You’ve got five minutes, Ozzy. Anything I can get you before the debate? You want a slightly chilled ostrich egg martini? You know, for a guy who loves birds, you sure down a lot of eggs. Hey, you should begin your opening statement by saying you’re an eggspert in your field! Ha ha! What’s that? Oologist? Huh. I had no idea the field even existed. Maybe it’s good I don’t write your jokes.

Anyway, I just stopped by to go over a few aspects of your overall stage presence. No, no—the tux looks great. I love the new monocle, too. Tiffany’s, right? No, it’s just a couple slight mannerism and vocabulary choices I’m talking about. For starters, I was hoping you’d steer clear of phrases like “pontificating buffoon” or “gerrymandering imbecile” like you had written in your notes.

No, actually—I’m all for vilifying Mayor Hill. But it’s how you say it, Ozzy. These are working-class folks you’re talking to, not ritzy socialites. I know that’s where all your funding comes from, but we need to dumb things down a bit for Joe Everyman. How about this—instead of referring to Mayor Hill as a “besmirched ex officio turned malefactor” you could say something a little more… approachable? Just say he’s in bed with Rupert Thorne. They’ll eat it up.

And do me a favor tonight, Ozzy. Try not to say “Waugh!” so often, will you? What’s up with that, anyway? Really? That’s how you laugh? Huh. Maybe try ditching the quellazaire tonight. The whole “clenched teeth” thing hasn’t been coming back well on the surveys. And you’d be surprised how many voters are anti-smoking these days. No? Well I admire your tenacity. Whatever you do, just don’t disguise it as a cough. The last thing we need is people thinking you’re taking ill. We don’t want to pull an “FDR”.

All right, you ready? Remember all the hot topics to avoid? That’s right—nothing about the Arkham breakout, the Gotham PD collateral report, or the Killer Croc sightings. If anybody goes anywhere near those, just brush it off as a distraction from the big issues. And what are the big issues again? Budget increases for wildlife preserves, uh huh. Tax breaks for upper-class Gothamites and…? Come on, you know this, Ozzy. Increased security for museum artifacts, remember? It’s okay. You’ll get it.

Just stand on the box like I showed you and don’t forget—big smile! Oh, and do you really need that? I hear it’s bad luck to open those indoors. Alright, if it makes you feel safe. Now go out there and knock ’em dead, Mr. Cobblepot! And try not to bite any noses this time!

Cobblepot For Mayor at BustedTees