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.