Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The weight of authority often lays heavy on the Governor, but never so heavy as tonight. Anthony Bergerin is due to be executed in just an hour. The Governor is far from convinced of his guilt but, it being an election year, he is far from sure he can afford to appear soft on crime. A man’s life lies in the balance: Should he stay the execution of Anthony Bergerin?
“I’m so hungry I can’t think,” the Governor says to no one. “Damn this diet, I can’t concentrate with my stomach growling.” So he picks up his phone and calls one of the two speed-dial numbers. “Burger 'n fries; make it quick,” he orders. “Yes Governor, right away,” says the voice on the other end of the line.
“I'll eat first,” the Governor thinks, “and then I’ll decide about the execution.”
Ten minutes. Twenty minutes. The food has not arrived and the execution time is fast approaching. With not a moment to lose, he calls the other number on his speed dial, shouts “Stay the execution!” and collapses in his chair to contemplate the political suicide he’s just committed. His stomach growls.
At the local QuickBurger (motto: “We Deliver”), the late-shift counter-boy puts down the phone, looks at the food order he’s just scribbled, and crumples it. “Another kook call,” he yells to the fry clerk. “’Stay the execution?’ What the hell is that supposed to mean?”