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Better Watch Out

The mayor's memo to the North Pole.



To: Mr. Claus

From: The Most Hon. Mayor L. Douglas Wilder

Re: Christmas List

Date: Dec. 20, 2006

Enjoying your respectable qualities and recognizing your admirable prescience at this most happy occasion in which we celebrate, I want to take a moment to recognize some of the things that I might enjoy receiving, should you be amenable to my wishes. I believe that while there are many qualities I may wish to improve upon in the coming year, I have been, largely speaking, a good boy, as they say. I have cataloged my requests in ascending order of cost for your expediency.

1. "Pirates of the Caribbean 2": Will Turner's Battling Cutlass with Bandolier

From: Zizzle

Price: $12.99

Can you just imagine the look on a certain council president's face when I come down the aisle with this piece of work? Tell me! Yes, you! Certainly, this sword is made out of foam. I know that. But that man doesn't have to. You see my meaning here? And you talk about slashing the budget. I can just imagine this situation, wiping that smug grin off council's collective face. It will be a ceremonious time for retribution. We'll see who is holding the power.

2. Twister

From: Milton Bradley

Price: $12.99

I have always loved all the twisting and turning in this game. It is a wonderful way to practice tying things up in knots.

3. "Hamsters to the Rescue"

Author: Ellen Stoll Walsh

Price: $16.00

The story, according to my understanding, is that two hamsters are on a beach, and they discover a feather there, and then they decide that they will embark on an adventure to find the seagull to whom that feather belonged. And during this adventure, they meet new people who become their friends. They find problems and solve them. They overcome obstacles that are in their way. Now can't you just imagine the positivity that story must radiate? We need more of that in city government, not less. You see? I look forward, not backward. I see ahead, not behind. Right, not left. Yes, not no. One day, in a City of the Future, we will all follow the example of the hamsters.

4. YOUniverse Laser Beam Safe

From: Summit Financial Product Inc.

Price: $19.99

I will use this safe for the people of the city of Richmond. To protect this city's $250 million from the kinds of people who would sit on a school board and call themselves educationists and endeavor to spend those millions on things like new schools. Without closing the old ones! Why?! I want to see evidence of that. It is preposterous and wrongly pontificated. This is not what the people want. I have talked to the people. I talk to these people every day. I will not let their voices go unheard. They want a City of the Future.

5. Catz Superstar Plush: Kendall

From: MGA Entertainment

Price: $29.99

I'm sure you recognize this furry creature from the Bratz Petz collection. Her name is Kendall. Nice. You know how I enjoy a proclivity to strike a pose, strap on some boots and show my fashionable aspects. I strut in style, my friend.

6. Magic Rattle and Ride Pooh

From: Fisher Price Brands

Price: $29.99

Bears are our friends. And is this how we treat our friends? By euthanizing them? By burying them? We cannot continue to tragedize our community's bears. Let me be clear: We honor our friends. We give them friendly names such as Pooh. If every person in this city were to have a friend like Pooh, this city would be better off for it.

7. WWE Smackdown! Vs. Raw 2007

From: THQ for Xbox 360.

Price: $59.99.

I have three words, and you can write this down: Are. You. Ready…

8. Kickaroos Anti-Gravity Boots (Large)

From: Geospace, Intl.

Price: $69.99

I would like to bounce high above the trees. Higher than any mayor has bounced before. Gravity cannot hold us down. We must dream. Dream high. Dream what was heretofore undreamable. Not stay in the clouds, mind you — I am not suggesting that we do that. I am suggesting that we set a goal, say what that goal is, and then follow that goal to the utmost.

9. My Scene Goes Hollywood:Lindsay Lohan and Limo

From: Mattel

Price: $79.99

Now this Lindsay Lohan is a beautiful and talented woman, a credit to the fine productions she inhabits. (I can't get enough of "Mean Girls.") Now I know I have a security detail, but if Lindsay can have a limo, why can't I? It is a decorous way to lift the triumphal spirit of this city. The people of Richmond deserve as much from their popularly elected mayor. Let's get real. Auspiciousness.

10. Single Garage Door Baseball Target

From: Garage Door Sports/DMI Sports

Price: $89.99

We. Do. Not. Need to spend untold millions of the taxpayers' money to help some fly-by-night fancy-pants developer put in who-knows-what downtown just so a few people can play baseball. Baseball! We're talking bats and balls here! We have schools that are falling apart, people who make $75,000 a year and still can't buy a house in the city, crime that we simply must get under control. I will not be blackmailed by some corporate bigwigs out of Atlanta. The Braves will stay where they are and like it. And if they don't, that is not my issue to gentrificate. I will be having my own fun with this ingenious target that promises to creatively modify my driveway into a baseball mecca. Yes sir. And you know how I love taking target practice, too. S

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