ass-u-me nothing

Better Late Than NeverÂ…I Guess

Well, they finally did it. The East Baton Rouge Metro Council, after a seven-week stalemate and dozens of futile votes, finally elected a mayor pro tem on February 23. Four-term councilman Joe Greco got the nod, but only after the $1500 stipend for that position had been eliminated by the council just moments before the deciding votes were cast. That move allowed the pro tem candidates to vote for themselves by removing the much-discussed conflict-of-interest aspect of such a vote.

GrecoÂ’s election came as a surprise to many, including myself, since David Boneno was the odds-on favorite. Boneno, who had been acting as chairman of the council meetings after becoming chairman of the Finance and Executive Committee, had received six votes at the previous council meeting on February 9 (one shy of the required seven), all from his fellow Republicans. With the rule change, Boneno could then cast the seventh, and deciding, vote for himself, assuming that everybody continued to vote the same way. Well, you know what they say happens when you assume. 

After the pro tem pay was eighty-sixed, three council members were nominated: Lorri Burgess, who served as pro tem for the last four years, Boneno, then Greco. Under the council rules, because Greco was nominated last, the council voted on him first. After receiving the elusive seven votes, no other votes were held.

A classy Boneno said he was just happy to see the mayor pro tem issue resolved. He said, “Now we can turn our attention to more important issues that really matter to the people.” Yeah, like deferring more votes on other issues for another two weeks.

ItÂ’s interesting to note that Greco, a Republican, received four of his seven votes from Democrats, including Burgess, who had been the DemocratsÂ’ candidate. IÂ’m sure they did this with purely honorable intentions and donÂ’t expect any favors in return.

The other three Democrats were Ulysses “Bones” Addison, Byron Sharper, and Wayne Carter. The fifth Democrat, Charles Kelly, abstained. Why did he not vote for Greco? Maybe he dozed off during the meeting; I don’t know. And, oh yeah, Republican votes came from Martha Jane Tassin, Darrell Ourso, and, of course, Greco.

It amazes me that it took a substantial rule change and almost two months for these guys to accomplish something that should have been taken care of back on January 3. If this issue were a tennis match, both players would have collapsed from exhaustion in the middle of the umpteenth tiebreaker. If the Metro Council were an old married couple trying to figure out where they wanted to eat dinner, they would have died of starvation while parked in the driveway. This entire ordeal is symptomatic of a council that has a tough time coming together to do whatÂ’s best for the city-parish instead of its membersÂ’ political ambitions.

These Girls are from Where?

Recently, a team of three teenage girls won a national engineering contest in Arlington, VA. Lauren Arikol, 13, and Kathleen OÂ’Hara and Lisa Lynch, both 14, placed first at the Future City National Finals after beating out nearly 1,000 other teams in a competition to design and build a model city of the future.

WhatÂ’s so impressive about this feat? These girls go to St. Thomas More Catholic School. ThatÂ’s right: TheyÂ’re from Baton Rouge, and they designed the winning city of the future! Mayor Holden, I believe weÂ’ve found our next Director of Public Works. Congratulations to these enterprising eighth-graders.

Their model city, Etoile Directice (French for “Guiding Star”), would be built on a star-shaped, man-made island off the Louisiana coast. It would serve as a barrier island, and its shape would help deflect hurricane winds. The business and residential district would be covered by a retractable dome, and residents of Etoile Directice could move about the city via environmentally friendly subways, monorails, and hydrogen-powered hover buses. Not only did the girls make a complete model of the city out of Styrofoam™, orange-juice boxes, and a Hula Hoop®, but they also drafted essays explaining how everything, including transportation, security, and pollution, would be handled.

It’s staggering to think that three kids who grew up in Baton Rouge could envision such a progressive, bustling metropolis. In fact, this is probably the most ironic thing to come across my desk since I heard that four out of five Taco Bell® employees couldn’t identify Mexico on a globe. What’s next? Is the law enforcement officer of the year going to come from St. Helena Parish?

Editor’s Note: Ronald “Gun” Ficklin was the third St. Helena sheriff in a row to get arrested after a “Paul Gates Investigates” piece. Big props to my man, Paul. Keep up the good work.

No F–ing Way!

IÂ’m sorry, folks, but I just couldnÂ’t pass this one up. Let me issue a warning here. If you find the subject matter of oral sex objectionable and completely disgusting, why are you reading this magazine? IÂ’m only kidding, but seriously, have you ever heard of a guy named Bill Clinton?

According to a story from Chicago, an appellate court told Dr. Richard Phillips that he could sue his ex-fiancée, Dr. Sharon Irons, for emotional distress, which has manifested itself through nausea, trouble eating and sleeping, and “feelings of being trapped in a nightmare.” Phillips has accused Irons of a “calculated, profound personal betrayal.” What did she do? He says she secretly saved his semen after oral sex, then used it to impregnate herself.

If that’s not crazy enough, he’s already been ordered to pay $800 per month in child support for their five-year-old daughter. Under Illinois law, and that of many other states, Phillips is obligated to pay whether he intended to get his baby momma knocked up or not. Now, before you start going off on those “crazy Yankees,” Appellate Justice Allan Hartman noted a 1997 Louisiana case in which a man who claimed the same thing had child support obligations because “he had some sort of sexual contact” with the woman. I’m sorry, but that’s like taking someone’s gun, shooting yourself with it, then filing a wrongful death suit.

The court also ruled that Phillips couldn’t claim that Irons “stole” his sperm, saying that the sperm was hers to keep. “She asserts that when plaintiff ‘delivered’ his sperm, it was a gift – an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee,” Justice Hartman wrote. “There was no agreement the original deposit would be returned upon request.”

A “gift,” huh? Can I get that “gift-wrapped,” please? My wife is just going to die when she gets her birthday present this year!

So, fellas, the courts have spoken. If you’re lucky enough to have your woman go Lewinsky on you, and you want to ensure that you won’t pay a monthly note for it, make sure she swallows. If you have to, be like Joe Rogan on Fear Factor during the eating challenges and inspect to make sure it’s “all gone.”

By the way, I certainly hope that at least part of Phillips’ child support is going into a psychological counseling fund for the kid. It doesn’t matter what her real name is; she’ll always have the nickname “BJ.”