St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster would love to tell you about his double super secret plan to keep the Tampa Bay Rays from blowing town to get away from that Quonset Hut with a gland problem where they are forced to play baseball.
But if he did tell you, then you would know. And where's the fun in that?
So the mayor is keeping his cards so close to the vest he's starting to look like Alice in Wonderland's King of Hearts, which somehow seems entirely appropriate.
During a City Council meeting the other day, Foster suddenly announced that he had a "For Your Eyes Only" top secret, classified, mystery, deep cover plan to preserve the Rays' residency in the city. He said he had confided his master scheme to the members of the privy council for their dining and dancing pleasure.
This came as something of a surprise. Most members had no recollection of being pulled aside by Foster and told of his hugger mugger designs to make sure the Boys of Humidity would remain at Stonehenge-On-the-Bay for the foreseeable future.
Now we know these folks can be pretty addled sometimes, but it's hard to fathom six of eight of the members of the St. Petersburg City Council could succumb simultaneously to a collective brain infarction regarding a monumental civic issue like where Johnny Damon is going to be hanging cleats down the road.
Things quickly devolved into a sort of Fawlty Towers back and forth exchange of "Yes I did," "No you didn't." The mayor insisted he had brought council into his parallel universe of confidence while the members gently suggested that hizzoner may have confused the St. Petersburg City Council with his special make-believe friend, Harvey the Rabbit.
Up to this point it had appeared Foster's entire strategy to keep the Rays pretty much amounted to strumming his fingers on the mayoral desk, while stroking a cat in his lap. Hey, it might work.
As for actually talking with team owner Stuart Sternberg, Foster has shunned the magnate as if he was an Amish elder caught watching The Jersey Shore, on the theory that once Sternberg was denied the mayor's charismatic company his resolve for new digs would crumble.
But now we know Foster has crafted the "Operation Overlord" of cryptic stadium plans to guarantee the Rays' presence in the city in perpetuity. He simply won't tell anyone what the creative oeuvre that is Bill Foster has dreamed up.
Thus it was in the finest traditions of investigative journalism that this space has obtained a copy of the Foster Doctrine, which details with great specificity the mayor's covert, hush-hush, on the QT, DEFCON One, blood oath plan to save the Rays for the city.
You can rest easy now.
The material was received from a source deep within the bunker of City Hall after an exchange of codes: "The kumquat flies at midnight," responded to with: "Only after the octopus eats his cheese."
Actually, the Foster Manifesto is several keenly drawn plans.
PLAN A: To prevent the Rays from leaving, the mayor orders the parking department to boot every car in the Rays' employee parking lot. Genius, sheer genius.
PLAN B: The mayor orders the northbound exit ramps on I-275 near Easter Island Field to be fitted with drawbridges and mines. Does his vision know no bounds?
PLAN C: Since the Rays are suspected of playing footsie with Tampa, Foster goes to court to legally change his name to Mayor Bob Buckhorn, hoping to convince team owner Stuart Sternberg that the Rays have been playing in Hillsborough County all along. Hey, it might work.
PLAN D: Ever the wily in-fighter, to prove his leadership leverage over the Rays, the mayor springs a trap on Sternberg, challenging the team to host a "Bill Foster — Feel the Love Night" at Maginot Line Park. Fans entering the stadium are given a souvenir small potato.
PLAN E: Shaving cream pies at 10 paces. Winner takes all.
And finally, Plan Nine From Outer Space: Foster threatens to hold his breath until the Rays agree to stay in St. Petersburg. That ought to bring Sternberg to his knees.
You can't deny the mayor has been burning the midnight oil to come up with his furtive, sub-rosa, under wraps, If-I-Tell-You-I-Have-To-Kill-You, 007, clandestine, secret plan to keep the Rays.
Why this plan is so incognito, Foster himself probably doesn't know what it is even after he told himself what it was.
How's that for ticking a lock?