Burgin planning election-night party at Chuck-e-Cheese

The Diner, Part II

A political satire about the antics of Sam and Josh

By Chris Ingram

(5:12 p.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)

Josh: Good afternoon, I’m Josh, I’m meeting Sam at 1:00 p.m.

Waitress: (looking at her watch) It’s 5:15.

Josh: I know. But Sam doesn’t really respect my time, and he usually shows up really late.

Waitress: (nodding in understanding) Okay honey, what would you like today?

Josh: Hamburger Helper and some French fries please!

Waitress: (rolling her eyes) Oh, I remember you. You’re the kid running for Mayor or something, right?

Commission candidate Josh Burgin

Josh: (smiling proudly) Actually miss, I am running for Hillsborough County Commission district 7, political advertisement paid for and approved by Sam Rashid. But I do think running for County Mayor will be in my cards.

Waitress: Sam is opposed to the County Mayor initiative. And we don’t serve Hamburger Helper here. This is the finest diner, I mean “bistro” in Brandon. Closest thing we’ve got to Hamburger Helper is a patty melt.

Josh: That would be awesome! Can you like put extra cheese on it? I’d also like a glass of chocolate milk with that.

Waitress: (walking away laughing to herself) You got it kid. I’ll bring you some crayons and a menu you can draw on too.

(A few hours later Sam walks in)

Sam: (looking angry) The newspapers are all over us for what they are suggesting is my questionable spending on your behalf and the campaign contributions my nineteen companies made to you. Don’t they know laws are made to be broken? And haven’t you done anything to raise money from anyone else?

Josh: I was going to like have a lemonade stand yesterday but it was raining, so I just planned my victory party instead. I’m like thinking we could rent a bounce house and serve hot dogs and snow cones or maybe just have it at Chuck-e-cheese – they have like the coolest games there.

Sam: Chuck-e-cheese! What are you an idiot?

Josh: No sir. I was home schooled and am very smart. Renting a bounce house is fine with me if you don’t like Chuck-e (Sam interrupts)

Sam: (getting angrier) There won’t be a victory party if we don’t get the press off this story! They’re all over the fact that I gave you thirty grand in “severance” money, and now they’re also focusing on the TV ad I helped fund through Guetzloe’s group.

Josh: (smiling) Oh yeah, I saw that when I was watching Nickelodeon last night. Don’t tell my mom, but I was watching Sponge Bob when it came on. Sponge Bob was like doing some silly stuff! He had this puppet and he was like pulling its strings… oh never mind. Then the ad came on talking about Mark Sharpe and it ended with that John Kerry guy. It was like confusing because it didn’t make any sense for a big government liberal to be in an ad with Mark Sharpe. But I do like John Kerry ‘cause he’s married to that lady Heinz who inherited the ketchup company when her first husband died. I LOVE ketchup!

Sam: You really are an idiot, but maybe not as much as Buddy Johnson was.

Josh: Oh man, Buddy Johnson, he is so cool! I was thinking he might come to the victory party and dress up as a clown and make animal balloons.

Sam: (under his breath) Well that’s certainly something he’s qualified to do.