Mayor Larson, what have you done for us lately?
So we're a couple weeks into the Emily Larson administration and here's where we stand:
• My streets still aren't fixed.
• It's FREEZING outside.
• I heard a noise down at Bayfront Festival Park.
While it's too early to talk impeachment, we can demand better results from our new mayor. I mean, by the time Don Ness was two weeks in, he had retiree health care fixed, The Last Place on Earth was boarded up and the lines at Chipotle stretched from Miller Hill Mall all the way up to Nashwauk. Today, the only line coming out of Chipotle leads right to the emergency room. Or the bathroom. Whichever is closer. Back then, the pothole in front of my house wasn't even deep enough to see Proctor. Now, not only is it more cavernous, it's starting to smell like Cloquet. (To be fair, that could be me. I did stop at Chipotle for lunch.)
The timeline on those Ness accomplishments might be off a bit, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't complain about Larson. This is Duluth, a community of ill-informed citizenry with the patience of jittery gnats. We have the phrase "knee-jerk reaction" sewn into our parkas. We name our cats Comp and Lain. We expect instant results from our elected officials or the world will know of our displeasure. Whether it's letters to the editor, Facebook postings or just plain ol' bellyaching at the bar, we reserve the right to be wrong at the loudest possible volume.
Emily Larson needs to step up her game. Other than scrubbing the gum off the mayoral podium, she has no major achievements yet. Duluth is supposed to be a shining city filled with promise, not a shiftless shanty-town dotted with empty buildings. (Sorry for borrowing your slogan there, Superior, but I'm trying to make a point.) Because I'm a problem-solver, here are a few helpful hints for Mayor Larson as she struggles to do something before her first 100 days are up:
• Create a literal tourist trap in Canal Park by placing a net behind Grandma's, then require them to pay $500 to get out and return to Edina.
• Build a wall around Lake Superior and make Canada pay for it.
• Write a bestselling book, turn it into a Broadway musical, then retire to a life of luxury in Brimson ... oh, wait. Don Ness already did that one.
• Fix my street.
I'd like all of these done by 5 p.m. today but I can wait until the weekend. I'm not totally unreasonable.
But I am from Duluth.
Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at RubberChickenTheater.com. He actually wishes Emily Larson well in her new job as the Repository of Duluth Citizen Whining. (“Mayor” still fits better on the business cards, though.)