel of efficiency. Whenever the wheels of government needed a little greasing, a disgruntled citizen simply threatened to "go and fetch Bob." After a while, the threats came less often. In fact, over the next few years, Bob was fetched just twice. In each case, after a fair amount of mayhem, a solution was found to the pressing problem.

As the years passed, Walnutwood became a model town. Taxes stayed low. Business and industry prospered. Unemployment was a rare disease. The citizens of Walnutwood rewarded Bob by re-electing him every four years. Eventually, and with the blessing of his constituency, he stopped campaigning altogether and simply rode the inevitable tidal wave of votes to victory. Bob rarely ventured from Appleton's, though he could occasionally be seen leaving the liquor store with a supply of bourbon. Eventually, he stopped going there as well, instead just ordering bottles from the bar at Appleton's a few times a week. The waiter would leave them outside his door at night, and the empties were left outside his door for the cleaning woman.

At Council meetings, Fred Appleton would air a written list of Bob's concerns. If need be, Fred also jotted down questions for Bob, returning with the Mayor's answers at the next meeting. He would ask, "Should I bring Bob next month?" A resounding "NO!" always came as a shout in unison from the Council.

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