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Friday, March 23, 2012

Ross Mirkarimi: A Godfather Finish

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 5:59 AM

click to enlarge the_godfather_part_ii_1974_3e490.jpg

Cue The Godfather theme.

Fade in on former Mayor Art Agnos' place in Diamond Heights. His court-mandated tenant, Ross Mirkarimi, is sitting on the couch he now calls home. Agnos comes down the stairs into the rumpus room.

Ross: Art, what do I do now?

The light is beginning to turn reddish as the sun falls.

Art: Ross, you were always interested in politics, in history. I remember you founding the Green Party in this state. We were young then. Well, you were.

Ross: Yeah, I still read a lot. I never realized restocking the jail library would be so directly beneficial to me.

Art: You remember the revised City Charter of 1932. You remember how it reorganized this city and based it on the old Roman Legions, with the "capos" -- supervisors like yourself -- and "soldiers" -- nonprofit workers, the SEIU -- and it worked.

Ross: Yeah, it worked. Those were great old days. We was like the Roman Empire. San Francisco was like the Roman Empire.

Art: Yeah, it was once.

They lapse into a bout of nostalgia, reminiscing about a city where it took more than one goddamn digital recording to upend a man's career.

Art: (very quietly) The Roman Empire -- when a politician could only serve to obliterate his own party, his own movement, he was given a chance to let his family keep its fortune. If they got prosecuted after a scorched-earth defense campaign, all their estate went to the Emperor. But if they just went home and killed themselves, up front, nothing happened.

Ross looks at Art. A hint of understanding creeps across his face.

Ross: They went home and sat in a hot bath and opened their veins, and bled to death. Sometimes they gave a little party before they did it.

Art: Don't worry about anything, Sheriff McDreamy.

Ross: Thanks, Art. Thanks.

Art walks back upstairs. Ross takes in the gravitas of the moment.

Ross: Art is saying I need to get that meddling Ivory Madison, and her husband, and the mayor, and the city attorney, and all the forces that don't want me to be sheriff into that bath. And I should not resign!

Fade to black.

Godfather theme again.

It is sunset at the pier. Ross stands with a ridiculous fishing cap on his head. A small boat pulls up alongside with Aaron Peskin at the tiller.

Ross: Aaron, old buddy, your pal Ross is gonna teach you how to catch the big fish. You know, when I was younger, I did this amazing thing. I went out on a fishing trip with the entire Democratic County Central Committee and no one could catch a fish except me. And this was my secret: (whispers) Every time I would put the line down I would recite the oath of office, and I would catch a fish. Now, when it's sunset, we're gonna go out in the bay and we're gonna try it.

Aaron: Sure thing Ross. This shit-show's gone on long enough.

Dissolve to the bay, sunset.

Aaron and Ross are fishing, each with lines out. The view moves closer, and we can hear Ross as he holds the pole.

Ross: ...that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of California. I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion...

Long shot: The boat on the shimmery bay.

Ross: I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter. During such time as I hold the office ...

Aaron: Ah, Ross -- if I was gonna adhere to the script, I'd shoot you here. But discharging a firearm while afloat would contravene any number of bylaws pertaining to recreational activities along the Northern Waterfront, possibly resulting in costly penalties imposed by the BCDC. And it would lower the quality of life for those living along Telegraph Hill.

So you're just gonna fall in the water and go away.

Ross: Oh. All right.

Fade to black.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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