With all the talk of a new pope in the last few days, I was stunned to open my inbox and find a personal email from what appeared to be a “Pope Kemble.”
And here I thought the new pontiff was named Francis, but who knows, maybe he changed his mind on the way back to Buenos Aires to pack his bags for an extended stay in Rome.
Still, I had heard the man has a personal touch with the common folks, so maybe he was sending a simple email to this East Davis commoner (see photo above) to solicit my thoughts on the state of the world and the state of the church we both share.
As I began to formulate a response to an email I hadn’t even read, I looked again to make sure it truly was from our new pope. And that’s when I realized that in my excitement I had read the name backward. Turns out it was not from Pope Kemble, but from Kemble Pope, a local chap who runs the Davis Chamber of Commerce.
“Hi Bob,” Mr. Pope begins, “I can’t recall seeing you at the Davis Chamber of Commerce event ‘Celebrate Davis’ in years past, but with over 10,000 Davis residents coming and going from Community Park it is easy to get lost in the crowd.”
Never been lost in Community Park, your eminence. We do show up for the fireworks, parking over by the Little League park, opening the moon roof and letting the kids poke their heads into the night air.
“Last year we added a new component that was very successful: the ‘Family Fun Zone.’ ”
I’ll be sure to tell the kids.
“Since I’m new to Davis I’d only heard stories about the dunk tanks that were once regularly used in our little town.”
Those were for people from Woodland who got out of hand visiting our quiet little town.
“Cautionary tales of elected officials and local celebrities catching cold from unheated water sent a chill down my spine.”
There are no celebrities in Davis, Kemble.
“So, being the thoughtful person that I am, I ensured that last year there was a ‘solar’ heater placed on the tank as soon as it was full of the best quality groundwater that Davis could provide.”
As I understand it from the last election, it is now illegal to use the words “quality” and “groundwater” in the same sentence.
“I did such a good job heating it up that it was difficult to get Mayor Joe and Dandy Dan out of the tank last year.”
Should have left them both there to soak in the selenium.
“Anyway, since we threw the whole thing together at the last minute and it was still such a rousing success, we’ve decided to roll out the tank again on May 16 of this year. Now we’re faced with the difficult challenge of drastically improving the experience for our paying customers and the large audience (free admission, of course.)”
May I suggest you convince the Maloofs to take a turn in the tank?
“It occurred to us that what we really needed was a Master of Ceremonies, someone Large-and-in-Charge, someone with enough knowledge and bravado to heckle our diverse group of local celebrities (sports coaches, elected officials and business leaders). In short, we need YOU.”
Hey, you don’t have to shout. Have your people contact my people and see if they can reach an appropriate appearance fee, including liability waivers should any of those dunked succumb to death by manganese.
“Would you be willing to donate 2 hours of your time on Thursday, May 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. to make our dreams come true?”
If I don’t get lost in the crowd or appointed Ambassador to the Vatican between now and then, I’ll be there.
But no pseudo-celebrities in the tank, please. Those folks are already all wet.
— Reach Bob Dunning at firstname.lastname@example.org