As if his alcalditowear has something more than a nostalgic and comic value, Hialeah's alcaldito Carlos Hernandez went bonkers Saturday -- the last day of early voting at the JFK library -- when he saw me walking by with one of his campaign t-shirts.
"She stole my shirt. Call the police," he told his assistant, Arnie Alonso, who had offered (probably as a joke) to give me a shirt. But being the political junkie I am, and a collector of political memorabilia, I said I absolutely wanted a shirt. "Will you wear it," Alonso asked. "Nah. But I want it for my collection. I have a [Miami-Dade Mayor] Carlos Gimenez shirt and a shirt from Katie Edwards failed bid for state rep last year and a couple of others." I also collect signs, I told him, and would love to have one of su alcaldito's -- but with the mirrors on it (supposedly to ward off the evil eye).
Alonso, who has been a good sport during this week of early voting. Maybe he sees the writing on the wall like Council President Isis "Gavelgirl" Garcia-Martinez did when she walked off for a private chat with former State Sen. Rudy Garcia, who is running to unseatsu alcaldito. But Alonso is in trouble anyway right now for giving me that t-shirt. Alcaldito had a cow.
"She stole my shirt," he told Alonso as he rushed over to get someone to confiscate it from me.
"I need that shirt back. Call the police and write a report," su alcaldito instructed Alonso.
"No, I gave it to her," Alonso said, because he doesn't lie, at least not all the time, like his boss.
"Why did you give it to her?"
"It's okay," Alonso said, trying to calm him down. "She can't do anything with your shirt. It's ok."
"I don't want her to have my shirt."
Really? Really? What is he? Six years old?
"I'm not going to do voodoo or anything with your shirt. I'm not santero like you," I told him, referring to the mirrors on his signs and the broom and recogedor in front of his camionsito, which is also a Santeria religion custom.
"No, that's Raul's people," su alcaldito said, in reference to photos posted by council candidate Tony Vega's supporters that infer that Barbara Hernandez, president of the employees union (which this week gave Martinez their endorsement), was providing former Mayor Raul Martinez some spiritual leverage the other day -- as if he needs it.