Written By: outlaw4rc
My eyes weren’t ready for Celestia’s gift to attack my rich, blue eyes with such veracity. Neither was my body willing to leave the soft, yet warmth goodness of my plush blanket. Then again, as the Mayor of Ponyville, I had a plateful of important duties, including the one I thought was critical. I had the keys to Town Hall. Somepony’s gotta open it, right?
Tossing away the comforter, I rolled off the bed, only that instead of my tan hoof touching floorboard, I crushed something. Fortunately, it didn’t hurt, but by just rubbing my hoof a few times, I had an idea of what I just destroyed.
“Not my glasses again,” I mumbled.
That was a problem, at least, for a pony that were unprepared. I got my glasses by the gross, and of course, I went to Rich’s Barnyard Bargain for them, as they had the lowest prices, zero. Filthy Rich had given me a mayoral discount although I wasn’t sure why. My assistants had told me it’s because I accidently rubber stamped some documents that allowed him to build a second store without going through the long, and I must add, costly, approval process. I honestly don’t remember doing that, since my stamp can get quite a workout every day. That reminded me, order more rubber stamps next week.
I stumbled around the room, blind as a bat, until I bumped into the box with my free glasses, and put one on. Much better. Then again, ponies have told me they look old-fashioned, but I found them to be stylish. Whatever. Now that I could see, I cantered to my phonograph where I had a stack of classical and smooth jazz records. However, on the top was an album that had dollar signs on it. It was something I got back in Hearts Warming Eve when the Town Hall staff played White Elephant. Apparently, everypony in the room collaborated so that I would get this, but I hadn’t gotten to this until now. Curious, I placed it on the turntable, and moved the needle:
Don't want no lovin'
Don't want no kissin'
Don't want no mare to call me honey
Don't want my name in the hall of fame
Just want a big fat pile of money
It was peppy, but I liked it so far. Therefore, I went into the bathroom for a quick shower.
Give me that all mighty dollar for that lettuce every hollar
Give me bucket full of duckets
Let me walk around and waller
In Mazuma el donaro, wanna be a millionairo
Give me money, money, money, money, money, money!
Now I was really shaking my rump, especially every time the song mentioned money. I won’t deny that my mind often revolves around those glistening golden bits, but there was a good reason. Running Ponyville can get expensive, so I’m always on the watch in terms of either bringing more money in, or spending less. For example, early in my term, I cut the treasurer position, and transferred the duties to me, with an appropriate salary bump.
After turning off the water, I wrapped a towel around me, and stepped out into a warm, misty air. Using my hooves, I polished the mirror, only to find something I loathed seeing every morning, my mane. It was pink, a wretched color that made me a target for teasing when I was a filly back in Baltimare. I fixed that when I dyed my mane gray, and moved to Ponyville. No pony was the wiser, until those Cutie Mark Crusaders caught me in the act, and became headline number one in that schoolyard rag. I did appreciate their apology, but I did make them work on my small flower garden as punishment. Out the bathroom window, I could still see the fruits of their labor, nothing but wilted plants. Admittedly, they fared no better than my attempts, save for the small fire they somehow started. I learned a lesson that day; giving them chores is asking for trouble.
For a few minutes, I squeezed on a bottle, which spewed out a gooey, stinky gray substance. With some firm rubbing, I was ready for the outside world. I left the bathroom, put on my mayoral collar, walked down the stairs, and grabbed my saddleback that had the Town Hall keys inside. Swinging my pink, front door open, I trotted onto a road, immediately running into one of my many duties. I was the most important pony in Ponyville, which made me a celebrity. That’s why I had a small crowd approach me, ready with some questions. First was Mr. Waddle, an older citizen with liver spots on his head, and massive, thick-rimmed glasses.
“Mayor,” he said. “That tall hill over there…” With his hoof, he traced the winding road. “…we really need to put some speed bumps.”
This wasn’t the first time I’ve heard something along those lines. If only that Mare Do Well didn’t mysteriously disappear. She was doing a fine job taking care of any potential mishaps there, and she did it for free too. Speed bumps cost money, but something else didn’t.
“Mr. Waddle,” I placed my hoof on his shoulder. “I promise you that for the next town meeting, I will have a speech about how we should be more careful approaching that hill.”
