The beginning of this week’s putting-together of civic heads featured deafening silence; the mayor was late, the speakers weren’t on and one could easily glean the actual sense of what it feels like when nothing is happening. Even the pronounced ticking of commissioner Betty Wyman’s political denouement was absent. It was eerie.

But then District 4 commissioner Patty Sheehan ruffled her imperial feathers at the news of a Lake Eola oil slick – presumably the fruit of some careless grilling practices – that actually killed two swans. Crazy!

Next, District 5 commissioner Daisy Lynum lost her mind, or at least the contents therein, when trying to share the glories of the semiprestigious Onyx Awards.

“What’s that award with the statue and the writing on it?” she stammered.

“The Oscar,” the world sighed in disbelief.

“The next State of the City, we should make it black-tie,” District 6 commissioner Sam Ings piped in. “We could give out Buddy awards.”


“Teamwork makes the dream work,” he added later, nonsensically. Indeed.

Item: The city approves a business assistance program agreement between the
Original Paddy Murphy’s LLC and the city of Orlando.

Translation: Because nothing reeks of authenticity and ethnic diversity like the too-narrow residential arteries of Baldwin Park, the city will toss $20,000 from its shrinking pot o’ gold in the direction of this Irish pub and restaurant. Wait a minute. Is the city funding a bar? Actually, the $550,000 Original Paddy Murphy’s will offer a “full Irish menu” (potatoes?), live music nightly, and a “family friendly atmosphere.” So the city’s funding a bar you can take your kids to. The family-
values bar also promises quarterly charity events with the intention of supporting the community, and should be of some service in making its patrons drunk enough to forget they live in the Smurf village. Gargamel might even play there.

Item: The city approves the extension of its annual agreement with Game Officials Inc. for basketball and football officiating services.

Translation: Sports are hard. Noting that the prospect of unofficiated sports is tantamount to anarchy, the city pays a yearly stipend of $59,000 to Kissimmee contractors Game Officials Inc. so that the mayor himself doesn’t have to don black-and-white stripes to scream things like “holding!” or “foul!” This particular agreement covers the expected sports of football and basketball, but it goes a step further. Game Officials is also responsible for that terribly important but oft-maligned pussy endeavor, flag football. The city does not want you to break a nail, apparently.

Item: The city approves an award to SRT Supply Inc. for the purchase of night vision scopes, rails and mounting adapters.

Translation: For centuries, man has troubled himself with just how to cope with the inevitability of nighttime. Sure, there have been torches, then lanterns, then flashlights, but with each of those comes a veritable smorgasbord of setbacks. What do I do when I catch myself on fire? How can I see with a flashlight rammed into my eye socket? Worry no more, nocturnal Orlandoans, for visual omnipotence is nigh! Thanks to a grant from the Department of Justice awarded last year, the Orlando Police Department’s hunky SWAT team can now stop bumping into each other and start finding methheads hunched in dark corners … at night! The city’s awarding $59,880 to SRT Supply for four really cool “scopes,” trimmings included. On a related note, Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night” is a really good song.

Item: The city approves a permit for the “Global Marijuana March” at City Hall Plaza May 3 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Translation: Dude, not April 20? It would be fun to say that this is in some way an endorsement by our Buddy of the righteousness of the weed, although that would probably be untrue. What is fun – and true – is the stoner quality of the handwriting on the permit application (filed by NORML at UCF). “We will gather to speak on the truth about marijuana,” it reads, almost inscrutably. So much awesomeness. On a related note, I can’t feel my legs.

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