August. A dead shark was found on a New York City subway. Meanwhile, at the Iowa State Fair, vegan activists broke into a refrigerated case in the Dairy Building and threw red paint on the butter cow. In San Diego, the mayor claimed the city should pay the costs of defending him in a sexual harassment lawsuit because he had never been given sensitivity training.
I am bringing all these things up to point out that you can be selective about what you have to worry about during August. It's summertime. The living should be easy. Sometimes, if you relax, things just work themselves out. For instance, the butter cow has been cleaned up and is more popular than ever. And it turns out that the shark was dead before it got on the subway.
Here in New York City, the problem of Anthony Weiner for mayor seems to be going away all by itself, with no effort whatsoever on our part. Weiner clocked in with an unfavorable rating of 80 percent in a recent poll, most of which was taken before he called a 69-year-old opponent “grandpa” at a forum sponsored by the AARP.
On the other hand, there's San Diego. You may remember that, in July, Mayor Bob Filner was charged with sexual harassment by some of his former supporters who claimed that, among other things, he grabbed female workers around the neck and whispered lewd comments in their ears. That was the moment when the nation first became aware of the term “Filner headlock.”
Initially, the information was all secondhand, and Filner vowed that “the facts will vindicate me.” Even then, things looked ominous. For one thing, the facts-vindication defense had been preceded by a vow to behave differently. It was sort of like announcing that you're innocent but will definitely never do it again.
Now, one lawsuit and about a dozen public accusations later, Filner is out of sight — allegedly having gone off for two weeks of sexual-harassment-rehab that seemed to have ended early, although there was also a claim that it had started ahead of schedule.