Sam’s boy breaks the piggy bank (or did he?)

“The Diner”

A political satire about the antics of Sam and Josh

By Chris Ingram

(7:01 a.m. In the heart of Brandon at “Sam’s Café” in walks Josh, candidate for Hillsborough County Commission)

(Josh sits down and a lovely waitress hands him a menu)

Waitress: Good morning. Can I get you something to drink?

Josh: Yes. I would like some Hi-C.

Waitress: We don’t have Hi-C. How about some orange juice?

Josh: Okay. With a straw please.  And I’d like to go ahead and order.

Waitress: Okay. What would you like?

Josh: I’ll have a Pop-tart and a bowl of Captain Crunch.

Waitress: We don’t have either of those.

Josh: How about Fruity Pebbles?

Waitress: Sorry. No.

Josh: (looking perplexed) Lucky Charms?

Waitress: (getting annoyed) No. Young man, the only cereal we have is Oatmeal.

Josh: YUCKIE! Look, Sam told me to meet him here and that I could have anything I want for breakfast.

Waitress: He probably meant anything off the menu.

Josh: Do you know who I am? I’m Sam’s boy. I’m running for County Commission.

Waitress: Look young fella’, Sam has a lot of “boys” who come in here running for something.  I can’t keep track of them all. How about if I bring you some pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse with little chocolate chips for eyes and a smiley face?

Josh: Perfect! And some whipped cream!

(Nine hours later Sam walks in)

Sam: Joshey-wishey-washey my boy! How are you!

Josh: (excited to see Sam) Uncle Sam! Actually, I am feeling a little stuffed. I ate a bunch of pancakes and then some cake and ice cream for lunch. I think I need to go home and take a nap. Anyhow, I’ve been waiting here for you for a long time so we can plan our next mail piece. I drew up some ideas with the box of crayons the nice waitress lady brought me. (Josh pushes a drawing across the table to Sam – which he ignores).

Sam: (to waitress) Honey bring me a double-espresso and a Red Bull.

Waitress: Yes sir.

Sam: Okay Josh, let’s get down to business. The newspapers are all over you for what you did with the bonus money I gave you the day you qualified for office. You know, I told the press you could’ve bought a new car or some jewelry for your wife with that money. But you just happened to choose to use it for your campaign to defeat Mark Sharpe  – and I also told the press I didn’t put you up to run against him. He’s such a pencil-necked little wonk! And how dare he claim to be a conservative! I define what a conservative is in this county!

Josh: (looking more dumbfounded than ever) But Uncle Sam, you told me that if I bought a new mini-van, or diapers, or baby formula with that money you’d repo my house. And you and I both know the truth about why I’m in this race. You shouldn’t tell lies to the media, it’s not nice.

Sam: (getting mad) Listen here you little Dobie Gillis look-alike, don’t call me Uncle Sam. I’m not your uncle. And furthermore, don’t lecture me about telling lies to the press. You of all people who claimed to have received $40,000 in campaign contributions when almost half of it was from that little present I gave you have no room to talk about “the truth.” What did you think was going to happen, the Trib and the Times were just going to take your word for it? They look at those reports you know! You were supposed to take the money, say you sold your baseball card and Beanie Baby collection, and report it as a loan from yourself to the campaign. And you were most certainly not supposed to call attention to how much money you have in your campaign account by putting out a press release claiming you received forty grand in contributions when more than half of it was “your” own money!

Josh: (looking down) But I thought it would be cool to have my name in the paper.

(Waitress comes back with Sam’s drinks)

Waitress: Here’s your espresso and Red Bull sir.

Sam: (snapping his fingers at the waitress) Hold on a minute doll face. This espresso is not hot enough. Did you measure the temperature before bringing it out?

Waitress: (looking nervous) Yes sir. It was 132.4 degrees just like you like it.

Sam: Well it feels like it’s only 131.9. Go make another one! And get it right this time or you’ll be mopping floors by the end of the day.

Sam: (looking at Josh sternly) You’ve got a lot to learn about politics Joshie. I don’t just hand out thirty grand to some kid and not expect something in return. And what I want in return is only going to happen if you kick Sharpe’s butt!  Do you think whenever some part-time employee leaves one of the companies in my empire that I hand out an 88 percent of annual salary bonus to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who works for me?

Josh: Yes sir.

Sam: Of course I don’t you idiot! Only those who are running for County Commission!

Sam: (taking a deep breath) Listen to me, we’re going to fix this. We’ll send out a mail piece suggesting Mark Sharpe did something really, really, bad and he’ll have to respond to it and the media will focus on that instead of this. And you stop making public appearances and sending out press releases and I will be your spokesman.

Josh: (confused) But won’t that make people realize I’m in your pocket and your boy?

Sam: No. You have such a simple mind. The opposite is true. If they see me as being transparent in working for you, they will know I am as pure as the driven snow. And Sharpe won’t be able to portray me as being your puppeteer.

Josh: (looking really confused) Uncle Sam, err, uh, I mean Mr. Sam, that seems really hard to believe.

Sam: (getting mad) What are you saying? Are you suggesting because I am not as white as you are that I can’t be pure? You’re a bigot!

Josh: (thinking to himself) “Oh man, this is not what I bargained for…”

Sam: (calming himself down) Look kid, just go back to my office and re-boot my computer and make me some coffee.

Josh: Okay sir. Is it alright if I use the X-box afterwards? There’s this new game I want to play.

(Across town at the Sharpe residence)

As he finishes Tweeting about job creation and the latest economics book he just finished reading for fun the night before, Commissioner Sharpe looks at the day’s newspaper stories about Sam and Josh and thinks to himself, “If it smells like a rat. It’s a rat.”

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He currently serves as the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9 in Florida’s largest media market. E-mail him at: [email protected].

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