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Dec 19, 2007

I've been dissatisfied for 38 weeks. In :toxx:.


Dec 19, 2007

City Service
Words: 978
Prompt: PEACE PRIZE: Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, LITHUANIA, for demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with an armored tank.

A sound like a dinner fork in a garbage disposal breaks the silence of suburbia’s third hour. Somehow, Tim can sleep through this noise, but not the sheepish knock of his mother at his bedroom door.

“Honey. Honey, wake up. I think the mayor has been drinking again.”

“Drinking mayo? Who?”

“The mayor. I think he’s been drinking again and he’s up to no good.”

Tim was slowly able to distinguish a mechanical whining from the ceiling fan. He bolted out of bed as if it were weaved with snakes and bound toward the front door. According to his eyes, he saw a tank. The kind with treads and a cannon. Unfortunately, his brain was still acclimating to this fact and so, for no reason he could discern, he leapt boxers-clad down the street and towards the armored vehicle. The tank was just under a block away. It wasn’t until he was halfway there that he realized he was actually running toward a possibly fully-armed, military-grade, armored tank. Tim considered the effects that a tank may have upon his meagerly maintained organic body and stopped.

It wasn’t long before his mom was proven right. A hatch on top of the tank popped open and the mayor sloshed out of the top with all of the stability of a charmed snake.

“Oy! Tim tam! Wanna ride to the future?”

“Don’t you have work in the morning? You’d better go home and sober up or we’re going to have another disaster like with the garbage truck donuts contest.”

“No can do. Got imporrent work to do. I was thinking I’d get rid of that uh, warm—what was it—warm globe disease.”

“What does a tank have to do with any of that?”

“Glad you asked Tim tum!”

The horrible whining noise of a misused transmission stopped and the tank hopped into far above first gear. To Tim’s horror, the mayor accidentally ran over some poor sap’s hatchback, flattening it into oblivion. When a second car fell victim to a crushing treatment as the mayor drunkenly bellowed Carry On Wayward Son, Tim started to think this was a bit of environmental consciousness gone too far. As he traced the path of destruction further down the block, he found his own car within its path. He figured he had maybe a poorly mimicked guitar solo and another chorus to either upgrade his insurance policy from PLPD or move his car.

Tim sprinted as fast as he could back to his home. He momentarily mistook the crunch and shatter of another car for a hernia. His cries of, “Keys! Keys!” did not reach through the window that his mom was gawking through, though she was able to see him trip up the porch stairs and knock the wind out of himself. She stepped onto the porch.

“Oh dear. You almost hit your noodle. Just lay on your side.”

“Ees,” he gasped.

“That’s right, take it easy.”

A car four houses down was turned into an ill-placed speedbump. The racket was enough to capture his mom’s attention.

“Oh, well you see what I’ve been talking about? I cannot believe they raised property taxes again with this—“


“I will not take it easy. This is just a bunch of...well it’s a bunch of monkey business is what it is.” She paused, pursed her lips in resolution, and said, “I’m going to go say something,” before marching towards the street.

Tim laid upon the porch in equal parts physical and mental shock. He watched his mother take a solid stance in the center of the street, arms akimbo. Neighbors that had previously been standing with their foreheads pressed into their palms at the sight of their newly modified lowriders were now more interested to see how well this woman dealt with the pressure.


“Mister Mayor! As a citizen of—“



Tim had never heard his mother tell anyone to shut up. It seemed like she had somehow saved up a lifetime of shut ups for a single ultra-potent one. The mayor shut up, but took an obstinate swig of whiskey.

Tim’s mom continued, “Right then. I say that we hold an impromptu town hall meeting right this instant.”

“No no no. This? This is bigger. Bigger than our town. This is ‘bout the whole Earth. It’s outside the town’s jurdisdiction.”

“Exactly. So why are you acting as mayor in this matter?”

“Ah ah ah. I’m not, see?” The mayor pointed at his breast. “No lapel. I’m off durty.”

“Then where are the police!?”

“Traded ‘em.”

“Excuse me? Traded?”

The mayor patted the tank and made a face of smug satisfaction as he swallowed more of his drink.

“Unbelievable. I’ll have you know that I and everyone here pay—“

Tim regained enough of his composure to slink back into the house. He found himself lucky that his mom had managed to create such a diversion because his keys were in the third pair of pants that he checked. He finally made his way back onto the porch and made a plan to casually hop into his car as if he were looking for some documents.

Things had escalated between his mother and the mayor. She was climbing the tank in an effort to confiscate the mayor’s alcohol. The crowd began to cheer on her heroism. Now was the perfect time. Tim ran a bee line for his smoldering pile of wreckage, it was only a matter of—wait, that couldn’t be right. It was just there an instant ago.

Then he realized the ringing in his ears, the smoldering cannon atop the tank, and his mother’s face full of embarrassment. She pulled her arm out of the tank’s cockpit and said, “Oh geeze, I’m sorry Honey.”

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