Qualcomm, the cell-phone giant that quit the San Diego Chamber of Commerce for contracting with another wireless phone provider in 1997, then returned in 1998 when Ben Haddad replaced Gil Partida as Chamber president, will quit again, demanding that the Chamber stop using non-cellular phones altogether. The San Diego economy is now so dependent on Qualcomm that every citizen must stop patronizing that outmoded, 19th-century technology commonly referred to as 'land lines,' Irvin Jacobs, Qualcomm founder and the city's chief stadium benefactor will say at a packed session of the city council. Alexander Graham Bell is dead. Get over it, already. Long live the king, who is me. There is no longer any excuse for using a pay phone at Qualcomm Stadium, and in fact we won't tolerate it there or anywhere else in the city of San Diego. To back his demands, Irwin will threaten to strip the name Qualcomm from the stadium, allowing sportscaster Ted Leitner to refer to it only as that ugly concrete thing without enough permanent seats to hold a Super Bowl and a really lousy place to play baseball.
Meanwhile, Richard Bliss, the young Qualcomm employee busted for spying while purporting to be just looking for new cell phone sites in Russia, will defect to the Republic of Kazakistan, claiming to have been a double agent for a fringe group of Moslem cell phone engineers backing a new wireless telephone standard. "To all the infidels at Qualcomm, that den of evil and fornication, I say, 'Death to GSM and CDMA'. Mayor Susan Golding will call for immediate sanctions to be levied against Kazakistan.
Having slapped a $3.50 tax on every car rented at the airport in order to pay for a $50 million convention center parking garage, and hiked rents on everyone living aboard a boat in San Diego bay in 1998, the San Diego Unified Port District will decide to levy a tax on all fish caught in the bay. The tax will be $1 for each fish, on the grounds that the mercury content of any form of life found in the polluted water body will more than cover the tax and contribute to the recycling of toxic waste. Proceeds will be used to finance Mayor Susan Golding's frequent trade junkets to the Far East , New York City, and Washington, D.C., thereby creating jobs for Golding's travel agent and luggage supplier, not to mention airport skycaps, who nevertheless will continue to be disappointed by the mayor's chintzy tipping.
After endorsing 1998's $300 million convention center, $450 million Padres stadium, $1.5 billion school bond issue, and $423 million library tax hike, the San Diego Never-Met-a-Tax-We-Didn't Like Taxpayers Association will call for an immediate halt to the growth in public spending, demanding a crackdown on the use of paper clips at city hall. "The city council is wasting thousands of dollars, not to mention using up valuable steel that could go into the new Padres ballpark," taxpayer association chief Scott Barnett will announce at a hastily called news conference. "It is time we cracked down on paper clips in the same brutal way we dealt with those excess speed bumps in last year's budget. At yesterday's city council meeting, I saw Councilman Byron Wear intentionally unbend a paper clip and start picking his fingernails. This wasteful practice must stop immediately." Barnett will also observe that he is also closely watching staple usage.
Fired Chamber of Commerce executive director Ben Haddad will go into the campaign-consulting business with his ex-boss, Governor Pete Wilson. The firm of Haddad & Wilson's first client will be the Take Baja Back ballot initiative, designed to appeal to the blue-collar voter who feels that too many Mexicans have overrun the Gulf of California and should go back to wherever it was they came from in the first place. Wilson will base his presidential strategy on the measure, which will allow him to talk about cruise missiles and General John Fremont in the same speech.
The city of San Diego will sell its controversial toilet-to-tap, sewage-into-drinking water project to the Metropolitan Water District. Having failed to dig up enough dirt on San Diego water board members in its aborted attempt to stop San Diego from buying water direct from the Imperial Valley, the Met will finish the treatment plant, begin treating sewage, and secretly pipe the output into the homes of the water board members, which will finish them off once and for all.
Ex-Padres owner and chain-smoking, Cadillac-rolling Fairbanks Ranch philanthropist Joan Kroc, who in 1997 and 1998 donated to everything from North Dakota flood relief ($15 million) to a sports and performing arts complex in Rolando ($80 million), will reveal that she is endowing a remedial institute for ethically challenged La Jolla stockbrokers, to be named in honor of Union-Tribune financial writer Don Bauder.
"After reading some of Don's columns, it has come to my attention that some of our city's finest securities dealers may perhaps be, shall we say, cheating their customers and making up tiny fabrications in an inappropriate effort to influence the amount of their stock offerings and hence their commissions. While this is understandable in light of the cost of cell phones and dinner at Pamplemousse, it does not reflect well on the world-class image we are seeking to establish for our fine city in the national media. Therefore, I am setting aside $100 million of my pin money to support this worthy effort. An endowed professorship will be awarded to convicted money-launderer Richard Silberman, ex-husband of Mayor Susan Golding, who will lecture on the evils of white-collar crime."