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ISSUE # 95: Ode to a MisANThrope

"Many of us, like myself, gain stature by going to enough meetings and eventually become recognized as part of history, or icons.  People write books about us." 

                           --  Mick Ireland (watch it at


The politician's corpse was laid away.

While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged,

I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.

 -- Hilaire Belloc, "Epitaph on the Politician Himself"





Mick once was mayor of town.
How did Aspen elect such a clown?
His style always rude
And manners quite crude
No longer do voters bow down!

The council was thoughtful yet pensive
As the mayor became more offensive.
His bike shorts squeezed tighter
And his voice, it squealed higher
His arguments: all so defensive!

But thanks to Maurice
Who was searching for peace
Our river still swells
So it's a ride to the Bells
For the mayor whose reign soon will cease.

Little Mr. Mick, sat on his dick
Eating his curds and brownie.
Along came Red Ant
Who crawled up his pant
Ant bites got the best of that townie!

Must we vote for Torre or Steve?
We worry what's up Mick's sleeve.
If Mick gets his pick,
Of Steve we'll be sick.
Regardless we know we will grieve!

"The bird" it does fly
From Mick's hand up on high.
It's gesture profane
Flipped with disdain
The coward hides in the blink of an eye.

There once was a grown clown named Mick
Of whom his constituency was sick
He only knew names
Of those in his games
A has-been: out just in the nick!

We once had a mayor named Mick
Who constantly stepped on his dick.
But a fall off his bike
Made him quite the psyche
Of Mick soon did people grow sick.

Townspeople all said a group prayer
"Rid us of the dictator mayor."
Term limits got Mick,
We'll get a new pick
Let's pray not the tennis player!

Mick, Mick -- oh what a dick
You're sick, not quick, but oh so slick.
I find you sad
And for that I feel bad.
For you don't deserve a single lick.

There once was a dude named Mick.
He won office through quite a trick.
Never in doubt,
He wielded his clout,
Even friends called him "Mick the prick."

His biking shorts all a tatter
Folks wondered what was the matter.
He believed in exposure
Of manhood not meriting disclosure,
While eating freely from the public platter.

"Early and often" was Mick's battle cry
As Caleb Kleppner wrote software that would die.
Mick believed IRV was the best
He thought it would pass the election test.
But Aspen voters decided it wouldn't fly.

In 2007 he paid $18 million for BMC West
So our housing program would be the best.
So many more voters it would house
Its many benefits he did espouse
But 6 years later into homes it has not coalesced.
There once was a Socialist named Mick

 His political game made many so sick.

His mayoral attire

None would desire

We're happy to be done with that prick!

Mick's man-crush on Lance was a sight to behold
He was sure no one could break his hero's mold.
He proposed a special day to honor the star
But the USADA did Armstrong's reputation mar
Good thing Skadron shut Mick down cold!

There once was a writer named Anton P. Chekhov
Reminding us all of a tyrant named Mickoff
Not for his smarts
Or his gift to the arts
But from the boys' list we're "Russian" to check-off!
There once was an Aspen politician

Whose only aspiration

Was playing Robin Hood

From public housing in the 'hood.

He ruled by belittling those with ambition.


Nikos' building was simply too tall
So Mick and Jack put up a regulatory wall.
They called the proposal so big it was rude
But they changed their tune when Nikos Hecht sued.
Now Heidi and the Magoons build a huge exhibition hall.

Say "adieu" to the miserable mayor
He fancied himself quite a soothsayer.
Known for bike falls
Had the city by the balls
And regularly screwed the taxpayer.

There once was a mayor named Mick
Many thought he was a dick.
But he wasn't a prick and wasn't too slick,
He was just quicker with his wit
That was his trick!                  (submitted by Jim Valerio)

 In 2011 Mick took a Euro vacation
He called it "city business" required of his mayoral station.
Of expense regulations he ran afoul
But city government refused to growl
Can you say "staff intimidation"??

We're Sick of Mick, he's so obscene
Oh, my friends, he's never clean.
But this I know
So away he'll go
Odds are he'll continue to preen.

There once was a man from Aspen
Who didn't know where his ass'd been.
So he became mayor
And oh, what a player.
He took Aspen into the sh*t pen.

The 2009 ballots Marilyn asked to see
Mick told her to go climb a tree
Judge Boyd agreed
But MM wouldn't concede
Now the city owes Marilyn a huge fee.
There was a mayor so polarizing
For this he saw no need for apologizing.
His style and grace were non-existent
These traits for him were very consistent.
His arrogant style was so ego-aggrandizing!


Today is a sad day for Mick

True, he made some of us sick

But he had a red book

Its missives he took

And left us with troubles chronic.

We're finally rid of mayor Mick
He hailed from Chicago politic
A cheater and liar
Of him we did tire
His antics just made us so sick!

Deodorant rarely made the scene
But this didn't stop Mick from venting so mean.
Optional bathing was his credo
He smelled like old fettucini alfredo
If only he had embraced being clean!

Mick Ireland, he was a bully
A narcissist: THAT he was fully.
He never stopped to think
How much he did stink
He must've bathed in the gully.

Mayor Mick is so sorry to go
He'll honor himself with a slide show
There'll be recognition
 Instead of admonition
City Hall: reaching a new low.

