Opinion » Shredder

Oh, the smellses you'll smell


Have I got an investment opportunity for you! It’s a pair of goggles that you wear around your nose to control the smells. Like Google Glass, but for your nostrils. I’m not really sure how it works, but I have a pair of sunglasses I found in the dumpster that I smudged with a discarded air freshener and it smells moderately better than the hovel I occupy did before, so I’m calling that a win.

If trying to control the smell of the air comes across as a tad tightly wound, consider the fact that Cold Canyon was forced to shut down its composting operation after it received a complaint about … wait for it … wait for it a little bit longer, trust me, it’s worth it … the smell of Christmas trees. Either Ebenezer Scrooge—pre life-changing epiphany—secretly bought a house in rural San Luis Obispo and is now busy trying to glum up the neighborhood or there are people who object to the one smell that sums up home, family, nature, gingerbread, and exuberantly wrapped presents patiently awaiting the touch of trembling young hands.

Or perhaps you’re like pro-ATV activist Kevin Rice and loathe the smell of haybales and grass lingering on the salty air as it sweeps from the dunes and rushes toward the Nipomo Mesa. I myself found it difficult to believe that a man who ardently defends vehicular recreation that produces the stench of gas would object to the noxious presence of grass and haybales to mitigate toxic dust. Apparently, Rice’s mind simply operates on a whole different plain—which I credit to inhaling large quantities of those delightful ATV fumes—but when you’re the self-proclaimed savior of Bakersfield’s favorite playground, you sometimes find yourself making unintelligible statements. Such as:

“I laugh at re-vegetation. There are hundreds of acres vegetated today that weren’t vegetated in 1930. It’s been vegetated to hell. Grass is highly invasive.”

Which is kinda silly, but when you chase it with the following quote, it becomes something else entirely:

“Sand filters out gas and oil from ATVs, it’s an incredible system. If you want the safest, cleanest water, just look below the dunes.”

So grass is problematic, but gas and oil are great for the environment because the sand just sucks it right up? The logic there is a little problematic, to say the least. Don’t worry, though: Most of Kevin’s comrades couldn’t distinguish between a corporate slogan and the Declaration of Independence. And maybe it’s better that way. There’s a lot of vegetation in the world, and I’m going to have an easier time selling Shredder Glass if there are more people who are afraid of leaves and twigs and big scary branches.

Or maybe you’re just not a fan of the redolent bouquet of blood and vomit before noon, in which case, the fascist City of San Luis Obispo shares your aversion, as indicated by the plethora of posters with the photo of a college-aged girl in a green wig who, we’re supposed to conclude, made some rather poor choices on St. Patrick’s Day. Wouldn’t it have been much more civil if instead of celebrating at the bars she’d just hopped in her car and driven to the nearest winery where she could have gotten classily drunk in a tasteful manner then drove home with her breath reeking of refinement? I mean, that’s what America’s happiest city is all about, right?

While I don’t necessarily agree with plastering the town in “Don’t You Dare Have Anything Resembling Fun” propaganda, I do have to admit that the BuzzFeed post titled “The Best Moments Missed On Saint Fratty’s Day” depicting a segment of Cal Poly’s Greek system’s celebration of yet another excuse to drink does present a certain justification. My particular favorites are a girl passed out in the booth at Habit Burger with a cutline indicating it’s only 11 a.m.; a guy wearing a shirt that says “Fuck Terrorism” while grabbing his crotch, posed next to a girl whose entire ass is hanging out of her shorts; and, of course, the video of a girl falling drunkenly off the roof. In fact, the post was sufficiently emotionally compelling that I found it worth mentioning despite my earlier promise to lay off the university’s Greek system. Remember when a frat kid warned me that I would never find professional success if I continued to point out that certain members of the Greek system’s juvenile antics were, well, juvenile? He seemed concerned that this column was making the university’s Greek system look bad.

I think the BuzFeed feature contributed by an apparently proud fraternity member makes the system look much worse than my words ever could. And if we’re shooting for epically insensitive stupidity, the fraternity brother who contributed the web piece included the sentence “This glorious day is in honor of the Great Sir FratStar that lives on through the spirit of Sigma Ep” in the subhead. Remember Sigma Alpha Epsilon? The fraternity that was banned from Cal Poly until at least 2033, and potentially permanently, after a pledge died during hazing? Personally, I think it’s sweet that the Greeks want to pay tribute to the fallen fraternity through a day of drinking and falling off roofs. Certain naysayers might wonder whether this indicates a lack of respect for the kid who died from drinking too much while pledging the fraternity.

I guess it’s just question of perspective. And brain cells.


Shredder’s a little overwhelmed by the high levels of stupid wafting from all directions. Send rational thought to [email protected].


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