To the Editor:
They say that talent imitates but genius steals outright. In my run for the Bayonne School Board I and my cronies will campaign as a slate with a title filched from the recent successful Jersey City trio of candidates who called themselves Children First. Yes, our youngsters will be my number-one priority, just as soon as I take care of jobs for my buddies and cater to what my associates in the teachers’ union want. How can anyone not vote for a team named “Children First?”
Upon election, before all else, I’ll be “humbled.” It’s expected, nay, it’s required of the modern politician. No snooping, bottom-feeding reporter will catch me saying, “I beat those other bastards,” however much I might actually feel that way. But, no te preocupes, after a decent interval in Humbletown, I’ll come raging out of my corner like the young Mike Tyson.
Sadly, the current highbrow school board members have their noses pushed too deeply into The New York Review of Books to have noticed that in Russia a popular grade school math text was pulled because it used illustrations of Walt Disney’s Snow White. After cries of “unpatriotic” the contract for a new textbook went to a crony of Vladimir Putin. Well, two can play that game. With news cameras rolling I and my troopers will storm into the Bayonne High School World Literature class and rip Dostoyevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov” right out of the teacher’s hands. Same goes for Tolstoy and Chekhov. A nice little bonfire on the school lawn will follow. I’m talking evening news, morning papers, international flap, diplomatic incident. I’ll be proud to wear the label of Working-Class Populist and be the man who out-Putined Putin. And if I don’t best here in Bayonne his 80-percent approval rating in Russia, I’ll be much surprised.
As for the scurrilous slander that I am the puppet of a putrid political machine, no way, Jose. Amigo, I myself am the puppeteer. As for “putrid,” I refuse to traffic in cheap shots about personal hygiene. Even Clint Eastwood will admit that his line, “Your mouthwash ain’t makin’ it,” was not a highpoint in his career.
And for another thing, the rent is too damn high.
Last, but very important, I swear to you that I will never bail on Bayonne (unless I win a fat personal injury lawsuit against the city, in which case all bets are off. Short Hills, here I come. Are you kidding me?)
MERRILL C. JACOBSON