OK, let’s call this little exercise “The Truth About Magic Doors As It Pertains to the Davis City Council.”
You see, a week ago Friday in this space I attempted to explain how the Davis City Council went from seeming unanimity over putting a three-quarter-cent sales tax increase on the ballot to instead recommending a half-cent sales tax increase. It happened so quickly that if you blinked, you missed it.
After witnessing this about-face on cable I wrote: “Along about midnight, at the urging of Councilman Brett Lee, they took a 2-minute bathroom break and all five of them disappeared behind the magic doors where only council members are allowed to tread. Oddly, when they returned, they had lowered their sights to a mere half-penny tax increase and passed it faster than you can say ‘potholes on Pole Line.’ ”
This statement led to a hostile and anonymous (as always) response in the “comments” section of this very newspaper, where someone who lacked the courage to even sign a real name to his opinion wrote: “The above statement is only 40-percent correct. If you look at the video streaming of the meeting, you will see none of the council members heading for the magic doors.”
He does concede, however, that “Dan Wolk and Brett Lee both did indeed use the bathroom,” which is apparently where he got his 40 percent figure, given that there are five members on the Davis City Council.
Well, for this unfortunate soul who apparently has never heard of the term “poetic license,” I must sadly inform him that there are no magic doors in the Davis City Council chambers. I made the term up out of thin air.
And while I have confirmed that Mayor Joe Krovoza, either because of a weak knee or a strong bladder, managed to remain seated during the entirety of this short break (the cable coverage cut away from his image for most of it, so one could only surmise what he was doing while his colleagues were away), the other four did indeed exit the stage. They did not, however, exit through magic doors since, as explained above, there are no magic doors.
This leaves me 80-percent correct, which is an incredible batting average in baseball, a decent free-throw percentage in basketball and an absolutely scintillating annual return on a financial investment.
Except, of course, for the part about “magic doors.” Again, I don’t really know how to gently break the news to this poor fellow who so clearly will be disappointed to learn that magic doors do not exist.
It gets worse, kind sir. Not only do magic doors not exist, neither does Puff the Magic Dragon. Nor do Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy or Magic Johnson. Yes, Magic’s real name is actually Earvin Johnson.
It’s probably best to take young children from the room at this point to avoid further damage to their charming belief in all things magical.
Put simply, the term “magic doors” was a figure of speech, as in fanciful and imaginary and, well, magical. The dictionary defines “magic” as “the art of producing illusions as entertainment,” which is exactly what I was trying to do.
I am sorry if I led this chap to believe there are truly “magic doors” through which council members pass to relieve themselves and collect their thoughts.
And while we’re on this journey down the path of both accuracy and honesty, I’d like to provide a full analysis of my claim that when it came to the half-cent sales tax proposal, the council “passed it faster than you can say ‘potholes on Pole Line.’ ”
That was a nice alliterative phrase of which I am justly proud, but it’s flat-out wrong.
With the help of my 9-year-old son and the stopwatch he got for Christmas, I was able to determine that it took the council 2.9 seconds to unanimously agree to the half-cent sales tax increase, while it takes a mere 1.7 seconds to utter the phrase “potholes on Pole Line.”
I admit the error and throw myself at the mercy of the fine readers of this daily journal.
— Reach Bob Dunning at firstname.lastname@example.org