MAILBAG MONDAY: It's been a long week for your little man, getting buffeted by the mailbag, slinging mud at Joe Luyben, our competitor in the Race for the 5th, then having a conciliatory cup of coffee with Luyben in which we agreed on certain elements of life, all the while putting up with letters and comments about our horrible, horrible sense of humor - although, in all mock humility, we do have to confess that we received some nice notes during the week as well, including one that we mentioned, from a 79-year-old woman who said our column is the first thing she reads every morning.
That nicety was smacked down by a comment from Marilyn Stanley McKellips, who has apparently told us before that we're not funny. "Again, not funny," she reports. "The 79-year-old needs to get a life if Tim's column is the first thing she reads every morning."
Most of the animosity continues to come in reaction to our campaign. Who knew you'd make people unhappy with you just by offering to devote your life to helping others \<sniff\>?
Relief comes from Terry Long, amused that many people seem to get all tangled up while grappling with satire.
"I'm sure if a research center devoted some energy to this, it would establish a direct correlation between intelligence and the ability to appreciate satire."
And this, from the blues guitar legend Bernie Pearl. "Y'know, Grobaty, sometimes you just have to be Jewish to get it. I found your Luyben article hilarious. Be undaunted, fellow."
Undaunted, we dive deeper into the sack of mail and find a perfectly reasonable letter from retired L.A. sheriff's deputy Bill Hatcher who bombards us with questions: "When is the city election? What area does the 5th District cover? Do you have a platform? When are you going to have a meeting with your supporters and supporters-to-be?"
The election for 5th District and other odd-numbered districts is April 8, 2014. You should know this about us: We tend to agree to do things that are more than a year away.
You could tell us you're going to hit us in the mouth with a mallet, which we would find initially alarming. But if you added that you're going to do it in 18 months, we would be totally cool with the idea.
That's because we never think we're going to live another six months.
The district covers the least exciting part of Long Beach, including our block. Generally, it's north of Willow Street and the 405 Freeway and south of Heartwell Park except Long Beach City College neighborhoods, and it goes east into El Dorado Park Estates.
If you can run a dishwashing machine, you can run the 5th District. Parcheesi is more difficult.
Do we have a platform?
Our mentor and political muse Don Knabe assures us that our constituents will erect a giant statue of us on a stallion rampant in the village square, if we can fill potholes and keep the trees trimmed, so there's that.
Otherwise, you can stick a fork into Rosie the Riveter Park. Also, you can pretty much assume we'll take over Signal Hill.
We don't know when we're going to have a meeting with our supporters. We might not have any. Meetings, we mean, not supporters.
On the musical front, we emerged from Week Two of Black History Month-related tunes fairly unscathed, thanks to Cousin Ed's submission of a gripe-proof slate of tunes from the Tamla/Motown/Atlantic vaults of the 1960s and 1970s.
Still, we received a "suggestion" from faithful reader and correspondent Compton Superior Court Judge Kelvin D. Filer.
"Tim, you know you need to recognize that great poet/philosopher/innovator Sly Stone from Sly & the Family Stone. Your choice of songs is endless - "Dance to the Music," "Stand," "Everybody Is a Star," "I Want to Take You Higher," "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin," "Family Affair." No playlist - let alone a playlist for Black History Month - should be without him!! Just my two cents! Take care."