News flash: When I heard that Mayor Jonathan Rothschild wants to close Congress, I was shocked. I knew Rothschild was a mensch, but this is bold.
Apparently our mayor has more power than I imagined. The way our local government is organized Snow White has more clout. When it comes to votes he's just dwarf No. 7. And as a consolation prize he gets to pound a gavel, put up with Sleepy and Grumpy and take home the blame for everything from potholes to parking tickets. It's a great job if you like pain. For a detailed description of the mayor's job check out Chapter 6 of "Fifty Shades of Grey."
These days Congress is lower than a snake's bellybutton in the Santa Cruz. I'm going to go out on a mesquite limb here and guess that there is a lot of support for Rothschild's bold proposal from Tortolita to Cactus Flats.
If Congress was torn down, this cartoonist would have to kiss his bread and butter (with a sprinkle of cinnamon) adios. After the House and Senate were shuttered and the dome sold to Knott's Berry Farm, I'd level the lot. On the site I'd build a children's park festooned with monkey bars and seesaws. Call it "Capitol Hill Play Land." Open it up to malevolent brats, then squint and see if you can see any difference.
A quadrangle overrun with wailing and shrieking 5-year-olds pulling each other's hair and flinging sandbox dirt would be a far more enlightening spectacle than any House committee meeting or Senate hearing I've seen. I'm with you, Jonathan. Our parliament of punks and prigs is little more than a playground for millionaires and billionaires who don't have half the wits of a playground full of freckle jabbers and nose-pickers. I'm with you, Mr. Mayor. Tear down that wall. And all the other walls and the dome and all those column things, too.
In the past my heart has swollen with pride when our City Council has renounced kicking puppies in Hungolia or passed resolutions against Mondays in Muldaroon. When our magnificent seven rose up to courageously address the pressing issue of static cling I was so overcome with admiration I nearly dropped my mini-chimi in my bean dip.
Closing down the entire Congress would be their zenith. I'm sure there are the usual naysayers out there saying nay right now, even though no one really says "nay" except for the bucktoothed horses in Hanna- Barbera cartoons.
It's a sure bet that no Potomac poltroons are surprised at this brazen declaration. Everyone east of the San Pedro knows this is the state that thumbs its sunburned nose at the feds every other Tuesday and that we have a governor who likes to wag her gnarly Slim Jim fingers in the president's kisser. And to that list we add Rothschild, an audacious visionary who is willing to shout up to Congress like a modern day Joshua at the walls of Jericho. Hear, hear, Your Honor. Put your lips to your brass trumpet and "Blow, Jonathan, blow."
Follow-up: I saw the mayor at a public event recently. He corrected me. Rothschild claimed he was talking about closing down Congress Street and not the big nuthouse in D.C. Rothschild never called it the big nuthouse in D.C. Those are my words.
He called it a dysfunctional institution rife with feckless perfidiousness. I had no idea what he was saying. The man is a lawyer. And you all know how lawyers can work their verbal-jujitsu on a person and the next thing you know you're in a jury box smiling at O.J. and saying, "not guilty" with a straight face. But in this instance I believed the explanation of our illustrious mayor. I apologized.
His honor added that Congress Street would make a fine pedestrian mall. I agreed. What we truly need downtown are fine pedestrians. What's a modern American city without fine pedestrians? I asked Rothschild, "Are you opposed to ordinary pedestrians?" As he walked away I shouted after him, "If you ban automobiles from Congress Street what do you expect us to do - ride the streetcar?"
Update: City Council members hired a consultant named Firefly Jones, a professor of Pedestrian Perambulation, to advise them on urban moseying.
Recommendation: The idea of turning Congress Street into a mall where pedestrians can walk, shop, and dodge careening streetcars intrigues me. I can picture one just like the bustling Third Street Promenade in beautiful Santa Monica. All we need is an ocean two blocks over. And fine pedestrians. I wonder if I could persuade TREO to send me to the beach for two weeks to research this idea.
Email Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons: firstname.lastname@example.org