Z: I can’t believe I missed the deadline to apply for the vacant Santa Barbara City Council seat.
She: You on the city council. There’s a match made in hell.
Z: What do you mean? I’d make an awesome council member. Council meetings would rock. The people would love me.
She: The people would hate you. Have you ever been to a council meeting?
Z: No. But I’ve been to meetings. I’m fun in meetings.
She: Council meetings would drive you crazy. People would say things that you thought were stupid, and then you would say, “That’s stupid.”
She: What part of being politic in the word “politics” do you not understand?
Z: That’s a stupid thing to say.
She: Here’s my case. Here it is resting.
Z: I’m very politic. Once, I even complimented your mother on something she was wearing.
She: Saying, “Those aren’t ugly shoes” is not a compliment.
Z: I also have a long and illustrious career in public office.
She: Being student body president at La Colina Junior High School hardly qualifies. And I’m guessing that you were much nicer when you were a ninth-grader.
Z: So now I’ve toughened up, and I’m ready for the rough-and-tumble world of Santa Barbara politics.
She: You have no idea what it’s like. Even I would make a much better council member than you.
Z: Sure. If being on city council meant handwriting lots of thank-you notes, then you could even be the mayor.
She: I’ve been to council meetings. I understand most of the issues. Plus, as a journalist I’m trained to listen to all sides of a story and write about it in a neutral fashion.
Z: Blah blah blah. A vote for Leslie is a vote for the Commie-baby-killers.
She: I hear the point that you’re trying to make, but that’s not very nice.
Z: See? You can’t be nice if you’re going to be a politician, so I’m totally ready for politics. Besides, this would have been the perfect election for me.
She: There is no election.
Z: Exactly. You fill out a form, you give a four-minute speech, and that’s it — boom — $500,000 a year part-time job. That pretty much describes my dream job application process
She: It does have a certain appeal.
Z: All you have to do is convince six sitting council members — half or whom lean left and half of whom lean right and are horribly divided — that you’re the perfect candidate who will vote with each and every one of them on all the issues.
She: And what’s your brilliant, politic way of convincing them all of that?
Z: Backroom bribes.
She: With what?
Z: I don’t know. Candy. Booze. Handwritten thank-you notes from my wife. I know how to play the game.
She: Yes. If the game is Yahtzee.
Z: Or I could steal your idea, actually listen to them, and then say the same thing right back to them. Politicians love to hear their own ideas repeated.
She: You’re not as big a rube as I thought.
Z: I do think they’re going about it all wrong, though. With a little over 273 applicants, tomorrow night’s meeting is going to take forever.
She: What’s your brilliant suggestion?
Z: Cage match. 273 applicants for city council enter: One applicant leaves.
She: We could put it on pay-per-view and make some extra revenue for the city.
Z: I’ve got a great idea. Why don’t we put in on pay-per-view and make some extra revenue for the city?
She: You’ve got a great idea?
Z: Vote for Zak!
She: Yes, dear.
— Share your take on the city council race with She and Z by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.