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Frogurt for life! 

Paul Ryan’s list of demands to accept the Speaker of the House position got me thinking. I mean, if the Wisconsin Republican, former vice presidential candidate, and P90X workout guru/boy-toy can make demands, why can’t I? After all, I’m a highly sought after office appliance and astute cultural observer, as noted by three stoners who emailed to tell me how spot-on last week’s marijuana column was. 

“Dude! That was so righteous!”

Thank you. Thank you very much.

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All Ryan wants is for his fellow Republicans to stop acting like 2-year-olds in the midst of a temper tantrum, stop trying to destroy the government they were elected to run, and stop licking the boots of their corporate overlords and 1-percenters and start actually representing the people who elected them. Oh wait, no, that’s what I want. 

What Ryan wants is for the highly divided Republican members of the House of Representatives, including the so-called Freedom Caucus, to unify behind him and get rid of the “motion to vacate the chair” rule, a parliamentary procedure that allows insurgents to oust the Speaker of the House if he won’t follow their hardline right-wing agenda designed to shut down government. 

Threat of the “vacate the chair” rule led to Speaker of the House John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) pending departure and helped curtail Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-California) bid for the position. Get rid of the rule, which Thomas Jefferson created as checks and balances to power, and Ryan will take the job … since he then can’t be fired from it. See? See what he did there? That’s a pretty good gig!

Hey, if it gets Republicans to quit bickering and start governing, good enough, but I’m guessing the demand is a non-starter for the Freedom Caucus since it’s the only real power they have. 

But enough about national politics and Paul “Do I Look Like Gomer Pyle When I Talk?” Ryan, my list of demands is even simpler: free frozen yogurt for life. 

That’s right, if you want me to continue to fill these pages with insightful explorations of front yard boat parking woes, the horrors of Atascadero’s proposed Walmart, and the tyranny of Morro Bay parklets, I want froyo. Nay, I demand froyo! But here’s the kicker. I only want froyo from the O.G. of local yogurt shops: Bali’s Self Serve Frozen Yogurt.

Call me nostalgic, but this is the froyo shop of my youth, the original, the one that started the trend—a trend that’s now filled with too many imitators. I’m talkin’ to you, slim shadies with your fake-sugar-filled “low-fat” concoctions and impressive toppings selections! 

In fact, there are so many imitators in SLO right now that guerilla artists are mocking them and a city that allows “the same kind of business to open up next to an established business selling the exact same thing,” according to the Frozen Yogurt Alliance, a group of filthy vandals and agitators that placed all the fake “coming soon” fliers for new yogurt shops on for-lease buildings in downtown.

Look, I’m sure you’re as sad as I am to learn “Vanilla Privilege Yogurt” and “YOLOGurt” are not, in fact, actual business names, but you still have choices! According to the Yellow Pages, there are 35 froyo purveyors in SLO County, 15 in SLO Town itself. The more the merrier, right?

Yet weirdly, Bali’s decided close up shop.

“After almost 25 years of serving yogurt in San Luis Obispo, we are retiring from the business,” said a sign on their front door. “It is a little earlier than we planned, but San Luis doesn’t need four yogurt shops in the same area.”

Sad news, people. I haven’t seen this much hair pulling and teeth gnashing since Korb’s Trading Post and Farley’s was razed. I’m not sure if I want to live in a world where businesses can be driven out of business by other businesses doing a better job of whatever business they’re in. This is America, after all. The land of opportunity! 

Wait, what’s that you say? Laissez-faire capitalism? Oh yeah! I forgot about that. It is easy to forget that, culturally speaking, we’re supposed to like cutthroat business competition. We want better, faster, cheaper—but then we get all verklempt when it means long-treasured businesses going the way of the dodo bird. 

Let’s face it: We’re a nation divided, even within ourselves. In fact, we’re masters of compartmentalized thinking, simultaneously holding contradictory ideas in our heads. We want big government to keep its greedy hands off our Social Security checks. We’re sick of endless wars in the Middle East but we can’t get enough of that cheap gas. We want to end income inequality but we’re going to elect Hillary Clinton, whose campaign is funded by the status quo. We want to lose weight but we eat buckets of froyo, which reportedly is unicorn diarrhea. (There’s a video. YouTube it!)

Will Paul Ryan become the Speaker of the House? Will Republicans forge an alliance among their many factions? Will Bernie Sanders comb his hair? I have a better chance getting free froyo for life from Bali’s.  

The Shredder saves all its empty calories for wine. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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