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Op-ed: Sometimes rumors are based on past behavior (by Peter Children)

It’s Monday and time for the weekly column in the Globe-Gazette by the esteemed Mr. Skipper. As is his practice John starts the week with this homily for any number of reasons. I personally enjoy it….I look forward to it. John is a gifted writer, make no mistake about that.

Today’s offering centers on “rumors.” I find that interesting. In fact there is a rumor currently circulating throughout the city as I write these words. It has to do with our mayor, Eric Bookmeyer who also just happens to be one of John’s favorite politicians. I know, I know, you are asking yourself……how can a guy as smart as John – and he is smart, very smart – fall into step with this train wreck? If we really knew the answer to that…well we’d have cracked one of life’s greatest mysteries.


It has been widely talked about that Bookmeyer was picked up for public intoxication at 3 AM on a Friday morning about a week ago. That’s it, that’s the rumor.

Now let’s consider some options; if I heard John Skipper was arrested under the same circumstances, I’d dismiss it out of hand as pure bullshit. Why? Because John has no history to fortify such a rumor, in plainer terms it would have no foundation of truth.

On the other hand, when such a rumor suddenly surfaces concerning Eric Bookmeyer, it has merit, it smacks of creditability, it screams the greater preponderance of truth. Why? It has strong foundations; this guy carefully built that foundation brick by brick, starting perhaps in Clinton and maybe sooner, tavern by tavern, Country Club by Country Club. In fact using this analogy he could easily be certified as a Master Builder. So…..if you placed your bet on truth your chances of winning would be far above the 50/50 margin. If you placed your money on rumor you could quickly lose your ass.

Mitigating Circumstance

Imagine going into a casino to gamble, and you are aware before you go through the door, that the “house” is allowed to “stack the deck.” Would you still go in and gamble? How many people know that the Chief of Police works at the pleasure of the mayor….or the city administrator? (They both work for the mayor) in our case so it really doesn’t change the odds. Could it be that some rookie cop cited Bookmeyer not knowing he was untouchable, that he had a “get out of jail free pass”?  Yes it is possible…very possible. How about a Sheriff’s Deputy? Professional courtesy takes place here….not going to happen.

When trying to decide if a “rumor” could actually be true or not you must weight the real odds. In this case the game is crooked, think what you will. Myself, I think the odds of it happening are very high….of it showing up in ink in Mason City, not so good.  How would you bet?

Peter Children

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