No One Ever Talks About the Frontlash

(As opposed to the backlash.)

Indeed, indeed, indeed. The Hungarian Prime Minister of Uruguay (long story) sped along on his moped. Nothing had been the same since the Tea Kettle Incident of ’27. Even now, the sight of tea kettles left him in a cold sweat. Thankfully, he thought without words, he had his moped, his delicious pink moped, the solace of his days and nights, the sole comfort of his stultifying days, his terrifying nights. Heavy lies the head that wears the pinstripe suit or something.

In some past or future time, he murmured without speaking, he might have been a baker or a shoemaker, some kind of a woodworker or a sculptor. It almost didn’t matter what.

He’d been elected seven times to his position, yet, no matter what he did, he couldn’t get unelected. In the last election but two, he’d tried to conceive of some way to run against himself so that he’d lose no matter what. But no matter how he sliced it, there he was, Prime Minister. He’d scoured all the land of Uruguay for anyone, everyone more qualified, less corrupt, more thoughtful than he, but they’d all politely declined.

In a fit of universal sanity, they’d all turned down the possibility for nigh on supreme and ultimate power. An exaggeration, sure, but one which he’d been sure would lure some power-hungry dog-catcher or neighborhood busybody. No dice.

The Prime Minister got the distinct impression, and this was the most infuriating thing of all, that they all pitied him. That those kind old women who pressed warm pastries and hot tea into his hands, who knitted him scarfs out of, I don’t know, some kind of llama wool or something, that they did so not out of a sense of patriotism or duty, but because he reminded him of that time their son or daughter called home, homesick and weeping. Even the moping, sullen teenagers, in their derelict shades and second-hand finery, didn’t ignore him, their laughter chasing after him as he sped by. (Really, now? “Sped”?)

It was Wednesday, miercoles, if you will, when the Prime Minister slowly came to a stop, stepped off his moped, laid facedown in the grass, and wept.

He would never not be Prime Minister, you see. Not ever ever ever.

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