Bye. Later. Sayonara. Ciao. Adios.
That’s all for me, folks. Peace out, y’all!
After almost a quarter century of shoveling this drivel out, I’m calling it quits. Some of you might be made a little weepy by this news. Then there are those who are literally jumping for joy and wishing I was dead just so they’d have a grave to jump on. Unfortunately for the latter, I don’t think I’ll ever die. Considering the way I torment my body on a fairly regular basis and still manage to limp along, I think the universe is going to punish me by keeping my sorry self stuck on this miserable planet for as long as possible.
So just consider this an extended retirement. It’s hard to say what was the last straw, the final nail in the coffin, the … some other end-of-days metaphor. In the end, I think it was the soul-crushing apathetic melancholy this line of work provokes. Day in. Day out. Week after week after week after month after year, I have to trudge around searching for the worst there is just for the amusement of all you parasitic news and entertainment junkies. Did you ever stop and think it might be taxing on me? Put yourself in my Keds: I have to write this damn thing every week, deal with editors every week, and then hear back from everyone that I’m either being too mean or not mean enough. There’s only so much a person can swallow before feeling the urge to expel it all in one great big verbal projectile vomit.
Hwaceck! (That’s the sound of one Shredder puking, for you philosophers.)
So, on that note, any good retirement speech can’t go without a few acknowledgements to the people who made it all possible. The guys behind the guy or the gals behind the gal, you might say.
David Weyrich: What to say about a guy like Weyrich? The million dollar baby who mooched off his in-laws like a more bigoted version of some assholeish Pauly Shore character, Weyrich managed to blow $200 million in about 10 years. That’s the equivalent of—let me wheel out my antique mechanical adding machine—$57,794.52 per day. Weyrich brilliantly took that money and sank it into failed real estate, hotels, and disgustingly lavish homes and yachts. I almost forgot, he dumped some more into the Gazette newspaper chain to spout his message that gay people are evil or don’t exist or something. (Wasn’t that a Scrooge McDuck scheme?) But I’ll give him credit. Weyrich found a loophole: just stop paying your taxes and employees. Better quit digging yourself into that hole, though, David or you’ll be bankrupting people in China.
Dan DeVaul: As curmudgeonly as he is compassionate, DeVaul will never back down from a fight. When the end comes, I imagine there will be some cockroaches, a few Twinkies, and DeVaul standing out in the open with two big middle fingers pointed at the sky.
“You’ll only take me out when I’m plumb out of piss and vinegar—and I’ve still got the piss!” I can imagine him yelling.
DeVaul’s never been an easy person to like, but he’s somehow more accommodating than the local homeless shelters. So much so that county folks built a reputation for dropping people off at his Sunny Acres ranch because there somehow weren’t the public resources to match what a grumpy old car nut did in his backyard.
Pat Hedges: If SLO County were a melodrama, Sheriff Hedges would be the obvious villain, twisting his mustache and skulking behind his cape. Whether it be spying on his ex-deputy Gary Hoving—because Hoving was supposedly badmouthing Hedges—busting a marijuana dispensary because he didn’t think it was a good fit in our community, or—this one always kills me—having the Sheriff’s Department called to his home during a tiff with his then-wife, Hedges is the big turd topping the corruption cake. Speaking of which, where is this guy lately?
Deborah Cash: The executive director of the SLO Downtown Association got nailed so bad recently that even I thought I was being too hard on her. After she stood at the forefront of the Association’s record-setting stupid move to consider casting the farmers out of the Farmers’ Market (sorry, I mean “Thursday Night Promotions”), Cash got absolutely obliterated. And she did a pathetic job of placating the irate masses who flooded SLO City Council meetings to find out what the hell was going on. Then they just dropped the whole issue, and I feel as used as a one-night stand in the morning. She didn’t even spring for breakfast or anything. Wham, bam, thank you, Shred.
The Association as a whole seems to have this nagging desire to turn SLO into Main Street Disneyland. It’s nice to have a nice town and all, but I can never shake this suspicion that they’re crafting a plan to wash the homeless off the street with high-powered water hoses: “Operation Tidy the ‘Untidies.’”
So, I guess that’s it. I’d say it’s been fun, but I’d be lying. At the end of the day, the one thing I’ve always tried to do is be honest, and I’d like to think I came into this column the same way I’ll go out—or my name’s not Gle—oops, sorry. Gotta go.
This is all one big joke, you April Fool. Don’t send farewell messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.