A Rich Tale of Clyde and the Solar PanelsBy Ari L. Noonan @ 2:00 PM April 25, 2012
My lifelong attempt to practice tightly controlled self-discipline in public was grimly tested at last night’s School Board meeting.
Almost painfully, I tried to mask a mouthful of mirth when a somber gentleman named Clyde stepped to the podium. This being baseball season, he was pitching solar panels for the masses in the neighborhood of Culver City High School.
What a concept, Murgatroyd.
For 35 minutes, I shlumped increasingly lower in my front-row seat, feeling worse than I had since the last time my least favorite former Mrs. Noonan cooked her favorite half-crunchy meal for me.
Actually, Clyde was hoping to pry loose a mountain of moolah from the School District coffers while pitching dose ol’ debbil solar panels.
Mr. Clyde, straight-faced as an innocent, straw-chewing boy just in from the farm, was trying to convince a green, hugely eager School Board to blow something north of $4 million that he could not describe in fewer than 75 compound, impossible to diagram, sentences, in several languages, to paper over at least part of the nasty truth.
Like a blind bee in heat, Mr. Clyde kept circling his prey – and missing – as he vaguely, limply staggered through a description of the gem he is trying to unload on a trusting community.
• He could not exactly pin down the price.
• He could not exactly say where the panels should be placed.
• He could not exactly say when construction would begin.
• Worse, he could not exactly know when construction would finish.
• He could not exactly divulge specific details about the pending agreement with a You Betcha company predictably named “Sun Power.” Again, what a concept.
My favorite Clyde Line I am going to submit for a Pulitizer next year. The balmy left-wingers at Pulitzer love the baloney green movement.
Mr. Clyde could not tell us how, where, when why or what price for those hard-to-find solar panels, but by golly, Molly, such a steal he is giving us, just us, no other rubes.
His so-precious line that he uttered without coughing:
“The deal you are getting is astonishing.”
My Mama told me never to lie.
Nevertheless, faces beamed allover the room.
We may be lucky at that.
I peeked outdoors. Ol’ Clyde had 750 kilowatts of hot air secretly hidden on his flat bed truck. He was going to peddle that to us. But after winning the $4 million battle, he could not keep his cheeks straight any longer.
I divided my eyes through his painful presentation, one on sly Clyde and one on the so darned shrewd School Board. Some members were so eager for this Wal-Mart-sized steal I thought they were going to bunny hop off the dais.
If poor Clyde had been pushing anything less exotic, less vague than, would you believe, solar panels, he would have been laughed all the way home to Indiana, right to the bottom of Copper Creek.
It felt as if we were watching an early talkies cowboy farce.
Didn’t I see this on a dusty old Lone Ranger television show where moustachioed, black-hatted bad guys rob a weeping widow in the last stages of dementia?
This type of Ya Won’t Believe the Suckers I Found holdup inevitably will grow into a fad.
Mr. Clyde’s sincerely slick sales job was ludicrously easy. Wait ‘til the gang, or the gangsters, find out. Since 8 last night, word has been flashing through the nutty green energy blogosphere. They will be lined up 50 deep tomorrow morning on Irving Place.
“Pssst, come to Culver City,” one hoodlum whispers to another, “and get rich in minutes selling invisible solar panels for millions.”
The jammed audience kept a straight face. I took that as a toxic warning to resist the temptation to titter, which I usually do when I am witnessing a lopsided holdup.
It was a good thing they couldn’t read my mind.
The only furniture missing from Council Chambers was a gigantic screen showing the just released green documentary “The Three Stooges Meet a Crippled Frankenstein in the Sesame Street Cemetery at Midnight.”