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It's not worth it 

I've got a lot of money riding on Los Osos. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I've started up a little gambling ring so people can place bets on local events now that March Madness is over.

I've got 5-to-1 odds that Pandora Nash-Karner is going to get locked in one of her Honey Huts by sewer opponents. It's 7-to-1 odds that they'll then knock it over.

A while back, anti-sewer, pro-recall folks said something about how Los Osos residents concerned about pollution from septic tanks could install Honey Huts in their front yards. Pandora called it a stupid idea, and brought in her own portable toilets to prove how stupid an idea it was, planning to string them along Los Osos Valley Road like call-box booths for people who want extra privacy while they call AAA.

Now some people are saying that her idea is a stupid idea because she's making a joke of something that's not really funny. Generally, it seems that no one in Los Osos thinks anything to do with the sewer is funny in the slightest, despite the many times the situation allows you to say the word "poop" in otherwise polite conversation. So these embattled neighbors just keep trying to turn the tables on each other with little political stunts to show how un-funny their opposition is.

At the rate it's going, this debate is going to get even uglier even faster. I've got 2-to-1 odds that actual human feces is going to wind up at a CSD meeting one of these nights, and I'm not talking about the stuff that's already there in everybody's colons. If you're out after dark in Los Osos and see a dark-tinted, semi-solid water balloon coming your way, duck.

If Pandora makes it through another couple weeks without a septic dunking and I make enough money out of this bookie business, maybe I'll drop some of my cash on The Shack. Fabrizio Paolozzi, the restaurant's owner and top contender for the coolest name in San Luis Obispo besides mine, is selling the sports bar and grill because his co-owners are moving to San Francisco. (To learn more about the sale, read April 4th's Tribune or March 24th's New Times. A copy of the story in New Times might be harder to find because it came out so long ago.)

The Shack folks maintain that they're not trying to exploit the restaurant's connection with former owners Scott and Laci Peterson, though they posted the infamous couple's names along with the sales listing on eBay.

If you're out after dark in Los Osos and see a dark-tinted, semi-solid water balloon coming your way, duck.

Scott, in case you don't know because you were just born last week but can somehow now magically read, was convicted in February of murdering his wife and unborn child. Throughout the trial, he made national headlines of the sort that have everyone talking. Of course, these days you can do the same thing by being in a coma with a feeding tube or auctioning off a piece of toast bearing an image of the likeness of the Virgin Mary, so it's not like anyone's surprised.

Still, if The Shack's current owners weren't trying to exploit the Peterson tragedy, they wouldn't have included the Peterson name with their sales listing in the first place. Most businesses don't list former owners when they go up for sale.

Of course Fabrizio and his friends are exploiting the Petersons. What else could they be doing?

What if Remington starting touting .22-caliber bullets as the type that Charles Holmer Nurss III used to shoot 18 cats at his Nipomo Mesa home?

"We're not trying to feed off the incident or the innocent," the gun manufacturers would say after I wrote a scathing column about how low they shamelessly stooped for a few bucks. "It's not my problem if someone buys these bullets for their notoriety or infamy or morbid connection to a convicted cat killer. I'm just trying to get them sold."

Who would want to buy a restaurant because a guy who murdered his wife owned it anyway? I'd want to leave that little bit of information out of any sales materials I distributed. It's not exactly a selling point.

Listen guys, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates isn't going to start making labels proclaiming that their product is probable pedophile Michael Jackson's apparent drink of choice no matter how many times he pours it in a Coke can and swigs it, and especially not if he calls it "Jesus juice" and uses it to loosen up 13-year-olds.

As ashamed I am at The Shack's owners, however, I have to admit that they're probably going to make the sale. And I wouldn't take odds that the deal won't come about, at least in part, because of the Peterson name. I mean, if people buy what I say each week, I guess they'll buy anything. ³

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