LARGO - The one clear message that came out of an otherwise muddled appearance by Steve Stanton on the Larry King show last Friday was his pronouncement that he would not sue the City of Largo over loss of his job.
Stanton's dismissal as city manager came March 23, four weeks and two days after it was revealed that he had plans to undergo a sex change and supposedly become a woman named Susan.
He was originally scheduled to appear on the King show on Thursday but got bumped to a day later because of commentary on the Don Imus firing as a broadcaster.
Stanton reiterated what he said at the February 27 City Commission meeting when he was initially suspended pending a hearing and final disposition. At that time he said there was no way he would sue the city. "It would be like suing my mother," he said. He repeated the same phrase last Friday.
His lawyer, who appeared with him, bravely tried to make the argument that Stanton had a strong case should he sue, but anyone with the scantiest knowledge of Florida law knows he did not stand a chance.
Confusion reigned in Stanton's appearance with the grizzled and veteran King who has made a living for years interviewing celebrities and other unimportant people.
Tne fact that any guy who wants to become a female obviously consternated the much married King who asked Stanton if he was a homosexual.
Stanton smoothly fended that one off, maintaining that "there is a difference between gender orientation and sex orientation."
But later, from another hesitant question from King that would have embarrassed most normal people, Stanton said he would undergo surgery to presumably adjust his physical configuration as a male.
Of course, the two ideas are inconsistent and good luck to anyone who wants to take the time to figure it out.
Stanton's assertion at one point of "strong family support" and a later statement in the show that a divorce was in the offing only added to the confusion.
Other confusion with Stanton comes to mind with the recollection that, in recent years, he was involved in exercises with the police and fire departments with very macho experiences, some of which he was injured in. A tomboy, no doubt, it turns out.
But it was Stanton's clear cut answer on suing, uttered 46 minutes into the show, that the thousands of Largonians crouched around their TV sets wanted to hear. It is hard to believe anyone else in the universe cared.
That boldly stated decision issued from a face remarkably like a choirboy's with a demeanor that was angelic and self-effacing. Of course, it immediately brought a huge sigh of collective relief from the citizenry of Largo - officials and plebes - who are sufficiently overfed with l'affaire Stanton.
In the meantime, more evidence spilled out of Largo City Hall from responsible and highly placed sources that had the commission not wisely given Stanton his walking papers no less than 14 key people were ready to resign.
On top of that, some former employees of Largo who said they were fired abruptly by Stanton without any chance of rebuttal or the hearing that he so graciously received from the commission came out of the woodwork.
It is known that there is a seething mass of such folk harboring anger and frustration that has grown to critical mass.
Many of them no doubt tuned into CNN and the King show last Friday to see the performance of a fellow/gal (?) who could be dubbed "Mr. Sweetness" on the basis of his performance - a role foreign to what employees say they had seen in their experience.