Some days, when being the Shredder gets me down, which, come to think of it, is most days, I imagine what my life would be like if I was living somebody elseâ€™s life.
If, for instance, I was Sen. Abel Maldonado, I could be sipping champagne on a yacht paid for by some group that got a yachtload of money from PG&E. Please keep in mind, however, that if I really was Abel, and such a situation really did happen, I wouldnâ€™t say that my sipping champagne on an indirectly-PG&E-paid-for yacht represented a conflict of interest. Nor would I say that PG&E was cuddling up to me via back channels so I would go easy on the energy industry, nor that I even like champagne, nor that yachts even actually exist. Any appearance of impropriety would solely stem from some bitter journalistâ€™s speculation about someone elseâ€™s good intentions, and we all know that the road to hell is paved with journalists who question lobby groups and public financial records instead of writing about nice and pretty things. Before New Times staff writer Abraham Hyatt becomes part of the sidewalk along the river Styx, check out his story on page 10.Or, for another instance, if I was someone like Alex Madonna, I would be only a fond memory and a legacy, which, come to think of it, doesnâ€™t sound like such a bad gig. Everyone would love me, and I wouldnâ€™t be able to do anything new to screw up my reputation, unlike now. These days, my status is always dropping in other peopleâ€™s eyes when I commit some social faux pas or another, like accidentally dropping my nasal spray into the punch bowl, or accidentally dropping my pants at Farmersâ€™ Market.But Iâ€™m not Abel, and Iâ€™m not Alex, and Iâ€™m not Glen Starkey, just to be totally clear. Iâ€™m no one but Shredder, so I guess Iâ€™ll just have to be the best Shredder I can be, which, in an ideal world, would be a Shredder who sips champagne on a yacht all day. Since that Shredder is not the Shredder I currently am, Iâ€™ll have to settle for the second-best Shredder I can be, which is a Shredder who sips Old Turkey on a couch all day. This Shredder also happens to be the Shredder Iâ€™ve been for many years, so I guess everythingâ€™s okay. At least no oneâ€™s ever accused me of hopping into bed with the energy industryâ€”or, to be more precise, of hopping into a bed with the energy industryâ€™s best friend in a hotel room that the energy industry paid for.The only thing I worry about is people who might try to investigate my Shredder past after I die and dig up bad stuff about me that nobody ever knew before, and if that happened, I could go from being a hero to a pariah overnight without so much as a how-do-you-do.The only solution is for me to never do anything bad, to never hide any skeletons in my closet, or, since itâ€™s a little late for that, to let everybody know about all the bad stuff I did before I die so there arenâ€™t any surprises a few years down the line. That way, I can stay a saint and, after Iâ€™m gone, walk the path to heaven, which is paved with journalists who write stories about poodle shows and pie factories and good senators who never let anything other their good consciences and the good consciences of their good constituents direct their deeds.San Luis Obispo Mayor Dave Romero did a little life-swapping of his own recently when he participated in one of the many legacies for which Alex Madonna will be remembered: a talent benefit for the womenâ€™s shelter. Dave donned a wig and some retro clothes so he could play the best Sonny Bono he could to Councilwoman Christine Mulhollandâ€™s best Cher.Dave, while youâ€™ve still got â€œIâ€™ve Got You, Babeâ€? stuck in your head, let me remind you that Sonny Bono died in 1998 when he crashed into a tree while skiing, so you might want to rethink your trip to Mammoth during next yearâ€™s Mardi Gras. You were fortunate that nothing bad happened to you this year, but if I were you, I wouldnâ€™t want to tempt fate.
We all know that the road to hell is paved with journalists who question lobby groups and public financial records.
Also if I were you, instead of me, I would ask the police to stop any potential investigations into any recent cases of indecent exposure at Farmersâ€™ Market involving someone who looks like me or any future repeated prank phone calls to your house from someone who sounds like me. However, by some twist of logic, if I were you and continued to make prank phone calls to the you that was me, youâ€™d be making the calls to yourself or Iâ€™d be making the calls to myself, which, as far as I know, isnâ€™t illegal and Iâ€™m still up for sainthood, relatively speaking. If I were you or you were me, I also wouldnâ€™t think about it too hard.