Re: Lucrative contract request

Dear Government:
I’m writing to follow up on my August application for a lucrative government contract.

At the time, the Ministry of Communications and Works had recently announced that $45 million worth of contracts would be handed out for sewerage work on Tortola.

As you might recall, I pointed out that a newspaper columnist would be an extremely useful addition to the project team. I offered to help with keeping deadlines, analysing common-sense problems, expressing opinions, and other duties.

After I made such a strong case, I was flabbergasted that no one responded to my query.

Then I realised that you must be waiting for this election year.

Everyone knows that lots of lucrative contracts will be handed out in the coming months. Best of all, many of them won’t be tendered.

I am confident that you are currently working diligently to put together the perfect contract package for me.

Of course, since most of your decision-making takes place behind closed doors, I don’t know much about your current needs. Nonetheless, I decided to offer a few more suggestions of how I might be of service.

Road sign writing

Recently, I’ve noticed that several major contracts have been awarded for roadwork.

This is great, but I think you might be forgetting something. Currently, the roads are in terrible shape, and it might be a while before contractors finish the job. In the meantime, the public should be kept informed.

Unfortunately, the roads are so bad off that ordinary “danger” signs won’t suffice anymore.

Clearly, you need someone creative to write new signs — someone who has a way with words and whose extensive vocabulary and razor-sharp wit command attention. Who better than a newspaper columnist?

Check out these examples, which I’m providing free of charge:

• NIGHTMARISH GAPING CHASM NEXT TO ROAD

• HORRIFICALL PERILOUS CONDITIONS AHEAD

• EVEL KNIEVEL ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT

When work starts, other signs will be needed. In writing them, a newspaper columnist’s subtle irony might come in handy:

• “ROADWORK” IN PROGRESS

• WORK TO BE COMPLETED “SOON”

• THANKS FOR YOUR “PATIENCE”

Even after the roads are completed, new signs may be necessary:

• IN CASE OF HEAVY RAIN, WALK

• NIGHTMARISH CHASM STILL NEXT TO ROAD

Consultancies

I’ve also noted that many lucrative contracts have been awarded to consultants in recent years. A few have studied the feasibility of bolstering the economy with initiatives like drag racing and a medical school.

But to my knowledge no one has ever investigated whether newspaper columns could be a third pillar of the economy.

As a columnist, I’m the perfect person to explore this question.

To start, here’s a bit of free advice: I see a lot of potential here. There are so many bad decisions to satirise and so many injustices to point out that no one could possibly cover all of them. At the same time, there are precious few columnists in the territory.

Of course, important questions must be answered before moving forward: Do residents want more newspaper columns? Who, exactly, would benefit? What would be the start-up cost?

This is where I come in. I could conduct surveys and hold public meetings to determine whether more newspaper columns would benefit the territory.

If my results suggest that the industry is a viable economic pillar, I could help facilitate training and implementation.

Public relations

Finally, columnists are great at public relations. I’ll explain just one example of how this talent could be of use to you.

If you have read the recent comments posted on news websites, you might have noticed that the public is a little sceptical about all the lucrative no-bid contracts that have been handed out recently.

But this is just because people don’t understand how government works.

For a small lucrative contract of my own, I would be willing to spearhead a public relations campaign educating the public on the importance of lucrative contracts of all kinds.

Catchy ad campaigns are my forte. Check out this acronym for “No-bid:”

• Not sketchy!

• On the Up-and-Up!

• Big projects that need to get done!

• I’m not just trying to get a vote!

• Don’t get on my bad side if you want to be on my contract list!

See how succinctly I have summed up no-bid contracts? With enough similar ad campaigns, the public would get the message in no time.

Speaking of lucrative government contracts, I hear that the premier may not have a press secretary at the moment. What better person than a newspaper columnist to fill the position?

I am available to start work immediately.


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