Opinion » Street Talk

I'm all ears

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I'm listening in on you. Right now. There's a microphone in the thing that you're sitting on, and I heard what you did a few minutes ago. Embarrassed? Don't be. Somebody a few blocks away from you just did the same thing. I know because I have bugs everywhere.

There's also a video camera somewhere on the premises, but I'm not going to tell you where. I saw what you did a few minutes ago, too, and I'd be embarrassed about that, if I were you. I haven't ever seen anyone do that anywhere else. Yikes. You're very talented and all, but yikes.

Also, you should do a little cleaning. There's some food stuck to a plate or something in the kitchen. In know, because you have bugs everywhere. The non-electronic kind.

A week or two ago I wasn't really paying attention I mentioned that I was going to take a tip from SLO County Sheriff Pat Hedges and accessorize my auditory capabilities electronically. The top county lawman insists he had a good reason for eavesdropping on one of his subordinates, Chief Deputy Gary Hoving, who didn't take kindly to the unseen presence wired into his office.

The deputy in question put together a formal complaint and asked for a bunch of money.

I'm not worried, though. Just like the sheriff said, I've got a great reason for tuning in on my subordinates, i.e. all of you readers. I'm just not at liberty to discuss why I bugged your office or your home or wherever it is you're reading this. I can't quite make out where you are right now my video monitor is a little fuzzy. I'm having trouble hearing you, too, so could you speak up? Just lean a little closer to that bouquet of flowers over there not that that's where the microphone is or anything. And would it hurt you to enunciate? You've got the diction of a third grader with a mouth full of mashed potatoes.

But you heard me right. I can't tell you why I'm peeking in on your private moments, just that I am and I have. Trust me. If you knew why I was spying on you all, hoo boy, you'd thank me and ask me to double my efforts, and then redouble my efforts, and then double them again. Still, I'm not going to tell you. You're just going to have to wait to find out, and I'm going to keep doing what it is that I do so well, which is writing about stuff I learn about via various nefarious means.

Which brings me back to the sheriff. I picked up this particular tidbit about his bugging his underling by sneaking and snooping around the office, reading over people's shoulders until I found something interesting. But I'm interested more in what's been going on since Hoving lashed back against Hedges: Basically, it's a whole lot of nothing.

Well, something's going on. There are investigations and threats of legal action and everything you'd expect from something like this. But on the sheriff's end, there's nothing. He said he can continue to do his job without worrying about the allegations leveled against him. Maybe he can set up little partitions in his mind, like cubicle walls that keep the stress from his day-to-day law enforcement duties apart from the stress of having the attorney general looking over his shoulder like I was doing to the writers in the office.

Or, in case you've never been in a cubicle, let me create an image you're more familiar with. Maybe Hedges can keep all his thoughts and worries in separate little piles, like turkey with gravy and peas and those mashed potatoes you've been mumbling around all on the same plate but not touching because of some bizarre food compulsion.

I'll be frank. I just flat out don't believe that Hedges can pull it off. There are no less than three groups investigating his actions, he's being backed up by a county that won't actually back him up, and a bunch of people are hinting that he should exit stage left at least until this whole matter is cleared up.

Is his mind fully on pot busts these days? Or mysterious murders? Or whatever else goes on in the dark underbelly of this county? My money is on no. Of course, my money was on red last night and I lost it all because of one lousy bounce of the ball onto black. Ah well. You win some, you lose some.

There's not much else to say with this one. I know that he's elected and all, but he's also the man behind the badge, and I'd certainly sleep better if I knew that that badge was backed by someone who wasn't fighting some major personal battles while simultaneously fighting crime in the county. I'd also probably sleep better if you'd keep your antics to a dull roar tonight. Just because I have surveillance equipment monitoring your home doesn't mean you have to show off.

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