Full disclosure: Before you read a column about our soon-to-depart Town Manager, you should know this fact — Robin Crosbie is a friend of mine.
Not that I ever got any special favors at Town Hall by being a personal friend of the Boss Lady. No. This would never happen in the strictly-business Crosbie era. Sure, we’ve been social acquaintances. And yes, we’ve thrown back a few glasses of something harmless together, and I confess, I may have picked up the tab a time or two. And okay, yes, that goldfish in her office was a gift from my daughter. And yes, her super-secret wedding photos were released exclusively by The Outsidah at Outsidah.com, after I pleaded with her husband and plied him with bottles of cabernet sauvignon. But I assure you, I was not sucking up. And I promise you, I never got any advantage from my relationship with the Town Manager. I was never able to get a traffic ticket fixed, or a free pass to Chowderfest. And on those few occasions when I asked for insider information in order to get some sort of Town business conducted more smoothly or simply or quickly, I guarantee you I didn’t get any special treatment. I got the same official response that any citizen has come to expect at Town Hall: “Ask Jen Breaker.”
But because Robin has served admirably for more than five years, and because she’s a friend, it follows that I should want to do something nice for her as she leaves. And of course, if I can make a buck on it, too, so much the better. This is, after all, Trump’s America.
Accordingly, I’m in the process of formulating a line of Robin Crosbie Commemorative Memorabilia, which I hope to sell through numerous Ipswich retail outlets.
Please understand that this is my idea, not Robin’s. Robin is in no way a publicity hound; she is simply a dedicated public servant who happens to have a high-profile job. I actually image she would rather I not release a line of Robin Crosbie Commemorative Memorabilia. (If I had only asked her in advance. Which I didn’t. Because I knew what she’d say. And it wouldn’t be “Ask Jen.”) But I have forged ahead.
I haven’t locked in all the products and specifications yet, so I’ll welcome your feedback on which of these fine items you’re likeliest to go for. Think Christmas presents.
- The official Robin Crosbie bobblehead doll. This authentic-looking action figurine features an amazingly accurate laser-sculpted face, with the classic Crosbie “slightly scowling semi-stare.” Even more charming, however, is the random nodding motion of the Town Manager’s head, approximating the response that many lengthy citizen’s queries have deserved in Board of Selectmen meetings. (Robin has never actually offered such a nodding response while listening to citizens query on and on and on — she holds her head absolutely still, the better to scowl and stare with — but a more realistic Robin Crosbie fixed-head doll was beta-tested with focus groups and judged “too scary.”) In the deluxe edition, she also rolls her eyes.
- This new edition of the classic board game Monopoly, produced in honor of the solid financial footing established for the Town during the Crosbie administration, replaces the usual Atlantic City streets with the names of familiar Ipswich roadways; the top-dollar Boardwalk, for example, is now Argilla Road. The usual “Utilities” cards have been replaced by schools; the game can be played with one or two. Players of this updated edition can buy not only hotels but also inns and B&Bs, although it’s not quite clear which is which. As for game tokens, the race car is now a police boat, and the scotty dog is a clam. And in honor of the solid financial footing the Town enjoys as the Crosbie administration winds down, this game comes with way more money, plus an emergency fund for rainy days.
- The official Ipswich Crosbie-era snow globe. This will be a beautiful piece for the mantel over your fireplace. It features a lifelike Town of Ipswich snowplow with a miniature Town of Ipswich driver slumped over the steering wheel taking a nap. This historically significant keepsake commemorates the Town Manager’s fondly remembered act of compassion, giving snow-moving personnel a chance to rest during that massive, endless snowstorm, whenever that was.
- The Town of Ipswich emergency all-call Robin Crosbie voice app. For a small annual fee, the app changes all your Town of Ipswich auto-calls into Robin Crosbie’s voice, no matter who’s actually Town Manager. We’re working on a tie-in with the mental health industry, offering the app for free to at-risk citizens who need extra soothing during disasters.
- The Robin Crosbie commemorative calculator. It remembers absolutely every number you ever feed into it. Just like her.
Additional ideas for great products? Email TownManager@DougBrendel.com.