Whatever Rick Martel puts in his hair must be what's kept him preserved for so long. He's been on the air in some form or another in some place or another since I was just a little Shredder spreading rumors and flinging gossip on the playground at my elementary school.
Anyway, Rick's reinvented himself again, though he's still using what he calls his "signature interview format." He's calling his new show "We Did It! The Newlywed Celebration."
Rick probably doesn't know that couples these days usually have "done it" long before they became newlyweds, considering that back when he first started his broadcasting career, even married couples slept in separate beds at night a la Ricky and Lucy.
Do me a favor. Don't tell him otherwise. In his pre-show press material, Rick says he'll explore "some of the wonders and surprises of the first few weeks and months after the wedding day," and I don't want him to be disappointed.
The show premieres Aug. 17 on Channel Two, so named for the number of people who watch it. To the both of you, I'll make a bet. I'm giving 10-to-1 odds that at least one of Rick's featured couples gets a divorce before he bursts into song on the air.
Sprawl in the family
Abel Maldonado, the baby-faced senator who pulled himself up by his own bootstraps out of the strawberry fields and is still soaring heavenward, recently made a fuss about his senate district, complaining that it stretches from Santa Maria to San Jose. If I had to regularly associate with Santa Maria, I'd complain too, but his argument stems less from how crappy that city is and more from how his district includes seven assembly districts, eight congressional districts, and five counties. He wants reform, because, as he says, the current setup leads legislators to pick their voters instead of the other way around, and a Senate constitutional amendment on the table to fight the problem lacks teeth.
Abel Maldonado recently made a fuss about his senate district, complaining that it stretches from Santa Maria to San Jose. If I had to regularly associate with Santa Maria, I'd complain too.
Abel's got a good point, but if my memory serves me right, he announced that he's going to run for state controller in a Republican primary next year. If he wins, he'll have a much larger area to worry about - at least financially - and it still includes San Jose and Santa Maria (as well as Barstow, Modesto, Bakersfield, Fresno, Stockton, and Indio).
Regardless, it's good to see Abel picking his fights where he is now and not just biding his time while he waits for sainthood.
Don't have a cow
Word on the street is that the Arts Council and ECOSLO decided to once again hold an Art on the Range fund-raiser to rake in money for educational programs. Last year, the two groups gave local artists briefcase-sized cows to paint. I know because Glen Starkey decorated one with baby doll heads, and the freaky thing's been sitting in the New Times office ever since. The artistic monstrosity looks like the result of a nuclear accident at the Harris Ranch staff nursery.
The artsy and environmental folks wanted to keep the farmy theme they started with the cows and give everyone chickens or snowy plovers or some other bird for this year's community-wide art project. But before they could, the artsy and environmental people said, the city stepped in and laid claim to the whole painted-animal schtick. San Luis Obispo has already got all these trout lying around, see, and our leaders don't want anyone to get confused.
I tend to mix up whether I'm supposed to serve white or red wine with chicken or fish - so I usually just stir the two wines together in an empty milk jug - but I've never confused the two meats. One has feathers, the other has scales.
Personally, I think the city's got bigger fish to fry, and if I were someone from the Arts Council or ECOSLO, I'd thumb my nose twice as hard as I usually do at the powers-that-be. I hear the groups decided to scrap chickens and go with scarecrows for their project.
It's not that big of a deal, so I'll only make a little deal out of it. My question to whomever suggested that the chickens might be a conflict of interest is: What does it matter if what's being painted represents something alive or not? Would an ear of corn be okay, since it's a vegetable that's been picked? Don't answer, because I'm about to make a point, and I don't like being interrupted.
Technically, the Arts Council and ECOSLO did the animal thing first with cows last year. Except, now that I think about it, Seattle painted pigs on its streets a while back, and I'm fairly sure that Pittsburgh set up dinosaurs and Sacramento paraded elks, too. And now that I mention it, didn't New York set up cows somewhere around the turn of the century?
If we really wanted to start playing "I did it first" when it comes to displaying a variety animals, we could probably argue ourselves all the way to the Garden of Eden, and I doubt that anyone in SLO could claim first rights there.
It was the breast of times
Councilman Paul Brown, who recently bragged that he was basically a goody-two-shoes when it came to partying in college, also recently and vocally opposed a blanket anti-nudity law for the city of SLO, saying that, if anything, the legislation designed to keep skin away from eyes should apply only to Mardi Gras. Basically, he's anti-anti-nudity, which isn't the same as pro-nudity, I guess, but it's close enough for my purposes.
San Luis Obispo police say they want breasts to stay hidden in bras and under shirts, where God put them in the first place. Paul's fellow councilmember, Christine Mulholland, has been against the law from the beginning because she thinks local cops don't have enough wits or class or both to tell the difference between flashing and nursing, which means she and Paul are on the same page.
To anyone reading this, I'm giving 10-to-1 odds that Paul and Christine will be back to disagreeing about virtually every issue before Rick Martel bursts into song on the air.