Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Mayor's Halloween dilemma

Last Halloween I toured our local Chicago streets with pint-sized, sugared-up spider-man in an anorak. We came across Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home--which is close to where we live. Alas, Mayor Emanuel's modest candy bowl, set on a stand outside his house, was empty except for a small apologetic sign held in a skeletal hand.

But it was in New York, last year, that the true Halloween horror was unfolding. Mayor Bloomberg had shocked the locals by giving out miniature candy bars (as normal mortals do at Halloween). This was a marked break with his tradition, as he was known for giving out full-sized bars. (The NYT reported this last year).

Presumably in the spirit of his new soda legislation, banning full-sized soda in the city, he felt unable to continue with such obesogenic largess. This year one imagines he must face a dilemma. His citizens have just been traumatized by a hurricane. Eight-hundred thousand are without power. But if he hands out full-sized candy to cheer up the children then he will be a hypocrite. And if he doesn't he'll be a meanie. Ah, the great dilemmas of public office.