10/10/12, Issue 55
Throw me from the plane: When my brother-in-law read about FSCJ president Steve Wallace getting a $1.2 million parachute, it was like a light bulb suddenly went off in his brain about how to handle a simmering family problem.
So he approaches me and says, “Look, Lemmy, these letters you’re writing to the T-U editor, they’re embarrassing the family. They’re so crackpot, they’d make Timothy McVeigh blush. If we offered you a retirement package, a parachute, would you agree to not write any more of them?” Parachute made my ears perk up. But then it dawned on me: it wasn’t riding in a plane he was talking about—it was more like he wanted to throw me out of one.
But the more I think about it, the more I like this parachute idea. I mean, look what it did for Steve Wallace. The FSCJ Board of Trustees gave him both a paycheck for almost two more years and a $1.2 million parachute. A $1.2 million parachute for running a community college!! Jeez! It’s inspiring, really. I mean, if he can get something like that, maybe I can too! And he must be very sharp at what he does. How can you tell he’s sharp? By the way he makes so much money! People who make that much money usually are pretty sharp. They’re sharp dealers.
About my parachute, my brother-in-law says all I have to do is stop writing these letters, and I’ll get one. Now that he’s made the offer, I don’t want him changing his mind. But I’m afraid he just might if he reads about the one and only trustee—Doug Burnett—who thought Wallace’s parachute was wrong, that Wallace didn’t deserve such a huge payout. Doug Burnett. What’s wrong with this guy? His comments bummed my high. I hope my brother-in-law doesn’t read them.
You can read here about this parachute concept, Wallace’s parachute, and Doug Burnett’s resistance to it: FSCJ board approves $1.2 million for president’s exit
Parachutes seem really important. Don’t you agree? As in, when a person is in a very high place, and they have to jump?
But there are wrongheaded people who don’t see the point of parachutes. They expect people to jump from high places without them. Like Mark Woods. He’s one of those people who think a person should just jump. What planet is he from? Buck finally stops on Steve Wallace’s desk: 1.2 million of them
Parachutes are necessary. Without them, you’re likely to see many unpleasant scenes such as this one:
If you dislodge a man from his very high perch, and he doesn’t have a parachute, what do you expect him to do? Wouldn’t it be unseemly for a man of Steve Wallace’s eminence to cling to the underside of FSCJ’s wing? The FSCJ board did the right thing. Everyone needs a parachute. Including me.
The question is, what color should it be? Steve Wallace’s parachute is platinum: $1.2 million for running a community college. That’s platinum! When I asked my brother-in-law what color mine would be, he didn’t say much except to mumble something about clay.
My brother-in-law doesn’t want me writing any more of these letters to you. Why? He claims that “the brows of anyone reading your letters ascend into a permanently raised position. The poor T-U editor.”
“By now, his brows must be perpetually arched, like one of those people who’ve had too many face lifts–Barry Manilow, for instance.”
At this point, I must confess that my brother-in-law and I have had a troubled relationship. It soured when he invoked the Baker Act. But he backed off when the authorities convinced him I was “not a dangerous lunatic” (their wording). Since then he just calls me “the boring psycho.” Which is kind of offensive.
So, to shut me up, the family’s willing to give me a parachute. I’d better negotiate for the best terms possible, the way Steve Wallace did.
What are my terms?
That’s right. It’s gotta be Pan Am, or I’m not jumping. And they’d better provide me with a parachute. Or I’ll just keep writing letters to the editor.