I’m sort of disappointed that I find myself writing this. I was banking on the whole end of the world, fiery demise, chariots of crusty dead dudes flying amongst us, so I wouldn’t have to work anymore. So consider this an up-front warning that I pretty much pulled this column out of my nether regions at the last minute. Which is pretty consistent with how I normally work, except this time there was more weeping on account of the fact that this train wreck we call life hasn’t yet reached its final destination.
For those of you who find my pessimism something of a downer, let’s sashay together through the many screw-ups, oh-nos, and just plain what-the-hells that graced the pages of this here ode to my genius. On the last Thursday of 2012, your Shredder gave to you:
One disgraced former sheriff turned commodore. Remember that? Pat Hedges turning in his spying equipment to become commodore of the Morro Bay Yacht Club. Yeah, me neither. I’m told it happened, though.
Two Central Coast politicians—former mayor Jon Shoals of Grover Beach and councilmember Kris Vardas of Pismo Beach—on PG&E’s payroll. Guess which two cities failed to address the potential implications of PG&E’s proposed seismic testing on their cities?
Three rallies to save things that never should have been in danger in the first place: a beautiful and festive bike arch in downtown San Luis Obispo, a mural on an art store in Atascadero, and the right for medicinal marijuana dispensaries to set up shop locally. Geez, bureaucrats. Lighten up. Smoke a joint—medicinal, of course.
Four percent is the quantity of votes supervisorial candidates Ed Waage and Jim Patterson each received in a completely meaningless online New Times poll asking voters who they intended to support in local elections. Adam Hill’s camp was accused of cheating after his name brought in more than 5,000 votes—which, after Waage’s supporters leapt into the imaginary fray, became the stupidest and least important “scandal” of the year.
Five cups of sugar, along with an unidentified quantity of flour and milk, were used in the American Association of University Women’s oh-so-polite April protest addressing wage disparities between men and women. Their weapon of choice? Homemade cookies that were three-quarters the size of, well, I don’t know what they were three-quarters the size of. Bigger cookies? But they passed them out to SLO City Council members in what has to be one of the least effective protests on record.
Six years is the average lifespan of a harbor seal living at the Morro Bay Aquarium—referred to in Yelp comments as “the saddest aquarium on earth.” Most harbor seals are expected to live more than 40 years in captivity, and at least 25 years in the wild. Among the causes of death for its marine mammals, the Morro Bay Aquarium listed love sickness, encephalitis from bacterial sewage, and drowning.
Seven striped dolphins was the number listed in National Science Foundation’s environmental assessment of PG&E’s proposed seismic testing. No one seemed to know what would happen to those seven striped dolphins when PG&E blasted 260 decibels into the ocean, and that’s part of the reason the proposals failed. Stay tuned, though, ’cause PG&E will probably come back swinging in 2013. Godspeed, striped dolphins, godspeed!
Eight curmudgeons—all right, I’m ballparking it, so sue me!—using very questionable math to argue that the city of San Luis Obispo has more bars per capita than any other city in the state. But despite their prophecies of doom and decay, Save Our Downtown lost the fight to keep Downtown Brew from adding a rooftop restaurant to plans for its new location.
Nine hours is the amount of time consultant Susan McCabe would have to work in order to earn $5,850 from the city of Morro Bay, at her rate of $650 per hour. The consultant’s responsibilities included buttering up the Coastal Commission to pave the way for it to accept the city’s wastewater treatment plant proposal. So far, the project hasn’t been approved, but I’ll bet it was a happy Christmas at the McCabe residence.
Ten is the number of years the city of San Luis Obispo assigned itself to end homelessness. Several years into this plan, the city instead spent chunks of 2012 ticketing homeless people for sleeping in RVs parked on Prado Road. The crackdown on the city’s homeless generated criticism and a legal battle between the city and the people they ticketed.
Eleven outrageous statements about rape by out-of-touch politicians. There isn’t enough space in this newspaper to thoroughly document the absurdity of their claims, but remember to send Rush Limbaugh, Tom Smith, Tod Akin, Clayton Williams, Chuck Winder, Rick Santorum, Ken Buck, Sharon Barnes, Paul Ryan, Liz Trotta, and Mike Huckabee an extra special fruit basket for the holidays. And expect more zany rape antics and comments in the year to come!
Twelve medical marijuana proprietors—dubbed The Doobie Dozen by yours truly—went free this year after a controversial 2010 Narcotics Task Force medical marijuana bust. There’s still no word on how much the bust and subsequent attempts to prosecute the 12 cost us taxpayers, but if that number ever does happen to leak, I feel confident predicting that we might find ourselves kicking off 2013 with one big, angry protest—with extra big cookies, I hope.
Hoping for a pied piper or partridge in a pear tree? Give me something to work with, people. Try to incorporate more absurd props into next year’s transgressions.
Shredder doesn’t know what to expect from 2013. Send predictions to [email protected].