Call it a “best of” event. What follows is a chronological rundown of the Dave’s Diary entries that ran in Ivan Foley’s Between the Lines column during the Platte City spring election campaign, 2008. The fictional piece is a look into the mind of Platte City’s incumbent mayor at the time, Mr. Dave Brooks.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 9 a.m.:
Dear Diary: Hello, it's me, Dave Brooks. I've come to talk with me again. You wanna know why? I'll tell you why. Because Dave Brooks is the only one smart enough to understand Dave Brooks. Well, Keith Moody understands Dave Brooks, because he's smart like Dave Brooks. But soon Keith and I won't be talking as frequently so it's just gonna be Dave Brooks talking to Dave Brooks on these teardrop-stained pages.
I can't wait to step outside today, Diary, you know why? I'll tell you why. Because today is Groundhog Day, which means if Dave Brooks sees his shadow the people of Platte City get six more weeks of outstanding governmental leadership.
If I don't see my shadow I bet that guy at The Landmark will say I violated the Sunshine Law again.
This whole seeing your shadow thing is so easy for me. I guess some people don't realize that Dave Brooks is the decider on whether or not the sun shines in Platte City. On the days Dave Brooks wants sunshine, Dave Brooks just gets up really early and places the sun in the sky. That's all there is to it. Really, who do people think puts the sun in the sky? OK, some folks might say God but Dave Brooks thinks God is too worried about avoiding traffic on Barry Road and paying $3 a gallon for gasoline. Dave Brooks knows that if God rode a Harley he would save money on gas. Dave Brooks will mention this to God in our next conversation.
But enough talk about religion, Diary, it is distracting me from my primary goal. Today Dave Brooks is kicking off his campaign for reelection as mayor of Platte City. That guy at The Landmark is such an ass. He says I consider myself the official Mayor of Earth. So wrong. I just want to be mayor of Platte City and several miles beyond. It is my calling. The people need me. I'm confident. I'm smart. I'm confident that I'm smart. I could sell an ice box to an Eskimo. And gosh darn it, people like me. I know they do because I told me so.
Anyway, my old political nemesis Frank Offutt wants to steal this job from me. Frankly, Offutt (Hah! See what I did there? Dave Brooks just made a joke. Did you get it? Frankly Offutt. . . as in Frank Offutt? I kill me!) doesn't stand a chance. I beat Offutt in 2002 because people were tired of arrogance at City Hall. If there's one thing Dave Brooks can say it is that Dave Brooks has cleared City Hall of arrogance. And Dave Brooks did that all on his own. Dave Brooks. . .the eliminator of arrogance! That should be my campaign slogan.
No, here is a better campaign slogan. “Vote for Dave Brooks, because when I win, we all win!”
That's it. I'm going with that one, Diary. Till next time, God Bless Dave Brooks!!
What follows is the second installment of Dave's Diary, a barely fictional look at the thoughts of Dave Brooks, barely mayor of Platte City.
Thursday, Feb. 14:
Hey there, Diary, it's me, Dave Brooks. Finally, a moment away from all the nut bags. It’s so great to be alone with me, myself and I.
I'm excited because I want to share a special Valentine's poem I've written. Here it is: 'Roses are red, violets are blue, I love Dave Brooks, and Dave Brooks does too.’
I wanna tell you, poetry is hard stuff. It took me six hours to write that. But I can't take all the credit. Keith Moody actually wrote the first two lines. He said he was glad to help and only asked for another $36,000 in his severance package for doing it. God bless Keith Moody. I fear this city will crumble when he's gone. Thank God the city will still have Dave Brooks.
Anyway, the extra work on my Valentine message means I will spend 86 hours on the job as mayor this week. That’s the kind of work load that would drive a lesser man to drink. This is why I tell people you can't have a full time job and be mayor. In fact, I suggest we make that a city ordinance. . . you got a job, you can't be mayor. Period. End of story. This would forever limit my field of potential opponents to retired folks and homeless people.
