The scene: the dining room table at Chez Dilettante, a guarded location somewhere in the northern suburbs. A gathering is taking place among the team members of the Mr. Dilettante's Neighborhood blog, a successful non-profit enterprise that occasionally breaks triple digits on the Sitemeter, but only when one of the bloggers insults either the Minnesota Vikings or songwriter Eric Carmen. A conversation ensues:
Mr. D: Thanks to everyone for coming out this evening.
Fearless Maria: C'mon, Dad. We live here and it's cold outside. Where else were we supposed to go?
Mr. D: Okay, that's a fair point. The reason I've asked all of you to join me this evening is that we have an opportunity to participate in a grand civic endeavor.
Benster: Am I in trouble?
Mr. D: Not so far as I know. Why do you ask?
Benster: Decrepit, I'm 16 years old. Every waking moment could be grounds for my arrest at this point.
Fearless Maria: You sound a little paranoid, Benster. Then again, maybe you have reason to be.
Mr. D: Anyway, as I was saying, we have a chance to participate in an august political tradition. You may have heard that acting Secretary of State For Life Learned Foot has called for a new mayoral election for the MOB.
Fearless Maria: I've heard about that, Dad! It means you get to preside over the MOB as a benevolent despot. And then really old people with marginal social skills make fun of you.
Mr. D: You've been reading ahead, haven't you?
Fearless Maria: I'm not on the honor roll in middle school for nothing, Dad. I pay attention to things.
Benster: I'm in high school so I hang out with a lot of people with marginal social skills. This doesn't sound too hard to me. Do you need any particular credentials?
Mr. D: Well, based on the roster of previous mayors, it doesn't appear that you do.
Fearless Maria: Is it true that becoming mayor of the MOB affects your ability to spell properly? I heard about that Andee Applecowskee guy. I don't want to get in trouble with my fellow citizens I would serve!
Mr. D: I don't think you'll have any trouble with that. In fact, your spelling ability would be a real plus.
Fearless Maria: So, are you going to run, Dad? I know you're pretty power-hungry these days.
Mr. D: No, I don't think so. I'd rather be the power behind the throne.
Benster: Well, maybe I should run. I could use a few meaningless credentials to add to my college applications in a few years. Who are the potential candidates?
Mr. D: I'm pretty sure that most of the nominations thus far aren't serious. Someone nominated a blogger named Karl Bremer who isn't even a member of the MOB.
Fearless Maria: Well, who is he, then?
Mr. D: He's a guy with a mustache who lives in Stillwater and spends a lot of his time writing nasty things about Michele Bachmann.
Benster: Wait, a guy with a mustache who writes nasty things about Michele Bachmann? That sounds like Eric Black.
Mr. D: I could see how you'd make that mistake, Benster. The only difference is that Eric Black combs his hair a little more often.
Fearless Maria: Who cares about either of those guys? Is anyone else running?
Mr. D: It's hard to tell, Maria. The other nominees are a woman named Dog Gone and the intestinal tract of a University of Minnesota professor.
Fearless Maria: Wait, how could the intestinal tract of a professor run for mayor? Wouldn't the rest of him have to run, too?
Mr. D: Presumably, although it's been suggested that the intestinal tract would run as a ticket with Dog Gone.
Benster: Well, Fearless Maria likes dogs a lot. Maybe this Dog Gone would be okay.
Fearless Maria: And Benster likes eating a lot, which usually ends up involving intestines, so maybe this Dog Gone/intestinal tract ticket would work!
Mr. D: I suppose, but I've had the sneaking suspicion that this race needs an actual candidate.
Benster: You're not trying to get me to run for mayor against an intestinal tract, are you Decrepit?
Mr. D: Well...
Fearless Maria: Dad, actually that's kinda gross. I mean, really kinda gross. But then again, if this is just a fake candidate...
Benster: What it sounds like is that this race needs a little bit of HYYYYYYYPPPPPPPE!
Mr. D: Well, it needs something.
Fearless Maria: Maybe it needs some logical style advice and intelligence.
Mr. D: I'm sure of that, Maria. I've seen how some of these people dress and they do look like the road crew for Slade.
Fearless Maria: I dunno, though. I'm still in middle school and I'm not sure that I'm ready for the honor. Have you thought about drafting Uncle Stinger?
Mr. D: I thought about that, but Stinger hasn't written anything for the blog in nearly a year.
Benster: Yeah, but Johnny Roosh hasn't written anything for at least two years and he's been the mayor the whole time. I think Uncle Stinger's work ethic might be comparable.
Fearless Maria: Hey, Dad, if we came to talk here about Mayor of the MOB, and we're thinking about nominating Uncle Stinger, why didn't you invite him over? I feel like I'm missing something here.
Mr. D: Uncle Stinger's kinda busy these days. It really needs to be one of us, I think.
Fearless Maria: What about Mrs. D?
Mr. D: Nominating Mrs. D to be mayor of the MOB might be grounds for a divorce.
Benster: Well, that wouldn't be good. I love Mom and I do need someone to remind me to clean my room.
Fearless Maria: Stop it, stop it! I don't like where this is going! Bring it back to reality, twerps!
Mr. D: I assume you mean, "dear brother and dear father," right?
Fearless Maria: Yes, my dear father. But you have to admit, that was pretty twerpy.
Mr. D: Hard to argue the point, Maria. But anyway, where does that leave us?
Fearless Maria: Well, I guess I could present my credentials. I'm an "A" honor roll student, a member of the Art Club and I received 3rd place in the Barnes and Noble poetry contest last year. And I take pre-algebra, so my financial skills are going to be far superior to any of the other candidates.
Benster: Well, I'm a high school student and noted football prognosticator. I pretty much kick this guy's butt every week with my picks. And considering his blog is supposed to be humorous, I've told a lot more jokes than he has lately. And I've never actually met Sisyphus.
Mr. D: You've never met Sisyphus? That might be enough to clinch it right there. So who should our candidate be?
Fearless Maria: I suppose I could, Dad. But I want to be modest. Maybe you should be it, Dad!
Mr. D: Naah. What about you, Benster?
Benster: Well, I would like to add that meaningless credential. And certainly I should be able to beat out someone's intestinal tract. But I'm afraid it would cut into my NBA 2K11 time too much. I think Fearless Maria should do it, unless you can talk Brad Carlson into the job.
Fearless Maria: I don't think Brad would do it, Benster. He's too serious to do that. Can we nominate Gino, even though he lives in California?
Mr. D: I don't think so.
Fearless Maria: I guess you're right, Dad. He'll have to run for mayor of the COB. And Gino, if you're reading this, make sure to bring some corn.
Mr. D: Well, if Benster won't do it, and Gino can't do it, and the Stinger is hors de combat, that leaves you, Fearless Maria. Can you do the job?
Fearless Maria: All right, Dad. I'll do it. I'll do it for the MOB. I'll do it for the good of mankind! I'll do it for the cause of justice and decency! I'll do it for the dogs! Maybe once I cash my first mayoral paycheck, I can buy my own dog! Yippee doodah hooray!
Mr. D: Okay, it's settled then. Fearless Maria is our candidate. And every candidate needs a theme song:
Fearless Maria: Dad, I don't really like that song. Can I write my own song instead?
Mr. D: Sure, Maria. So your hat is in the ring?
Fearless Maria: I guess so, but don't make me throw my softball hat. That's special to me.
Benster: Sounds good, Maria. Now I have to write an attack ad against that intestinal tract. I'll just pretend it's part of the BCS. Ben out!