A Notable No One Says “No” to Chrislip
M. Arizala is the most hated person in town. More hated than the man who tried to market American Flag toilet paper the week after 9-11. More hated than that guy with the motorcycle who got everybody’s daughter pregnant.
The irony is, although she is a local government official, M. Arizala is completely anonymous. She couldn’t be more so if her name was John Q. Public – Jeff and Katie Public’s agoraphobic son who hasn’t left the house since 1993.
And yet the name of M. Arizala accompanies each piece of unhappy news from city hall. It is she who denies building permits, and demands that children get a food-service license before selling lemonade in their front yard. In short, she is the opposite of Santa Claus.
Official notices bear the loopy handwriting of a cynical woman with poor taste in fiction, but little else is known about her. Many Chrislipians doubt that M. Arizala even exists. As proof, they claim that, like other legendary beasts such as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, Chrislip’s mythical bureaucrat never returns phone messages or emails.
The Journal dispatched reporter Ted X. McCall to solve the mystery. Adopted as a child, Mr. McCall mused at the possibility that M. Arizala might be his birth mother.
“The negativity and the emotional unavailability feel right to me,” speculated the investigative adoptee. “But I’ll call her ‘mother’ only if her teeth are yellow from smoking and her breast milk tastes like peppermint schnapps.”
He found Chrislip’s mythical beast listed in the phone book and visited M. Arizala at her home. He found a middle-aged woman who, to his disappointment, doesn’t live with sixty cats, drink, smoke, or in any way appear to be related to Mr. McCall. He interviewed her anyway.
“We all know what a spineless weenie the Mayor is,” explained Ms. Arizala. “So whenever Mayor Presnell needs to do something unpopular, he signs my name. Without me, the city would approve every hare-brained idea and Chrislip would become something different, something larger and more successful. In return for keeping Chrislip, Chrislip, I get a cut of the money that wasn’t wasted.”
Ms. Arizala asked that her comment not be included in McCall’s story. He agreed to keep it off the record on the condition that she let him taste her breast milk. He reports that it “tasted vaguely of windfall apples. Like a finely balanced and longingly elegant Cabernet Franc. Then it kicks you with taco sauce, sturdy garlic and forceful cheap gin. Drink now through Halloween.”