THE DOCUMENT arrived at my doorstep over the weekend in a plain white envelope.
This was going to be big.
Former school superintendent Arlene Ackerman's Christmas list.
I knew it was going to be a good Xmas for former Queen Arlene. A very good one. First she engineered a $905,000 buyout from her job, which has to make one wonder why the Occupy Philadelphians, instead of camping out outside City Hall to party hearty, did not occupy her house.
Then last week she applied to for unemployment benefits of $573 a week. Time and time again as school superintendent, ex-Queen Arlene was fond of saying, "I'm for the kids!" Clearly that was a brain lock in which what she really meant to say was, "I'm for me!"
It will come as no surprise that most of the gifts she plans on giving are to herself.
* Twenty-five pairs of Manolo Blahnik stilettos, ranging from the Maricrona D'Orsay Pump ($855) for when she works out on the treadmill to the Swan Embellished Satin pump in Cranberry ($1,295) when she gives yet another interview to whine about Mayor Nutter. She is also having a pair that is custom-made, modeled on the James Bond film "From Russia with Love" in which a little knife can be activated to extend from the toe and stab those who do not like her. It is a large pool to draw from, each and every citizen of Philadelphia, excluding of course some elected officials who would support accused sexual predator Jerry Sandusky if they thought it meant a few votes.
* A Dolce and Gabanna Belted Mongolian fur coat ($6,795), useful for her inspirational message to Philadelphia schoolchildren that if you piss off every leader in town by having no political instincts in a job that is obviously political, throw in a dash of racial mau-mau at the end in which you imply that much of the antipathy against you is by racist whites, you too one day can get a buyout of nearly a million and afford fur.
* A reproduction of the iconic dogs-playing-poker painting on the ceiling of the school administration building, slightly modified in which Ackerman is depicted holding a royal flush, surrounded by members of the feckless School Reform Commission all holding a sad pair of twos.
* A statue of Ackerman by A. Thomas Schomberg at the top of the art museum steps (price unknown) with her hands upraised in the shape of pistols aimed at Mayor Nutter's office in City Hall, additionally reinforced by concrete and titanium steel so it can never be removed.
* A diamond-encrusted throne, ermine robe and gold crown for her family room (estimated $25,000) so she can watch reruns of "Welcome Back Kotter," a seminal influence in her educational policy.
In fairness, ex-queen Arlene does plan to purchase a few gifts for others, albeit very few:
* A jewelry box for the mayor without a gift card so he has no idea who sent it, much like her finding money to fund kindergarten without ever telling him when he was in frantic budget negotiations with the state. Plus there is nothing inside anyway except a piece of coal in the shape of John Street.
* T-shirts for every teacher, staff member and student who was hurt in the war of South Philadelphia High School with a slogan across the front that says in capital letters "GET OVER IT."
* A free spa day for all the school officials she ran over so at least some of the tire treads can be massaged.
There is nothing to prevent ex-Queen Arlene from buying any gift she wants. It seems only fair, however, that she take to heart the gift the city has in mind for her.