FLASHBACK: The ED and the BC chart the arc of the sun as it climbs the New Gahanian sky.


It was March 25, 2016. David Duggins had not yet departed the comfortable confines of HWC Engineering Presents: The New Albany Redevelopment Commission, and David Brewer as remained the city’s Building Commissioner. They had a chat about the Anchor King, and the Green Mouse captured it on a hidden microphone.

Here it is.

“David, it’s David.”

“Duggins? It’s 4 o’clock in the blessed a.m.”

“Listen, Brewer – just be glad it isn’t the mayor.”

“True that. What’s up?”

“We have a problem. The switch is broken, and Home Depot is closed.”

“What switch? The Random Parks Jobs Generator Switch?”

“No, no. Are you kidding? Parks are the only economic development plan we have. We’re even going to generate a hover board park inside Pillsbury next week. No, I’m talking about the main switch.”

“You mean … ”

“That’s right. The Sunrise Switch.”

“What happened?”

“I dunno; cheap Chinese plastic shit – and to think we paid Jorge Lanz $675.85 for it, THEN he was late with his campaign donation. Anyway, the switch fell apart overnight.”

“What if the mayor wakes up and he can’t flip the Sunrise Switch?”

“Exactly. You know as well as I do. No switch, and the sun won’t come up today.”

“Jesus. It’s like that Hemingway book, ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ ”

“Never heard of it. Reading really sucks. Come to think of it, that’s the only thing Zurschmiede got right the entire campaign – never admit to reading.”

“Oh, I didn’t actually read it. Baylor said something about it on his blog.”

“Really? I’ll let Rogar know. I’m sure she’ll have something to say.”

“What’s the big deal, anyway? I mean, the switch isn’t actually connected to anything. The sun’s going to come up whether Jeff pushes a button or not.”

“Yeah, but the mayor doesn’t know that. Look, you’re the building commissioner. Can’t you go confiscate a light switch from a derelict property somewhere? We can cut a check; no big deal.”

“That would be stealing from the taxpayers.”

“Well, so is TIF, and I didn’t see you objecting to any of that.”

“Calm down. It’s your fault that Jeff thinks he controls the sunrise.”

“Bullshit. How so?”

“You’re the one who showed him that video about North Korea.”

“Wasn’t me. I have no idea what North Korea is. Now, sweet home Sellersburg’s another story. I know all about that – and One Southern Indiana. They always make me feel dreamy.”

“It definitely was you. The link came from NA Confidential, and you showed Gahan the video and said see, this guy’s got nothing on you. I remember it. You told the mayor that plaques were small potatoes, and from now on it was towering statues only.”

“Whatever. You have to break a few eggs if you want to be deputy mayor.”

“I can’t believe you’re still going on about that. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a dozen times. Mayors don’t give their in-laws cushy jobs just to turn around and appoint you as deputy mayor.”

“Hmm. Maybe I can be the son he never had. You know, I’m only here because I believe in Jeff Gahan.”

“Uh huh. Like you’re the first one to drink the Kool-Aid. But look, what about that other sun, the one that won’t rise and light the sky unless our boss thinks he made it so by throwing a switch? We need to think outside the box.”

“But didn’t we prohibit that? I’ll ask Adam Disney first thing.”

“David, I’ve got it.”

“What have you got, David?”

“Call those architects – you know, the ones who wanted to build a strip mall on Community Park a few years back.”

“Dude, that was cheeky. The county should have nailed that. You mean the firm of Same, Old & Suspect?”

“Right, them. Didn’t one of them just design your dog park?”

“Right. Around the office, we call him The Human Shield. He talks and talks about diplomas, and everyone forgets the political part.”

“Okay. So get him over to Gahan’s place, stat. Stick him on one of those Spring Street dump trucks. They drive like demons.”

“It’s why they call them Fast Track. Got it. Architect on dump truck. Then what?”

“When the mayor wakes up, the architect is right there – we’ll need a news crew, too. Anyone on payroll?

“WHAS backed us really nice on the Native American nutjob thing.”

“That works. Have them there, waiting. When Gahan reaches over to turn on the sun, the architect grabs his hand and stops him.”

“Go on.”

“He says, Mr. Mayor, the Baylorites have booby-trapped the sun. If you touch that switch, you’ll see your shadow, and we’ll have six more years of bad baseball teams in Cincinnati.”

“That’s good. He’ll buy that. But what about the sun? If the sun doesn’t rise in New Albany, I may have to go where it’s warm.”

“I’m getting there. So, the architect tells Jeff: Look, no more switches. You can do it with your head, kinda like voodoo. All you have to do is repeat after me: ‘There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.’”


“Omigod! Duggins, are you crying?”

“It’s so beautiful. The mayor swallows the bait, and voy-la, no more Sun Switch. We’ll just throw that saved 700 bucks onto the next paving contract. Just one question.”


“Which one of us is the Scarecrow?”