Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ten Commandments of City Council Etiquette


I am told by those who do their civic duty and attend Portsmouth City Council meetings that His Honor Our Lapdog Mayor recently reprimanded a Local Capped Citizen for trying to address that august body through the non-functioning microphone without first taking his John Deere cap off, which is one of the Ten Commandments of City Council Etiquette. His Honor Our Lapdog Mayor is particularly sensitive to displays of disrespect since he is the most disrespected public figure in Scioto County, and particularly at Kroger’s Supermarket where he has been calling in sick and otherwise making a liability of himself for thirty years or more. The Drug-Dealing Pimp who sits to the right of His Honor Our Lapdog Mayor on city council reportedly audibly gasped when he saw the Local Capped Citizen approaching the non-functioning microphone with his cap on. The Drug-Dealing Pimp nudged Sleepy, the councilman to his right, to call his attention to the insult that was about to be perpetrated. The Adulterous Minister who sits on the other side of the council table scowled when he saw the Local Capped Citizen approaching the non-functioning microphone. The Adulterous Minister at an earlier council meeting had publicly reprimanded local citizens for not addressing him as “Reverend,” so he was very sensitive to slights and insults from the capped as well as the uncapped of whatever religion or political party they might belong to.

Of course, Council rules forbid local citizens who speak before Council from mentioning any city official by name. Hebrews of Old Testament times were forbidden to utter the name of God or writing it without leaving out the vowels, as in Y*W*H. So too are citizens addressing the Council forbidden to speak the names of those members of Council, or even allude to them euphemistically as His Honor Our Lapdog Mayor, Drug-Dealing Pimp, Sleepy, Adulterous Minister, etc. If they do mention names, they are ejected by the Chief of Police Chief, known as “Inspector Cluzot,” which nickname he earned in part for his Campaign Against Domestic Bloggers Over Sixty, and in part for his history of Botched Drug Busts of Christian Couples Over Seventy.

As a public service, I have done research on the Ten Commandments of City Council Etiquette and I will present them here with the hope that local fast food restaurants, and the slow ones too, will print them on menus, and that the opening of City Council meetings will include, along with the salute to the flag and the silent prayer, a reading of the Ten Commandments of City Council Etiquette:

1. Thou shalt not wear a hat, cap, or head covering unless it is a requirement of your religious faith, as it is for orthodox Jews, devout Muslims, Catholic women over the age of fifty, and loyal Buckeye fans of all ages and denominations.

2. Thou shalt not in addressing Council mention the name of any city official, nor use any euphemism for same, such as Lapdog Mayor, Drug-Dealing Pimp, etc.

3. Thou shalt not think that His Honor the Lapdog Mayor thinks he has the best job in the world just because he does not have to punch a time clock, can come and go as he pleases, as he often does, and has no one to tell him what to do or when to do it.

4. Thou shalt not take photos or otherwise take notice of His Honor the Lapdog Mayor if you should happen to see him driving over to Kentucky in a city vehicle to buy gas, cigarettes, or lottery tickets.

5. Thou shalt not think, just because several Council members sometimes shut their eyes and have trouble keeping their heads up, that they have dozed off or are otherwise not closely following the important business at hand.

6. Thou shalt not be shocked when a Council member appears to be mathematically challenged, and to not know two and two equal four, or to not remember whether he was instructed to vote yes or no on the particular ordinance on the agenda.

7. Thou shalt not, even if you recently had colon surgery, release any gas during Council meetings, particularly audibly, not when the air-conditioning is on the fritz, and particularly not if you are sitting near His Honor Our Lapdog Mayor’s wife, who is honorary chair of the Journey Within Chapter of the Fart-Free Portsmouth Committee.

8. Thou shalt not think that when a Council member is busy texting during a meeting that he is contacting one of his prostitutes rather than closely following the important business at hand.

9. Thou shalt not think that when a member of Council who is about to be recalled by angry voters but resigns instead is resigning so that Council can immediately appoint a replacement who is every bit as obliging and crooked as he or she was, and possibly even more so.

10. Thou shalt not think that the concerned citizens who come to Council meetings each week, and not the crooked and incompetent members of city government themselves, are the ones who, like the Statue of Liberty, are keeping the promise of democracy alive and the flame of freedom lit.