Of course, there is that one rather nagging question. Why would he be going after his ideological allies on this City Council, John Buchanan and Joe Mosca? This remains a mystery to everyone I have spoken to. What is it he expects to gain here by embarking on a path that, at least on a fantasy level, could possibly deprive these two gents of not only their positions on the City Council, but also their right to practice law in the State of California as well? Obviously his actions make no sense whatsoever. What did they do, forget his birthday? Run over his dog?
Of course, it could be that the fault lies with us. Perhaps the attempt to apply reason and logic to a situation where none exists is a cultural conceit on our part. One that seeks to deny the target of our concern the right to exist in a primitive parallel universe where City Council types are dragged off screaming in the middle of the night for discussing old blacksmith shops and carriage turnabouts. And then sentenced to a gulag of perpetual agony.
But that is a question I am not prepared to answer today. If you are, then have at it. I can only admit to genuine confusion on the matter.
What I would like to discuss this perfect California day is the search for the Secret Squirrel. A "squirrel," for those new to the parlance, is an individual who carries a small recording device upon his person in hopes of secretly capturing on tape conversations that will cause great embarrassment and misfortune to those he resents. The origin of the term being the animated cartoon character Secret Squirrel, pictured at the top of this page.
And apparently there was a squirrel at this now controversial meeting of local heritage buffs, which was also attended by City Council members. A squirrel that unobtrusively stood by and got much of what was said down on the tape that so over-heated the imagination of Glenn Lambdin. And nobody there seemed to know they were being taped. The squirrel did its work well.
Now the only proof as to the identity of this squirrel that I can offer here today is of the anecdotal variety. There is some guesswork here. And it must be clearly stated that I am merely offering deductions based on conversations I have had with some of the people who did attend this gathering. One that led to the discounting of the squirrel potential of most of those in attendance. And after we whittled that list down, there was only one logical candidate. And my opinion, which is shared by the several other people I have spoken to before writing this piece, is that our Secret Squirrel is none other than that doughty newshound in servitude to the paper that is still - and quite illegally - calling itself "Observer," Dean Lee.
Why Dean? A couple of reasons. The first being that he is almost never without his small hand held recorder. I've included a picture of something similar here. Dean can often be seen at City Council meetings with a device like this in his hand. It saves him the bother of having to write things down like most newsies would. Secondly, as a reporter covering a local story, wouldn't he be expected to attend an event like this? It is very much the kind of soft news item that the "Observer" favors these days. His rather innocuouspresence being in no way notable or out of place at a gathering like this. Such an individual can always count on anonymity at such occasions, the mark of a true squirrel.
Can you name one other person in this town who carries a small recorder of this type? And would be at a public gathering such as the one we're discussing here? And would actually want to tape John Buchanan and Joe Mosca as they expounded mightily upon horseshoe manufacture during the time of Lucky Baldwin.
These planets do align.
And didn't former Mayor Lambdin, during his brief yet energetic speech last week, contend that this taping was actually not all that secret? Perhaps because it would be something to be expected of a reporter? Particularly one widely known to use such a thing?
Now I don't want to be too harsh on our suspected Secret Squirrel. I honestly do not believe that he actually intended to be there with his device taping things with the purpose of inciting such bizarre interest in persons much larger than him. Dean was just covering an event. And I suspect that it was only after the tape was later heard by certain concerned individuals that its supposed potential was deduced. But isn't that always the fate of squirrels? After they deliver the fruits of their labors, those in charge get to interpret the meaning, and for their own purposes.
But we're getting into a matter that will covered in our next chapter on this saga. The one that will deal with our local versions of the cartoon super-spies, Boris and Natasha.