Error In Judgement
By Adrian Tullberg
"This is all your fault, Alfred."
The butler gave a tight lipped smile before presenting Clark Kent's coffee. "Your two sugars and skim milk, sir?"
"Thanks ... and just how is this your fault?"
"When the mayoral elections were announced after Master Bruce exposed the prior fellow's ... liberal feathering of his nest, he and I had a discussion as per the differing electoral methods in our countries of birth."
Bruce muttered into his glass of bourbon; only it's pedigree preventing unkind comparison to cleaning fluids.
"Then I mentioned the joke candidate phenomena."
Clark remembered a college tutor's anecdote about something called the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. He also recalled a few incidents in his official capacity as the Planet's Foreign Correspondent and a few by-elections of note. "Those guys in the clown outfits who always stand in the back…?"
"More or less. And his majesty over here thought it was a brilliant idea."
"It would have been a masterstroke." Bruce poured himself another generous bourbon. "A statewide venue for stupid remarks, public drunkenness and an excuse to disappear from public life and lick my wounds for at least a year…"
"So I take it that winning in a landslide wasn't part of your plan?"
The new Mayor of Gotham City leaned back, pinching his nose. "I would have thought the slogan 'Put Him in the Mayor's Mansion and Away From Your Daughter' would be considered a warning."
"According to the exit polls, the middle class thought that was a very good idea, sir."
"The election night party was a complete disaster."
Clark looked up from his PDA. "That's the first time I've ever heard a politician call an event that boosts his approval rating by ten points a disaster."
"The band was supposed to be a bunch of amateurish incompetents. The free beer on tap was supposed to be 'misordered' as alcohol-free."
"If it was any consolation they were surprised about their first ever record deal and their single hitting the top of the charts in same week as well. Making your election night gala their … first ever televised appearance…"
"Then the organisers really did misorder my drinks menu. Instead of alcohol free cat's urine laced with chemicals, they brought..." Bruce took a heavy swig of bourbon, only pausing to refill his glass.
Alfred took up the spiel. "Directly imported ice cold Australian Lager."
An uncomfortable silence reigned until Clark spoke up. "When will you resign?"
"Gotham City Council passed a resolution; no resignations during your first…"
Bruce's face was pressed hard against the desk blotter. "Three year…"
"… three year term. Apparently too many newcomers to the position were running to the hills once Arkham's finest made the odd assassination attempt."
"Get yourself dismissed...?"
Bruce raised his face from the surface of the desk. "I made sure that while I had an unsavory reputation and all the accompanying rumours, I was never implicated in anything illegal. The only thing that would get me out of here would involve a lengthy prison sentence."
"Oh." Clark put away his pre-fabricated interview. "Is there anything I can do...?"
"Yes. You can fly into space..."
"Spin around the Earth at high speed..."
"Ah ... okay..."
"Go back in time..."
"That's a little difficult..."
"And knock me out before Alfred told me his bright idea..."