Same old same old With only 8.14159265359 months left before the Jerusalem elections, we present this 42nd in an interminable series of articles recycling stale news and unlikely rumors about the same half-dozen or so tired candidates.However, in a surprise turn of events, two new prominent personalities have announced their candidacy for the mayor’s seat.The first, a figure known and loved by Lubavitcher hassidim around the globe, is Menachem Mendel Schneerson. In an exclusive interview with In Jest in Jerusalem, the Rebbe said, “This city is so important to me that I have come out of a very deep retirement to throw my hat into the ring (don’t worry, my head won’t be bare. I have a kippa on under my hat).”We asked him if his age and health were an issue. Although the phone connection was problematic (“There is very iffy reception where I am phoning from and my battery desperately needs a recharge”), Schneerson quoted Mark Twain, saying, “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”An irascible and annoyed Mark Twain phoned in shortly afterward to say he was misquoted.Schneerson faces stiff competition for the mayoral post from the other newly announced candidate: me, Jerusalem Post hard-hitting columnist Peggy Lee Siddur. Contacted by me, I said, “I know more about this city than any of those other clowns running for mayor and I pull the strings here anyway. I might as well come out into the open and assume my rightful role.” Just the fax Experts poring over an in-depth study by the Jerusalem Institute for Sanity Research recently announced their surprising findings that compared to other major cities – such as Tel Aviv and Haifa – the overwhelming majority of Jerusalemites live in Jerusalem. It has been further determined that these Jerusalem residents are spread over a wide range of neighborhoods throughout the capital.Contacted by this probing reporter, one resident disclosed with no hint of irony or apparent embarrassment, “I have been a resident of this city ever since I moved here and plan to continue to reside here until the day I move.”This extreme, shocking and deeply disturbing statement was immediately attacked by human rights activists and NGOs funded by the European Union as “a prime example of racist intolerance obviously inspired by the absurd American knee-jerk support of all Israeli nationalist fantasies.”Beit Shemesh residents wasted no time, declaring a day of rage and putting up protest signs calling for modest attire, but it is not clear if their actions were at all connected to the above.It’s final – IKEA is coming to Jerusalem Speaking of Beit Shemesh, despite all of the fake news about IKEA opening a mega-branch in that highly desirable and not at all extremist suburban town, it has been officially confirmed and announced that the iconic furniture store is in fact locating its new store in Jerusalem.Speaking to this resolute reporter, the Swedish owner said something in Swedish that I couldn’t understand because I do not speak Asian languages (the jury is still out whether or not I speak English).The owner’s secretary, however, clarified that as soon as the majority of the world’s nations recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move their embassies there, IKEA will follow. The snap-to-assemble furniture firm is currently eyeing a building site on the Temple Mount, traditionally called by the Swedish “The Noble Furnishing Sanctuary.”IKEA’s move has inspired a number of other major chains to announce that they, too, are opening branches in Jerusalem, including Walmart, Walgreens, Doggie Style Frankfurters, Ditcher and Ruun Divorce Lawyers, Pearanoia Fruit Warehouse, Hare-Raising Pet Experiences and Work O’ Fart Art Distributors.Smadar Theater news blackout Have you been wondering why you haven’t read anything in this column recently about the German Colony’s Smadar Theater?Readers will recall that in more than 90% of the weeks last year in which this city round-up column was published, this uncompromising reporter mentioned the artsy-yet-under-threat Smadar Theater. Half of those articles reported that the theater was imminently closing, and the other half of the articles, published on alternating weeks, reported just as authoritatively, that a solution was found to keep the theater open.A solid majority of Jerusalem Post subscribers contacted the newspaper and said they were fed up and/or bored to tears reading about the topic and threatened to cancel their subscriptions if we wrote about the theater even one more time. As I value my job, I have found another topic to cover to death – hence all the municipal election coverage (refer to the beginning of this week’s column).I am still permitted to write prolifically about the light rail’s Blue Line, though, so brace yourself.Blue Line still in the news Relax – this bold journalist just got a warning from the editor to give reporting about the Blue Line a rest, so you’re off the hook for now. Purim Sameah!