Chapter 13

 

Talking Budgets

 

“In the town hall? An exhibition?” chief accountant Conk gasped. “But how as to taxes…”

 

“That is left to you”, Daby interrupted him. “If you take a look at that junk outside, you will admit that first we cannot build up any exhibition ground there and second we do not have the money for it.”

 

“Indeed, but after deduction of the service tax we might afterwards…”

 

“…not generate any income to reorganize the Hamsterton budget”, Daby once more interrupted him.

 

“Just so, the income is dingus – er – the point, ladies and gentlemen!”

 

“No, it isn’t”, the chief accountant retorted. “Reorganization of the Hamsterton budget is, Mr. Mayor. Due to the deficit budget policy of your niece, Mr. Mayor, the income is stagnating.”

 

“Of course, of course”, the mayor cried, “these stagnations have to be increased!”

 

“Certainly not, Mr. Mayor!” Daby was most surprised. “These stagnations have to be compensated!”

 

“Erm, of course, of course, as I always use to say: No stagnation without composition!”

 

“What – er – do you mean, Mr. Mayor”, the chief accountant now asked. “Do you mean a revaluation of taxes or a cancellation of debts?”

 

“Well, of course, what I mean is that an incarnation – er – canellingus of debts is inevitable, ladies. Er – gents… hum – yes.”

 

“Of course you realize, Mr. Mayor”, the chief accountant went on without mercy, “that Hamsterton is a commune of the Hamstian Counties, and communes cannot cancel their own debts, only the Community of Counties can decide this in a united resolution.”

 

“Absolutely, dear senior amount – er – my dear count. As already tensioned, I fully back up the revolution of dingus – er – the Hamstian Community and agree with it without stiffs and cuts!”

 

“Ahem, ifs and buts you mean, Mr. Mayor! However, this is the wrong way…”

 

“Mr. Mayor”, President Daby proposed, “how about you going for a little walk? The long journey, the responsibility… Relax a little at the fresh air.”

 

A few moments later the much overstrained mayor staggered out of the room.

 

“Fine”, the chief accountant nodded, raising his voice a little to drown some noise from the staircase. “Perhaps now we’ll proceed a little faster, Madam President…”

 

In the meantime the mayor tottered down the stair, not even noticing that a debate was going on there.

 

“I’m sorry, but that won’t work!”

 

The two hamsters faced each other nose to nose. This smelled like a brawl and Goldi had already made himself comfortable on the landing, watching the meeting between chief Botchy and the caretaker.

 

“And why not, you owl?” the chief barked, putting his much too short arms to his much to wide hips.

 

“Because it’s siesta time and because I need quiet after my accident and because there is no written application!” the caretaker barked back.

 

“Siesta is next week, and with that application I may bust your nose!”

 

The door of the mayor’s office opened.

 

“What is the reason for this insufferable shouting, chief?” Daby asked, stepping into the passage.

 

“That owl’s looking for trouble!” the chief hissed. Looking at the caretaker, Daby quickly understand who that owl might be.

 

“So you are the caretaker?” she asked with quite an undertone.

 

“Yea, and after my bad accident I need a lot of rest, quiet and all that. And who might you be?”

 

“President Daby, I’m just checking on the readiness for action with the employees.”

 

The caretaker stood bolt upright and gulped.

 

“So you need rest?”

 

The answer was a nod.

 

“Dodo, this man needs fresh air. Best will be an outdoor job. Please take him to the market square and see to it that he cleans away the junk until the day after tomorrow.”

 

“But… Honoured Madam President, I’m much too weak for tasks like that, I need assistance!”

 

“Well”, Daby smiled, “as far as I know Dodo is known to be versed in the art of motivation and he is a good attendand…”

 

“Now and then a little overeager, the beggar”, Botchy grumped remembering the ugly knock-out he got when Dodo was ‘attendant’ on the Enterprise.

 

“But – that’s not in my contract!”

 

“Dodo”, the president smiled, “would you kindly motivate this gentleman?”

 

The next moment the caretaker left the town hall with loud shrieks – through the closed entrance door. Dodo slowly walked after him.

