Senator Tom O’nassey paused to scrape the shit off his boot as he stepped out of his sedan. He breathed in hard. There it was.

The smell. Grass, hay, manure, diesel from a nearby pickup truck. The Country.

To many people the smell of sodden hay bales and cow shit wasn’t something to get excited about.

But for Senator Tom O’nassey, the smell only meant one thing. Votes.

Sure, everyone thought politics was confined to the city. That elections were fought and lost in dusty anterooms and around big round tables. Tom O’nassey knew this was entirely wrong.

People out here thought quantitative easing and trickle down are types of haemorrhoid creams, and that didn’t matter, its was their vote that mattered and that was what Tom wanted.

He strode towards the throng of people who had begun to congregate around a humble wooden podium. The scene reminded him of a wildlife documentary he had watched once when he was hung-over. A big fat grasshopper had flown into an ant’s nest and the ants in kind had covered it in minutes.

Each ant jostled for position, fighting for the chance to bite, and just like that, the big fat grasshopper was gone. If that wasn’t a symbol of politics, then Tom O’nassey didn’t know what was.

As he reached the periphery of the crowd he repeated the words in his head.

You are the backbone of this country, you are the backbone of this country, you are, the backbone of this country.

“Senator! Senator! Over here!”

“O’nassey for the Whitehouse!”

“God Bless you”

He smiled back at them, stopping only to shake hands or pat backs. They cheered louder as he sunk deeper and deeper into the crowd. He caught his reflection in someone’s sunglasses and quickly loosened his tie and rolled up his sleeves.

There you go Tom, now that’s country.