LADIES AND GENTLEMEN of Portland, the 2016 mayoral race is wide open. Incumbent main dude Charlie Hales has announced he won't be seeking reelection. (Experts think this is because of his choice to go by "Charlie" rather than "Chuck" or "Chaz" or like... a combination of the two, like "Chuz." Chuz Hales would win in a landslide, and we'd probably lose him to the White House. President Chuz Hales sits down with Vladimir Putin to talk about bongs. Wow. I want to live in that future.)
There exists a growing list of viable candidates seeking the office, Ted Wheeler, the drummer from And And And, some other people probably—and today, I'd like to add one more name to the list. I, Ian Karmel, am running for mayor of Portland. Unless I need to fill out paperwork or whatever, in which case, I am not running for mayor of Portland. But in case I don't need to fill out any paperwork, I'm officially announcing my intention to run for mayor of Portland. First, there are some clear hurdles: like the fact that I live in Los Angeles—and yes, that will present a unique series of challenges. However, once elected, I vow to conduct all official city business from either that Stumptown Coffee they opened in LA's arts district or the Pok Pok in Chinatown or the visitors' locker room at Staples Center whenever the Blazers are playing a game against the Lakers or the Clippers. There. I think that takes care of the whole "I live in LA" problem.
Now, why should you vote for me, Ian Karmel, as your next mayor of Portland? I've taken the liberty of laying out my platform for you right here in this space.
• Change the name of "Flanders Street" to "Hans Moleman Street." It's been Flanders Street long enough; isn't it time we recognize a more slept-on Simpsons character? A character who represents our city's values? A character who was saying, "Boo-urns"?
• A brunch tax. Want to get brunch? Fine, but it's going to cost you a little extra. To offset the city's out-of-control gentrification problem, a fee will be levied on every frittata, french toast, and pork belly hash scramble. The money collected will be funneled back into the community to make sure that one weird market always stays open on SE Division, and Terrell Brandon always has a barbershop.
• Shove Rights. If you're a native Portlander you get to shove 12 transplants a year. You don't get to shove them hard, you can't knock them to the ground, but you get to shove them, and it isn't illegal. If they're walking out of one of those new condos on the Eastside, you also get to take whatever beverage they have in their hand and pour it on the ground in front of them—and it's legal.
As the mayoral race unfolds, I will continue to reveal my platform. Let's do this for us, Portland. Isn't it time we had a joke in office again?