We will have to talk more about this later because right now I need to get to work on some unfinished projects before Frank Offutt tries to steal my throne. Number 1, I propose that the city spend $30,000 or $50,000 or whatever it takes to build a really nice “Welcome to Dave's Town” sign as you come into the city from the east. I suggest a life-sized sculpture of Dave Brooks. Marsha Clark says she wants a cannon. Maybe we could combine Marsha's idea with mine. Maybe place a Dave Brooks sculpture alongside a cannon aimed at the testicles of a statue of an un-neutered cat.
Brilliant! You gotta admit it would send a message about what is important in life: Dave Brooks and sterile cats. Another problem solved by Dave Brooks. I am an idea machine. I've got lightning in my brain. It’s no wonder I am the official Mayor of Earth!
Hey Diary, I just came up with a cheer to use in my reelection campaign. Maybe the Kitty Cat ladies will chant this at all my rallies. It goes like this: “Don't mess with the best cuz the best don't mess, don't fool with the cool cuz the cool don't fool. GO DAVE BROOKS!!”
Whew! Till next time, remember to vote for Dave Brooks, because when I win, we all win! Love, Me.
Wednesday, Feb. 20:
Hello, Diary, it’s me, Dave Brooks. Part-time voice of God, full time mayor of Platte City. You wanna know why Dave Brooks should be reelected? I'll tell you why. In fact today seems a good day to remind the little people of all the good things Dave Brooks has done as mayor. No. 1: Dave Brooks has cleared City Hall of arrogance. I've done a mighty fine job of this. Nobody helped me. Did it all on my own. No. 2: I attracted a new library to Platte City. Dave Brooks did this all on his own. Sure, I know Mid-Continent Library has its own tax levy and its own board of directors who make these kind of decisions, but this new library just wouldn't have been built in Platte City if it weren't for Dave Brooks. Don't ask me how I know this, I just do. No. 3: Heartland Clinic never would have come to Platte City if it weren't for me. Just ask me. I did this. I went to the folks at Heartland and I said 'Look, gentlemen (I always say gentlemen even when there are ladies in the room), despite my best efforts, people are still getting sick in Platte City. We need a clinic. Please will you build one in Dave's Town?' They agreed with my forethought. They said without me they never would have realized illnesses occur in Platte City. Credit to me, Dave Brooks. No. 4: I'm bringing a new Price Chopper to town. Yes, I did this. Forget AWG or Paul Bresette (I always thought his name was Leo), this idea was totally mine. Well, mine and Keith Moody's. Nobody would have got the ball rolling if Keith and I hadn't held meetings and talked about food. Without Dave Brooks, those guys at AWG never would have realized that people in Platte City need to buy groceries. Credit Dave Brooks for making this happen. No. 5: Dave Brooks is responsible for development of a pocket park at the end of Main Street. Never mind that the Main Street Association and Olin Miller have been the driving forces behind this. Clearly it wouldn't be happening without Dave Brooks. Again, don't ask me how I know this. I just do. No. 6: I am working with Senator Sam Graves (I always refer to him as Senator, though somebody else told me he is a Congressman. Whatever, I'm Dave Brooks and I'll call him whatever I want) to secure federal funding to fix a sewer problem at the Platte River. I like to say it's a potential sewer problem. Though I guess the EPA saw it as more than potential when they wrote us a letter a few years ago telling us to stop allowing poopoo to flow into the river. God bless Sam Graves. Sam and I could really be buds but I think some of his people are tight with that ass at The Landmark. No. 7: I have continued the capital improvements program (CIP). I'm sure it will be pointed out that the CIP was started by my opponent Frank Offutt back in 1998. But as I like to say, it's not who started the job, it's who's finishing it. That would be Dave Brooks.
Yes, I'm Dave Brooks and I'm running for mayor. Vote for Dave Brooks because when I win, we all win. Unfortunately that includes that ass at The Landmark.
