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2010 grade: C-
2009 grade: C

Jerry Blumenthal used to be the class clown of council, but lately he’s dropped the clown tie (or maybe Brad Johns stole them all) and even Blumenthal seems to have realized that his jokes fall flat, and so he’s mostly given up that game. Too bad, really: I enjoyed the crazy-old-dude-having-a-tyme routine. But it seems to fit with the general theme of council this year, a little more subdued, a little less passionate, a little distracted, as if everyone’s at least subconsciously aware that horrible events lie just around the corner.

“I won’t be alive in 15 years,” Blumenthal told council recently. Councillors raised loud objections, professing their faith in Jerry’s continued good health. I thought of terrible floods, collapsing glaciers, resource wars, the death of everything good; I had a stiff drink that night.

Where was I? Oh, yes, council. Blumenthal’s not getting in anyone’s way, not hurting anyone. He speaks for the old and disabled, and shrugs an awful lot. Whenever he does pass, if I’m still around, I’ll place some pebbles on his gravestone.

How to improve: Hug your niece.

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