I just happened to be in Downtown El Paso, happily answering another call to jury duty, when I ran into a familiar looking man strumming his guitar on a bench where the live aligators used to be.
"Who else would it be?" he answered, putting his guitar down. "Tell me, what did you think about my State of the City speech?"
"I can't say I'm too enthused about the idea of having my taxes raised yet again. Isn't there another way to raise the money we need?"
"Like what, for example?"
"Well, how about El Paso becoming more business friendly? Can't we make our taxes more competitive, so that we encourage businesses to move to El Paso, rather than from El Paso?"
Mayor Cook put his guitar down. "You know, this idea that high taxes scares off businesses is really nothing more than an urban legend that's never been proven. It's a known fact that higher taxes are an invitation for businesses to move into town and become a member of our familia. The most valued member of any family is the one that you can always hit up for a few bucks. Google it, if you don't believe me."
"But doesn't that keep businesses away?"
"Exactly! Don't you see, we want to keep businesses away. It's a known fact that for every one business you discourage from moving into town, you encourage ten local El Pasoans to start their own."
"Well, how about lowering taxes for the average citizen of El Paso? The more money we have to spend in the private sector will translate into business growth, jobs, and, ultimately, more money in the city coffers through a larger tax base."
Mayor Cook chuckled to himself.
"That's completely untrue," he said. "It's a known fact that people with less money in their wallets spend more. It's one of Newton's Laws of Physics. 'For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.' In other words, for every dollar you take away from the private sector, you add a dollar to the private sector. Don't believe me? Google it."
It was at this point in our conversation that we noticed two men in white coats walking toward us.
"Ah," the Mayor said, "I see my security team is finally here. We'll have to continue this conversation at another time. If I may, however, might I leave you with one piece of advice?"
"Of course, Mayor Cook."
"Leave politics to the politicians."
With that, his security team helped into a jacket much like the kind Houdini used to escape from and led him away. I wondered where they were taking him.
I guess I'll have to Google it.