Getting Personal

By Jeff Smith

HI! MY NAME is Jeffi and my measurements are 42-31-34. My turn-ons are fishnet stockings with seams up the back and flannel jammies with Yoda and shit on them. My turn-offs are Nazi war criminals and sand in the Vaseline. And my favorite president was Edgar Buchanan. Or was he my favorite actor? My favorite animal is the harp seal. Where's my Baseball bat?

Smith So how much do you figure the foregoing information is worth? Okay, let's posit the notion that the information dealt with someone you actually were interested in--say, a long-legged 22-year-old blonde named Brandi, with great big knockers and a staple in her navel. Not a trendy, body-piercing staple, but an actual one like they use to hold the pages of Playboy together.

Or, to pursue the subject of long-legged blondes, how about a 47-year-old city council member named Molly, whose turn-ons are potatoes and Jimmy Carter, and whose turn-offs are people who distort or disregard the facts in order to influence an otherwise rational and fair decision.

Hey, is she trying to get personal with me?

The foregoing may appear even more oblique an intro to this week's opus than my usual...unless you happened to catch a recent Thursday's local dailies, featuring City Page, a half-sheet piece of taxpayer-financed flackery promoting our beloved mayor and council. City Page is a weekly informational feature, prepared by the city's community relations office, offering tidbits of pertinence and/or interest to the Great Unwashed. Because we were greeting the new year, the page featured photos and vaguely biographical data on those who govern our city. Lest you trip over your own feet scrambling to exhume old copies of The Star or Citizen, the photos didn't fold out, and nobody was naked.

Aside from that, however, it was pretty much the familiar Playboy format: turn-ons (broken down into favorite foods, hobbies, books and movies,) turn-offs (under the heading, Pet Peeves,) and critical, character-revealing choices such as favorite presidents and biggest influences in life.

It probably won't surprise you to learn that FDR is Mayor George Miller's favorite president. George is an old-school Democrat, a classic New-Dealer. It might stun you slightly, however, to read that his favorite animal isn't Spot or Fluffy, the household pooch or poody-tat, but the gorilla. Gorilla. Big, scary, chest-thumping gorilla...just like Ward 1 Councilman Jose Ibarra. And if that's not enough to give one pause, consider that Ibarra's all-time favorite book is Machiavelli's The Prince.

How come we weren't given these data before it was too late? Machiavelli indeed.

And indeed, if the quality and quantity of information imparted in that City Page are worth the $860 the taxpayers of Tucson shelled-out--and obviously someone of influence feels they are--why were we not made privy to all this intelligence while we still were making our minds up about whose lever to yank or hole to punch?

I recall reading a bunch concerning how the various candidates felt about CAP water, but not a hint about their tastes in music. Do you honestly believe the voters of southeast Tucson would have elected Shirley Scott if they'd known her favorite music is Bach's Brandenburg Concertos? Lord no: that's Joe Diffie country.

And aside from the scary stuff about the gorillas and Jose Ibarra's fondness for Machiavellian philosophy, consider what else the council's personal tastes say about them:

• On literature, for instance, Janet Marcus says her favorite is Pride and Prejudice while Steve Leal claims Democracy in America by de Toqueville, and Miller says he prefers It Can't Happen Here. This tells me they're all lying. If somebody cited anything by Louie L'Amour or Danielle Steele I might take them for their word, but this is the sort of line you pitch at a singles bar...or in an election campaign.

Which, when you think on it, is like trying to hustle a night in the sack with a total stranger, only broader.

If the FBI (or, since time is tight, Yrs. Trly.) were to collate these data and generate a Tucson City Council member profile to use, say, as probable cause for some worthwhile act of public service, the picture that would emerge would be an hermaphroditic creature who likes bland food, leans toward morally uplifting films, as opposed to escapist movies, reads diligently in Victorian authors whose sentence structure you couldn't diagram in 3-D, relates most warmly and personally to a pet guppie, and was inspired to this life of public service by the ghost of a long-dead ancestor.

In other words, a work of fiction. In other words, a fabrication.

In other words, a pure politician...unelectable, if truth be known.

But truth be not known until now, thanks belatedly to City Page. Yet still one hungers for greater truth. Questions left unanswered, data unpublished.

Like we know Molly McKasson is into Jimmy Carter and Juliet of the Spirits, but what are her measurements? Councilperson McKasson is a public figure, after all, so is her figure not public? The people demand to know.

Ah, but is this information the people need to know? We must ask ourselves if this is pertinent to her performance in office, or if indeed there exists a veil behind which even the most public of figures is entitled to privacy.

I will confess here and now there was a time when I was in high school that I wondered about the measurements of Miss Molly McKasson. But I was a teenager then and teeming with hormones. I'm almost 50 now, and my thoughts turn to more mature matters... Janet Marcus' measurements. TW

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