Opinion » Shredder

Shhhhh!

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Mhmm, hemmum, ermmmm. Sorry, I’m just barely conscious this morning. I spent last night siphoning off leftover drinks at various election parties because apparently the term “open bar” only applies to invited guests. Let me tell you, my rum and coke and champagne and stale beer and gin and juice and tonic isn’t sitting well.

*CLANG, CLANG, CLANG!*

What in the holy hell is that? Can’t you people see I’m trying to nurse an election hangover here?

*CLANG!*

Oh, I get it now. That’s the metallic clanging of Jim Fitzgerald’s … let’s call them man bits. Here’s what he had to say in a press release about the upcoming June 22 special election: “The Special Election Primary for State Senator of the 15th District should be canceled and only the General Election should be held.”

Fitzgerald, or one of his campaign monkeys, wrote that, and then added, “This would save California money that it does not have to waste.”

But hey, Jim, aren’t you running for the seat? Yeah, I remember now. You’re that independent candidate from Nipomo.

“Fitzgerald has pledged to be an honest representative for all constituents of the 15th District,” the release goes on.

Let me see if I can sum this up. You seem to be saying, “The upcoming election is a sham and a waste of public money—the smoking crater left by corrupt manipulations of the voting system, and schoolyard politics from our Legislature and governor. Oops, I mean, ‘Vote for me!’”

That clanging could be used to warn approaching
boats from crashing into the coast. It could be heard through the vacuum of space. It could … I’d say two metaphors are enough.

Bolts gets screwed

I can just imagine Sheriff Pat Hedges awkwardly shuffling his feet while he waited to pick up Undersheriff Steve Bolts from the Atascadero Police Department drunk tank. Ooh, feel those goose bumps.

Just for fun, join me on a skip through imagination land as I ponder how the conversation might have gone.

“Hey Steve,” Hedges says, looking nervously at the ceiling and playing with his bangs.

“Yeah.” Bolts just stands there, rocking on his heels with his hands in his pockets.

End scene! I can’t imagine Hedges and Bolts conversed too much in the car on the way home other than to take turns guessing who Bolts had pissed off enough to prompt an anonymous DUI call. Whoever made that call was gnashing teeth for vengeance and smart enough to not call 911, which could’ve traced the call, but phoned the main office line. Then, in a stroke of sheer genius, the caller made sure to identify the alleged drunk driver as the undersheriff and go on to claim he had two little kids in the truck with him—there weren’t really any kids in the car.

I’m sure the Atascadero cops that night were tripping over themselves to find Bolts, like Charlie ripping through chocolate bars to find the golden ticket.

Wanted: president

I’m reminded about what Mahatma Gandhi once said—during his brief stint as a hotel spokesman—about leaving the lights on so the youth of tomorrow can make their future the present today, or something like that. Just pretend I said that in a Bostonian accent not unlike JFK with just as many clichés and vague inspiring adages. OK, who am I? You got it, I’m outgoing Cal Poly President Warren Baker.

As the class of 2010 prepares to flip their caps this weekend, they’ll be treated to what has to be the last speech Baker will make to Cal Poly. Though he’s rehashed the same speech during his 30 years as president, I’m hoping he might spice things up a bit this year. Maybe he’ll throw the class a zinger about Facebook or sexting.

And that, my friends, is what a $300,000 per year speech will sound like. But Cal Poly muckity-mucks will have to fork over a lot more than that if they want to keep the speeches snappy and fresh every year. As it turns out, even with the economy bleeding out like a gutted raccoon on the side of the highway, and education funds being cut like lines of blow in a dance club bathroom, rumor has it the university wasn’t able to entice three presidential applicants with the meager $300,000 salary. Even in today’s economy, such a salary is a pittance of pennies. But hey guys, the CSU system is a competitive, heartless mistress. Other CSUs are putting up $500,000 to $1 million for their presidents, and that’s on top of the university mansions, cars, and swimming pools full of gold coins.

If you’ll look into the crystal ball with me, I can see that the university will soon scrape together whatever funds it can to stuff the pockets of a new president. In other words, students should expect higher fees in the coming months.

*CLANG!*

Pipe down over there!

Respect the hangover! Quietly reach the shredder at shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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