Stone The Crows

One of life's little diversions is rugby. And of those diversions, the biggest had become the annual battle of the brave when Ireland affronted France. Ever since I had been in Gensdouce we had celebrated the occasion by throwing a big party at Jean's pub, ostensibly to celebrate Irish-French friendship. I suppose you could say the fact that we were still friends after the match, whatever the result, was justification enough for our optimism. Anyway, this year was to be different. This year the match was being played in Paris and it was to be the tournament opener. Add to that the fact that Ireland had beaten France in a thrilling match in Dublin, before going on to share the championship and the rivalry is perfect. I just knew I had to get tickets for this year's match. How I got hold of them, is best left unsaid. I might want to try again next year. Suffice to say as I got together with Jean, Guillaume and a few of our allies on the eve of the match, I was in a buoyant mood. We needed to discuss who to put forward as a candidate for the forthcoming elections, and I was willing to back Guillaume to the hilt. He was the only one with the necessary experience and knowledge of public life to make any sort of impression in the elections. Or, so I thought. But then events overtook me.

'Simon, I'm afraid we have some bad news for you.'

It wasn't so much the words as the tone in which they were said that startled me. Guillaume didn't even look me in the eyes.

'We don't really want to interfere in your private life, but I'm afraid we're going to have to ask you to forego your weekend rugby outing.' He paused. Then he did look me in the eyes. 'We can't have a mayoral candidate going up to Paris to support anyone other than the French team. As I suppose you're not willing to change your allegiance in this, admittedly, trivial matter, we shall have to ask you not to go.'

How relieved I was. Guillaume had obviously got hold of the wrong end of the stick. He thought I was going to be the candidate. Then I saw four pairs of eyes staring at me and I froze. It took a strong double whisky to bring me back to the world of the living.

'You see, Simon,' Guilluame was explaining, 'Demille is a sly old fox. There's no way we're going to beat him on his own ground. If we're to have any chance whatsoever, we need something other than intellectual arguments and tedious debates. We've got to have someone who speaks with his heart, who connects to the hearts of the voters; someone with charisma and passion. That someone is you.'

'But I'm not even French! That callous devil will make mincemeat of me over that.'

'You know, I'm not sure he will. Demille has gotten himself into some trouble with questions like this. He'll not want risk another minefield. I suspect he'll be perfectly calm and courteous over the question of your origins. And as you know, the new rules not only allow you to vote in municipal elections, they also allow you to stand as a candidate. You're inexperienced, that's true, but you'll have a good team to back you up and if you win, myself and my colleagues will give you all the help we can in running the town hall. They're about as fed up of Demille as we are. So what do you say?'

'I'm not sure, I know what to say. If it's about the match you're worrying, that's no problem. But I think I need time to think it over. And I'd like to talk to Morgana about this. She hasn't the faintest notion...

'Right!' replied Guillaume, suppressing a smile which left me wondering. We'll expect your answer tomorrow at the latest. And I need not add that we're all counting on you.'

Unusually, Morgana was waiting up for me when I got back.

'Well, what did they decide?' she asked eagerly.

'Well, umm I'm not quite sure how to tell you this.'

'You mean they have asked you!' she cried out clasping her hands and bouncing up and down like an overexcited six year old.'

'How... how on earth...'

'You naive, little child. You really didn't know a thing. The whole village is talking about you. They're all hoping you'll stand. You really didn't see it coming.'

'I haven't yet said yes.'

'Then you're going to get on that phone and accept at once.'

'No! Before I do that I'm going to kiss you. After all, if I'm to be the mayor, persistent obedience is to be your duty from now on.'

And I never did make that phone call. At least, not until the next day. let's just say that we spend the rest of the evening proving the old adage about power being the ultimate aphrodisiac.


Ah-HA. I thought as much. A great turn to the story.

25 February 2009 at 14:46  

25 February 2009 at 17:48  

Love before duty

25 February 2009 at 23:00  


Let me go home and tell my sweetie to run for office and I will of course tell him I eager I am to perform my duties.

Loved this. Thank you.

26 February 2009 at 09:41  

Nothing like a little pre-election, pre-everything celebration!

27 February 2009 at 06:56  

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