Wednesday, Feb. 27:
Dear Diary. Me again, Dave Brooks, writing notes to my best friend, Dave Brooks. I'm a little down today. We had a meeting last night. Aldermen voted to do away with the city's commercial trash dumpster service. It was due to some kind of ugly rumor that private haulers could do it a lot cheaper than my city could. Does it really matter? Don't people realize that trash service provided by Dave's Town is worth a lot more than trash service provided by somebody else? Why can't people understand that? God must love stupid people. He made so many. And what's up with these aldermen? Sometimes I think the gene pool could use a little chlorine. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Listen, Diary, I've heard my opponent Frank Offutt does not keep a diary. This is another reason to vote for Dave Brooks. I think Offutt is jealous because the voices only talk to me. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
So yeah, Diary, I'm a little down right now, but it won't last long. Dave Brooks will put on his orange “Mayor” ball cap. Dave Brooks will then jump in his old pickup, the one with Nebraska license plates, and cruise down streets normally reserved for the little people in Dave's Town. I'll feel like a common man again, like I did before I started this six-year reign over my kingdom. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
I need to focus on the bright side right now because I’m hearing there are three, maybe four people who are considering voting against me in April. My Adopt-a-Soldier program is going very well. It’s going so well that I think I’ll adopt a highway and maybe two Russian orphans. Let’s see Offutt try to match that act of human kindness and compassion for which Dave Brooks is widely known! Whew! I still got it. Sometimes I have to force myself to go to sleep just so these ideas will stop flashing in my head. Good night, Diary. Remember, vote for me because when I win, we all win! And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Time once again for Dave’s Diary. It’s a weekly fictional look into the busy mind of Mr. Brooks, mayor of Platte City. Enter at your own risk.
Wednesday, March 5:
Dear Diary. Hello darkness, my old friend. Dave Brooks has come to talk with you again. Spring is in the air. That's not necessarily good. You wanna know why? I'll tell you why. It means Dave Brooks is closer to having the reign of his kingdom challenged by Frank Offutt. It also means it will soon be mowing season, and my neighbors will be screaming about the height of my grass again. So I keep my grass several inches taller than anybody else, what's the big deal? It helps prevent water runoff and soil erosion. I like to think of it as Dave Brooks’ personal rain garden program. I am the environmentally-friendly mayor of Earth. And that's all I've got to say about that.
Dave Brooks' campaign picked up a big-time endorsement this week. Keith Moody and I were able to have a meeting with the spirit of Evel Knievel. I hadn't spoken with him since he stumbled through my Harley rally a few years ago. This week we got together and through frequent gulps of Budweiser (by him, not me, as Dave Brooks doesn't drink), Evel said he heartily supports the Dave Brooks for Mayor campaign. He said my campaign is going beautifully. But I suppose beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder. Evel said if I win the election I should jump the Platte River in my old pickup. The one with the Nebraska plates. Evel jumped on his Harley and revved his engine, but I warned him never to do that in Dave's Town because my police now have a decibel meter. That decibel meter is so sensitive it picks up the sound of my heart pounding when Aaron Jung and I argue at public works committee meetings. And that's all I've got to say about that.
That ass at The Landmark says it is time for March Madness. What does he mean? I'm mad at him 12 months out of the year. I don't need a special month for that. And madness? Hah. I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
Till next time, Diary, remember to vote for Dave Brooks because when I win, we all win. Now let’s go neuter some cats.
After taking a dramatic pause, our almost-weekly, barely fictional feature known as Dave's Diary, starring the never dull thoughts of Dave Brooks, barely mayor of Platte City, returns with renewed vigor. I’m channeling inside the mind of Mayor Dave at this very instant. Time to let the emperor take the stage.
Thursday, March 20:
Hello, Diary. Dave Brooks here. Perhaps you've heard of me. I'm kind of a big deal. People know me. You wanna know why? I’ll tell you why. I'm the full time mayor of Platte City, part-time voice of God.
