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the shredder

How do you like this headline?

Buncha stuff this week. My brain needs an expectorant to get these things out, but I can’t find one, so I guess I’ll just have to—whoa! There we go. I’m starting to feel better already.

CAR TUNES: Looks like the McCarthy Era is finally drawing to a close. With the recall looming just two weeks away, local car salesman Mike McCarthy’s gubernatorial dreams are fading fast, taking him thankfully back into the obscurity from whence he came.

After having appeared on “The Tonight Show,” National Public Radio, and been written up in the Washington Post, the LA Times, and every other media outlet that thought having a used car salesman run for governor is 10 miles beyond hilarious, Mike has to have gotten more publicity than any candidates since Teddy Roosevelt charged up that hill.

I’d considered running, but decided not to after I realized I’d have to appear on “The Tonight Show” with a porn star. This simply would not do. My house, yes, but not “The Tonight Show.” Besides, then my secret identity would have been revealed and I’d have had to break off my affair with Lois Lane.

Poor Mike. After all the attention, what do you do after turning back into a nobody like me? He’s no longer just a car salesman, he’s a brand name. It’d be foolish to squander such vast good will and name recognition. What to do?

Simple. Run for local office. With the McCarthy name on yard signs and bumper stickers, Mike doesn’t need to say much more than Arnold does to unseat one of SLO County’s supes, two of whom have announced their bids for reelection. Harry Ovitt and Peg Pinard want votes and power. Would you buy a used car from either of them?

THIS JUST NOT IN: I don’t know what’s going on at the Tribune. Seems like someone decided to take the “news” out of newspaper.

Major case in point: The Sept. 16 evacuation of Atascadero High after a SLO police officer threatened to kill himself in a house with two children and several guns (Check out page 5). This is front-page stuff, but the Tribune relegated it to a teensy 50-word item in the police log. Their major front-page piece that day was headlined “Cimineas wildlife refuge drawing its first viewers,” a yawner about the Carrizo Plains and some hunters shooting doves. Zzzzzz.

When you’ve got the evacuation of a high school, a cop freaking out, kids and guns, and the police on the phone for an hour trying to defuse the situation, you’ve got news. Don’t you? I think you do. Sounds kinda newsy to me, but I’m an idiot.

You’re probably thinking that I’m just being mean because this paper competes with the Tribunites and that I’m out to give them a hard time. So what? It’s fun to tweak the big guy, and it’s a long reach from way down here. I assure you that whenever the opportunity arises, I’ll be tweaking.

But that’s all irrelevant. The fact is that the Tribune didn’t tell readers what was really going on. Even their headline was wrong. The “distraught man” didn’t call the police. A third party did.

There I go again. Tweak, tweak. Hey, that felt great. Tweak, tweak.

BREAK A LEG: Speaking of the recall, I must defend New Times. It’s a new experience, so bear with me during my unfamiliarity. I’m sure you can relate. I understand there’s another recall in the works. The people over at SLO Little Theater are spitting mad that New Times theater critic Bill Beeson trashed their production of “Funny Girl” two weeks ago. Bill didn’t think it was very funny. SLO Little Theater didn’t think it was very funny that he didn’t think it was very funny. Hence the howls of protest and screams of dismay and shouts for his head. Director Stuart Moss was particularly irked and filled with invective, concluding that Beeson is irresponsible, incompetent, stupid, and hates women. These are strong words from someone who got what he deserved.

How can I say such a thing? Local theater people rarely understand that a critical review isn’t supposed to be a Wiffle ball lobbed their way. They take their chances when a critic sits down and the house lights dim. If they get a bad review, oh well, that’s what they get. The show must go on. If you’re performing for free, maybe they should get a Wiffle ball. But at $12 a pop, they’d better be ready for brutal honesty.

Rumor has it that a petition is circulating calling for Beeson’s ouster. This is, of course, just a rumor I’ve heard that might not be true, but I spread it here hoping it is. No, I’m not incompetent or stupid—at least not this week—but it’s just my contribution to irresponsibility. As for women, I love them all. ³

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