Cath tries to focus on local issues as she battles anemia

There's a dish I make called Mexican Surprise. It consists of anything left in the refrigerator, placed in a casserole dish, covered with chiles and cheese, and baked for 40 minutes. Every minimally competent "housewife" knows that if you put enough of these ingredients on something, you can get away with virtually anything: cocktail onions, capers, wilted celery, Vegemite, soy burger. Peanut butter is hard to slip by, as is okra, but it can be done if the cheese is plentiful and the chiles hot enough.

This week's column is the editorial equivalent of Mexican Surprise for a couple of reasons. One, I'm going to night school and am all clapped out, and two, I think I'm anemic.

The anemia has to do with the night school. For the last three weeks, my classmates and I have been drawing syringes full of blood from each other at an average of three sticks a night. Some of my fellow students are masochists--they let you stick them as many times as you want to--and some of them are cowards, hiding under their desks all night. I tried to give the latter the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the dry weather was causing them to lose all those contact lenses; however, my suspicions reached their zenith when I noticed that two of the three of them were wearing glasses.

Still, I've come to realize why more people don't go into medicine: It's gory.

Speaking of gore, how 'bout that True Blood? It's the new Alan Ball series on HBO, and for those of you who haven't watched it, Alan Ball's the guy who directed and produced Six Feet Under. As far as I can tell, the man is positively obsessed with sex and death. True Blood isn't as good as Six Feet Under, but if the premise of vampires finally coming out of the closet and living openly among us is, as the pundits are saying, actually a metaphor for the gay experience, well, then, Holy Fudd: Mr. Ball sure hangs out with some mean-ass gay people.

Which brings me to the next topic of conversation: potholes and politicians. Another Tucson Weekly columnist, along with myself, recently got dressed down for spending too much time on national as opposed to local issues. In my own defense ... Man! There is just so damn much interesting stuff going on "out there" that it's hard not to mob up with "the nationals."

This is where the potholes come in: Due to the copious rain this season, there are more potholes than ever in our fair city. One of them--at Country Club and Grant roads--is particularly bothersome, and someone ought to get to work filling it and all of the rest tout de suite. I think this would be a good job for local politicians.

The problem with local politicians is that they don't really do anything. They just get interested in other people doing things, and then get busy figuring out ways to move them around the board. This gives them the illusion of power, which is twice as dangerous as real power for the simple reason that when you realize you don't have any real power, there's a tendency to go psychotic and lash out at whomever you can hit.

The second problem with local politicians is that they never leave home. They're afraid they might miss something. After awhile, their tiny little patches of turf begin to define the whole world so that they think they're being original when, for example, they spend all the taxpayers' money on humongous vacation homes, bone their best friends' wives or play footsie with male prostitutes in bathroom stalls.

They think that by virtue of their manipulative skills, they're perfectly justified in building bridges to nowhere, promoting the teaching of creationism in Alaska schools, paying themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars for working at home, being criminally uninformed when it comes to foreign policy and environmental issues, shooting defenseless mooses and generally being as dumb as a box of hair.

Given all this and taking it as a cautionary tale, I think it would be very beneficial for the moral fiber of all Tucson politicians to get out there and fix those potholes. Political enlightenment is something that must be earned by blood, sweat and, yes, even tears. We need only look to the great white north to see the consequences of imagining things are otherwise.

Hell, the weather's cooling off, and anyway, I think the Department of Transportation even provides free sun


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