AWAKENINGS

BEN – Why so down in the dumps, Jer?

JERRY – My parents are insisting that I find a job.

BEN – Any luck so far?

JERRY – I check Kijiji every day when I wake up at noon, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of demand for spoken word poets.

BEN – I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you become a city councillor?

JERRY – Just like you, Ben?

BEN – Just like me.

JERRY – Do you really think I have what it takes? I mean look at you, Ben! You’ve got a PhD in Marxist ideology and can read.

BEN – Reading isn’t as important a skill as you’d imagine, Jer. Don’t tell me you honestly believe members of council bother to read all of the stuff they’re supposed to before each meeting?

JERRY – You mean they just wing it?

BEN – And so can you.

JERRY – But if I can barely pay my rent, how can I possibly finance an election campaign?

BEN – I’m sure I can persuade some of the local union bosses to give you a try.

JERRY – You mean the unions will give me free money?

BEN – Not exactly free. But we’ll worry about that later.

JERRY – So how much do you think they’d be willing to donate to my campaign?

BEN – I’m in line to get over ten thousand dollars in union contributions, so I’m sure I can manage to get you an equivalent amount.

JERRY – TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!

BEN – But on top of that you’ll also be eligible for matching donations from the champagne socialists and armchair environmentalists who subscribe to my newsletter.

JERRY – TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!

BEN – You’ll be able to outspend incumbents two to one, and any newcomer ten to one.

JERRY – But what if reporters ask me tough questions?

BEN – Come on, Jer. We are talking about the Times Communist! In any case, I’ll coach you on what to say beforehand.

JERRY – So I won’t have to think?

BEN – I’ll do all your thinking for you.

JERRY – You’re a swell pal, Ben.

BEN – What do you say to a coffee and a muffin at the Cornerstone Cafe to celebrate? I can tell you all about my five-year plan to collectivize the backyard gardens in Fernwood.