Two Eureka city councilmembers spoke movingly Tuesday night about their lifelong struggles with literacy, prompting an emotional council to quickly approve hiring tutors to teach them reading, phonics and other basic life skills.
“Admitting you’re stupid is the first step to getting help,” Mayor Virginia Bass said, blinking back tears as she hugged Councilwoman Linda Atkins in what the mayor later described as a “totally hetero way.”
The literacy issue came up as the council received the Marina Center Environmental Impact Report, prompting both Larry Glass and Atkins to immediately admit they would not be able to read it within any normal period of time.
“Of course we can both piece letters together to form words,” Atkins explained later. “We’re what’s called functionally illiterate, which means we can read and write, but our skills are inadequate to meet the demands of our everyday lives.”
For example, Atkins said, their jobs as councilmembers require them to read documents and reports–“because how can we disagree with them if we don’t know what they say?” But fortunately, she added, she and Glass have both sharpened their verbal skills somewhat by sending a non-stop stream of talking points to the Humboldt Herald.
Glass thought he might be able to muddle through some of the report in two weeks, although he said he would need more time to “digest” its contents. Atkins asked for four weeks to read the document, and said even that wouldn’t be enough.
“It’s so brave of them to speak publicly about their disability,” Bass said. “Sadly, dumb is incurable, but with professional help maybe they can take the edge off a bit.”
When Glass was asked if he thought there was even a remote chance reading the EIR would change his mind about the Marina Center project, he looked around for black Escalades, then laughed nervously and scratched his balls.
“Like fuck,” he said, lowering his voice. “We’re gonna vote no on this and every fucking other thing associated with all this Marina Center shit, but we wanna do so in such a prolonged and dramatic way that Bill Pierson will feel like he got his money’s worth from us.”
Bass tried to hug Glass too, but he thought she was pushing him and called the police.
Filed under: Humboldt County Tagged: | a thoroughly hetero way, Ass and Glatkins, Bill Pierson, black Escalades, dumb is untreatable, Environmental Impact Report, Eureka, Larry Glass, Linda Atkins, Marina Center, scratched his balls, so brave, Virgina Bass