I gave myself an invisible pat on the back for a job well done. Mr. Waddle was so impressed, he was speechless. Next up came Cheerilee, the cheerful Ponyville teacher. Well, she usually was but today, she was wearing a frown.
“Excuse me, Mayor? Remember when I brought up the leaking roof in the schoolhouse two weeks ago? Well, we have a thunderstorm scheduled soon, and I was hoping if you’ve hired some ponies to fix that yet.”
Drats. I’ve forgotten about that, but I can’t blame myself, though. Cheerilee mentioned that to me right before I went on my vacation. I take one every month, since being mayor can be exhausting work. My brilliant mind conjured up a solution.
I did a small cough. “Yes, well, you don’t need to worry. I’ll hire the same ponies that worked on the Bowling Alley’s roof.”
Another question answered. I was on a roll, or I thought I was until Cheerilee gave me a half-eyed look.
“Didn’t the roof collapse soon after those ponies worked on it?”
I rubbed my jaw, recollecting my claim on how I would launch an investigation into the matter. Unfortunately, I forgot about it when the day after, Twilight Sparkle’s assistant, Spike, grew in size, and rampaged through the town. It was nice of the same construction ponies that they offered to rebuild what that dragon destroyed, and fix everything else at a steep discount. Granted, I’ve received complaints about groaning walls, protruding nails, and lazy paint jobs, but it’s surprising how often the town gets struck by disasters. No need for perfect structures if they’ll be destroyed eventually.
“Yes, but I’m sure that was just an isolated accident,” I said with a cheerful tone. “Next question, please.”
A young, yellow mare wearing a red hat came up. Honestly, I’ve never seen before. From what I could tell, she had a pear as a cutie mark, and had a small change bag around her neck. “Ciao,” she said to me in a radiant accent. “I’m Barlett Pear. I just arrived from Neightaly a few days ago.”
Excellent, I thought. Pinkie Pie wasn’t with me to ask for her name, so I saved myself some embarrassment. I shook my hoof and gave the standard five-minute long Welcome to Ponyville greeting, which covered history, locales, and a short biography about myself, of course. Once I finished with my spiel, I asked if she needed something.
“Yes, my pear stand, the merchants at the Marketplace have told me I need a permit before I can open it, but—”
I already knew where she was going. “Yes, dear. You’ll have to visit Town Hall, and get one from the official there.” Now I was wearing a grin, satisfied that I had completed my immediate responsibilities in an exemplary matter.
“Actually, that’s my problem. The sign says they’re open at eight, but already eight thirty, and they’re still closed.”
Oops. My first failure of the day, and I’m not even at my desk yet. Brushing some sweat off my brow, I stammered, “I see. Well, let’s get that taken care off, shall we?”
I bolted toward Town Hall, with Pear following behind me. With every step, I could hear the jingling keys inside my saddlebag. Good, I thought. At least they were there.
Trotting. I hate trotting.
Here I am pushing my hooves all I could, and yet, that merchant mare is many lengths ahead of me already. What can I say? I was never really an athlete, even when I was a filly. I hated doing all that running in PE so much, I promised myself back then that whatever my job would be had to be something that would keep my mobility at a bare minimum. I certainly didn’t have being a mayor as my top selection, but hey, at least it’s for a small town and not San Braysisco with all those annoying hills. Then again, here I am exerting myself when some assistants could be shuttling me around in a carriage or something. Hmmm, maybe I should bring this up to the council’s attention. You never know if something terrible could happen to me while I’m running, say, if I trip on those upcoming rocks—
Ow. I see stars floating above me, even though the skies clearly tell me it’s morning. I suppose that’s what I get for thinking in motion.
Pear extended her hoof, so I could get back up. How embarrassing, I thought, to have this happen in front of a new Ponyvillian, and a potential voter for my upcoming re-election campaign. Not that anypony else has a chance against me, but I wasn’t going to play it safe. I needed to demonstrate that I was strong, that I could take the punishment. I thanked the mare for the assistance, but I pushed myself up, much to the dismay of my back. It went pop, accompanied by what felt like a two-by-four broken over my spine. Yeah, I definitely need some mayoral transportation now, but as I looked around, there was not even a foal pulling along a little red wagon. How disappointing. Usually, there’s a stallion pulling along a large cart with hay, apples, or whatever other item that somepony needs in bulk. That’s when I remembered I had placed a curfew on when those can be on the roads on this side of town. You can thank the older ponies for that, since they have a bingo parlor around these parts. My acquiescence to their requests for their support had now come to bite me in the caboose.
