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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

City endures a bad case of the creeps

Doug Clark The Spokesman-Review

Make it stop. I surrender. I give up. UNCLE!!!

Now I know what Manuel Noriega must have felt like when U.S. troops surrounded the Panamanian dictator’s hideout and tried to drive him out by blaring excruciatingly loud rock music 24 hours a day.

Only this saga of Spokane Mayor Jim West using the powers of his office to troll the Internet for teenage man love is more like a power drill boring into my brain.

And it just keeps getting worse and worse and …

Can you believe what now passes for normal in Spokane? Mayor West and city Councilwoman Cherie Rodgers are engaged in an argument over what location he told her he had used when self-pleasuring himself.

Was it in the mayor’s office? Was it at the mayor’s abode?

Jim West has single-handedly turned Spokane into a national civic freak show.

We’ve gone down the rabbit hole, folks. We’re through the looking glass.

We’re living in a Bizarro World where nothing makes sense anymore.

What egregious sin did Spokane commit in some past municipal life to deserve this?

If we had to have a City Hall scandal, why couldn’t it be over something less sordid?

Grave-robbing, perhaps.

I’m holding my breath, dreading the next headline:

Space Aliens Made Me Do It, Mayor Maintains.

Spokane was showing such healthy signs of progress before this.

We had all but settled the River Park Square garage fiasco. We had virtually stopped the bums from camping on the grassy median strips. Hill’s Someplace Else Restaurant and Pub is reopening.

I spent the weekend trying to come up with ways we could regain some community self-respect.

All I can think of is:

1. Turn Riverfront Park into a leper colony.

2. Beg the Aryan Nations to come back and settle here.

Sorry. Scratch No. 2. Even the neo-Nazis won’t touch us anymore.

I heard the Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau just ordered new tourism brochures with an altered civic slogan:

Spokane. Near Nature. Near Twilight Zone.

Driving in from Airway Heights Monday, I saw a road crew changing a city welcome sign. It was painting over “Spokane” and writing in “East of Reardan.”

You can’t turn on TV news anymore without seeing this creepiness splashed across the boob tube.

I’ve become embarrassed to even tell anyone I live in Spokane. And I was born here.

The other day I slipped up. Somebody asked where I was from.

“Out West,” I uttered, not thinking.

Can’t use that one either.

Mayor West should take a lesson from Richard Nixon. That guy really knew how to get off the stage. Kiss the cook. Hug the cleaning staff. Flash a few peace signs. Board the jetliner to oblivion.

In a few years, West can help Spokane establish better relations with China.

We’ll all call him a statesman.

But this can’t keep going on. Shoppers have been seen walking around downtown with their index fingers stuck in their ears. They keep making those grade school “la-la-la-la-la” noises so they won’t have to hear any more.

And who can blame them?

I keep thinking of that “Frankenstein” movie. You know, the part where the entire village grabs pitchforks and torches and heads off to chase the creature out of City Hall. Oops. I meant the castle.

I hope it doesn’t come to that.

West needs to do the right thing so we can go back to the way it was when we weren’t thinking about what the mayor did and where he did it.

I keep pinching myself. I keep shaking my head. Nothing helps.

Maybe we should all meet up in a bar and knock back a few stiff drinks to numb the headache.

Too bad Hill’s won’t reopen until July.

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