I was eying the goods at a local mall recently when I glanced in the window of a high-end men's clothing store. To my surprise there stood Mulenga Harangua, my conspiracy theory-believing, gossip-mongering pal, dressed in a suit while perusing the jewelry case. I was shocked. Mulenga favors giant, baggy T-shirts that tout whatever paranoid cause he's supporting at a given time. When he needs to spruce up a bit he favors dashikis.
Curious as to what brought on this newfound sartorial splendor, I went inside and greeted him. "Mulenga why are you all suited up like that? I thought you never dressed in slave master, capitalist oppressor clothing. Hey, you're even choked up with a tie. I don't think I've ever seen you in one of those."
He barely acknowledged me as he stared at a pair of bejeweled cuff links. I nearly fell over when I looked at the price tag that accompanied them: $495. I didn't think that Mulenga had seen $495 at one time since I'd known him.
"Mulenga, you got that kind of money for cuff links? I mean, there are other things you could spend it on, like rent or groceries."
He turned to me displaying a vest that matched his suit. "Why worry about inconsequential details. The city, the schools, they all run on financial deficits. Money doesn't matter. You have to dress the part if you're going to be a bigwig sexy Detroit man."
"Bigwig sexy Detroit man?"
"I'm dressing for the job I want, not the one I have."
"But you don't have any job."
Mulenga tapped his head with a finger. "That's going to change soon. You have to imagine, visualize. I can just see myself in a big office, with a big desk and underlings at my beck and call. Then I'll get all the women I want. I'm using a data-driven approach to all this."
"Don't you pay attention to what's going on? Can't you see that being a bigwig sexy Detroit man gets you access to all the best women? Here's the data. Check out Warren Evans. He got to be chief of police, and look at the big, fine, sexy woman he got with. She wasn't messing with just any slob off the street. Evans is a bigwig."
"Evans was a bigwig, and she is part of the reason he was forced out of his job. She was his subordinate at the cop shop. That's a very tricky situation."
"It was a trick bag all right. Nefarious forces were out to get the brother and just made up reason after reason to hound him out of office. He didn't break any rule going out with her. And, by the way, he may be out of a job but he still has her."
"So, does that mean you're getting rid of your girlfriend who lives with you and pays all the bills?"
"I can handle that." Mulenga brushed his lapels as though the idea of having trouble with his girlfriend was a little dust.
"Look at Sam Riddle. Bigwig sexy Detroit man like that got caught with a side woman in his girlfriend's bed and still kept her in love with him. That's the power of being a bigwig sexy Detroit man. They got the concentrated Detroit juice. That's why the women find them so sexy. They got that black on black in black juice you can only get from being at the nexus of the blackest city in America. Shoot, Mary Waters defied a court order so she could be with Sam even after he pulled a gun on her. You can't beat that.
"Look at all the women Kwame Kilpatrick had — his wife, his chief of staff, the federal overseer for the police department. Who knows how many others? I heard there was a woman who came out to greet him one night wearing nothing but a mink coat and high heels. They had to lock him up to get him away from the women. And even that didn't work. I can't believe they're trying to get him in trouble for touching his wife. He's so sexy, she got to get to him no matter where he's at. Kwame is legendary among women. Even Tiger Woods couldn't pull off having all those affairs and keeping his wife. Tiger's wife came after him with a golf club. Carlita never did that. She might try to beat a woman who messes with her man, but she won't try to bruise him. Kwame's juice is so strong some of it rubbed off on Mike Cox. He got to be state attorney general, had an affair and kept his wife. He's always dressed fine too."
Mulenga opened a catalog that lay on the counter. "Look at this stuff, silk shirts, mohair suits, alligator shoes, I'm going to have it all, and the women won't be able to resist me. I need to think about what kind of car I'm going to drive. I may not even need to drive; maybe I'll have a chauffeur, a female chauffeur."
"So that's all it's going to take, a big job and some fancy clothes?"
"Yep." Mulenga admired himself in a mirror.
"Then how do you explain what happened to the school board president? That school superintendent sure didn't go for him allegedly touching himself in front of her."
"That was his mistake. He should have been touching her instead of himself. You got to know how to do these things. Maybe if he had pulled it out instead of keeping it in his pants she would have been all over him. Let that be a lesson for you. Don't make subtle moves; you've got to go all the way. Besides, the man can't read and write worth a damn. You've got to have at least a little something going for you. Hmm, that gives me an idea. Maybe I should start off by getting on the school board. That's a stepping stone into Detroit's political stratosphere."
"Do you have a plan to fix our schools and educate the youth so that they have a fighting chance for a future? Do you have a plan to curb gang activity in the schools? Do you have a plan to make the schools economically feasible? Do you have an opinion on whether there should be a school board or if the mayor should be in charge of it all?"
"I have a plan to be a bigwig sexy Detroit man."
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Contact him at email@example.com
Hard knock: Supporters of various candidates have been knocking at my door and dropping off literature with the fervor of Jehovah's Witnesses come calling on Saturday morning. Over the past week it seemed my neighborhood was carpet-bombed with literature. One candidate's supporters hung the same propaganda on my front door four days in a row. With yesterday's primaries in the can there will be a lull in the proselytizing while the winners (unknown at the time of this writing) fundraise and plan their fall campaigns. They'll be back in our faces soon enough but with the number of elections Detroiters have gone through in the past few years I'll take any break that comes our way. Once we get through the November elections we'll have more than a year of down time before the primary season for the 2012 presidential elections ramps into high gear. Gee, I'm really looking forward to that.