In accepting the presidency of U.S. Conference of Mayors today, Greg Nickels had one big obstacle to overcome: The conference (where he'd be accepting the office) was being picketed by a firefighters' union. How, then, does a mayor who's popular with labor enter the building without crossing the picket line? Some naysayers might claim it can't be done, but Nickels and his advisers proved them wrong, charting an entry for the Mayor via a second-floor walkway connecting the hotel and convention center. That way, the mayor never crossed the line; he was already in the building.
What many don't realize is that the walkway solution was the result of intense strategizing by Nickels and his associates. Many good ideas were proposed and rejected. Here's a look at the top ten:
This idea was favored by the Mayor himself, but proved logistically too difficult to execute quickly.
9. Bathroom Excuse: Tell picketers he's just popping in to relieve himself, then claim he was presented with the award as he exited the men's room. Deemed too obvious a deception by the walkway contingent.
8. Robert Mak-led Commando Entrance: Mak draws a salary of $160,000 to be ready, at a moment's notice, to lead high-risk, high-degree-of-difficulty missions. Nevertheless, Mak's insistence that Dennis Bounds be included was a deal-breaker.
7. Hybrid Jet Pack: Mayor wants to save this for his victory party.
6. Streetcar: While this option made sense in exactly zero ways, it nevertheless took the Mayor's advisers several hours to talk him down from it.
5. Transforming: After watching Transformers, Mayor approached SLU biotech firms about turning him into a bird then back into a human being.
4. Riding the Backs of Working People: That way, explained one strategist, it's actually the working people who are crossing the picket line.
3. Beaming: Popular Star Trek trick is rumored to be carbon intensive. (Hence its appeal to Dino Rossi.) Also, Nickels advisers convinced the Mayor that Sigler and McGinn had already wrapped up the nerd vote.
2. Fire Ladder: Rejected for obvious reasons.
1. Paul Allen's Helicopter: Allen said that he'd have been glad to lend it, had the Mayor contacted him earlier, but Jan Drago's using it this week.