Opinion » Street Talk

Leave me alone


This is not a good morning. I haven't had my coffee yet, and at this rate, I never will. That's fine, though, because I'm giving up caffeine. And nicotine. And a number of other chemical relaxants and stimulants. I've gotten so good at giving that stuff up, I've been giving it up regularly for 10, 15 years now.

I didn't get much sleep because I was worrying all night that I was one of the thousands of current or former Cal Poly students whose Social Security number was sitting in a professor's computer when it was stolen. My main concern was that the thief just wanted to score a piece of technology and thought that he or she, because there are lady burglars, too would make a quick buck or finally be able to get a faster Internet connection for playing World of Warcraft or something, but then learned thanks to multiple public announcements that the heist now carried the added treat of identity theft. Nothing keeps me staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m. like the possibility of identity theft. Can you imagine someone else passing him or her self off as Shredder? The implications are staggering. I couldn't close my eyes, even to blink.

Also, the Office of Emergency Services was conducting one of those regular siren tests. Nobody's really supposed to be able to hear these tests much, they say, but I have ears like a dog. I howl whenever a police car goes by.

I try not to, because the howling usually attracts a second pass from the cops, but I've just gotta be me, a quality that I admire very much in myself.

Bill Rabenaldt, too. He's just gotta be him. For all of the poking and prodding the Pismo Beach councilman has endured recently some of which, I admit, was from me he mustered up his sterner stuff and announced that he's running for mayor there in Pismo, much to the consternation of anyone who saw or heard of his ahem reportedly questionable and perhaps alcohol-influenced antics on the Fourth of July.

He admitted that he'd rather go to the dentist every day than subject his family to a constant rehashing of his past indiscretions, but he said he believes that certain debates must move forward, and he's the one who can move them forward. Personally, I'd opt for the dentist option mainly because if anyone goes that much their teeth have got to be sparkling but then, I'm not running for any public offices. That you know of.

"I have been asked why I don't take some 'time off' to do some damage control and prove my leadership qualities," Rabenaldt said in his announcement. "The answer is simple: I'm already a leader."

Talk about chutzpah. Back where I come from, they have a word for that sort of moxie. It's synonymous with male gonads, and I've never quite understood why anyone would want to be compared to those. To each his own, I guess.

Bill went on to explain why he's the qualified guy for the job, wrapping up his ahem ballsy move with a truism: "My public image will be what the public allows it to be and nothing more."

Amen to that. The public is a harsh and fickle mistress, Bill. Just ask Mel Gibson, who gets blasted whenever he says or does something anti-Semitic. If the public wants to think he's a Jew hater, then the public's going to think he's a Jew hater, no matter how many Hail Marys he says in repentance.

Which doesn't bode well for you, Bill. If the public wants to think you're an unfit miscreant, that's what they're going to believe. But you know that. And that's why you get style points from me for running anyway. I'm looking forward to November.

I'm not looking forward to November. It's only just August, and everywhere I turn, I'm visually, mentally, and sometimes physically assaulted by candidates who want my vote. I'm nursing a black eye from a particularly pushy school board contender.

Then, there's Ernie Dalidio, who just wants to chat. He's sending out cards that explain how aw shucks he's just a simple man trying to make an honest living, just like everybody else in this county. He's even offered to

come out and visit locals who have questions about the wonderful things he wants to do with his property, of which retail is only one fragment amid a host of recreation opportunities and beautiful, beautiful developments.

You can fill out a little card that asks him to come speak to you and your neighbors about the deal, then send it in and wait for the propaganda. He mentions that we, the people, hold the future of this area and his very family in our hands. Don't go getting sweaty palms now.

But here I am, talking about the very elections that I'm not looking forward to. If the past is any sort of indicator of the future, status quo will win by a landslide, and the sort of people with the intestinal fortitude and you-know-whats to initiate real change will fall to the same-old same-old options who never drunkenly slur insults in public. Progress will progress as usual. And I'll keep staring at the ceiling, which is going to come crashing down on me someday anyway. Pass the Folgers.


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