Clyde List as Wilderness Visitor

Sherwood Tribune, May 6, 1979
How can it be that they have found me guilty? I only wandered into City Hall one day, just looking around you understand. Like the marble in one of those pinball machines. A few swoops around the corner, a bounce back and forth here and there. And clunk.

It just seems to me, Your Honor, that it was the most natural thing in the world for somebody like me who can't find a job to show up at the hearest community club or something and offer a hand. I mean honest! That was really all I had in mind in the first place.

I wonder what would happen if all the unemployed people did that? Just walked into City Hall and said, "What can I do?"

Well I'll tell you what would happen. If they hung around long enough they'd turn out to be the Planning Commission, or the City Councilmen, or members of the Site Review Board or the Parks Commission.

And here's the part that will really blow your mind! Get up there on the other side of that table at City Hall and watch what happens! Here comes the BIG MONEY, the real estate developers, the Ruling Class, the hirers and firers of this world, the Captains of Industry. The same people that wouldn't have given you the time of day before are coming around like plain folks.

Like they were old friends of your grandfather or used to go out with your Aunt Mildred. And they're asking YOU for permission to put up their million dollar condominiums and planned urban developments. I mean can I be blamed because I've accidentally found myself in an exclusive clubhouse? When I moved that we all adjourn to the nearest bar, was that a crime?

At least it seemed to me that a tavern or street corner would be just as good a place to hash over the City's business as anywhere else.

Or that's what I thought until I walked into one place and hollered over the juke box music: "Oh what a beautiful day!" And everybody looked at me like I was trying to implicate them in a crime. "Yesterday was nicer!" someone shouted. "What do you mean: 'A beautiful day'?" someone else said.

I mean when you get identified with the Government you may as well spend your time knocking over grocery stores or something.

And then you get this thing in the mail. It's from the Ethics Commission. And you think, "Oh wow I wonder who they're after!" And it turns out it's YOU they're after!

Here's this six page questionaire that you can't make heads or tails out of that all "public officials" have to fill out and send back to Salem. Under penalty of Law.

I mean if you don't get it back fifteen days ahead of time they really get excited. They call all over the place until you finally fill it out.

Well you won't get any excuses out of me. I confess already. Whatever it was, I did it all. Even if I don't know what it is.

If there's anything I don't want it's a long, drawn out investigation on my account. Or any more forms to fill out. Those things cost a lot more money than I could possibly be worth and saving the taxpayer money is what I'm all in favor of.

So go ahead, put the cuffs on. I've only got one other thing to say to all you potential "public officials" out there. And that is, that if you got any brains at all, you should know better than to show up at City Hall for any reason other than recreational purposes.

Copyright 2005 by Clyde List

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