I had to walk some more. Why me?
Fortunately, it took a measly five minutes before crossing one of the many bridges that led to Ponyville’s centerpiece, Town Hall. It’s tall, majestic, but much to my chagrin, has a big target on its façade every time trouble comes to our fair town. Right now, it’s missing the top portion, lost to a freak accident involving some runaway clouds from Cloudsdale, and there’s a wall with a gaping hole through it, thanks to Pinkie having a Party Cannon malfunction. Good thing it wasn’t on the outside wall, or otherwise, all those ponies waiting by the front door would be inside, hence, defeating the importance of what was inside my saddlebag. However, they didn’t quite appreciate my arrival, as they surrounded me with surly faces, including the Town Hall staff. They let me have it with whatever business they had here that I had delayed due to my late arrival, but thanks to my brilliance, I knew how to quell their tempers.
“Everypony!” I announced with authority. “It appears there has been a… miscommunication! Due to feedback from the community, I had decided last Friday that effective today, Town Hall would open at nine o’clock instead of eight!”
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted my main secretary, Tidy, slapping her face. Oh that Tidy, with those square glasses and auburn mane, she’s a great assistant, but she’s always on me about how to improve myself as Ponyville’s mayor. What can I say? She’s young, and naïve. She should be jotting down notes about getting out of sticky situations, rather than show her disapproval, let alone saying it aloud in front of the denizens.
“My apologies, Madam Mayor,” she told me in that soft, but professional tone, “but I don’t recall you presenting such an initiative to the council before you left early for the day. Even if there was, by talking to the ponyfolk, you might have received incorrect responses.”
The flower shop’s owner, Rose, I believe her name is, apparently was backing up my assistant with a nod. “My store opens at nine, just like many of the shop owners around here, so it’s really convenient to come here in the morning and take care of official business.”
I could hear many others saying the same thing, exactly what I expected. Clearing my throat, “If that is the case, then I am proud to announce that I officially reverse my original decision! Town Hall will open at eight o’clock effective tomorrow!”
Beautiful. I had all of them cheering for me, save for Tidy and my staff. All she did was release a despondent sigh, while the others rolled their eyes in my direction. What they failed to realize was that instead of opening almost an hour late, I was letting everyone inside Town Hall five minutes early. I made sure to point that out as I held the door to everyone that came in, while I shook everypony’s hoof.
Tidy was the last one to come in, her nose buried in those files she carries around all the time. Sometimes, I wonder if she takes this job far too seriously. “Madam Mayor, did you have something documented about this decision you made last Friday? I can’t seem to find it.”
My poor secretary, I got her worked up about something that doesn’t even exist. I gave her a pat in the back, “Not to worry, Tidy,” adding a chuckle at the end. “Just make a note of it or something.”
I proceeded down the many hallways within the Hall, each one with doors with the department’s name adorned by a faux-gold placard. To be honest, I’ve only stepped inside maybe half of those rooms, only because I considered myself a hoofs-off type of mayor. No need to interrupt my staff, and get myself tangled up in the details. If there’s a problem, they could always come to my office, besides the all-important break room, and across from the wall adorned with pictures of Ponyville’s prior mayors. Well, okay, they used to be all there, but like I said earlier, this building is targeted so many times, the portraits keep smashing onto the floor. That’s why only my decadent image is up there now.
Swinging the double-door open, I entered my office, where oak bookcases stood on both sides, containing tomes that I’ve touched maybe twice, once when I first became mayor, and that time where I thought I placed one of my romance novels there by accident. Those, I actually keep in my sturdy, wide desk directly ahead, along with magazines, and whatever other reading material I need to keep me busy whenever there’s a lull. Tidy keeps all the important documents in her area on my right, and believe me, she does not want me to rummage into her space, where she has a photographic memory of where everything is, backed up by some weird filing system that involves tabs with both numbers and letters. She had explained to me many times how it works, but I always forget, so I just rely on her to pull up whatever I need.
Once I took my seat behind my desk, I swiveled to admire the view through my large, paneled window. There was no doubt about it, fall was approaching, as the leaves had given up some of its green for more pleasing reddish hues. While most kept their loyalty to their respective branches, a few chose to go with the wind for a dance in the warm Ponyville skies, sharing secrets that I’ve been trying to listen into since I was just a foal. I love this time of year, so I could only grumble that my agenda for today kept me indoors, at least, that’s how Tidy set it up on the sheet she placed in front of me.
