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The Tentacle


December 26, 2003

Santa’s Secret Presents

John W. Ashbury

'Twas the night after Christmas And all through the county, Public officials were counting their bounty…

But, alas, there were gifts that they didn't want others to know they had received. But we at The Tentacle had our spies out and we have learned what some of those special, and now, not-so-secret presents were.

County Commissioner Jan Gardner received a huge Thesaurus, with a little note from Santa which said it was to allow her to make all her new tax proposal in fewer words.

County Commissioner Bruce Reeder got a clone of himself from Santa so that he wouldn't have to miss any meetings in the future.

County Commissioner John L. "Lennie" Thompson got a black robe from the head monk at the monastery to replace the one he had hoped to get from the electorate but will fail to receive.

County Commissioner John L. Lovell received his own personal tickler to prod him into a smile now and again.

County Commissioner Mike Cady got a few bluster bags from Santa, who has the clear knowledge that Mike could fill them in short order.

Newly appointed Circuit Court Judge Terry Adams found her stocking full of votes, not from Father Christmas, but from county voters terrified of the thought of Lennie Thompson deciding anyone's fate.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jack Dale got a case of tissues to wipe away the tears he will surely shed between now and next December 1.

WFMD newsmaker Blaine Young received a three-year course at Frederick Community College so that he will cease to maul the King’s English.

Frederick City Alderman Marcia Hall got a mechanical arm that rises only during Board of Aldermen meetings so she can more quickly agree with the mayor than she has in the first two years in office.

Alderman Bill Hall received a year's supply of Valium which, Santa said, will allow him to calmly express himself when angered by the frequently infuriating doings of the mayor.

Alderman Donna Ramsburg received a book that explained the pitfalls of being a mayor, based solely on the actions of the current Mayor of The City of Frederick over the last two years.

Alderman Joe Baldi got a gift certificate from Frederick's Waffle House so he can replenish his favorite penchant.

Alderman Dave Lenhart got a new Bible from Santa. The jolly old elf thought the old one had been worn out.

And to the Mayor of The City of Frederick, Santa simply left the realization that to do her job she needs the help of thousands of others and that their work on behalf of their community doesn't mean that she should get the credit. She also got a new hockey stick.

The state Fire Marshall's Office, including all the inspectors, got a 12-month course in common sense to assist them in interpreting the state fire code, instead of the current practice of sticking it to everyone with whom they come in contact.

County Manager Doug Browning was presented with a winning $1 billion lottery ticket, with the proviso that he pay for the Capital Improvement Program for the next six years out of his pocket. Of course, Santa didn’t give Doug the time in his schedule to actually claim the prize.

Paul Gilligan, former mayor of Burkittsville and frequent panelist on Adelphia Cable 10's Pressing Issues, was left a CD containing 463 different versions of "The One Note Samba."

State Senator Alex Mooney got a six-month hiatus from the General Assembly, starting in early January. There were two reasons for this gift. First, it will prevent Alex from making a "jackass" of himself during the legislative session. And second, he needs the time with his newborn son who will teach him how a real adult behaves.

Delegate Joe Bartlett was given the realization that his wife would be a far more effective delegate, if only in knowing what is actually going on in Annapolis.

Delegate Galen Clagett got a list of good excuses to use in three years when he attempts to defend his House voting record to Frederick district constituents.

Nice guy Delegate Paul Stull was given a backbone on which to stand in the face of all the stupidity that will arise across the aisle in the House of Delegates. And along with that came a frown, which he can use once in a while when he disagrees with a proposal but doesn't want to say so.

State Senator David Brinkley got the starring role in a new movie remake of "Mr. Deeds Goes To Washington." Unfortunately for him the director had his eye on another local actor for the role.

Delegate Patrick Hogan got a shaving kit in the unlikely event he will ever need to use it.

Santa almost forgot Delegate Rick Weldon, but at the last minute decided that a free ticket to Weight Watchers would serve him well in dealing with the complex issues in the General Assembly.

Congressional candidate and County State’s Attorney Scott Rolle, thinking he would find a few votes under his tree, found only a quiver of hickory switches.

And finally, Santa left Congressman Roscoe Bartlett a year's supply of No Doze.

There were many other "gifts," but Santa swore The Tentacle staff to complete and utter secrecy. So I guess we will just have to use our imagination.



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