Fishing in Public

Letter to the New Mayor

Dear Mayor,

How goes the battle? Now that you’re in charge around here, congrats to you! To be honest, before the election I didn’t even know your name. And now here you are, the Big Kahuna! My hope is you’ll read this letter, as I do believe I’ve got some important suggestions. 

You know, I had occasion to write the governor not long ago, and she apparently found my ideas quite pertinent. She’s trying to hustle our coast now and doing a fairly good job — you know, the renewable energy thing. And I also put emphasis on the eating of seaweed, which must be on many tables by now. 

I’ve been looking into you, seein’ how you knocked my boy out of the ring (Ethan), and one thing I’ve been learning is you’re keeping open ears on the whole transportation jillywig in Portland. Grand idea. I’m a bona fide pedestrian, but still manage to keep an open mind on vehicular problems. 

And boy, you won my heart when I caught onto your light-rail solution. Matter of fact, I believe it’s the only solution for this bottle-neck town of ours. Fuckin’ A, man — a couple of humongous magnets, one in P-town and one over the river, and you cleaned the city so much it blows my mind. Yes, another pat on the back for Kate. 

But you know, us pedestrians could use some cooperation as well. Come to think of it, standing ovation for us just for walking in the first place! 

Anyway, as usual this time of year, I’m concerned about people making sure their walks are kept plenty clean of snow and ice. ’Specially the ice. I go through this every year, but I wouldn’t have to if you folks behave yourselves. Grant the walking folks some courtesy please. Plus — you might not guess — it’s the fucking law. Enough already, huh? 

Hey, you didn’t happen to attend the Veterans Day Parade, did you? Not a bad showing. I realize the weather was a factor — was a kind of shitty day. But enough did turn out to make it a good procession. ’Cept for one crazy situation: weren’t no seats! 

You ever notice the lack of benches or seats on Congo? I think they got rid of them when they wanted the ne’er-do-wells, like hookers, to keep moving. However, I think it’s time to change the downtown scene. Christ, treat Portlanders and the multitudes of tourists that now come here with some gosh-darn respect. 

And since I’m on the downtown thing right now, I’ve got another suggestion. Rather a dashing idea, so hang on. If you can see your way to let people have a seat and rest a bit, perhaps you might as well go all the way and let them use the private facilities. Yeah, right on Congo. Even just a couple relieving stations would be great. 

What would be detrimental about having some walk-in pissers? People getting warm in the winter, out of the wind? Or dopers making them a shooting station? That would actually help the city, if you think about it. 

So, we’re doing well so far. But now I must mention a couple reminders. I guess the City Hall politicians didn’t get to my column on the proper disposal of drug paraphernalia. I was really hoping they might take steps to improve the situation. It’s really quite disheartening to see syringe parts laying all over the ground for the lack of some sharpie boxes. Wouldn’t you agree? 

And ’fore I forget, this is a favorite of mine and I absolutely adore telling folks about it. It’s a little thing I started by the name of For Three. And no, it’s no sex thing. It’s a club I started pitching this summer. And how it works is this. Everytime you go someplace, be it the Oaks, the Promenade or beach, you just pick up three pieces of rubbish — you know, litter or what have you — and put it in an ecofriendly place where it’s supposed to be placed in the first place. 

Now this litter, you can’t blame people every time for that. Oh no — the seagulls have a lot to do with it. As I’ve said numerous times, flying rodents. I guess they do have their place in the animal chain, but it takes a real hard time convincing me after they’ve stole my lunch and my daily catch. 

Now I’ve given you some suggestions on what you might do. Remember, you made it! You’re the mayor of one of the beautiful up-and-coming cities in the whole world! And you got a real good opportunity. Don’t drop the fuckin’ ball!