 

“All right, people”, Botchy grumped, “so let’s first of all repair that door, then we’ll clear out the rooms. Oh, and before that get Trample from under the smashed door. I can’t understand why he always has to be in the way…”

 

“Nice to see you back home, Mr. Botchy!”

 

All eyes were on the wrecked entrance door over the remains of which a peculiarly dressed person came: Dowdy Buzzer! A violet dress with frills she was wearing, a white bobble cap on her head and in each paw she carried a chain with a small pot fastened to it from which came some sort of smoke. Her fur was ruffled and her glance somewhat lunatic.

 

“Take care! My paw!”

 

That was Trample who slowly worked his way through the remains of the door.

 

Dowdy looked down and discovered him.

 

“Oh, Trample, bad karma again? You have to find your symmetry! Well, you are lucky, I have lavender smoke with me. Come, take this pot with lavender fume…”

 

“Waj, waj, waj!”

 

“As I always send to Tay: I love the war cry of the Celtic Mossbeaver!”

 

Goldi, you’re just impossible!”

 

“Flecki? How did you creep in that quickly? What are your raggedly uniformed officers doing?”

 

“They? I gave them some speeches and when they cried for mercy, chief officer Topple came. He said that he got a call from the new president and the task to take care of the post officers and dustmen on strike. He took along a few big, strong police hamsters. So it seems that matters are getting back to normal in our beautiful Hamsterton.”

 

“You are an unbalanced hamster!” Dowdy Buzzer now yapped at Trample who was whimpering and holding the paw he had burnt at the hot lavender pot. “Undisciplined and unsymmetric, you have to confront yourself, let yourself drop…”

 

“Er, Mrs. Buzzer, I assume?”

 

“Yes, that’s me, Dowdy Buzzer, acting director of the First Hamstian Exhibition and empathic mentor of the Hamstian population. All strained and unsymmetric, if you ask me. And your are?”

 

“Daby, president and commissioner of BANTACH. For the time being I am acting for your uncle, the mayor. He still is a little exhausted and strained from an interminable diplomatic mission.”

 

“Strained and unsymmetric, his inner karma is asynchronus. But I’ll take him back to his mental balance, under my directorship we shall make this exhibition an unforgettable event.”

 

“Be sure she will”, Flecki grinned, nudging Goldi. “Quite symmetrical and unforgettable.”

 

“This is exactly the reason I’ve been already looking for you, Mrs. Buzzer”, Daby prudently said. “As acting director of the First Hamstian Exhibition and empathic mentor of the Hamstian population you are urgently required to inform the world of our plans. It will be your mission to pay visits to the neighbouring hamster counties and in person invite them to us.”

 

“So I shall carry into the world our singularly spiritual event”, Dowdy Buzzer cried, overjoyed. “Talking about carrying, I need carriers because for reasons of symmetry I shall need six suitcases.”

 

“No problem”, Daby retorted. “The management of the regulatory office will take care of that.”

 

“Fine move”, the chief accountant mumbled, “so that chaos-team of Messrs. Dumb and Ass can do less harm.”

 

“Long live the symmetry!” the acting director of the First Hamstian Exhibition and empathic mentor of the Hamstian population shouted one last time, took the steaming lavender pot from the paws of the bewildered Trample and was gone. Remained the smell of lavender and a pack of cackling hamsters.

 

“Goldi?”

 

“Daby?”

 

“Would you agree to contribute a little to the prevention of disasters even it that would be against your conviction?”

 

“Depends”, Goldi retorted. “Famine for example. To prevent something as terrible as that is a particular concern of mine…”

 

“Probably the symmetric mentor will start her mission at Hamstermound. You certainly know some people there. It would not be bad if you gave them a hint that an escaped esoteric madwoman will show up there.”

 

Goldi nodded. “I’ll hurry to the next phone!”

 

And was gone.

 

“Lo and behold!” Daby cried. “He really can be quick, even at work!”

 

“Ha”, Flecki exclaimed disgustedly. “Don’t you know that the next phone is at ‘Fluffy’s Pizzeria’?”