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New Times / Shredder

The following article was posted on December 11th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 20 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 20

American Pie


I’ve always favored mincemeat pies over the holidays, but this year I’m thinking of making a change. I don’t hold with “change” or “progress” or “evolution," but my beloved mincemeat pies announced that this holiday season will be their last. They’re retiring in order to spend more time with their family. I’m no sucker. I know that whenever an elected official, or mincemeat pie, announces that it wants to spend more time with the family, it was most likely caught with its delicious filling exposed.

So I wasn’t all that surprised when, within an hour of my mincemeat pie announcing that it “wanted to spend more time with family,” an apple pie with a cheddar crust announced its intentions of gracing my holiday spread next year—and for the three years to follow. Looks like after 15 years of sliding down my digestive tract unopposed, the mincemeat pie is afraid of a little competition, and is using family issues as a shield to protect itself from scrutiny. Turns out, the mincemeat pie and the apple-cheddar pie don’t see steam hole to steam hole. The apple pie is a little too fruity for the mincemeat’s taste, a little too out there, pushing wild ideas like a special court where veterans could have access to rehabilitative opportunities as opposed to simple imprisonment. Don’t worry, though, the mincemeat pie has been grooming a successor: a cottage pie, who’s been a good and faithful yes pie and is ready to maintain the mincemeat pie’s conservative, no-special-cases approach.

Talk around the baking cabinet is that the cottage pie will probably attempt to distance himself from the mincemeat pie in the months leading up to the election, er, meal. Sure, they’ve been lockstep on all the important issues—baking time, a special court for veterans (which they were against, as conservative pies have a tendency to be, right?), flour—but the mincemeat pie has never really had to answer for its decisions. Like spending hundreds of thousands of dollars persecuting the Doobie Dozen—a group of medical marijuana growers and sellers, whose lives were severely damaged by the mincemeat pie’s draconian attitude regarding medical marijuana. Is this a good place for a joke about getting baked? No? It’s hard to tell when your pupils are dilated like that.

In any case, you could reasonably argue that the mincemeat pie’s fear of a good challenge is a reflection of its approach to the job. It’s all but impossible to get charges filed on a sexual assault case because, I mean, these are really, really difficult to prosecute. In the mincemeat’s defense, who would you rather see in jail: someone who’s selling medical marijuana to cancer patients or a rapist? If you said the rapist, then you’re clearly a commie and the mincemeat pie can’t be bothered talking with you. Seriously. The mincemeat pie has a reputation for being impossible to contact. It’s a classic, “OK, I have three minutes … three minutes! I gotta go!” kinda pie. I’m not sure where it’s rushing off to—Applebee’s, for a night out with the fellas, perhaps—or why it always seems to have exactly three minutes, but it probably realized if it went head to head with the apple-cheddar fellow it would have to actually talk with the media. For more than three minutes. The prospect made it shiver to its shredded meat core. Plus, there was a good chance the studly buttermilk pie would be taking a break from serving and protecting the county’s unincorporated areas to give a nod to the apple-cheddar pie, rendering the mincemeat pie’s campaign frutile …  I mean futile.

I can actually appreciate the attitude that no one deserves special treatment, which was the logic behind the mincemeat’s dislike for the idea of a special veterans court. Of course, it did kinda look like special treatment when it waited for nearly a year to file charges after a buddy’s son—a bean pie with a long history of traffic violations and infractions—ploughed into a crosswalk and killed a 17-year-old girl. But it’s really just the fruity pies and the ones made with that “special” butter that the mincemeat has a history of pursuing. The mincemeat pie is a born and baked country club good ol’ pie, and we all know how good ol’ pies stick together. It’s also got a history of attempting to assign blame for local crime to “out-of-county gangs,” a claim that reeks of both cowardice and dishonesty. Wouldn’t we all love to blame our problems and professional failures on thug bumbleberry pies from the other side of the tracks? Of course we would. But we don’t, because that would waste time and energy that could be better expended actually solving the problem, instead of sweeping it under another county’s rug.

Now, the apple-cheddar pie isn’t exactly blameless in all of this. It was one of three prosecutors assigned to sexual assault and child abuse, and is therefore part of the regime that only goes after slam-dunk sexual assault cases—which I guess excludes the teenage girl who accused her step-grandfather of nearly a decade of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. The District Attorney’s Office apparently decided that was too tough to prosecute, ’cause taking a risk to ensure the safety of children—not to mention pursuing punishing a man who has been accused of being the worst sort of criminal—just isn’t worth the time. Not when you’re busy trying to throw the Doobie Dozen in the slammer for all eternity.

So at the end of the day, however you slice it, the three pies don’t seem all that different. It’s not like any of them are some banana cream pie destined to be splattered in the face of some reality television contestant or unpopular politician. They’re all conservative, and none of them has proved willing to risk lowering their conviction rate to take on the cases that really matter.

Dammit, I forgot I was supposed to be talking about District Attorney Gerald Shea, his wingman Assistant District Attorney Tim Covello, and prosecutor Dan Dow. That’s the last time I hang out with Woody Harrelson before going to work.

 

Shredder thinks lemon supreme tastes like justice. Send recipes to shredder@newtimes
slo.com.