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Home arrow News arrow Bear mauls ninja to give Mason four-year council term
Bear mauls ninja to give Mason four-year council term Print
Written by Mark Reaman   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
It’s like the Old West…sort of

The ninja lost the final battle and so the bear will occupy the Crested Butte Town Council seat until 2013. The ninja will have to run for re-election in 2011. In what Town Clerk Eileen Hughes described as an extreme version of “Rock-Paper-Scissors,” Roland Mason and Phoebe Wilson had a showdown to determine their council terms.


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Last Friday, November 20, the two candidates squared off at the town hall in a game of “Ninja-Bear-Cowboy.”
Mason and Wilson had both garnered 317 votes in the November 3 council race. That tied them for third place. With four seats open and the fourth place finisher getting a two-year term instead of a four-year term, a recount was triggered at the county. The results did not change, with both tallying 317 votes.
Under state law, the tie must be broken by “lot.” In most towns, a coin is flipped or a card is drawn from a deck of cards.
But this is Crested Butte.
“Roland came up with the idea and it was a lot of fun,” explained Wilson.
When Mason was in college, he and his roommates grew bored with Rock-Paper-Scissors. “So we started doing Ninja-Bear-Cowboy. We’d line up back to back, take three paces and turn and pose like in the Old West,” he said. “We did it to see who got the best bedroom.”
Wilson was ready to try something other than flipping a coin. “It was good because we didn’t know each other very well. If [Mason] knew me better, he’d know I don’t like guns and so would never be a cowboy. I am a bear-ninja inside.”
So at 11:35 a.m. on November 20 in the upstairs hallway of Town Hall, Mason and Wilson stood back to back and began the showdown.
The two agreed to the following rules: It would take two out of three victories to win.
Ninja disarms Cowboy.
Bear mauls Ninja.
And Cowboy shoots Bear.
“It was pretty fun doing it with Phoebe,” Mason said. “Phoebe and I were cracking up and we had probably 10 people watching, wondering what the heck was going on. We wanted to add a little lightness with all the stuff going on right now. Maybe the pro and anti-Snodgrass people could do it and get on with it.”
According to the witnessed affidavit submitted by Hughes, on the count of three, each candidate would turn around and assume one of the positions.
The official document describes the following:
“Round One: Mason bear; Wilson bear: outcome—tie.
“Round Two: Mason cowboy; Wilson bear: outcome—Mason wins.
“Round Three: Mason bear; Wilson ninja: outcome—Mason wins.
“Final outcome: Mason wins a four-year seat. Wilson gets a two year seat.”
The official document will be filed in the Crested Butte Town Hall for a future town clerk to discover and eventually ponder.
“We like to single ourselves out a little bit,” admitted Hughes. “It’s extreme Rock-Paper-Scissors and it worked.”

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