December 22-28, 2005
Sometimes, it’s not about what you want, it's about what you need.
Set to open in fall 2007, your 57-story skyscraper will be the city's largestonce again, pissing off the statue of William Penn atop City Hall (still fragile after the one-two punch of Liberty Place back in the late '80s). And once again, damning us to 20 more years without a championship sports team. So let's hook this sucker up with a cloaking device. (Bonus: you can write it off as an "anti-terrorism" expense!)
To: Curby Bucket
A ride to the nearest dump. Goofy mascots and slogans won't cut it. The city has a chance to let taxpayers off the hook for $17 million a year if they restructure the recycling program and hire a coordinator with chutzpah. Sorry, Curby, but you're just too hollow.
To: Councilman Michael Nutter
A hermetically sealed bubble.
To: Clifton Davis
We love that you've been put in charge of Welcome America! Our gift to you is the fortitude to resist when Milton Street comes a-knockin' with his latest hot-dog-and-bottled-water scheme. Can we get an Amen?
To: Eagles Season Ticket Holders
A refund. This year, the Birds were the sports equivalent of a Michael Bay flick: The only sane option is to walk out halfway through.
To: Howard Eskin
A Bobby Abreu blow-up doll. The Burger King look-alike is clearly obsessed with the Phils right fielder. Maybe this will help.
To: Terry Fox
For the newly announced curator of the Wilma's DanceBoom! festival (replacing busy bee Nick Stuccio) we give you fans -- both kinds. The people kind, because we know you have the tools and the talent (we've seen your resume). We're also throwing in some oscillating fans, too, in recognition of the festival's move from chilly January to a season-ending June.
Tupperware Sales Kits. With all members of the House and half those in the Senate, armed with meager approval ratings, getting ready to face the music in fall of 2006, that quirky sideline gig might just be your main gig.
To: Helis the Whale
A kilo of heroin. If there's any doubt in your mind as to whether Helis is a junkie, ask yourself this: Have you ever heard of a thin whale before?
To: Hells Angels, Pagans and Warlocks
Your own HBO series. New Jersey has The Sopranos, B'Mo has The Wire. Philly needs its own weekly fix of cussing, crime and corruption. (Besides City Hall.)
To: Ryan Howard
A big new mantle for that Rookie of the Year award and some earplugs. With Big Jim traded to the White Sox, let's just say you're on notice, big guy.
To: Lynne Abraham
A shiny new Rolex. You were years late on that priest-sex thing. Kids who have been molested by priests have already grown up to become priests who molest other kids.
To: Athos I
An invitation back to Philly. No, really. We mean it. Let bygones be bygones. Sure, you dumped enough crude into the Delaware to fuel a City Council debate. But we're not ones to hold a grudge. Really. Pay no mind to that little spiked ball anchored to the bottom of the river. That's nothing. Right this way no, a little to the left
We give you a dial that goes to 9. We appreciate your enthusiasm, but all that snark and slang is too much first thing in the morning.
To: Donovan McNabb
A kevlar jockstrap.
To: Donovan McNabb's Mom
An endorsement deal for SEPTA, where she goes around scolding on-strike city workers who are chowing down on cheesesteaks and lager, and encouraging them to work less.
To: Corey Kemp
A iPod Shuffle pre-loaded with these delightful hits of yesteryear: "Backstabbers," by the O'Jays! "This Is How We Do It," Montell Jordan! "Where the Streets Have No Blame," U2!
To: The Please Touch Museum
Congratulations on breaking ground on your new Memorial Hall digs. Trick is, Fairmount Park is kind of a haul for little feet, which is why we're giving you Mr. Rogers' magical trolley (or at least one of those new Girard Avenue trollies).
To: People Who Murdered Somebody This Past
A "Ben-tastic!" T-shirt. Thanks to you, heartless criminal scum of the Philly Underworld, you help the city beat last year's wimpy (only 328) homicide toll. Without you, this city wouldn't be the same.
To: People About to Die Because They're Waiting
for an Ambulance in a City That Has One of the Worst Response Times
Um "Ben-tastic" T-shirts can also be used as, like, tourniquets and stuff.
To: People Who Were Murdered This Year
Not that you need anything, but look on the bright side. You'll miss all of this "Benergy" bullshit going on in 2006.
