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Claiming it 

Nobody ever wants to take credit when they cut gas. But when a politician hears that somebody else has gotten credit for cutting off the gas, they’re all over it. It’s a freakin’ fart fight!

Look here, reader, I have repeatedly encouraged you to never use my column as a news source. Now you see why.

Last week I told you somebody said SLO City Council Member Allen Settle was the brave politician who took to the microphone during a recent meeting to ask a guy in the back of the room to stop making fart noises. I had no reason to doubt my source.

Then I got this letter:

“I hate to say it Shredder, but you got your news wrong. I was the one who took to task the ‘gentleman’ at the back of the room during our Tuesday council meeting, not Allen. I’ll take your reporter’s word that the man was making ‘farting noises.’ We couldn’t hear that at the front of the room. What your reporter missed, however, were the obscene hand gestures the man was making. And we’re talking something more significant than the ‘one finger salute.’ Apparently, the man thought he was a teenager in a locker room instead of a grown-up in Council chambers. I felt the need to set him straight.”

The note was from Council Member Andrew Carter.

So there you have it. Allen Settle, according to Andrew Carter, stood idly by and did nothing while a man made fart sounds and jack-off gestures in the back of the chamber. It was Carter, not Settle, who bravely spoke up for the sort of change required at the moment. Carter may not have the sort of problems facing President Obama, but he can smell change in the air.

I can just see the political commercial when Carter runs for higher office.

“It’s 3 a.m. Do you know who farted? Andrew Carter does. He’s wide awake, and ready to take on the flip-floppers, the special interests, all kinds of jack offs. How do you know he can? He’s done it before.”

This message was brought to you by Americans Against Fart Noises and Jack-Off Gestures.


Commander, not chief

Please do not write to me and tell me President Obama isn’t president yet. He is. He’s laying out economic plans and meeting with world leaders. He’s issuing orders to Congress and in all ways doing the job of president. George W. Bush’s only job left is to figure out how to pardon himself, his cronies, and all the people he ordered to illegally spy on Americans and torture foreigners.


Environmental sensitivity

Here’s a good one for you: Bill Denneen, the environmentalist who appears regularly in New Times, thinks Michelle Obama looks like a monkey!

Bill puts out an idiosyncratic newsletter and in a recent issue he published side-by-side pictures of Obama and a chimp, with similar expressions. The caption: “Two primates.”

When Managing Editor Patrick Howe, that human buzz-kill, e-mailed Denneen to find out what he was thinking, Bill explained that he’s a biologist and doesn’t see any insult in saying somebody looks like a chimp. Some of his best friends look like chimps and, ah, he actually loves Michelle Obama.

Har har har. So why can’t we all just get a good laugh about a couple of funny pictures?

Well, here’s the benefit of the doubt to you, Bill, but here’s the answer: It’s not funny to say a black person looks like a monkey because of slavery. It’s not funny because black people used to be bought and sold and treated as chattel. It’s not funny because the founding documents of this nation declared black people as less-than-human. Just like animals. It’s not funny because monkey is a traditional racial slur. So you can’t compare black people to monkeys for fun. Not even if you do like monkeys.


In the paper

We get worked up about of all sorts of things, big and small, around SLO County. If you doubt it, check out two of our stories this week. In one that I’d call “small,” intern Aaron Gaudette tells the story of neighbors who formed a litigious group aimed at keeping open a path that eventually leads to the beach. Thing is, part of the “path” is, like, right through this dude’s yard, right next to his house! I know we’re all supposed to be able to get to the surf and use traditional paths and everything, but I wouldn’t want people in my yard either. If I had a yard, that is. Then again, I’m an asshole.

The other story is more on the big side of things. Laetitia, that hard-to-spell maker of good wines, wants to relocate most of its grape vines to make room for 100 big houses on one-acre lots. And they want to do this under the idea that they’re preserving “open space” and agricultural land. I’ve got an even better way to preserve open space and agricultural land. Don’t build anything. Keep making wines from your old vines. Problem solved. See how simple that was? You achieve your goals by not doing anything! Anybody else got a problem?

Shredder will not answer if you write to, but Shredder might make fun of your letter in print.

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