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Not Kool 

In preparation for Memorial Day weekend, I spent Friday night and the bulk of Saturday snorting lines of Kool-Aid off my kitchen floor. Which got me thinking—as the best trips do—about, you know, really deep and profound things.

Two hits of strawberry, and I was contemplating the nature of Lady Justice, who must be into some really kinky stuff because you practically never see her without a blindfold. And more specifically, I was thinking what a funny word “justice” is, how it’s just one of those words that’s really difficult to define.

A hit of grape and a brief excursion to Firestone later, and I’d stumbled upon the perfect visual metaphor for crime, punishment, and the knuckleheaded system responsible for identifying the former and doling out the latter.

Outside the meatery, beside a cluster of bicycles on the sidewalk, were two CHP motorcycles. Apparently a hankering for a pulled pork sandwich qualifies as the sort of urgent matter that justifies blatantly flipping the bird at parking laws.

At the exact same moment at the Apple store a few blocks down the street, a CHP car was parked in a red zone in front of the door. I was eagerly expecting to watch one of SLO’s finest kick the crap out of a bad guy. What else would justify breaking the law you’re paid to enforce by parking in a red zone? Instead, an officer walked out of the store carrying a computer.

I considered putting in an application to become an officer then and there. Parking in SLO ain’t cheap. And the privilege of doing it wherever and whenever you like seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. All this in addition to a generous benefits package.

Three hits of Kool Aid later, and things started to get ugly. Heed my warning: It’s the tropical punch that’ll really knock you out. My thoughts turned to the handful of sexual assaults that recently occurred on and around the Cal Poly campus.

Rape is a subject I tend to avoid because, well, it doesn’t make very good joke fodder. But this time around I figure a large population of windbags have already assumed the asshole mantle. Worst case scenario, I join them.

What really flummoxed me was the way these assaults were presented by the media.

I mean, reading the stories in the Tribune, it took me a full five minutes to realize an alleged rape had occurred. I just thought I was reading another article about those crazy Cal Poly kids and their out-of-control drinking. I think the words “unconscious and intoxicated” appeared more frequently than the word “the” in their account of what happened.

I figured I’d read the article comments, because if you can’t turn to people who post anonymously on comment boards to express sensitivity and common sense, who can you turn to?

CurrentWife offered the following advice: “Don’t get plastered and be alone in your dorm room with a guy. He doesn’t want to play Scrabble and he’s not there to talk about your feelings.”

So one of the Trib’s readers is a moron. That’s not indicative of a trend, right? I mean, some of the suggestions were downright practical.

SLOdtimer said, “If a girl brings a guy home for the night, that normally is a very clear signal of her intentions. If she does not want to engage in sex, she should not have a guy over in the first place.”

Such wisdom. I always thought if a girl said no that meant she didn’t want to have sex. But I can get onboard that logic train. And just to prove that I don’t think these people have their heads up their backwards asses, I constructed a checklist every rape victim should have to answer before we take her (or him) seriously:

What was (s)he wearing?

Did (s)he have anything to drink?

Was (s)he accompanied by a male relative, preferably a father, uncle, or brother?

Was (s)he wearing a chastity belt fashioned from unobtainium, and forged in the fires of Mount Doom?

All of which leaves me wondering, how did a string of rapes become a conversation about drinking? And, in the interest of being equal opportunity assholes, are we going to extend the victim-blaming game to other crimes?

Sorry, Grandpa—it sucks that you were mugged. But, well, you did wander outside alone. Between your walker and life alert necklace, you were pretty much begging for it.

In one of the aforementioned paper’s articles, University Police Department Chief Bill Watson said, “We absolutely want survivors to come forward, and anything we can do to make it more comfortable and easier for them to do that, we are more than willing to do.”

I’ve got a theory or two about things that can be done to make the victims of sexual assault feel more comfortable filing a report. But I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear my thoughts. Because they require a gargantuan evolutionary leap the likes of which has not occurred since James Wright invented Silly Putty.

It requires us to think like human beings instead of putting ourselves on a pedestal from which we judge the petty insects scurrying around below. ’Cause pedestals are man-made, and things made by man—and especially in China—tend not to last. Except Twinkies, which will likely survive the Apocalypse.

And when that pedestal crumbles—from age, frequent use, or the weight of your bloated head and ass—you probably don’t want to read a novel-length field of online comments sniping at what they perceive of your behavior or character.

In short … awww, damn, my Kool Aid trip is ending. I think I’ll hit up 7-11 for some Pixie Stix. 

Shredder’s favorite flavor is artificial grape. Send sugar substitutes to

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