Crump fumed in the overstuffed chair, chomping on the end of a lit cigar. His aides glanced nervously at each other. They were in quite a quandary, and Boss Crump hated quandaries. The judge had ruled that he couldn’t hold both the sheriff’s and mayor’s offices at the same time, and it was too late to get their man on the ballot for the vote.
Crump leaned forward.
“You ever seen one of those trained crows that writes its own name? Stupid bird’s got no idea what it’s writing, it just knows how to put lines down on paper to get a treat.
“Now, near as I can figure, even the simplest human brain should be as smart as a crow’s.
“Gentlemen, I propose we teach the population of Memphis to scratch out a name, just like a trained crow.”
“A write-in win? Is that even possible?” Asked a man in the back.
“I once bought an election by paying the poll tax for every negro that voted for me, and even then, I only won by 79 votes. This isn’t even close to the heights of lunacy I’m willing to climb. Get to teaching crows to write, boys.”
Boss Crump’s first major political mistake was attempting to hold both the offices of city mayor and county sheriff. When the courts finally ruled against him on the matter, it was too late for Crump to get his chosen man on the ballot. So, he organized a write-in campaign. And to ensure his man wouldn’t lose, his people taught illiterate voters how to write his candidate’s name,”Reichman.”