"Hey, it’s Mic," growled the voice on the other end of the
"Who?" I replied, not recognizing
the voice or the 916 area code number.
"Don’t you read the papers?" came the voice.
"Mic. The Bronze Bear that sits outside the governor’s office. Remember, Arnold
bought me in Colorado back in ’09 and shipped me to the Capitol. Now I’m the
only transition story anyone cares about."
A transcript of our interview follows:
FOX & HOUNDS DAILY: Why you calling, Mic?
MIC: Every journalist in the state is writing about my
future, but they never ask me any questions, even though I’m standing right
there next to them in the hallway, whenever they stake out the governor’s
office. So I thought I’d reach out and give an interview. And I wanted to give
a scoop to a web site that loves animals enough to put a couple of friendly
species in its name.
F&H: And you’re calling me how?
MIC: One of the CHP guys in the hallway here let me use his
F&H: I didn’t realize you could move, much less hold a
phone and talk.
MIC: That’s a misconception I want to correct. I’m made of
bronze, but I ain’t no bronzed stiff. My decision to stand still the past
couple of years was a political statement – my own personal commentary on how
stuck the state’s governance is. I tried to tell this to the media guys who
used to hang around me, but those guys are uncultured yahoos who don’t listen.
They don’t understand an artistic choice like mine.
F&H: So you can move?
MIC: Yeah, and talk and think. I’m not a figurehead here —
I used to advise Gov. Schwarzenegger on the Great Recession and how to get
Republican votes in the Assembly. At the end there, he pardoned me on a
long-ago thing – a misunderstanding really, involving some unattended food in a
car that I was worried might attract bugs. When I tried to help by getting into
the car and covering it up, local cops turned it into a whole
breaking-and-entering thing. Unfair. Anyway, my past didn’t seem to bother the
governor. He wanted to give me one of those spots on the unemployment insurance
F&H: Did you accept?
MIC: No. To be honest, I’m as interested in as some easy
income as the next Yogi, but I was kind of insulted by the offer. Those board
spots are for washed-up old political hacks. I think the best days of my
political career are still in front of me.
F&H: Is that why he left you behind? He took the Conan
sword and the smoking tent, but you’re still sitting there in the hallway.
MIC: Look, from where I’ve stood the past couple years, I’ve
seen a lot of exits, and the governor’s wasn’t a pretty one. And I must admit
that I have some abandonment issues. But whenever I feel bad, I think of my
buddy Matosantos over in finance. Arnold left her behind for the next governor,
and stuck her with $20 billion in annual deficits for as long as they have
projections. That’s just mean.
F&H: So do you want to stick around and work with new
MIC: I don’t know. This hallway is a little drafty. And I
wouldn’t mind a new gig. Public service is nice, but even a bronze bear has
gotta put food on the table, if you know what I mean. After all the
conversations I’ve overheard, you won’t be surprised if I tell you that all the
lobbying firms in Sacramento have approached me
F&H: So you gonna join the Third House?
MIC: Not sure. The money is appealing, but I’m worried about
my co-workers. I’m a big bear and I can take care of myself, but it’s still a
little scary working with jackals.
F&H: An animal shelter wants to adopt you. Interested?
MIC: Nah. I got all kinds of germs from the legislators and
school kids who hung out and touched me. That’s why the press called me
Bacteria bear. So after hanging around the members of the Assembly, you’ll
forgive me if I’m not psyched for my next gig to put me in close contact with
another bunch of flea-infested dogs.
F&H: Are you worried you might end up on the street?
MIC: Not in times like these. Do you keep up with the
California economic news? There’s a great market for bears out there.