Opinion » Street Talk

I have a headache this big!

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Some days when I wake up, not even coffee is enough to drive away the pounding in my skull. The pressure. The incessant throbbing pain that is my routine existence--and, possibly, the result of whatever it is I drank mass quantities of the night before.

That's why I was glad to stagger out of my house in my underwear on a recent sunny morning and find drugs in my driveway.

Specifically, I practically stepped on a double dose of Ibuprofen in the form of Advil PM tucked cozily in with my Tribune. Yes, I get the daily delivered. I just can't get enough of that crazy Dilbert.

I'll admit that I was a bit hazy that early in the day, around 11:30 or so, but I can remember thinking: "Wazzit, huh?"

Later on, after my brain began firing on a few more thrusters, I had some other, more coherent thoughts. Like what if I had a dog who had ripped into the packet and downed the dosage? Or a child? A child younger than 12, like the warnings on the packet specifically say shouldn't be taking them?

I know, I know. How much would it hurt, really? But since the paperboys basically turned city streets into a free pharmacy that morning, handfuls of sleep-aids were available to anyone who figured out that all they had to do was bend their knees and grab what should be kept out of reach of children and requires prompt medical attention if taken to excess.

Anyway, I gulped mine down with a belt of Jack Daniels and slept like a baby for the rest of the day. I never did find out what happened to Dilbert.

Where, oh where

Do you live where you live? I do. Almost everybody I know lives where they live. But not, apparently, SLO Councilman Allen Settle. He lives in the house he doesn't seem to live in. He lives in the one in San Luis Obispo. The one he legally has to live in to keep his post that other people who live around here elected him to. The one where his neighbors think he doesn't live in. It's easy for him to find the house he lives in, though, because it's the one with all the student cars, from his tenants, in the driveway.

And let me just add that the place he doesn't live in, the one in the city where he isn't elected to the city council, looks like a really sweet place to not live. It looks like a mansion. That's definitely where I'd not live. I'd not live there all the time, man. But he can tell you for sure that he doesn't live there because he's there pretty often, apparently, and so it's easy to keep track of the fact that he doesn't live there.

What's the rule? Is it where you keep your toothbrush? Or your medications? Or is it the place you return home to after city council meetings with a New Times reporter on your tail? When the city attorney was asked, he said it's tricky to say exactly what the rules are about where an elected city official has to live.

Funny. Doesn't seem too terribly tricky to me. If you represent a place as an elected official you should actually live there. And not just part time. Let's see if his fellow council members ask for a clarification of things or if they're all too polite to push it.

Driving a new idea

Sen. Abel Maldonado wants a new law on the books, one that requires sex offenders to slap a sticker or something on their cars to let everyone know that they're sex offenders. It's like a mobile Megan's Law, always on, always out there for everyone to see.

It might make neighbors feel safer, it might not, but it would certainly cut down on kids asking to borrow the keys for the night. No son would want to cruise the streets with a sex offender beacon on the back. What's the opposite of a chick magnet? I can't think of the term offhand, but "sex-offender license plate" will probably stick.

People who harassed someone with the sticker would do so under the threat of jail time, but I don't think scowls and furtive looks through curtains would count as harassment. That sucks for the guys--and gals, I guess--who made a bad choice, like slept with their 17-year-old significant other when they were 18--and now want to do what's right. The offenders who plan to keep offending aren't going to let the threat of a misdemeanor for not having the right decal on their car stop them from offending, right?

The text in the legislation notes that the DMV is already required to issue special-interest license plates, "including specific special environmental design license plates," like a whale tail is the precedent for neon-colored child-molester ads on your Toyota.

Keep 'em out

And here's a final note, which is good, because I feel my headache coming back and I ran out of Tribunes: The budget-cutting SLO County Board of Supervisors just voted to spend $40,000 to replace the current 4-foot-high fence around the Los Osos skate park with a 10-foot-tall fence. Seems too many people were getting in there and skating when they weren't formally allowed to. Imagine that: skaters not respecting authority. Here's my advice to the county: Save your money. Skaters will skate, no matter the heights to which they have to scale.

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