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Like sands through the hourglass 

Of all the Central Coast cities to be throwing their weight around, the last two I'd expect to actually do so would be Guadalupe and Oceano.

Guadalupe is too wrapped up in its incestuous political bickering to notice anything going on 30 feet outside of town. I'll bet they couldn't even get a city council to agree that Guadalupe starts with a G. Someone would complain that the mayor's name is Guadalupe Alvarez, which also starts with a G and so represents a conflict of interest, and the whole meeting would explode like a plover in a microwave. Bam.

On the other hand, Oceano is, well, it's Oceano. Do they get riled up about stuff
out there?

Apparently they do, because the whole population of Oceano has been shouting for the whole population of Guadalupe's head on a plate ever since Guadalupe decided to start calling itself the "Gateway to the Dunes," a name that Oceano folks have been using for themselves since time immemorial, which dates back to at least 1993 when they handed out a bunch of bumper stickers with the slogan.

The fight isn't so much over who actually is the gateway to the dunes, whatever that means. If that was the case, the Pacific Ocean would win, because, mile for mile, I think the big blue's got way more shoreline than either city can claim.

No, the fight's over which city gets to call itself the "Gateway to the Dunes," though since Oceano apparently never copyrighted the slogan in all the years it's been using it, there doesn't even seem to be much of a fight. It's more of one group sitting around and grumbling and wondering whether they should all scrape the bumper stickers off their cars, which is about as hard to do as scraping plover off the inside of a microwave, or leave the bumper stickers where they are and drive around Guadalupe to try to piss the people off there.

Oceano should print up a big batch of "Guadalupe smells like a fart" bumper stickers to put over the old "Gateway to the Dunes" ones. Have you ever driven out there when the broccoli fields have been baking in the sun? Somebody light a match or something.

Either way, the two groups are fighting over what amounts to just a big pile of sand. Sure there's an occasional un-microwaved plover or ATV tire track to break up the monotony - and didn't some famous director bury Charlton Heston out there or something? - but I can't help but see it as one big ashtray.

Oh, I'm just kidding. I would never seriously say something like that. I know that Cecil B. DeMille's version of "The 10 Commandments" came out long before the one with ol' Charlie, who's still alive and shooting.

Now before anyone from Oceano gets all uppity with me, I just want to say: Stop being so melodramatic. Ha! Get it? Because of the Melodrama? Woo! I'm on a roll.


Hook, line, and see ya later

Steely Dan, I hardly knew you. You surfaced one fine spring day on the streets of SLO like a large, artificial, and gaudily painted angel and now, almost half a year later, you've been sold to the highest bidder along with the rest of your kind, which isn't particularly angel-like at all. There's a metaphor here somewhere, but frankly, I'm not paid enough to look for it.

Trout About Town is officially over, and I have to admit that I was surprised to hear that the big fish got away to the grand-total tune of $82,900. I'm happy to hear that the Prado Day Center is now rolling in some donation dough, but I'm a little upset that the fish are off the streets.

I hope city officials come up with a new public-art program before Cal Poly starts up again, because I don't want my house to be vandalized when the punks return. With the gussied-up trout off the streets, I'm worried that hoodlums will go back to smacking my mailbox with baseball bats and egging my front porch, and scraping dried egg yolk off of a screen door is about as hard as scraping microwaved... wait, I used that joke already.


I liked him better with a moustache

Word from the horse's mouth - which wasn't West Nile infected, I checked - is that Alex Trebek is selling his farm. When I first heard the news, I thought that the "Jeopardy" host had bought the farm, and I was all ready to wear a black armband and everything, but I forgot that game-show hosts never die, they just lose their syndication.

The property in sales limbo is a huge swath of land somewhere near Creston and Paso Robles, which, if I recall, isn't too far from where North County horses have been contracting West Nile recently. If I were the new potential owners, I'd make sure that the equine population on the property was well protected from nasty mosquitoes by emptying out any potent potables where the little buggers could breed.

I'd also go back and read the sale terms very carefully. I'd hate to have the deal fall through because it wasn't in the form of a question.

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