Deep inside The Blade building, a phone rings ...
“Thank you for calling the classified advertising department. How may I help you?”
“I need to place a help-wanted ad, please.”
“Certainly, sir. And your name?”
“Patrick Kriner. K-r-i-n-e-r.”
“OK, Mr. Kriner. And are you the person who should receive the bill?”
“Me? Me, personally? Oh, heck no! No, this bill should go straight to the headquarters of the Lucas County Republican Party.”
“Excuse me, but did you say the Republican party?”
“Yeah, that's right.”
“Gosh, I didn't realize there was still a Republican Party here in town! I thought it disbanded or evaporated or something.”
“Yeah, I get that from a lot of people, since I'm the party chairman and all. But rest assured, we Republicans are still alive and waltzing!”
“So, you say the bill should go to party headquarters? Forgive me for asking, sir, but aren't Lucas County Republicans the same folks who once had a hard time scraping together enough money for office space? I only remember because it seemed so uncharacteristic for Republicans to be the ones throwing rent parties.”
“Uh, well, er - look, I know it might seem odd for the party of the ruling class to not always have the beefiest bank balance, but it's just a cash-flow thing. We'll pay!”
“Very good, then, sir. And your help-wanted ad? For Republicans, I assume you want it to appear under the `managerial' category?”
“Probably. But what are my other choices?”
“Well, you could put a help-wanted ad under `trades,' or `clerical/secretarial,' or maybe `automotive,' or even `accounting/finance' or `medical.'”
“Wow, now I'm more confused than ever! The person we're looking for would be doing all those things and much more!”
“Perhaps, sir, if you explain what post you're looking to fill, I could help you pick the right category.”
“OK. I'm not above admitting that we could use the help. Actually, we're advertising for a mayoral candidate.”
“Ohhh! Hey, come to think of it, I do recall reading something about the dearth of GOP prospects for city hall. So it's come to this, eh?”
“Afraid so. Of course, the upcoming salary increase for the mayor's job ought to lure someone - anyone! - but the truth is, we're still having a rough time dredging up a candidate. In our circles, $136,000 a year is pretty much imported-beer money.”
“Hmm. I see. Despite the fact that I'm having an increasingly hard time relating to your problem, sir, may I suggest the following classified ad?”
Help Wanted: Seeking self-starter for fast-paced office. Should be Toledoan (or willing to relocate) who likes to meet 'n' greet locals at neighborhood festivals. Firm handshake required. Should be articulate, and enjoy spirited (and televised) debates. Must charm significant percentage of registered voters and even higher percentage of fat-cat donors. Big opportunities for advancement! Huge corner office! Free leased Jeep Liberty! Demonstrated ability to negotiate with large corporations a plus. Past corporate board affiliations an even bigger plus. Must be willing to work nights, weekends. Big salary increase expected soon. Apply in person ASAP at Lucas County Republican Party headquarters. Serious inquiries only.
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