I've been away for a while, lounging with my wife on a beach in Hawaii. I don't generally go to the beach or a public pool because I'm a bit self-conscious about, well, my feet. It's something I seldom talk about, but I have 11 toes.
Which might not sound so awful. But nine of them are on one foot.
It's funny until you have to shell out $240 for a pair of custom-made socks. And I'm a little tired of those Sasquatch folks camping out in my driveway two days a week to get grainy, blurry movies of me as I lope toward the mailbox.
It could be worse. Believers in extraterrestrial aliens follow Ted Haggard around seven days a week.
The point is, when I wasn't shooing Japanese tourists with cameras, I found myself thinking about my life and about our town, this place we call Colorado Springs or just "the Springs" or "Focus on the Family's doormat" or the "Gary, Indiana of the Rockies" or the "Gateway to Pee-A'blo."
And I came to a big decision. So it is today, with a great sense of pride and what the French call amour-propre (literally, "love of propellers"), that I formally announce my candidacy for mayor of our village.
I have based my decision somewhat on my love for this place I've called home for 17 years. Mostly, though, I know that after eight years of Mayor Lionel Rivera, the man or woman who becomes our next mayor will, by comparison, seem like a combination of Aristotle and Winston Churchill.
And to borrow a quote from former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, I want to be that man or woman.
My election next April will, as you know, make me the village's first "strong mayor." I will honor this historic moment at my inauguration with a ceremonial bench-press of City Councilman Sean Paige's can of hair spray.
Anyway, here now, with some writing help from former Colorado governor candidate Scott McInnis, who was forced from the race because he committed plagiarism, are some of my own personal views:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I also believe that yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
More importantly, if elected I vow to turn all of the village's street lights back on permanently so we can, even on the darkest nights, see all of our good jobs and high-tech businesses move to Denver — leaving us to fight over the 147,000 part-time Loaf 'N Jug clerk positions.
Also, I promise to put trash cans back in all public parks so they will no longer be sullied with garbage, soiled diapers and blue plastic Gazette bags filled with dog poop — although some say the dog poop is a step up from what was originally in the blue bag.
I'll need help, of course, and so I'm lining up an exciting staff. My first two administration appointments:
• Steve Bartolin, longtime president of The Broadmoor, will become director of Parks and Recreation. Under his guidance, our parks, which last summer looked like they were used in the filming of the 1951 classic The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel, will have so much water on them you won't know whether to kick a soccer ball or harvest cranberries. (Note: Under Bartolin's plan the current fee of $63 per season for your child to play flag football will increase slightly to $14,000 per game.)
• Doug Bruce has agreed to be the city's public relations director. You'll find him sitting at his city hall desk from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Although if you're with the state and trying to serve him with a court order, he'll be crouching quietly under his desk.
So let a new era dawn upon our village today, an era I hope will start by you stuffing campaign cash into an envelope and delivering it to me at the Independent.
Just be sure to bring a snack. You'll probably be in a long line behind the developers.