Arizona proves its dumbness, yet again
So there’s this guy, see, name of John Lewis, mayor of Gilbert, Arizona (2007 population: 207,000). Seems like an all-American type: ruggedly handsome, Boy Scout leader, youth basketball coach, married for 28 years to his childhood sweetheart, LaCinda, father of eight (well, he’s a Mormon), IT honcho for University of Phoenix (leading for-profit higher ed institution), lover of outdoorsy activities (“picnics in our parks, and horse riding along the canals”, from his campaign website), founder of “Gilbert Constitution Week” (which sponsors an Essay Scholarship Contest; the theme this year was “If the Founders were here today, what would they say?”, and the winning essay is heavy on “blood of their ancestors,” “blessings” and “religion”). John is, in short, a rock-ribbed, regular guy. So what’s my beef with Mayor John?
Seems Sam’s Club wanted to offer such free tastings, but Da Mayor (and 2 town councilmembers) said Nyet. What was John’s rationale?
“For the image and preservation of what has been building Gilbert as a family-centered community,” he intoned, “I hope we would not approve the sampling privileges in a family environment.”
Then, this pious, God-fearing man said his family frequently shopped at Sam’s Club and he would not want his children to be in an atmosphere where alcohol could be sipped.
OMG! It’s the old “family environment” thing. Children witnessing adults sipping Chardonnay, perhaps with little cubes of brie! How will that warp their tender little minds? These precious developing angels must be protected from seeing adults engaging in such bestial, carnal sins as wine tasting. I can see John and LaCinda now. It’s Sunday morning. They’ve just RV’d all eight of their kids to Sam’s Club, for the weekly pickup of toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, Pampers and 47 crates of Cheerios. Everybody’s happy. Dad is leading the fambly in a singalong of the Arizona State Song
Sing the song that’s in your hearts
Sing of the great Southwest,
Thank God, for Arizona
In splendid sunshine dressed.
For thy beauty and thy grandeur,
For thy regal robes so sheen
We hail thee Arizona
Our Goddess and our queen.
They reach the soda and juice aisle. Turn right, in search of 3-liter jugs of Pepsi. Something’s going on way down the aisle, a crowd of people gathered, what is it? LaCinda senses something amiss. John is curious. “Hey,” says Mr. Mayor, “wonder what’s up? Let’s see.” They approach. The kiddies cluster tightly around their parents. LaCinda reaches out her arms to embrace the youngest ones. The Lewis contingent–10 strong–approaches. Someone in the crowd (which includes no illegal aliens) says, “Hey, look, it’s Mayor Lewis.” The crowd parts. At its center, revealed suddenly in all its hideous, garish wickedness, is Demon Alcohol! A representative of Satan is pouring it out into little paper cups, for any and all to imbibe.
LaCinda gasps. The kiddies begin to scream and cry. Mayor John, in all his mighty Electoral Wrath, gathers up his strength, Charlton Heston-Moses like, coming down from Sinai and finding his people worshiping before the golden calf. Eyes blazing, he roars, “Begone from Gilbert, my city, oh ye baneful purveyors of alcohol! Ye accursed peddlars and mongers, who would poison our youth and bring shame to our beloved city’s family values!”
I’ve gotta stop. Getting carried away. Tonight I will raise a glass to Mayor John Lewis of Gilbert and his lovely family, and hope Hizzoner comes to his senses.
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I’ll be at Rusty Eddy’s “Public Relations for Small Wineries” class Friday, Dec. 10, at U.C. Davis. My fellow guest lecturers will be Jose and Jo Diaz, of Diaz Communications. It’s a fun, instructive session. For more info, call U.C. Davis at (530) 757-8608, or email Julie Brinley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!