Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wile E. Coyote Meet Fellow Commissioners

Mark Twain once noted that even starving and hungry coyotes would chase a roadrunner; Wile E. Coyote please meet Shelby County Commissioners. The Road Runner cartoon is a parody of traditional "cat and mouse" antics. The classic chase formula has never lost its tension as the comically ineffectual predator (Wile E. Coyote) tactics always end in disaster. "Today, there appears to be some likeness between Wile E. and a few of our County Commissioners,” says Tom Guleff, founder of

In their eagerness to exercise their new found majority rule after last year's election, many of these commissioners are consigned to follow after a "roadrunner" right off a cliff, while taking others with them. This is best seen in their pursuit of the Juvenile Court system and their inept moves that have included violating sunshine laws, calling for Federal oversight, and now issuing a botched subpoena. This makes for good drama, but does little to improve government.

I would urge those commissioners that are blindly in the chase to review two cartoon rules:

1. No outside force can harm the coyote—except for his/her own ineptitude or the failure of the Acme products.

2. The coyote can stop any time—if he/her were not a fanatic. (A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.)

In light of the past zealous efforts, there are still commissioners who appear "school girl" giddy over the high court ruling that the charter of Knox County, like Shelby County's, did not "expressly" establish the offices of assessor, county clerk, register, sheriff and trustee.

As in most cartoons, the Road Runner and the coyote follow the laws of cartoon physics. For example, sometimes the coyote is allowed to hang in midair until he realizes that he is about to plummet into a chasm. The coyote can overtake rocks which fall before he does, but he still ends up being squashed by them.

Do we want our government to look like a cartoon?