1 month ago for day 148, 2020 with 873 words.

The Lobbyist

(LOBBYIST and RICH GUY sit at a table in a private meeting room in the offices of a large lobbying firm. The meeting started about 10 minutes ago and they are past formalities.)

LOBBYIST

So let me get this straight, you want us to lobby…against lobbying?

RICH GUY

Yeah.

LOBBYIST

But you get that we’re a lobbying firm, right?

RICH GUY

Exactly.

LOBBYIST

Exactly what?!

RICH GUY

I’m trying to hire lobbyists.

LOBBYIST

Right, but to lobby against lobbying.

RICH GUY

Yeah so?

LOBBYIST

You get that that’s crazy right?

RICH GUY

What, all of a sudden you’ve developed a conscience?

LOBBYIST

A conscience? No, it’s a matter of self-preservation.

RICH GUY

Self preservation? Then why does your firm work with oil companies? Or that chemical company that dumped 50,000 gallons of toxic sludge into our drinking water? You lobbied for them didn’t you?

LOBBYIST

Oh, what is this, a political statement?

RICH GUY

No, I could give a shit about politics. I’m listening to what you’re saying and it doesn’t make sense to me. Your business is to take money to push people’s political agenda.

LOBBYIST

We make sure people’s interests are appropriately represented, yes.

RICH GUY

Yeah, appropriate to your level of compensation.

LOBBYIST

We are a business.

RICH GUY

Exactly. So all you should care about is your bottom line.

LOBBYIST

And our continued existence.

RICH GUY

Your existence as in your company, yes?

LOBBYIST

Right.

RICH GUY

You don’t really give a shit about lobbying as an industry.

LOBBYIST

Well the industry has to exist for our company to exist.

RICH GUY

Yes, but if your company went poof just as the industry went poof, then there’d be no issue. Right?

LOBBYIST

Why would I let my company go poof?

RICH GUY

That’s a great question. Why would you?

LOBBYIST

To be honest with you, I’m lost. And I’m starting to feel like you’re fuckin’ with me. I took this meeting because I thought you were serious about our services. You have a lot of legitimate interests we’d be excited to represent, but if you don’t want to discuss those...

RICH GUY

Bullshit! Legitimate interests. You took this meeting because I’m fuckin’ rich and that’s the only thing you bothered to research about me. You’d take money from Moms Against Guns one day and the NRA the next. You speak one language and yet you haven’t asked me the one question that matters in all of this?

LOBBYIST

Which is?

RICH GUY

How much money am I gonna to pay you to go fucking poof.

(Silence.)

It’s funny to watch your little rat brain trapped in a cage. Stop for a moment and ask yourself, how much money would it take for you to do what I’m asking.

LOBBYIST

This is not a project we are willing to consider at this...

RICH GUY

Just fucking consider the question! Jesus. For a greedy little morally bankrupt mercenary, you’re being awfully closed-minded about this. How much money would I have to pay you to poof away your company and the whole damn industry?

(Lobbyist stops and thinks for a second.)

Don’t be shy. Use that little MBA of yours.

(Silence.)

LOBBYIST

I guess it would be the expected value of the lifetime of the business. You’d basically be buying our company and shutting it down.

RICH GUY

Poof. That wasn’t so hard was it? I think I even saw your pants twitch a little.

LOBBYIST

But that’d be more than your net worth.

RICH GUY

If we cap it at your expected lifetime running the business, say an early retirement at 60, and exclude any unreasonable bonuses you’d expect to give yourself, it falls $1.2M shy of my net worth, which is plenty for me.

LOBBYIST

You’re basically giving me your fortune to shut down the lobbying industry.

RICH GUY

That’s right. I don’t particularly care for money, actually. And I find a lot of it unwieldy. I like my creature comforts and that’s about it. I want to swing my money ax once and shorten the power sticks of all the other rich assholes ruining our country. I’m not deluded enough to think it’ll fix everything, or even much of anything, but it’d be worth every penny just to watch them squeal about how unfair this is. Watch them quote Franklin or Jefferson as they scramble to preserve their fiefdoms. Who knows? Maybe it’ll inspire some other rich asshole to swing their own ax righteously.

So. You in?

dreamer

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By Mo

I'm working through the David Mamet Masterclass.

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