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Mayor Paul "A-for-Apple-Head" Dyster is not what he appears to be.

Or what he says he is.

Everybody knows that.

And while he showed the Niagara Falls Veterans the ass when he left them on Memorial Day before their groundbreaking of the Veterans Monument to cavort with the Japanese ambassador, Shinichi Nishimiya, to talk about trains, Dyster still likes to pretend he served his country -- as, implausibly, a top arms negotiator.

He claims that from January 1988 until January 1989, when he was a mere 34, he was a State Department representative in direct negotiations with the USSR.

He claims he was in Switzerland, too, staring down the Soviets, helping Reagan turn the communist bloc into irrelevancy.

Weapons of mass destruction, space negotiations, chemical and biological weapons control, missile defense, anti-satellite weapons control -- these were the issues our PhD mayor claimed in his resume he worked on.

The Niagara Falls Reporter discovered that Dyster was in fact an ANE -- an arms negotiations "embellisher."

He also appears to have been a certified ANP -- an arms negotiations "prevaricator."

It may be true that he was present when some armament issues were being discussed. He may have overheard some discussions, because as a principal bureau officer -- which was his actual job title -- it was his duty, according to the State Department manual, to work in the kitchen and take care of the vending machines.

His arms were full indeed -- carrying trays of food and filling vending machines.

Maybe some people like liars and exaggerators for mayor. They wonder how a country or city gets into trouble. They know dishonest, self-serving politicians are to blame, but they keep electing them anyway. They scratch their heads and wonder why things are so bad. Maybe because honesty is not a requirement for some people's vote.

Still, would you vote for a known liar if he says the right things about your pet issues or paves your street?

I suppose there are some people who think a comical fool like Dyster -- even if he is, as more and more people suggest, a total liar -- is the perfect choice for mayor. He might actually be what people need -- a good laugh to help us out of our depression.

I understand it.

"Would you like fries with your burger, Mr. Gorbachev?"

Dyster needed a PhD for his trip to Geneva -- as in "P"op, "h"amburgers and "D"onuts.

The American delegation in Geneva looked distinguished in their uniforms, the Marines in their dress blue, the Army officers in their classic green -- and then there was Paul Dyster in his busboy-brown.

But Dyster did well on the trip. In fact, on some days he cleared 50 bucks in tips!

And he had an opinion on everything. A U.S. diplomat once asked Dyster what he thought of Red China. Dyster said, "It's OK, but only on a white tablecloth."

Yes, Paul Dyster served his nation faithfully -- three times a day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But he was tough too. Dyster stared down the Soviets time and again. More than once he had to say, "No! You can't have seconds!"

Dyster took pride in satisfying the oftentimes exotic culinary tastes of his cosmopolitan and refined fellow statesmen. One of them looked at the lanky 34-year-old "arms negotiator" and said, "Do you have frog's legs?" Dyster replied, "Why, yes, sir!" "Well, hop over here and get me a burger!"

In spite of the tension surrounding multinational arms negotiations, Dyster used to love his job and would rise early, eager to get started. As he used to say to his fellow "constituents" as he served them their morning joe, "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup."

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com April 19, 2011