As mayor, we're rid of that jerk
But what's next? Where will he work?
1500 hours: required to stay
In the housing for which you and I pay
The whole thing just drives me berserk!

There once was a commentator, initials EM.
All that she touched turned into a gem.
So smart and soooooo savvy
Pulchritudinous to boot.
Here is one comrade who sure gives a hoot!
Dear Elizabeth... His main nemesis
She's my favorite hero with emphasis.
She'll fight to the death
With all of her breath
To protect us from Mick's supremacists!

Late into Monday night he'd always rant
Often railing about his enemy: The Red Ant.
Now that Mick's gone
Who'll she pick on?
We all hope she won't say, "I can't."

There once was a mayor named "What-was-it?"
Everyone sayin' "That does it."
With a WHEW and a HIGH HO
Like Silver.....  AWAY!
Let's hear it for endings and cheer the new day!

(They're Poets and They Know It!)

Mick crashed his bike and took quite a spill
He lost control racing down that  big hill.
It wasn't my wish, it wasn't my goal
(And no, I wasn't atop that grassy knoll.)

At last we get to send Mick
Out on a long vacation,
But guess who gets to pay
For his unemployment compensation?
There was a prick named Mick
Who sat on his throne to hear himself drone.
Who never saw a hand-out he could resist
And always demanded a special twist
For himself he assured he cared naught
Except when observed he got caught.
So now he is gone
Which for some is so wrong
So unless you are a self-supporting soul
Who does not need Mick to make you whole,
I suggest that you weep
Cause no matter how much you groan
He ain't getting back on his throne!

And, in conclusion, the piece de la resistance:
                       Mickey at the Bat

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Aspen nine that day:
The score was four to two, with one election more to play.
And then Barwick died at first, and True did just the same,
A silence fell on Ba'ath party members, the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to leave but the Blue Roofs clung to hope.
That river doesn't stand a chance, just let those NIMBYs mope.
For greenies to get their way, their hero: on the bench he sat
Their only chance for a hydro plant was with Mickey at the bat.

But Stirling proceeded Mickey, as did also Rachel Richards
The former was  a lulu and the latter was a "pisher."
So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of getting Mickey to the bat.

But Stirling let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And then Rachel Richards tore the cover off the ball.
And when the dust had lifted, and the town saw what had occurred,
There was Rachel safe at second, and Stirling hugging third.

Then from 6,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell,
It rumbled in the valley, it rattled in the Bells.
It knocked upon Snowmass Mountain, and recoiled on McClain Flat,
For Mickey, mighty Mickey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Mickey's manner as he stepped into his place:
There was pride in Mickey's bearing, but a sneer upon his face.
And when responding to the cheers from Stillwater and Burlingame,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Mickey in the game.

He took a practice swing with the turbine, the crowd waived hands up high,
Even Amory Lovins can't stop us, from running this river dry!
While the writhing pitcher Emmer ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance curled in Mickey's eye, a curse crossed Mickey's lip.

Maurice sent the leather sphere hurtling through the air,
Marilyn mocked Mickey's arrogance, and said she had no fear.
Close by the sturdy batsman, the unheeded lawsuit sped,
"That ain't my style," said Mickey. "Strike one," the umpire said.

From the North 40, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him. Kill the judge," shouted someone in the stand.
And it's likely they'd a' killed him, had not Mickey raised his hand.

With a cocky smile, Mickey's visage shone,
He stilled the rising tumult, he made the game go on.
He signaled to pitcher Emmer, and once more the hydro flew,
But Mickey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."

"Fraud!" cried the maddened crowds.  An echo answered, "Fraud."
But one scornful look from Mickey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his bike shorts strain,
And they knew that Mickey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Mickey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence, his turbine upon the plate.
And now Emmer holds the ball, and then he lets it go,
And then the quiet is shattered by the force of Mickey's blow.

Oh somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright,
Somewhere in California, the turbine still has might.
Somewhere plastic bags are laughing, and somewhere locals shout,
But no joy tonight in Ute-ville, Mighty Mickey has struck out.
                                         *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Many thanks to all who submitted these clever and entertaining poems!  For added laughs, re-visit the Sick of Mick website from the 2011 campaign at


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Hope springs eternal at The Red Ant.   Here is a photo of Steve Skadron (on the right), to be sworn in as Mayor of Aspen this evening.  He won the June 4 run-off election vs Torre 920 - 833 (52.5% - 47.5%).  Please note the pressed chinos and navy blazer Steve donned on election night, ostensibly out of respect for the office to which he aspired (and eventually won).  It's a good start.

The Red Ant also acknowledges Steve's post-election comment to the Aspen Daily News with regard to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association's recent study on the long-term economic sustainability of our community. "So our local vibrancy and the quality of life we all seek is all tied to these issues.  I think a good place to look is some of the work that's been done by the Chamber,"  he wisely stated on election night.  I hope that this is an indication as to how Steve will also approach other complex and weighty matters, particularly the issue of the hydro plant.  It is imperative that the new mayor and council take outside facts, studies and information into consideration rather than relying simply on city staff and their highly self-serving and biased "wants."  While these folks mean well, their first priority is protecting their jobs and remaining "busy."  Meanwhile, there are subject-matter experts whose knowledge should be given far more respect and credence than job-protecting wish lists of mid-level bureaucrats.  


Buckle up, folks.  Here we go.....

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