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by Harry Houdini Allen Thomas

MagicMayorStep One: Suggest you’ll achieve a seemingly impossible feat, like freeing yourself, with hands cuffed behind your back, from a packing crate submerged under water. getting re-elected despite the continuous exodus of highly talented city staff, the city being sued over revisions to the occupancy code, and the installation of speed bumps downtown, all of which occurred on your watch.

Step Two: Confound the audience by stripping naked and being checked for keys to the cuffs, before climbing into the crate as it hovers over the watery void. claiming such chaos will somehow be “good” for the city in the long run. Be sure to chant the words “economic development” at least 10 or 12 times at every public appearance – even if you yourself have never actually developed anything, other than the illusion that you have.





Step Three: Pause. For a long time. Allow to boil over the audience’s consternation, disbelief and amazement at the escape you are about to undertake. that you would even think about seeking re-election after the damage you have done. This will render them certain you have taken leave of your senses and that re-election is sheer fantasy.

Step Four: Extricate yourself by tricking them. The moment you – and seemingly, your fate – have been sealed in the packing crate by your assistant headstrong approach and boundless hubris, and just before the crate is lowered into the Tar River, election season begins, pull from your anus the key you secreted there to unlock your self-applied handcuffs. some “issue” which, though utterly meaningless in terms of the profound challenges actually facing the city, conjures false patriotism, and, if possible, religious fervor. Make a big show of said “issue” on your Facebook page, local TV, and to anybody else who will listen, thus distracting voters from what really matters – your performance – and to what really doesn’t, in hopes their self-righteous upset secures for you their blind, unfounded support.

“[False] Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Samuel Johnson, April 7, 1775

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