So I was beating up this puppy the other day. You know, really wailing on it. I’m pretty sure it was crying. I mean, it looked like it was in pain even though I’ve heard puppies can’t cry. This one was definitely crying.
Then this guy, this real self-righteous jerk of a guy, comes plodding up to me screaming something about how I shouldn’t beat up the puppy.
“It’s wrong. You should stop that. What do you have to gain?”
And blah … blah … blah.
So I tells the guy, I says, I wasn’t beating up the puppy. I was petting the puppy—really, really hard.
It’s all about word choice, you see.
I wasn’t hitting a small defenseless animal—I was loving it … with a vengeance.
Now put down your pitchforks. I wasn’t really beating a puppy. That was a metaphor. I was merely trying—OW! Hey! I said put down your pitchforks!
But it’s about as much as you can expect from the numbskulls manning every toilet, crapper, and commode in the South County. I mean, that’s how I read it in the SLO County grand jury’s report. Apparently, John Wallace, the bombastically smug administrator, director, engineer, and supreme overlord of the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District, has a conflict of interest, according to the jury.
If you asked the district, though, they’d say that it looks like a conflict, but it’s not a conflict because, well, they said so.
Remember the puppy? It’s not that—OW! Stop it!
Actually, I called the sanitation situation a conflict months ago. Not that I’m bragging. Not that I like being right all the time.
So over the weekend I dumped somewhere in the neighborhood of $382.56 at the local hardware store. That was just enough cash to get me some hammers, a few nails, some screws, a hacksaw, several two-by-fours, three buckets of red paint, two industrial-strength garage-door springs, and a bag of candy for the ride home.
It was just me, a pair of chapped hands, and a YouTube instructional video on simple locomotive mechanics. But it was worth it. Now I have my own back-patting machine. Basically, I’m sick of waiting for accolades. Award season only comes once a year, and I need congratulations on an as-needed basis.
It’s hard being right all the time. Sometimes I feel like I’m being strangled by a vindictive wood nymph 24/7. But I’ve always had a knack for sniffing out BS. It’s a gift, like the investigative love-baby of Columbo and Lassie.
Shove my sniffer into a board meeting full of full-blown crap and it’ll start twitching like Charlie Sheen’s in a glue factory.
But always being right before everyone else is a burden I must bear, because no one else will step up to the plate to either be right or congratulate me when I wants it. And I wants it nows. Sometimes, I—OW! Cut that out! Where are you getting all these pitchforks, anyway?
On June 3, the grand jury declared that Wallace has a conflict of interest because he’s an administrator and engineer AND president of the go-to engineering firm, the Wallace Group. In the months leading up to this, the sanitation district said Wallace doesn’t have a conflict despite the appearance that he does, and also he farts butterflies.
I’m pretty sure they were responding to questions I raised. Hold your praise; I’ve got my machine set on high.
But I’m just this spunky little nobody. The jury, on the other hand, declared the district has ignored Wallace’s conflict and pumped out a bunch of radioactive crapola to try to shut up people who say otherwise.
Maybe that will make some impact, if it weren’t for the fact that the district’s Board of Directors and its attorney Mike Seitz—whose wife used to work for Wallace—seem to have their nose so far up Wallace’s sewer pipe they know what he ate for breakfast last Tuesday. I’m reminded of—OW! Hey! Oh, that was just a cramp. I need to stretch more before I write these things.
Wallace’s defenders seem to be saying that we’re all too stupid to understand why Wallace doesn’t have a conflict—apparently we’ve got it all wrong and don’t understand what a conflict is.
Oh, how I wish I could believe them. But that’s a level of delusion only a heroic dose of hallucinogens could make more believable. And my dealer’s out of town.
It’s hard to blame Wallace. Good for him, I say. If you can work the system like warm Silly Putty, then have at it. As long as the board is OK looking like a bunch of sadistic douchebags or bumbling morons, then by all means let Wallace keep his contract as is. Apparently they’re going to make all sorts of nifty tweaks to his contract to prevent him from pumping money to his firm. Ta-da! Conflict eliminated—and he still gets to cash two paychecks?
That’s one way of doing it. It’s the dumb way of doing it and tantamount to flipping off your customers. Personally, I’d just axe his contract as the administrator. Bada bing, bada boom. No more conflict, and I’m assuming Wallace’s wallet can take the hit.
But that’s just me—this little doofus tucked in happy little SLO County where nothing goes wrong because all the people at the top tell me so. It’s like watching Gomer Pyle try to run a corporation. Shazam!
If any of these guys—Wallace or the board or Seitz—tells you it’s sunny outside, you should probably build a boat and load it up with two of every creature, biblical style. Just don’t forget the puppies, because—OW!
There’s right, then there’s Shredder right, which is way better. Send requests for more predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org.