There have been some questions recently as to whether or not I have ambitions toward running for public office. Let me take this moment to assure you that I have absolutely no ambition whatsoever. Ask anyone who knows me and they will support me on that note.
I suppose I can understand how the rumors got started. Apparently someone was overheard fitting the words “Bart” and “Mayor” into the same sentence. As it happens, the person in question was actually saying “Bart” and “Major” as in “Bart is a major pain in the …”
My wife has apologized for any confusion her comments might have created.
It’s not that I’m particularly opposed to public office. I‘ve known quite a few public servants over the years and they are by and large a content if thick-skinned lot. The fact that I met most of these politicos while sitting at a bar may point to the source of their contentment. But then again, that is the one facet of public life for which I could be considered well trained.
No, my refusal to run for office has nothing to do with the job itself. It has everything to do with the stringent and unattainable standards we have set for our leaders. It’s not good enough to be sincere, driven and rich anymore. No, we expect our candidates to be better than everyone else. We want our candidates to have perfect hair, above average IQs and fathers who are former presidents.
Even more impractical, we expect our leaders to have lily-white pasts. That means no hookers, no drugs and, above all else, no walking cows down Lake Road in Bay Village.
Alas, that it where I fall short. I could tell you I didn’t know it was against the law at the time, but ignorance of the law is a poor excuse. Bay Village law is very precise; it is illegal for anyone to walk a cow down Lake Road. It’s been on the books for decades, so it can’t be wrong.
I don’t want to get into the gory details here as to just what I was doing with a cow in Bay Village. Just know that snack foods were involved. And gravy. And an albino named Tim. It’s really not much of a story.
The point is, I broke the law. And once the jackals of the media got a whiff of it, they’d be nipping at my Thom McAns all the way to the Governor’s mansion. So I’m aborting my political career before it even gets started.
Of course, I wouldn’t even have known that I broke the law had I not stumbled across a web site titled “Big Government, Small Brains, Dumb Laws.” The site lists some of the more ludicrous laws on the books of states, cities and villages across the nation. Among them was the Bay Village cow walking edict.
As it happens, the bovine blunder is not my only brush with lawlessness. On separate occasions I have run afoul of resolutions in various municipalities declaring it illegal to sell Corn Flakes on a Sunday (Columbus), roller skate without notifying the police (North Canton), parade a goose down Main Street (McDonald) and my very favorite, eat a doughnut while walking backwards on a city street (Marion).
Not that I had to wander all over the state to break the law. I could very easily have worked on my rap sheet right here in Lima where, according to city ordinance, it is illegal to sell any map without Lima clearly stated on it.
I don’t intend to “out” anyone here, but I am not the only one in town to crack the occasional law. And I know for a fact that there are more than a few scofflaws currently holding office. I know of one Lima City councilman, for instance, who has been known to ignore the actual Ohio state law declaring it illegal to fish for whales on a Sunday. I’m not certain if he’s ever broken the secondary state law declaring it illegal to get a fish drunk, but I have my suspicions.
And it doesn’t stop at the city level. I’ve seen a certain school board member wear patent leather shoes in public in flagrant disregard of Ohio law. I know village councilmen who have trapped mice without a hunting license (illegal in Cleveland,) a township trustee who installed slot machines in his outhouse (illegal in Bexley) and one county official who went so far as to ignore an orator on Decoration day to such an extent as to publicly play croquet within one mile of the speaker’s stand — a violation of Ohio law that should have garnered the offender a $25 fine.
So now you know. The system is polluted by mouse-trapping, Corn-Flake-peddling, patent-leather-shoe-wearing criminals who run roughshod over the law and treat our state like some smorgasbord of sin and deprivation. It’s enough to make you want to toss the law books out the window.
Which, I should inform you, is illegal in Cleveland, Ironton and most of Northwest Ohio.