I felt dizzy after reading the Indy’s “Catalina Roundabout to Get Improvements.” The city council agreed to spend $300,000 to beautify the central roundabout. Wow. That’s a lot of spiffing up. For that much moolah, there has to be a secret addendum spelling out more improvements than the publicly announced version of one spindly centered oak tree surrounded by ‘never-need-watering’ succulents.
I’ll bet the city council wants to surprise us with the greatest roundabout of all time at some later date. I couldn’t wait. I went undercover as a bush and positioned myself outside the city’s closed session to learn more.
“Do you think they bought into the landscaping plan?” asked councilperson #1. “I’d say, hook, line and sinker, if the fishing ban wasn’t in place,” answered councilperson #2. Laughter erupted. “So, what’s the real plan?” asked councilperson #3. “Before I tell you, we must swear to never tell anyone of the surprise. All in favor?” “####, ####, ####, ####. ####.” “Not that kind of swearing. A ‘yes or no,’ please. Okay, that’s better. The yeses have it. Here are the secret plans to choose from.”
“The most overdue idea is to make the roundabout the village entrance. The plans call for making it look like the Eiffel Tower. But ours will be better. The Laguna Eiffel Tower will be stucco over the metal ironwork to give it that Southern California monastery look. We’ll reinforce the idea with 18th century docent priests who will make up stories to age the structure back to when it was first proposed, 1990. I anticipate the edifice will bring in millions of tourists’ dollars in rides to the top. There will be a spinning 360-degree rooftop restaurant called Space Ranch, run by Commander Christy and crew. Sound good?” asks councilperson #1. Councilperson #2 answers, “Well, I like the idea, except you can’t use the Laguna Eiffel Tower as a village entrance because it’s a roundabout. There’s no going through.” “Oops,” says councilperson #1. “Let’s table the Eiffel Tower and move on to plan two.”
“To move forward it is sometimes necessary to look back.” The council turns around and looks. “No, no. Eyes forward, please. I mean what are our most cherished roots?” (Silence.) “I’ll tell you. It’s the Pageant of the Masters. We’ll build on that. Plan two will be the Pageant of the Minors. The production will be held in the center of the roundabout. School children will be selected based on their ability to stand still. The tableau vivants will be based on artwork from area kindergartners.” “So, what do you think?” asks councilperson #1. Councilperson #3 shakes his head. “Won’t work. Kid actors can’t stand still. They’ll just run into traffic.” “Oops, again,” says councilperson #1. “Let’s try plan three.”
“Plan three calls for removing the present roundabout. Then we’ll transfer the approved $300,000 to the general fund to be used at our future discretion. What do you think?” The other councilpersons nod their heads in approval and chime, “Now that will be the greatest roundabout use of funds of all time. Let’s swear to it.”
Crantz tells the Indy that his getaway as a bush to tell this story was very slow. He hopes readers appreciate the time he spent to deliver this blockbuster scoop.