A Zany Letter to My Mayor | Subject: Sim City, Mayor McCheese, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on March 6, 2012 0 Comments

Dear Mr. Mayor,

As a mayor, I imagine you’re a pretty big fan of SimCity. Do you model your virtual city after our fine community? Or does your SimCity secretly represent a bigger city, like Coon Rapids, that you one day hope to run?

In any case, SimCity seems like pretty good practice for a mayor. I used to play it a lot, and it was pretty clear I’d be a terrible mayor. I’d always run out of money really quickly because I was always building zoos and amusement parks and all these other fun additions. (I was ten.) But then I’d suddenly be in the red and have to cut spending and raise taxes, and then the game would suddenly become markedly less fun. Thankfully, the version of SimCity that I played allowed you to trigger all sorts of natural disasters—earthquakes, tornadoes, even Godzilla-like monsters. When I ran out of cash, whammo: One second my virtual citizens would be commuting to work and the next their homes and workplaces would be leveled by my fiery wrath. (I almost always set my first plagues upon the treacherous giraffes and hippos that had led me into virtual fiscal disarray.)

Do you ever wish you could do that? If you somehow obtain such power, please avoid everything east of Whiskey Road, as I like my house.

Speaking of houses, does your simulated version of our fine city have a whole bunch of abandoned lots on the south side of town like the real one does? I call that area Abandonland, and I run there all the time. One day, when I was running, a tumbleweed actually rolled across the sidewalk in front of me. A tumbleweed! When I saw it, I had to stop and whistle the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. You know, the one with the whistling that goes wah-wah-waaaa. I do that every time I see tumbleweeds. It’s kind of my standard policy.

Anyway, I know it’s not your fault that the housing market crashed, and I’ve actually thought you’ve been doing a reasonably good job given the rather terrible circumstances. (I voted for you, and will again.)

I was wondering though, there’s got to be something we can do with all that land. I know that developers still own the land, so a community garden or the like is probably out, but maybe we could shoot a post-apocalyptic horror film there. After all, it has roads, sidewalks, streetlights, just no houses. It’d be the perfect place. Now, since I came up with the idea, I’d like to name the movie.

I’m partial to calling our feature film Abandonland, maybe with the tagline: “The land may be abandoned, but you’re not alone.” If you don’t like that one, perhaps we could fudge a little; we could shoot the film in Abandonland but name the film after the streets in nearby Ramsey, MN, many of which are named for minerals or chemical elements.

Some possibilities:

It came from Krypton, Street.

The Disaster at Uranium Street and Tungsten Way!


Come to think of it, maybe we could somehow incorporate the natural wildlife of Abandonland. In my experience, I’ve seen two forms of life there: that one tumbleweed I told you about, and sand burrs, or as we call them, “stickers.” Those things are everywhere. Maybe in our film, we can have a radioactive truck spill its contents, creating a sentient radioactive sticker that spawns thousands of smaller stickers, sort of like Tribbles. But instead of being cute and furry like Tribbles, they’d be all spiky, and soon they’d be latching onto everyone’s faces, etc. Then at the last second, we could have the town saved by a Master Gardener from the University Extension Service (my dad could play this role). And if we wanted a sequel, we could show one stowaway sticker making it to the next town, say, Saint Francis. Anyway, let me know what you think about the film.

Also, do you ever attend mayoral conferences? If so, does Mayor McCheese ever attend them? I don’t know what I think about him, but it seems our city is on pretty good terms with him, considering we have a McDonald’s in town. That pretty much is his embassy, right? Is it sovereign territory like national embassies and do its ambassadors have diplomatic immunity? If so, I’d watch out for the Hamburglar, who is probably their ambassador.

Finally, maybe you can answer this one last question: If Mayor McCheese is the mayor of the city of McDonaldland, what is McDonaldland’s sister city? Is it obesity?

Thanks for all your hard work, and take care.

Brett Ortler

P.S. This is a writing project.

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