Thursday, April 3, 2014


“You’re on in five minutes Mr. Petrarkis,” said an anxious production assistant.
“Thank you, Peter,” said Josef Petrakis, “But I’m ready anytime.”
“I’m sure you are,” responded Peter.
As the door clicked shut, the elder statesman let out a sigh of relief. He had been in the game a long time, yet he still didn’t quite feel comfortable with all of this new tech. Sure he had been on camera, hundreds, if not thousands of times, and Q & A sessions were familiar grounds for him, but despite this he still felt a sort of disconnect when computers were involved.
Josef’s campaign manager had insisted that a live streaming broadcast would help him garner the younger vote. He wasn’t totally certain, there was a lot he didn’t’ know, but polls were not one of them. And according to the most recent ones, his opponent would overtake him, mostly thanks to securing the votes of the youngest voter demographic by a wide margin.
Absentmindedly, Josef grabbed a small handful of sunflower seeds from the bowl on his desk. Using his waste basket as a spittoon for the discarded shells. As much as he enjoyed the snack, he also found it to be a sort of meditative release. He closed his eyes as he went over the practiced speech again in his head.
As Josef went to spit out the last seed, a knock at the door startled him. Instead of spitting, he swallowed the seed as he inhaled.
Instantly he shot up choking and cough until the stray shell fell limply from his lips. After a few more hefty coughs, he wiped his face and sat back down.
“This blasted new technology crap—who needs it anyway?” Josef started ranting. “I mean, why do I need a machine with bells and whistles just to tell my constitutes, to tell the voters how it is? All I want to do is serve my people to the best of my ability by representing them and their wills fairly. That’s it. No games, no bullshit. IF I could just say that to everyone, I’d be happy as pie.”
Josef Petrarkis sat in silence, lost in his own frustration. He had completely forgotten about the knock at the door until it came again.
“Oh, right. C’mon in,” he said.
It was Peter again.
“Um, Mr. Petrarkis?” Peter started nervously.
“What is it?” Josef asked. And why are you staring at your phone for. That’s kinda rude.”
“Well um two things.”
“Hit me.”
“Well first is . . . the camera feed actually started right before I came to get you before.”
Josef just stared up at the tripod mounted camera in his office. A small red light blinked silently.
“And the second,” Peter continued without waiting for a reply, “Is that the audience loves your fresh and honest approach.”
As the reality sunk in, the edges of Josef’s face went from a slack jaw to a wide grin.
“Are you ready now? We can—” Peter started, but was cut off  as Josef raised his hand.
“No,” he replied, still grinning. “I’ve said all that I need to.”
With that he grabbed a fresh handful of sunflower seeds.
“I do love these things,” Josef said.

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