To: The Prince Music Theater
Plagued in recent years by postponed world premieres and cases of the flu attacking the cast, we give a lucky rabbit's foot and a case of ColdEeze. (With Dreamgirls, it looks like you might be on the right track.)
To: Beanie Sigel
Every hip-hop king needs a "yes-boss"-ing sycophant.Oh wait
A bag over your head and a shot of sodium pentathol. We don't want to resort to Guantanamo Bay-style torture tactics to get vital info out of you, but you leave us little choice. Somehow you can afford to print thousands of goofy little trading cards of bus drivers, and yet you gouge us with the second-highest fares in the land? Open up your books or face the consequences. Don't make us resort to the "Tijuana douche. "
To: Nick Stuccio
You may have lost DanceBoom! from your packed to-do list, but now that your Live Arts/Fringe team has dwindled to, well, you, we give you a cloning machine, because you could use more of yourself to get the job done.
To: Ed Wade
He tried, really, but it always seemed that the mouselike, bespectacled former G.M. was better suited for a different job in baseball. Let's get him a letter of recommendation from Phillies president David Montgomery to see if we can't help land him a job as assistant librarian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Book it, Dave-o!
To: Signe Wilkinson
A thicker-skinned readership. Wait; this is Philly. Okay: How about a town that appreciates that satire is best when it stings a little?
To: Jason Michaels
Tickets to the policeman's ball. Watch out for that punchit's spiked!
To: John Street
Large portraits of Corey Kemp and the late Ron White. You know, your pals. Oh, and a new brother.
To: Sharif Street
A dart board, so you can finally make up your mind about which public office you'd like.
To: Lil' Kim
A "Benergy" T-shirt, since you won't be out until all of the "fun" and "excitement" of the "Ben Franklin Celebration" is nearly a memory.
To: Rick Mariano
If the councilman really wants to draw attention to himself, gain sympathy, climb to new heights or if he just wants tohold the city in the palm of his hand, he needs a King Kong credit card (signup.universalstudios.com/form/254). Next time he's out climbing, he can hold his new line of credit in one hand and Mayor Street in the other.
To: Daily News Staffers
Jobs at the Inquirer, just like Kurt Heine!
To: Sal Calabro and Steven Singer
Copies of Chicken Soup for the Stern Advertiser's Soul, as Howard heads for Sirius.
To: Susannah "Go Go" Goihman
A tequila-activated chastity belt.
A copy of Madden 2007. With the create-your-team mode, you can make a perfect team where every position is played by you and Brett Favre.
To: Rick Santorum
His groove back. As we reported earlier this year, before Rick got hitched he sounded like he was (almost) fun to be around. Loud Hawaiian shirts. Cigars. Calling everything "horsey-assey." Can you imagine how much more fun hate speech would be if it came from an asshat named "Rooster"?
To: The Penn Paramours
A subscription to Post-Collegiate Exhibitionist magazine.
To: Todd "Kama Sutra" Quinones
This hot tip: Kids at Penn? They're having sex! In windows! Like, for everyone to see (if you happen to be in another high-rise nearby). Hit that shit, Todd-o.
To: Deposed Kama Sutra Orgy-Goers
We don't use our conference room much on Thursdays and Mondays. It even has a clear glass wall! You'll feel right at bone.
To: Tom Knudsen
A heart three times bigger.
To: Citizens Who Voted for Ethics Reform
A "Stop Snitchin'" T-shirt. What the fuck, yo. Didn't you get the memo?
To: Dulary, the Elephant
Fairmount Park, all of it. And some hippie repellent.
Last season's White Sox lineup.
If you're going to cut the heat, cut it with style. Which is why we give you: machetes.
To: Ugueth Urbina
A job at PGW after they upgrade their armory.
The Official Decree of Manifest Destiny we gave you last year wasn't enough, was it? Criminy. OK, OK finetake it. The remaining West Philly block you don't already own. Bet you think Upper Darby's looking sweet, too, isn't it? Pervs.
And a City Paper Ball Gag
one size fits all big-mouths!for
Contributors: Ryan Carey, Brian Hickey, Lori Hill, Brian Howard, J. F. Pirro, Jenna Portnoy, Patrick Rapa, Sandy Smith, Duane Swierczynski