Dean was excited to retire, but it wasn’t as fulfilling as he had hoped. He found he missed contact with people and doing things that helped others, so he decided to run for mayor of their small town.
Though there were fun parts about being mayor, Dean found that there were more complaints than he expected. There wasn’t a city council meeting that went by without someone coming in to complain about something. Though Dean’s way of dealing with things was unconventional, no one could say he wasn’t honest. In fact, that is precisely what one lady said at one meeting.
“I voted for you,” she said to Dean. “It’s not that I like you. I think you are rather obnoxious. But I know that what you say is what you’ll do. The problem is, I don’t always like what you do, but at least there aren’t any surprises.”
“Um, thank you, I guess,” Dean replied. “I don’t know if that was a compliment or not.”
“I don’t either,” the woman replied.
Dean’s responses to complaints became legendary. The council members started writing them down and created a list of “Deanisms.”
One lady came in to complain about her high water and sewer bills, even though they were the lowest of any town in the region. “Well,” Dean said, “we really hate to take your money, but if we don’t, someone else will.”
One lady was furious at Dean and said she was going to share her grievances publicly. “If you contact the newspaper,” Dean said, “at least make sure they spell my name correctly. It would be nice if they could at least get that right.”
One man came in and complained that the snowplow had hit his mailbox. “Oh, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one the snowplow driver hates. I thought it was only my mailbox he destroyed.”
Another man came in and said he was tired of having the snowplow shove snow into his driveway. “That’s easy to fix,” Dean replied. “I will tell him to lift his plow when he goes by your place.”
One lady got so mad at Dean’s response to her problem that she told him she was not going to vote for him. Dean laughed. “Lady, I’m 72 years old. Do you think I care that you aren’t voting for me?”
Another lady came in and told Dean he could go to h***. Dean rolled his eyes. “Been there lady. I didn’t much like it, so I came back. But I’m beginning to think that it might be preferable to being mayor.”
After one back and forth between Dean and one lady, she told him she felt he had been incredibly obnoxious for five years, the amount of time he had been in office. “Oh, no, I haven’t been obnoxious for five years,” Dean said. “I have been obnoxious my entire life. You can talk to my sisters, and they will tell you.”
One time, a television station reporter called. He said to the secretary, “Would you tell your mayor that he can’t hang up on me?”
When Dean felt the meeting had gone long enough, he always said, “Well, it’s time to quit. I’ve got a roast in the oven.”
Dean served two terms. He may not have won a popularity contest, but people loved that he was a straight shooter. After the two terms ended, he retired. His wife passed away, and he wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren.
Recently, Dean went to join his sweet wife. I guess he felt it was time. Maybe he had a roast in the oven.