Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To Serve and Protect Gotham

In October, when the maveness and I attended James Taylor’s concert benefiting Genworth Children’s Advantage Classic, I noticed that Uncle Doug, our beloved mayor, was talking intimately with Metro Richmond’s finest citizens. From my vantage point, about a dozen rows above the floor at the Siegel Center, I kept an eye on Mr. Wilder for about ten minutes until the houselights were dimmed and James Taylor walked on stage. From then on this maven was totally blown away by Taylor’s performance. I did notice, however, that after only two or three songs, Doug Wilder got up from his seat and left the arena. At the time I wondered why our mayor would leave such a delightful concert. I speculated that perhaps Doug’s chauffeur had another engagement, or that it was a long drive back to Mr. Wilder’s James River ranch, or, even more likely, that Uncle Doug, being part of the ever growing senior population, was growing tired after a tough day. (You who are still under sixty wouldn’t understand.)

Well, dear reader, after reading a letter in the Times-Dispatch this morning (February 13), I find that I must extend my apologies to Uncle Doug. I now know that he left the arena to carry on the city’s business. The letter, which the TD entitled “Reader Has Total Faith In Mayor,” indicated that the

“No. 1 thing that Richmonders were screaming for was the reduction of crime. He has delivered on that.”

All this time, this doubting maven has been thinking that the reduction in crime in the city was attributable to the marvelous job being done by Police Chief Rodney Monroe and his fine officers. I was clearly wrong. Now I know it was . . .


It’s a cold December night in Gotham Richmond. Suddenly all of downtown is lit up by glaring lights. They say it’s the Grand Illumination, but it is really the Doug Signal that is lighting up downtown. Nearby, two thugs have just finished robbing a branch of Bank of America. As they emerge and run toward their getaway car, two caped figures drop on ropes from the Dougcopter hovering over the city. It is the dynamic duo of Bat Doug and his faithful sidekick Robin Black. With a POW and a SWAT Bat Doug and Robin B put the thugs down. Two more criminals are gone from Richmond. Bat Doug triumphs again over the forces of evil!

But, Maven, you ask. What about Rodney Monroe? Why is it that the press and the media give him all the credit for reducing crime in River City?

Dear reader, you must know that all super heroes must protect their identities. The Rodney Monroe that you see in the papers or on TV is really just a manikin. It is Bat Doug that is cleaning up the city. “Rodney” is just a cover for our caped crusader.

The writer of our letter goes on:

“The amazing thing to me is that nobody gives the mayor credit for the fraud he has uncovered. His uncovering of the gasoline fraud was worth $400,000—and that’s just what we know about.”

Again this maven and the press and the media were wrong. We thought all this fraud was revealed by City Auditor Umesh V. Dalal and his minions of bean counters. But it was really our super hero. . .


In broad daylight, two city workers are driving a personal car to D.C. to take in the Nationals game. (No minor leaguers these two!) They stop on Brook Road to fuel up the car before getting on I-95. The driver uses his Richmond City gasoline card to pay for the purchase. Suddenly from out of nowhere a red and blue flash streaks across the sky. Sticky webbing shoots down and ensnares the two frauders. Spider Doug swings down on his own web and snatches up the villains. The nine members of the City Council look on in disbelief. For years they have been trying to track down the gasoline fraud, without success. Only the truly heroic Spider Doug was up to the task and was able to stop this fraud.

But maven, you ask. What about Mr. Dalal and his band of auditing brothers? Didn’t he write the audit report that revealed the gasoline fraud?

Faithful reader, again you have been tricked by our hero’s perfect charade. Umesh Dalal and all those auditors are, you guessed it, manikins. It is Spider Doug and only Spider Doug who has laid these miscreants low.

So, citizens of Greatest Richmond, you can sleep tonight feeling safe. Have no fear. . . Doug is here.

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