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Tricks and treats

One of my good friends said he'd carve a jack-o-lantern to look like me this Halloween. I didn't know whether to take the gesture as a compliment or an insult. He's a great artist, but his pumpkins always seem to wind up as orange smears in the street after the local partiers get through with them. One year, he found a drunk guy dressed like a bong using one of the gourds as a urinal. This year, I guess my friend wants my head to be the one that gets pissed on, the talented jerk.

The upshot for you, if you actually consider what I'm about to say an upshot, is that there's going to be one pumpkin out there that reveals my secret identity to the trick-or-treating world - at least until the gourd gets vandalized. If you do feel like racing the hoodlums and searching for the portrait of my true self, I'll give you a hint: I'm the one with the circles for eyes, a triangle nose, and a flickering candle for a brain.

I'm also the one who's always late, as this week's Shredder installation should make abundantly clear.


Take my breath away

I always miss the fun stuff. I had food poisoning during Woodstock, I usually have to work during Spring Break, and I was apparently in a coma back in January when U.S. Navy Pilot Richard Webb buzzed the San Luis Obispo Regional Airport runway in an F-18 Super Hornet.

I'm puzzled why someone would do such a thing, especially since the stunt invites obvious comparisons to Tom Cruise's Maverick character in "Top Gun," and I have a hard time imagining anyone wanting to be more like Tom Cruise, considering his recent erratic and possibly demon-possessed behavior, although, admittedly, he wasn't yet so crazy at the time of Richard's stunt.

I'm more puzzled by why the story only recently came to my attention. Granted, I don't have the most stellar newsgathering skills - which is why I pad these columns with a lot of half-rumored filler - but even my tried-and-true hunt-and-peck method of searching the vast and reliable Internet for interesting tidbits only today stumbled across an Oct. 19 LA Times article about the flyby. I've found the story elsewhere as well, but no version mentions why we're all just finding out about it now.

I guess he's currently riding a desk in Qatar, which I didn't even know was a real country until I looked it up just now. Anybody know the area code for that place?

I guess I could ask our own New Times fact-gathering staff some of the same questions, but I'm just not interested enough. Yes, I'm a pot. Yes, the kettle's black. Yada yada yada.

Actually, I am interested enough to talk to the pilot myself to find out more details, but I guess he's currently riding a desk in Qatar, which I didn't even know was a real country until I looked it up just now. Anybody know the area code for that place?


Feeling blue

Dear County Supervisor Harry Ovitt: I heard it was your birthday a while ago, and I'm sorry to say that I didn't know, so I didn't get you anything. Don't feel bad. You join the ranks of many other people who didn't get anything from me on their birthdays, including my best friend, my therapist, and my mother, who won't let me forget. You'd think that 20 years would dull the edge of her guilt trip, but it still cuts me deep. It's all right Ma, I'm only bleeding.

Anyway, Harry, considering your current age and dating status, I thought about baking you a big, blue, belated birthday cake in the shape of a Viagra tablet, you know, as one of those funny-but-actually-too-sad-to-be-funny gag gifts, but I hear that someone already did that, and that the erectile-dysfunction-themed pastry wound up in the County Board of Supervisors office the day after your party because nobody was in good enough shape to eat it the night before.

If that's the case, I'll get you a gift certificate to Borders or someplace. You can get books, movies, or CDs there, you know.

If that's not the case, I'll strap on my apron and bust out the food coloring.

Let me know a good time to drop the cake by your office. I can be very discreet, and can even cut it up into slices before I get there, which will ultimately save preparation time and will keep anyone who has a piece from thinking about the word "flaccid" - especially associated with you - while they eat.


Loud is good

Back in the middle of October, Dave Congalton mentioned that he lost a battle of the bands at the closing event of the Avila Fish and Farmers Market.

From what I gather, he was all set to interview Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara live on the air at the event, when a very nearby music group started playing very loud music - loud enough to send Dave and his crew packing back to the studio and into the arms of a competent audiologist.

I was surprised to learn that Dave could still hear at all, even before the Avila event, but Dave says he was most shocked by the lack of planning foresight, especially since something similar happened to him at the market's opening night last spring. He's as tired of getting as drowned out as a New Orleans Ninth Ward resident, so he says his chances of broadcasting from Avila again are "remote." Get it? Remote?

Though I do believe that more people would rather listen to music than Dave interviewing a public official, I also believe that I don't care enough about this to write about it anymore.

Call me when something timely happens.

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