If you read this column regularly (and I'm sure you all do!), you might recall that on July 12, I asked San Diego City Council President Scott Peters, and City Attorney Mike Aguirre, to come meet me at Nunu's in Hillcrest and to quit squabbling with each other. You might also remember that although the two of them didn't drop by at the same time and although they don't appear any closer to joining a bowling league together, they did each have the common courtesy to come see me six evenings later and I enjoyed them both.
Since that time I have met a few other notable folks at Nunu's, including my new friend from the state Attorney General's office and a couple of staffers for a certain City Council member. Nunu's has become a veritable local government water cooler, and deservedly so. At Nunu's, like at any good neighborhood dive bar, the petty things that divide us during the course of a workday don't matter very much. At Nunu's we can get along, find common ground and move forward, which is why our elected officials should spend more time there. Moving forward has been tough for San Diego lately. We've been up to our metaphorical axels in mud with a busted winch.
But while influential folks from all over the city have found their way down to my watering hole and field office, Mayor Jerry Sanders has stayed conspicuously away. It's not that I haven't invited him-I have. On July 26 I devoted two full paragraphs to entreating my would-be chum to come join me for a bacon-cheeseburger, some tater tots and maybe a cold one or two. I asked him big as hell, right in front of all of you, and so far he's a no-show.
I know he got my invitation-I e-mailed it to him. Moreover, I had my secretary contact his office on the morning of Aug. 1, the day I hoped we could meet. His secretary told mine that he had meetings until 5 p.m. and "another engagement" at 5:30. It turns out that Aug. 1 was the day the U.S. Senate approved a plan to have the feds take over the land under that pile of perpendicularly stacked cinder blocks atop Mt. Soledad, thus prolonging the death throes of a monument whose putative unconstitutionality has preoccupied Jerry to the point of distraction. I suppose, in the scheme of things, a photo-op to tout giving away city land and thus appeasing a bunch of high-strung Christians is more important than hooking up with little old me for a cock-and-bull session. Still, he could have called.
I saw Jerry on July 29. He was riding in a big, fancy car in the 32nd Annual Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Patent Commercialism and Pandering for Votes Parade. I hollered at him, "See you Tuesday." He waved and nodded, but I guess he thought I was someone else. I don't bear much of a resemblance to Brian Bilbray (a fact for which I am immeasurably grateful), but that's who Jerry hooked up with while I hoped he'd be kicking it with me. Maybe Brian and I sound alike to passersby in convertible Lincolns.
Anyway, I'm asking you one more time, Jerry: Will you take off your mayor's hat just once and come hang out for a little while? Like I told you, you don't have to have the burger. Have a salad, if you like. I can tell you've been watching your weight. Hell, you're getting downright svelte. The hooch is negotiable, too. Aguirre had a soda, and it didn't bother me a bit. On the other hand, if you get carried away and tie one on, you can always crash on my couch, although I would prefer to call you a cab. My girlfriend doesn't feel, umm, "comfortable" with strangers in the house.
Pay no mind to what you might have read in other CityBeat columns. I have no quarrel with you for your support of flagrantly religious installations on public land, your opposition to the safe and reasonable practice of water re-purification, your unending quest for opportunities to outsource city jobs and your avoidance of any discussion that might result in you having to explain your opposition to sensible increases in city taxes and fees. Other people disagree with you over those things. I don't. I'm completely neutral. I just want to chat about a few things.
Assuming you don't have anything planned for the late afternoon on Tuesday, Aug. 15, I suggest we shoot for that date at about 5-ish. I'll get there early and hold us a couple of seats. Don't rush-Tuesday's are usually pretty slow. If that doesn't work for you, recommend another time and place. I can make it any time. My schedule is tragically free of any compelling engagements. That's because whereas you are the mayor of America's eighth largest city, I am just a humble weekly columnist with a minor dose of talent for satire. If I couldn't look forward to writing this column once a week, I would probably have drunk the bleach a long time ago.
Of course, if you just don't think you and I would get along, I understand. I like you, but that doesn't mean you have to like me. I'm just saying that if you don't like me, you could have the decency to tell me so in person. Lots of people don't like me. Even some people at Nunu's don't like me. I'm not all that likeable, and I can handle that fact. What I can't handle is twisting in the wind all full of self-doubt, wondering whether somebody likes me or not. If you don't like me, say so. I'm a grown-up. I can take it. Otherwise, I'll see you Tuesday, but don't bring Brian. I don't like him.
Tony Phillips blogs at www.fifthavenuegazette.com. Write to fifthavenuegazette[at]yahoo.com and editor@SDcitybeat.com.