I’ve recently been trying to play catch-up in the endorsement business in my scribble-in race for county supervisor. I’m not sure which district I’d be in, because all of the district boundaries seem to intersect in SLO, where I’m currently squatting. Just scribble me in wherever you think appropriate. Any ballot—or even a napkin (sanitary or otherwise)—will do for the scribbling. In fact, don’t even drop it in the ballot box, just drop it in the toilet and your voice will still be heard. Except don’t do that in Los Osos, where they simply can’t take any more.
It may be too late for me, however, because I recently learned that I lost out on the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriffs Association, this despite my long association with law enforcement. It stung, because many of those deputy sheriffs know me by description—a 20s to 60s male or female of indeterminate size and race, fleeing the scene—but I don’t feel so bad, because they know Jerry Lenthall, too, and they didn’t endorse him either.
They know him real well. Lenthall was a cop for 30 years. He’s one of them, with a cop mustache to prove it.
But they didn’t endorse him. They said he didn’t return their calls.
Lenthall says that the real story is they’re mad at him because he wouldn’t cave in to their budget-draining demands for richer pensions. That may be true. Still, it’s got to sting, because they supported him the first time. The time when he won.
Somebody get that man another giant billboard to make him feel better.
Anyway, the guy they went with instead was Adam Hill, a creative writing instructor! You know things are icy when cops not only don’t stand with their own, they side with creative types, who don’t even have mustaches at all.
I was, of course, endorsed by the SLO Cattlemen’s Association, but then everybody got that one. In the First District race, they endorsed incumbent Harry Ovittand his opponent, Paso Robles Mayor Frank Mecham. Now that’s really hedging your bets. What’s the point of endorsing a guy and his opponent? It’s like putting a McCain bumper sticker next to an Obama bumper sticker on your car. It’s like wearing a Mets cap and a Yankees jersey to the baseball stadium. It’s like political polygamy.
And while I’m on the subject of elections, I don’t know if you get to vote for SLO’s poet laureate or what, but I’ll tell you that she sure would get my endorsement because she did one of the more courageous things I’ve seen recently around these parts: She stood up against crap poetry.
April was National Poetry Month, and the local paper of record runs “poems” by local “poets” during the month. As poet laureate, it was Dian Sousa’s job to screen and vet them for printing, and by the third week or so it was obvious she’d had all she could take because she chose to not run any “poems” that week, replacing the space instead with a sternly worded letter allowing that she was “somewhat disappointed” with the overall quality of the year’s submissions and felt the need to remind people that drivel that rhymes does not a poet make. Poetic, no?
She was even inspired to write this poem about the submissions:
Crap crap crap
Your poems are all crap
Please stop the sending
And read this ending:
Your poems are all crap
She didn’t actually write that. I did. And she wouldn’t even print it when I submitted it to the paper! Still, lots of people found what she did write—advice for folks on how to improve their work in the hope of better luck next year—extremely insulting. They sent in letters complaining: Who does she think she is? I don’t know why it was such a big deal, when people have much bigger issues to worry about, such as the contrails that planes flying above leave in the air. But these folks’ fragile butterfly wings of inspiration were apparently crushed by her stony, cold words. (Pretty good writing, no Dian?)
But then she did something even more remarkable: She wrote back with her own letter and belittled them, mocked them, and ignored their flaccid egos and told them she’d honor them by posting their dreck on her refrigerator.
It was all great fun, and the right thing to do and say, which is why I was so surprised to read it.
Footloose in Paso
This next bit is a story of a streetwise young man who moves into a stuck-in-time town where rock music and dancing have been banned!
Whoops, that’s straight out of IMDB’s entry on Footloose, but it could apply to Paso Robles, which I’ve heard has temporarily silenced music at the nearby Downtown Brew because of complaints from the fancy new Hotel Cheval, which I think is French for “thin walls.”
Didn’t anybody mention to the hotel owners when it was being built that, um, people actually like to hang out downtown? Now if we can just make them all stop line dancing up there we might actually have the makings of a sequel. I’d cast Gerard Depardieu as the manager of the hotel, and Miley Cyrus as the got-to-line dance young gal who shakes (and wakes) that sleepy town up and drives all the Frenchies back to Canada!
File this under odd
Am I the only one who finds humor in the concept of shaken baby simulators? Don’t answer that. But let me just clarify that it’s not the horrible action of shaking babies itself that makes me chuckle, but just the idea of machines designed to simulate said horrible behavior. Because the county just bought two of the things, and I can just see kids in health class now trying to rack up all-time scores on the poor things. It’s like health class Wii, but with social services looking on.
Not that I’m endorsing such actions. No sir. Not endorsing it. Not unless the shaken baby simulators endorse me first.