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Tony Williams makes a recording. We dig up the outtakes.
By now, more than 100,000 Washington households have received Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ taped apology for shoddy snow removal. That’s one-fifth of the way to gold-record status. But the brief, slickly produced recording has left some hard-core fans of the mayor’s work—supporters who remember when Williams was a struggling bureaucrat who had to drag himself to a different community meeting every night, and never would have had the money for a $19,000 citywide voice-mailing—wanting a little more. You know, like back when Bowtie Master Deluxe was keeping it real. Luckily for them, the Washington City Paper has gotten access to a bootleg recording of the entire session. It’s a somewhat garbled tape, featuring the voice of the mayor as well as his producer. But we’ve done enough decoding to bring you Tony Williams—the raw, live, and uncut version:
Producer: Williams recording, Take 1.
Williams: Hello, this is Mayor Tony Williams. My tenure as chief executive has featured an array of service-delivery research projects, including but not limited to the fields of licensing, infrastructure, and sanitation, plus a selection of interagency tool-kitting on an ad hoc yet fiscally responsible basis….
Producer: Yeah, Tony, baby, love the techno-jive, but I think you need to get in touch with your motivation here. Maybe imagine how you felt when you were young and the trash didn’t get picked up.
Williams: Trash delivery is a complex issue involving multidestinational schedule implementation, cost-source analysis, and—
Producer: Um, I see where you’re going with this, but it’s still not the kind of vibe we need to get to. When people hear your voice, they want to know how it feels. How ’bout visualizing the D.C. Council criticizing your work? Start from the top.
Williams: Hello, this is Mayor Tony Williams. I took over this hellhole a year ago, and trying to get you dolts to understand that I possess the One True Way is about as hard as—
Producer: Ah, Tony, now we’re circling in, but we want to stay with a more positive message. Why don’t you try just reading the script?
Williams: Fine [sighing]. Whatever. We have made great strides in the last year…You happy with that? No one else seems to be. Between that creep Catania and that asshole Chavous, I can’t catch a break no matter what I do….
Producer: Yeah, um, same problem there, Tony. Just calm down a bit. Wipe the spittle off the corners of your mouth, have a cold one, and let’s get it on.
Williams: OK, OK. Let’s see…The good news is we have higher expectations for our city. The bad news is we have not done a good job plowing snow, picking up garbage, and cleaning alleys. Last week, Washington Post columnist Colby King almost fell on his butt because our crews never plowed his back alley. I’d better get on it before Colby writes it up! He seems nice enough at first, but he’s just like the rest of ’em. They’re all against me!
Producer: Um, yeah, maybe we should just splice out the Post. Let’s just go into what you’re going to do about it, OK?
Williams: Do about it? Are you nuts? Have you ever tried to dislodge a Supercan from a sheet of ice, Mr. Hotshot Producer? We’d do better just hiring the rats to take care of the garbage for us!…Wait…Strike that….I’ll stick with the script:
As your mayor, I’m calling to tell you we will redouble our efforts. Starting last week, extra crews began cleaning up alleys that are now badly littered with pizza boxes and 40s and whatever else it is that you animals consume…I mean…badly littered with trash….
That’s good, right? Yeah, OK….And from now on, regular trash pickups will be
xProducer: We’d better keep this short, Tony. After all, you’re calling people in the middle of dinner, remember. Just tell them how truly sorry you are.
xWilliams: When we don’t deliver….I mean, if we don’t deliver, I want to hear from you…Hah! About as much as I
want to get a massage from Kathy Patterson….Uh, yeah, cut that, too….Visit our new Web site at www.getafuckinglife.com….uh, washingtondc.com….or call us at
xProducer: Now here’s where we need the big finale….
xWilliams: You want a big finale? Once that 60 Minutes profile shows me walking across the Anacostia, Gore will put me in his cabinet, and I’m outta here!
xWilliams: OK, OK: Take your whining to the press and we’ll remember where you live! No?…Well, gotta go now, folks, have a great dinner! No?…Oh, yeah, the script. Here goes:
We can and will deliver the services you deserve.
Producer: OK, that’s a wrap. Now, Tony, let’s do the east-of-the-river version where you ramp up the folksy affect. —Michael Schaffer