Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yes, But Where Will We Park?

I was at the El Paso Central Business Association luncheon at the DoubleTree hotel when I heard Mayor Cook mention that the city is close to buying the old El Paso Saddleblanket Co. building from River Oaks Properties for $1.26 million as part of efforts to revitalize Downtown and help reduce blight in the central area.
     I sat next to Mike Breitinger, executive director of the Central Business Association, and asked him:  "Won't it take a long time to revitalize Downtown?"
     "Rome," he answered, "wasn't bulit in a day."
     "Do you think a revitalized Downtown can attract enough people to make it worthwhile?"
     "Hope springs eternal."
     "Are you going to keep answering me in nothing but cliches?"
     "Time will tell."
     That's when I saw Mayor Cook.  He was sneaking out the back through the kitchen.  He was wearing a waiter's jacket and carrying a tray of dirty dishes.  I ran to catch him.
     "Mayor Cook, may I ask you a few questions before you leave?"
     "No hablo ingles."
     "Of course you speak english," I told him.  "Mayor Cook, I know it's you."
     "Oh, all right."  He peeled off his Steve Crosno wig.  "I'm always happy to talk with my constituents.  Wait!  What's that?"
     I turned to see what he was pointing at, and saw nothing.  When I turned back Mayor Cook was gone.  I looked around and saw him hiding behind the dishwasher.  I walked over.  He pretended to be inspecting a fork.
     "Mayor Cook, about my questions?"
     "No hablo ingles."
     I raised one eyebrow.  He shrugged his shoulders in resignation.
     "Oh, all right," he said, taking off his fake black glasses with the big nose and the bushy eyebrows.  "I'm always happy to...  what's that?"
     I raised my other eyebrow.
     "Fool me once, Mr. Mayor, shame on you.  Fool me twice, and...  uh...  won't get fooled again.  Now, about the parking situation Downtown, what's the point in revitalizing Downtown if people can't find a parking space, or, if they do, have to pay for it?  Who wants to pay for parking?  It's easier to go to the mall where the parking is plentiful and free."
     The Mayor grew agitated.
     "Parking?  We don't need no stinkin' parking.  I was in the Mesilla Valley Corn Maze when I heard a voice.  It said:  'If you build it, they will come.'"
     "What does that even mean?"
     "It means:  if you build it, that is, revitalize Downtown, they, that is, the shoppers, will come."
     "Maybe the voice was saying if you build free parking spaces Downtown the shoppers will come."
     Mayor Cook grew quiet.  Thinking.  The minutes passed.
     "Mayor Cook?"
     "No hablo ingles."

Fifty Shades of Funny

No comments:

Post a Comment