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Sign of the times 

Driving north through Atascadero yesterday, I suddenly felt like getting stoned and checking out the Charles Paddock Zoo. That’s because advertising works! On the east side of Highway 101, there’s a big billboard that says Diamond Cannabis with a stony green crystalized pot leaf, and on the far right is a city of Atascadero-sponsored ad for the zoo. 

It was awesome to get high and check out the white-eared titi monkey and the kinkajou. The Malayan tiger and blood python were too scary, yo. Warning: If you’re really high, steer clear of the axolotl! It’s haunted my dreams.

After the dope wore off, I thought, is it just me, or does it seem weird to find a city that’s done everything in its legal power to limit access to medical marijuana associating itself with a mobile weed delivery service? I guess since the city has a deal with the outside advertising company that owns billboards to take 20 percent of each sign for city promotion, they’re willing to be strange bed fellows. It’s a sign of the times.

And speaking of signs, someone apparently ran over 3rd District county supervisor candidate and SLO Vice Mayor Dan Carpenter’s sign on Highway 227 … twice! Carpenter claims the sign, secured by wooden posts, was knocked down one night, reset the next day, and knocked down again that night. He claims there were tire tracks and broken plastic from damaged headlight covers, maybe. That’s good police work, Danny Boy! Book ’em!

Detective Carpenter initially deduced it was a dirty trick by his opponent 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill or one of his evil minions and not, for instance, some drunk idiot or someone who swerved off the road to avoid a jackalope two nights in a row. It could happen! It’s jackalope season!

“This particular incumbent, it’s not uncommon for him to go to any length to make sure no one defeats him,” Carpenter told New Times. “This is indicative of his type of politicking. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. I’m not surprised.”

To which Hill retorted, “I think Dan cares more about his signs than I do about mine. Dan is up against his own anger control problems. He’s just an angry guy. I’m the latest person he hates. I’m OK with it. It gives his city manager and City Council a break.”

Did you hear that, Carpenter supporters? Sounds like Hill just gave you carte blanche to drive your monster trucks over Hill-for-supervisor signs. Woo hoo! Eat dirt, Hill! Oh, and Carpenter later recanted his assertion that Hill might have something to do with the sign damage because, you know, he’s not really a detective. Is he really an angry reactionary? Is Hill? Hmm?

Meanwhile, up in Santa Margarita, some jackhole has been stealing yard signs promoting 5th District supervisor candidate Eric Michielssen, who has not given his permission to do so. I guess Debbie Arnold supporters—or only one of them—think the only way to defeat Michielssen is through theft and vandalism. Come on, people! This race is getting dirtier than a gravel quarry!

Is it a sign of the Apocalypse that Donald Trump has sealed the Republican nomination or merely a sign that America, or at least the part supporting Trump, is dumber than a sack of combed-over hair? 

It only took this week’s pro-Trump commentator Gary Wechter until the end of his second paragraph to prove that last week’s commentator Zaf Iqbal was right to call Trump supporters ignorant and racist. 

“And, by the way, what kind of a name is ‘Zaf Iqbal’?” Wechter asks. “Is Mr. Iqbal a U.S. citizen? Is he eligible to vote?”

OK, my editor took that part out, but that’s how Wechter submitted it. Later in his essay Wechter complains that “race relations are at an all-time low” in the U.S. Hmm. Maybe that’s because the Trump-voting segment of our population too quickly judges a person based on an unfamiliar name (or appearance or whatever), accusing said person of being an illegal immigrant. What do you think, Herr Wechter?

Hopefully, I’ll get some angry letters from Trump supporters. I’ll carefully correct all the misspellings and grammar problems in bright red ink and mail them back with little frowny faces. Then they’ll call me a grammar Nazi and I’ll tell them they’re supporting an actual Nazi. There’ll be hell toupee! 

What can I say? I love feedback, which was why I was extra excited to see 24th District Congressional candidate John Uebersax write to tell me, “Hey and fuck you for not telling people I’m an anti-war candidate. What do I need to do, send you a candy-gram?”

You know, now that I think about it, Mr. Uebersax seems to have just the right temperament to represent me in Congress. I’m also anti-war, prone to profanity, and have zero chance of being elected to public office. To be fair, he said he was just joking about the “fuck you” part. 

Seriously? If you don’t want me to use it, don’t write it in the fist place. 

I can see my yard sign now: “Vote for Shredder for whatever!”  

The Shredder is unfit to hold public office but will shred dirty pols’ secret docs. Send ideas and comments to [email protected].

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