“No, you don't need to live there, you don't need to be a national, you just need to have lived in the country for four weeks, oh, and not have a job, not even part-time.”
“OK, then I want to be a candidate, where's the form to fill out?” I was in the town hall in Bigtown, in the office of the electoral officer.
“This is going to be fun, you're the first person to stand against Jeremy Westchester as Mayor of Brasslans for over twenty years.”
I ignored this remark, I wanted to be mayor and bury the hotel idea. I got more than I expected.
Lots of phone calls and three invitations, the first one was to meet a Mr Peter Lans at the Residence in Brasslans for dinner. I bought a suit and some other smarter clothes in Bigtown, I gotta look good as the candidate for the mayorship.
“Hello, Yudi! Meet my wife Jean. Good to see you. I can't tell you how pleased I am to see competition in the election for the mayor. Tell me about yourself.”
I told him my situation, I told him the stories about Jeremy Westchester I had heard in the pub and the hassle with the hotel.
“I don't understand it, I own Copper House, my lawyer says the hotel licence stopped four years ago; yet the inspector for hotels and public buildings says otherwise, he wants me to spend loads of money to create a proper hotel. And the Mayor, Jeremy Westchester, is mixed up in it too, signing documents and booking tourists into a non-existent Copper House Hotel.”
“I'll tell you who I am, Yudi. I'm the Lans in Brasslans, I own Brasslans, all of it, most of the homes are leased, the rest are rented out. My great-grandfather, David Lans, bought all the land, built a factory making brass fittings and all the houses, including the pub and the school. He made the village called Brasslans. But no church, he didn't like religion – there's plenty of churches in Bigtown and the other villages.”
“The factory is still there, three old guys make brass fittings, very expensive they are, for yachts. The main business is however engineering software, has been for years.”
“I have to laugh about Copper House, your lawyer is right, I know that inspector and I know what and also where his job is. I said that I own all of Brasslans, but you own Copper House. How is that? Copper House is not in Brasslans, the address is a fiction of the post office. Copper House is legally in Bigtown.”
“I've got a tip for you, before you hear any more stories about Jeremy Westchester get a copy of the financial papers for the village of Brasslans and study them. I may be able to help you with them. But now it's time for dinner.”
The next morning I woke to the sound of a dozen vehicles outside the house, the police, the fire brigade, the health inspector, the telephone engineer, the electricity engineer, the gas engineer and of course the inspector for hotels and public buildings. “Full inspection, starting now!”
“No, Copper House is not a hotel, there is no valid hotel registration. Go away!”
“This is the bailiff, open up! We have a warrant.”
“Mr Inspector, you have an important document in your case. No, I don't mean a hotel registration, I mean a map. Where are you standing, Mr Inspector?”
The inspector opened his case, pulled out a map, looked at it and threw his chin to the ground. “No inspection today or ever.”