As always, it was a rich year to be a local pundit. Like everyone else on the planet, Lunch was dismayed by too much government and an inability to pay for it. As reported in the Mar. 27 edition, The Town’s CalPers retirement obligations have doubled since ‘04. Health obligations have risen sixfold. And yet … we still think local developers are selling Wonka bars as salvation.
In celebration of Kevin Worden’s star turn as Tevye in the Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theater production of Fiddler on the Roof, I will imagine a Mammoth Lakes Town Councilmember “speaking with God” from the Council dais.
Dear God, what am I to do about Old Anatevka Place? On the one hand, we must be favorable to business. Won’t a rising tide lift all milk carts, even my own? Then I won’t have to pull it. Maybe I can just float. But on the other hand, will the rising tide drown my horse? But on the other hand, he’s no use to me now, since he can’t walk, so what does it matter if he drowns?
Ah, I see the Tsar in the audience. He’s a good Rustian. Better than most. I wonder what he thinks of this plan. On the one hand, he must be pleased. He will see that we are prepared to give he and his kind everything they desire so long as they remain fixated upon the capital markets in distant Kiev. But what will happen when the capital markets in Kiev become fixated upon us? Will they let my simple house stand when they can stack 20 in its stead? Will they bring in their milk from the Vons Kiev? Will a simple milkman have a place in Old Anatevka Place? Will the Rustians mind if my new milk cow poops in its parking stall?
What do my fellow Councilmembers think? Ah, I see Lazar is in favor. But he is a butcher. It is no big thing for him to have blood on his hands. But what of the Yenta? Ah, I see she is prepared to roll with the times and make her own match. For herself!?! Maybe she will work for the Big Red Rustian making sandwiches out of processed cheese and Wonder Bread. The wise rabbi. What does he think? What does it matter? He is soon leaving for that lawless region of Renatevka to wrestle with the one-armed bandits.
This may leave just me and you, God, talking as we are now. But we may not be able to see each other quite as clearly as before. I will crane my neck to look at you, but if I am standing too close to Old Anatevka Place, I will see nothing but windows. But craning my neck further, perhaps I will see a few stars … peeking their heads out the top floor windows – like the short bald man and that Jew who used to have that show about nothing. Imagine that, a show about nothing that everyone watched. Ha! Just like the 4th of July parade in Anatevka.
My neck hurts from all this craning.
I wonder if the short, bald man will appear in our humble parade. I wonder if he has any leftover Rold Gold pretzels to toss to the children.
As the good book says, the Babylonians built their Tower with the idea of reaching heaven itself, but were punished by you for their insolence. Do you plan on punishing the Rustians for their 65’ buildings? How will you do it? You used to smite people, but you’ve grown soft.
You know, God, there is this blue pill they talk about.
If you do punish the Rustians and make them all speak in different tongues, just make sure the minimum wage workers know how to take room service orders in Chinese.
But who am I to say? If I were a rich man, wouldn’t I do the same? Wouldn’t I build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen right in the middle of the town? But I’ve changed my mind about building a staircase to nowhere. I’d like to build a gondola to the Village instead.
God, it is time for me to go now. I hear that Fruma Barrett is returning from the grave and running for office. If Fruma Barrett runs for office, where do I run to? Allen Blumer’s wildlife sanctuary?
God, I have a question about this wildlife sanctuary. When Reb Allen first talked of this sanctuary, he said he was applying for a $1 million grant. Now he says he is applying for a $2.8 million grant. This grant grows like a weed. Reb Allen says weed is good. I am a simple man. How should I know?
These politicians … they talk and talk but yet there is no sign of a savior. There are only taxes and taxeaters and magicians with mullets and ice rinks without ice. Tradition!
from The Sheet April 17