Mayoral Morbitas

by Stephanie Hammer

We decided to elect our current mayor into office even though (or because) he’s dead. This practice started in Romania and spread like a disease.

“Elect a dead man,” the Romanians told us, “but not a dead woman — too sad.”

But since most of our politicians are men anyhow, that’s not (or very rarely is) our problem. A dead president is better than a live one, and certainly better than a kind of alive one or one that hopes to be alive someday.

No, we are through with the hopes and dreams of the living. After the dead mayor, we elected an entirely dead new senate. Then we elected a dead postmaster, and a dead judge, a dead general, and a dead admiral, a dead bishop and a dead pope. Dead rabbis — there are so many of them that it was hard to settle, so we picked — what else? — a total of 12.

Then we had to have a dead dogcatcher to catch all the dogs, and a dead surgeon general for all the people in the hospitals, and a dead attorney general for all the executed and tortured to the grave.

That only leaves finding the dead teachers to teach the children, because the dead professors — well, we’ve always had those. Dead pacifists, dead war heroes, oh let our country and our world be governed by the demised and the deceased, and they’ll lift their rotten jaws and their teeth of wisdom will just come tumbling out. We’ll collect them and wear them as necklaces, pound our fists on tables, and scream for more freedom, more beer and wine, steak and cake for our dear dead leaders, our putrefying selves.

“Order” shouts our new dead mayor.


Stephanie Hammer's work has appeared in NYCBigCityLit, Square Lake, The Red Rock Review, CRATE, and Hot Metal Bridge, as well as in The Cafe Irreal (her short short, "Meet Mooshie and Smooshie," appeared in Issue #6 and "Rink" appeared in Issue #8). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, and is studying fiction writing with the Whidbey Island MFA program.