MAD DOG: Dogestan, the Official City of the New Millennium!
The next time you hear from me I may be the mayor of a city. Or possibly king. Actually, since I'll own the place I can make myself any damned thing I want. I'm thinking sane might be a nice change of pace.It's a nice little 193-acre place on the beautiful Oregon coast, which comes complete with a gas station, Pronto Pup hot dog stand, two houses, and an empty 25-stall horse barn. You can tell it's a quaint place because they're advertising it using classified ads like: "Starter town with great view. Nice fixer-upper. Ideal for first time town owner or new couple. Good transportation, close to beach, no school, hot dog stand included." Face it, if they were hip they'd be auctioning it off on eBay.The current owner, Vivian Lematta, is unloading it because she has too many towns in her portfolio and wants to diversify. Just kidding. Actually she hasn't lived in Otis since the 1950s and, face it, a town can be a lot to keep up with. There's cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, and updating the "Welcome to Otis, population 32" sign. Actually, it turns out no one knows how many people live in Otis, which just points out how derelict Lematta's been in her town owning duties.She's asking $2,995,000 for it, which seems pretty reasonable to me, even though her grandfather only paid $800 when he bought it from descendants of the Siletz Indians in 1910. That's a pretty good return on investment. To put it in perspective, it's almost as much as the average Internet start-up stock increases after the first two hours of going public, and the only hot dogs they have to offer are the 22-year-olds who run the company.It's true I haven't shopped around for a town lately so I'm not real sure what the going price is these days, but the way I figure it I can get a 30-year mortgage and have monthly payments of only $21,198.42. That shouldn't be a problem once I install the toll booth on Hwy 101, place a city tax on empty horse barns, and the rent checks start rolling in from the casino the descendants of the Siletz Indians will open there.Of course the name's going to have to go -- it's too reminiscent of an elevator, a town drunk in Mayberry R.F.D., or a guy who sits on docks of the bay watching the tide roll away. I think a new town needs a new image, which is why I'm going to name it Dogestan. I considered Dogtown, thought long and hard about Mad Dog Heights, and even toyed around with calling it Newer York, but in the end I decided that if I'm going to attract the beautiful people who spend the big bucks I need a trendy name.Unfortunately the trendiest ones -- iMadDog.com, eMadDog, and Millenios, which is the new cereal from General Mills that includes 2's along with the O's -- were already taken so I had to go to the next trend. I figured if every country in Eastern Europe now has a name that ends in "stan" -- like Uzbekistan, Dagestan, and Kazakhstan -- then my town should too. I don't know how this got started since it wasn't long ago that Pakistan and Afghanistan were the only countries with names ending in "stan", and lord knows they've never had a reputation as trendsetters. One of the glories of owning a town is that you can do whatever you want to do. It's kind of like being a dictator without the baggage that goes along with the title. For example, South Carolina recently outlawed the sale of urine. Now I'm not sure how many people actually want to buy urine ("Can I have a Big Gulp, the large size tuna jerky, and a quart of urine. Make it high-test."), except of course those who need to pass a drug test and don't have a single straight and sober friend in the world.In Dogestan I'll let people open urine stands all along Highway 101 if they want. Hell, during the summer they can sell frozen Urine-on-a-Stick for all I care. True, I'd much prefer they sold Blend's, which is the new ice cream laced with liquor that's been introduced in Wisconsin, but it's a free city, you know. Come to think of it, I'm going to make Blend's the Official Ice Cream of Dogestan. Yup, we'll even eat it during city council meetings.This brings up another wonderful thing about owning a town -- you can name anything you want as the Official Whatchamacallit of the city. And unlike the Official [fill in the blank] of the Millennium, this is an honor that can last forever. Or at least until I change my mind.States and cities have things like official trees, flowers, insects, and songs. How boring. In Dogestan we'll have an Official Liquor (Jose Cuervo), an Official Shoe (Converse All-Star high-top black monochrome), an Official Sex Symbol (which will change weekly depending on who has the best bogus naked web site at the moment), and the Official Columnist, which will of course be me. What good is it having your own city if you can't be self-serving?So start making plans to visit Dogestan on your next vacation. You might even think about spending the holidays there. The air's good, the Pronto Pups are hot, and we'll keep the horse barn light on for you. Donald Trump, eat your heart out.