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Mission accomplished 

Shredder has achieved yet another astonishing accomplishment. The day after Shredder raged that the government was set to ban thrift stores from selling used kids clothes and toys, the Bush Administration crumbled and issued clarifying remarks saying they won’t. Probably won’t, anyway.

Good enough for me. Chalk up another notch in whatever’s holding up my pants, provided it isn’t just my stomach. Actually, I’m not sure I’m wearing pants right now, so let’s skip the whole notching part and just ponder how hugely influential I am.

Hmmmmmm.

Better.

Here’s this: The editors have suggested that perhaps there have been enough fart jokes in this column recently. Cut it out, they’ve demanded. Heh.

Normally I’d get upset about such censorship, but these are tough times in the print industry and I need my job, so I’ll try holding them in. Try.

Contested

I’d like to thank the many people who responded to my call for contest entries. In fact, I will thank them. Thank you J.D.R., Alice, and Guy. Your entries were fairly OK. Even pretty goodish. Still, I have suggested some improvements.

For those who missed last week’s column, the contest was in response to word that the SLO Downtown Association had to abandon its marketing slogan “Escape the Valley Fever,” because someone let on that Valley Fever is an actual disease that kills actual people in Central California, where the ads would have been actually directed. Thus the contest was to come up with a new slogan that would both insult and threaten prospective visitors, yet still be super cutesy.

I don’t know if the contestants wanted to be identified by name, but whatever. Here goes:

• “Drop dead, turn around and go—You’re not welcome in San Luis Obispo.” —J.D.R. Not bad, and it would make a fun cheer, but unfortunately it flags on the “cutesy” criteria.

• Alice sends in several: “Put your habit on hold. Try the SLO life.” I’m not sure if this is implying that all prospective visitors are addicts, but I’m hoping so because that’s pretty good. How about: “SLO: The thirteenth step.”

• “Fog beats smog—San Luis Obispo.” This one, also from Alice, is nice because it insults both them and us. How about: “Take a break from cockfighting—SLO.”

• “Heat kills, SLO chills.” Again, Alice. And this is great because it’s insulting, threatening, true, and barely a parody; this could really be used.

• Yet the winner, from someone signing off as Guy Gadois, is: “Come visit us! We kind of want you to.”

It’s cutesy, insults, and (OK, only vaguely) threatens. I’d only suggest a minor change, adding one tiny word to sharpen the insult and bring in the diversity element. My version: “Come visit us! We kind of want you people to!”

All in all, well played. I’m e-mailing Guy an engraved Steinway piano as an award. Let’s do that again sometime. Anyone got good ideas for other stupid contests? I’ve got one thought: April is National Poetry Month and the SLO Tribune has traditionally marked it by forcing actual poets to say nice things about, and then actually publish, their readers’ generally awful poems.

How about we make February the international crap poetry month? We’ll see if we can come up with intentionally bad poems that are as bad as their unintentionally bad ones. They’re due to Shredder by Feb. 2. Good luck.

Labs, dogs

President-elect Barack Obama promised his children a White House dog if he won the election. Now his family has reportedly narrowed down the choices to two breeds, a Labradoodle, because VP-elect Joe Biden owns one, and a Portuguese Water Dog, because Sen. Ted Kennedy has dated several. They’re hoping to find one breed or the other at an animal shelter.

I suggest this is narrow-minded thinking. What if you looked not in a shelter, but in a Petri dish?

For years, the stem-cell scientists have been prevented from doing their work by Bush Administration officials who believed stem cells were the work of the devil himself, or even Ryan Seacrest.

I’ve been told the scientists are so happy about the change in administration that, in celebration of a new Obama presidency, they’ve come up with several intriguing options for the first pet. Here’s one: They’ve invented a combination of a kitten and a puppy that will never appear to grow past six months old. It’s forever cute and cuddly. They’re calling it a Pupkin, or maybe a Kuppy. I’d suggest they make the puppy a poodle and call it a Kuppydoodle. That’s a way better name than starting with a Shih Tzu and having a Shitkin. I wouldn’t even take one of those if they were free.
 
Finally …

From one primate to another, I’m beating my chest in honor of Bill Denneen, who despite getting the occasional drubbing here was one of the first to send a donation to the new scholarship fund honoring New Times founder Steve Moss. That’s class. You can try to outclass Bill by sending your donation to the SLO County Community Foundation at P.O. Box 1580, SLO, CA 93406. ∆

Write Shredder, if you must, at shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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