October 14, 2008 in City

People behaving badly will keep The Column kicking

By The Spokesman-Review

OK then. Let’s all give a big hand to Spokane Mayor Mary Verner for delivering such a (yawn) riveting state of the city speech at City Hall on Monday night.

And I’m sure the community will get behind the mayor’s new plan to regulate leaf raking just like we did with her alternating lawn-sprinkling scheme last summer.

Remember now. Only left-handed residents with odd-numbered addresses can rake their leaves on even-numbered days.

All right. I’ll admit it.

I didn’t actually listen to any of the mayor’s speechifying. But only because I was too busy preparing my State of the Column address.

(I can’t believe the mayor tried to upstage me.)

So let me begin with the transcript of a message left on my voice mail a few days ago by J.W.

“Hi Doug … I just wanted to let you know that I’ve canceled my subscription to The Spokesman-Review because of their endorsement of McCain.

“And, um, I will miss your column very much. It’s the best thing going in the paper and (I) just wanted to let you know that. Thank you. Bye.”

Oh, dear.

This is not the sort of news The Column needs in these sphincter-clenching times.

The Column can’t afford to lose a loyal supporter like J.W.

The Column already has enough enemies. You know: cops, politicians, county prosecutors, assorted civic leaders, former mayors, cops, current mayors, the Kevin Coe defense team, PETA, captains of industry, Avista, council members, county commissioners and cops.

Toss in the miscellaneous haters like Julius, who e-mailed me last week. He didn’t appreciate me picking on Spokane County’s most famous frequent felon.

“Subject: Eddie Ray (Hall).”

“To the weirdo with an opinion yet no brain. You are a pig. I hope you suffer.”

These critics would like to dangle The Column over the Monroe Street Bridge by a rope.

Then they would sell “buck-a-slice” tickets to let people saw at the rope with a serrated blade.

What I’m trying to tell J.W. is don’t – for the love of all that is pious – turn your back on The Column.

Not over something as trivial as one of our political endorsements.

Far be it from me to ever say one nonsupportive word about where I work, but no voters pay attention to our political endorsements. Our percentage of endorsing winning candidates is worse than this year’s football win record for the WSU Chokers, I mean Cougars.

In fact, the last time we endorsed a winning candidate was in 1964 when we picked Barry Goldwater for president.

No. Wait a minute. Goldwater got creamed.

So it’s official. Nobody listens to us.

Oh, well. Even if J.W. stays away, The Column will thrive and survive.

And why? Because history has shown us that the world is populated with what The Column needs: people behaving poorly.

Take that 14-year-old Coeur d’Alene kid we wrote about last week.

The boy was hauled off to detention and faces reckless driving charges after he swiped his family’s red Ford Ranger pickup from the parking lot of the Post Falls Wal-Mart, where his sister was shopping.

(Insert hillbilly joke here.)

The lad, according to the story, picked up two pals and then “headed to a Subway restaurant off Highway 41.”

I am so worried about kids today.

Seriously. What self-respecting teen truck thief drives his stolen ride to a Subway?

The young Eddie Rays of my day hung out in smoke-filled pool halls or seedy bars that would let them drink underage. Those dudes wouldn’t be caught dead in some sandwich shop best known for helping blubber-bottomed Jared Fogle eat his way out of his fat pants.

So kid, you need to get your act together.

If you’re gonna be a badass, lay off the health food.

Thank you. And long live The Column.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or dougc@spokesman.com.

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