Ouija Board: Let's Go to the Video on John Avalos' "Joke"

Yesterday, John Avalos became the poster boy du jour for everyone who feels San Francisco is, actually "the Land of Oz" (his words). Websites hither and yon reported the San Francisco supervisor consulted an Ouija board in determining whether it'd be proper to name a Navy ship after Harvey Milk.

This came as a shock to Avalos -- even though he said exactly that, in public, at Tuesday's board meeting. Reporters "all believed my Ouija board communicated with Harvey and he said 'g-o-o-d-r-i-d-d-a-n-c-e-d-a-d-t'? Your colleagues think that shit's real?" Avalos asked SF Weekly. It was a joke, he noted. How could it be anything else?

Odder things have happened in Board Chambers.

Apparently, for this joke, you just had to be there. Reviewing Avalos' speech on SFGovTV -- he comes in just after the 13-minute mark -- we learn four things:

  • Anything and anyone would be funny after hearing Supervisor Scott Wiener drone a prepared speech in his bass monotone;

  • That said, Avalos' joke wasn't a prize-winner;

  • Even still, people are audibly laughing when he mentions the Ouija board;

  • A closeup of his face -- which many people in Board Chambers may not have seen -- reveals he's grinning mischievously while talking about communing with Milk's spirit.

Perhaps the lesson here is to don't ask, don't tell jokes of this caliber during public meetings.

Finally, it warrants mentioning that Supervisor Jane Kim -- one of only two supes to vote against the nonbinding resolution to name a vessel after Milk -- isn't very cognizant of the state of our fighting force at sea. She repeatedly brought up whether or not it would be appropriate to name a "battleship" after Milk.

Whether it is or isn't, there are no battleships to be named after Milk or anyone else. The last battleship the United States built was the Missouri in 1944. That ship was decommissioned in 1992, and none remain -- other than the cinematic Missouri commanded by Liam Neeson.

The U.S.S. Harvey Milk would be a ship of a different sort -- one with smaller guns, to say the least.

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