I had a talk with Keith Moody today. Keith and I talk often. That's how stuff gets done around here. Keith must have been joking with me. I asked him what day it was and he said “Dave Brooks, today is Maundy Thursday.” I like how he calls me Dave Brooks. But I had to ask him, 'Well which is it Keith, is it Monday or is it Thursday? You're confusing the hell out of me.' Then he explained to me that Maundy Thursday has something to do with Easter. I think he said it's the Easter Bunny's birthday. I dunno, Keith kinda talks over my head sometimes. That guy is so smart. We should double his severance package. I'm sure sorry the aldermen almost fired him. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
In addition to the 169 hours a week I work as mayor, I’ve been busy on the homefront. I've cleaned the heavy brush/small forest out of my yard. I like to do that every couple years. Spruce things up before Election Day, if you know what I'm saying. Hey, I heard that ass from The Landmark went to Las Vegas last week. Haven't heard how he did but I hope he lost a lot of money, his pride, his self-respect and his left testicle. He never does Dave Brooks any favors. That's why Dave Brooks often glares at him when he's sitting in the audience at Dave Brooks’ meetings. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Diary, I vetoed the trash ordinance but those crazy aldermen overrode my veto. I’ll show them. This week I’m going to veto Spring. That will hurt Aaron Jung’s landscaping business. Next I’m going to veto the use of foreign cars in Platte City. That will hurt Andy Stanton’s business. Then I’m going to ask our fine city attorney--man, I love that guy--if he can draft an ordinance that allows only one hardware store in Dave’s Town. Boom, there goes Rick Clark! Then I’m going to ask our fine city attorney if he can draft an ordinance that allows only one newspaper in Dave’s Town. Boom, there goes that ass from The Landmark! Then I’m going to ask our fine city attorney to draft an ordinance saying if you don’t live in Plate City you can’t own a business in Platte City. Boom, there goes 75% of our business community. Whew, Dave Brooks carries a mighty sword. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
All this deep thinking has worn me out. I need a nap. It’s Easter weekend so a lot of the little people are headed off to church. But Dave Brooks will avoid that hornet’s nest. Sometimes God gets upset when he thinks Dave Brooks is trying to compete.
Till next time, I’m outta here. Gotta pick up a present for the Easter Bunny. Remember, vote for me because when I win, we all win!
Time once again for our fictional update into the mind of Platte City Mayor Dave Brooks, my favorite third-person candidate for reelection. Once again, enter at your own risk.
Friday, April 4:
Dear Diary: Hello, it’s me. Dave Brooks. The mayor. You can call me Dave Brooks or you can call me The Mayor. Just don’t call me Mr. Brooks. That guy was a killer in a Kevin Costner movie. Dave Brooks doesn’t kill. I’m a doer of good deeds. I’m a people person. Just ask me, I’ll tell you. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Diary, I’m as nervous as a stray cat in a back alley in Dave’s Town. Election Day is just a few days away. I’ve been busy putting up my yard signs. I’ve issued myself executive privilege that allows me to place my signs in the right of way on city streets. I noticed Frank Offutt is obeying the rules of ethics and that kind of stuff by only putting his signs on private property, off of the right of way. I don’t have to obey that kind of stuff cuz I’m the full-time mayor of Platte City and the part-time voice of God. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Time for me to start thinking about what might happen if Frank Offutt actually wins this election. Dave Brooks will be out of a job. Dave Brooks will need something to occupy my time during the normal 169 hours per week. My mind could go stale. I wonder if Offutt will start some kind of Adopt-a-Former-Mayor program? I could be his co-mayor. Note to self: Ask Keith Moody if this is allowed under city code.
I had a guy tell me the other day that if I lose I should move to another town. He suggested Dave Brooks drive to Peculiar and run for office there. I don’t know why he picked that town. But this does have a certain ring to it: “Dave Brooks—Your Peculiar Mayor.” Yeah. I kinda like that. But the commute would be expensive with gas at $3 per gallon. God doesn’t even want to drive to Barry Road at those prices.
It’s not easy being Dave Brooks, let me tell you. Diary, my mind is kind of wandering here. If I do get beat as mayor of Platte City, am I still the official Mayor of Earth? I don’t know the answer to that. Note to self: Ask Keith Moody.
I don’t know why the people would want to vote me out. Look at all the projects I have taken credit for? How can these be ignored? Plus, I’ve neutered more cats than any mayor in the history of Platte City. There should be a plaque installed on a Main Street sidewalk to that effect. It’s the least this town could do for me. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
I’m really hoping Ron Porter and Jim Palmer win back seats on the board of aldermen. I love those guys. Can I annex them onto the board? Note to self: Ask Keith Moody.
Wouldn’t it be great if Ron and Jim and Dave Brooks are all elected? We could have the Mayor Dave and the Sunshine Boys Reunion Tour! Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Till next time, remember to vote for Dave Brooks because when I win, we all win.