I couldn’t help but pout, “Are you sure this is my schedule?”
“Yes, Madam Mayor,” she responded, unaware of my dour mood.
I wiped my glasses, just in case I had read something wrong. Nope. There it was, my crummy day in the office: Meeting with Legal forty-five to the hour, Zoning at ten, Operations at eleven, Staff Lunch, and my least favorite, budget meeting at two which would eat up the rest of my day. I let gravity take my head down for a taste of wood, something that has become a familiar taste to me.
“Can’t we push any of these off until tomorrow?” I mumbled. “There should be some things I can do outside.”
Right away, my ears picked up a wonderful sound, my secretary rearranging my schedule to something more palatable, so I raised my head with the largest grin on my face. In seconds, she had version two of my Monday’s activities, except it was a Xerox copy of the original, save for the lunch being at a restaurant rather than take-out and a ten-minute break added during the long afternoon.
My head came crashing down again, but I kept my face up this time, so Tidy could see all of my frustrations. “That’s not much better,” I whined. “Isn’t there some ribbon in this town that I can cut?”
Again, that assistant of mine worked her magic in her head. “There is that small recreation center they’re about to open at the edge of town—”
My eyes glittered at the thought of taking my sweet time getting there, and coming back.
“—but that won’t be completed for another two weeks.”
Dammit, Tidy! Why did you bother telling me this in the first place? Sometimes, I think you do this on purpose. “Well, come up with something,” I clamored, banging my hoof on the desk.
She adjusted those thick glasses of her. “Very well, Madam Mayor. In the meantime, do you want me to bring over your daily stack now?”
Ah, the daily stack, a tower full with various documents inscribed in legalese that needs my dutiful review and subsequent approval.
“Yes, of course.”
From out of nowhere, my secretary plopped in front of me a white wall that blocked my view. Who knew that such a small town would generate this much paperwork? I pulled out from one of the side drawers my weapon of choice, a stamper. That’s when my mind kicked in with a helpful ding.
“Tidy?” I beckoned, moving my head around the paper tower. “We’ll need to put in a request for more of these.” I gave her a demonstration on a blank sheet. “This one’s almost out of ink.”
“Oh, dear. That won’t do.” My secretary then trotted toward the door. “Anything else? I’m going to head out and make a supply run right now. I’ll ask the other departments on the way out.”
A cushier chair would be nice, but alas, I already knew the answer to that. “No, Tidy. You run along, and do you what you need to do. I’ll be—”
She didn’t even let me finish my sentence. I was now alone with this administrative chore to do, and believe me, it can be quite a bore. In fact, I’m already yawning just thinking about it. Darn, I should’ve asked Tidy to bring over some coffee from the break room, but I’m too lazy to get up. Oh, well. It’s not that great anyways. The excuse for its quality that I hear is that no one in this building has a cutie mark related to coffee. Pretty lame if you ask me.
I grabbed the first document from the top, and immediately, I gulped. Whoever wrote this must have done so with the attempt to drive me insane, because there was text from the nether regions of the Equestrian dictionary. Normally, I’d ask Tidy for some assistance, but with her gone, I went to the next item from the stack.
“Not again!” I said, slapping my forehead.
I suppose I could’ve stepped outside my office and ask somepony, but I was the Mayor. These were the kind of things I should know, and I was weary of relying on Tidy, or stamping something, so I don’t have to deal with it. No, I’m going to read this thing. With a nearby sprayer, I cleaned up my glasses, before I began reading.
Okay, good so far. It has my name, and of some other ponies I know. Hmm, yes. They’re asking permission for… I paused so I can yawn. …permission for… something… ordinance number… um, do they go… they go up that high? Why we do… we have so many… so many rules?
I could feel my eyelids gaining weight, which isn’t a big surprise. I was never a morning pony, and in my haste to get here, I couldn’t make a stop at that nice little eatery as I do every day. The owner must be wondering why I wasn’t there for my mocha and scrumptious Danish. Yeah, I really need that right about now, but maybe I just lay my head on the desk and rest my eyes a moment. Yes, just one moment. That’s all I need.