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Dear students, you’re back! You drive like assholes and you’re too loud—everyone knows that. More importantly, however, you’re rapist- and violence-magnets, but what SLO City Councilman John Ashbaugh is really worried about is that y’all left your trash cans on the street. WTF? Get your shit together, punks! 

Also, when is a driveway a driveway? We’ll get to that one later. My point is, in case you’re new to SLO, let me warn you now that you’ve entered a magic city where up is down, what’s trivial is important, and what’s important is brushed under the rug. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Maybe you noticed Ashbaugh along with University Police Chief George Hughes, SLOPD Capt. Chris Staley, and their cadre of SLO city officials and concerned local residents wandering through your neighborhood last Thursday, checking out what kind of shenanigans you’re getting into and glaring into your apartment windows until you turned down your damn music. In fact, maybe you’re the little weasel who chucked two water balloons out of a pickup window that raced by the group, one tagging SLO Fire Chief Garret Olson smack in the back of his head. Very mature. 

(I had to steal these accounts from The Tribune, because neither I nor any of my New Times cohorts were invited. The audacity of these people.)

Seriously, you guys tend to act like idiots, especially on weekends. Hey, I get it. I was young once. But you’ve grown up thinking college is Animal House and National Lampoon’s Van Wilder when you should be thinking it’s The Great Debaters and Dead Poets Society, which I know was technically about a prep boarding school, but even those high school students were more mature than you. 

College is a privilege that you should be taking seriously. Too many kids—ones a lot smarter than you but from poorer families—aren’t able to attend college. If they were, they’d study instead of wandering around drunk, looking for the next party. You might as well wear a T-shirt with a target on it that says, “Beat Me Up and Steal My Wallet” or “Also Available in Sober.” 

I know, sorry, you’re all out of sober. My point is your stupidity makes you walking crime victims while SLO officials worry about where you leave your trash cans.

Time to wake up. You’re living in a town where a man can’t park his boat next to his driveway because there’s no record of a permit for the driveway extension upon which his boat has been parked for 21 years. In 2012, the city enacted the front yard parking ordinance, basically creating a law that suddenly makes his boat an illegal eyesore due to its location. Though the homeowner Joseph Gambucci appealed his citations right up to the SLO City Council, they refused to exempt him even though any idiot who’s seen the photo of his boat by his driveway can tell it’s not an eyesore.

“The pad is not at issue here. The pad is fine; no matter what we do the pad can stay,” explained SLO Mayor Jan Marx of the unpermitted driveway extension cum boat parking space. “It’s the use of the pad.”

In other words, if Gambucci moved his boat 6 feet over onto the permitted part of his driveway, it could legally remain in his front yard and wouldn’t be an eyesore, but since it’s sitting on a pad next to his driveway, it is an illegal eyesore. That’s the logic of the city you’re now living in, kids! Orwell would be proud. What? You don’t know who George Orwell is? This is what I’m talking about. Read a freaking book!

You’re living in a town where you can’t have a couch on your front porch, where your trash cans must be stored out of view, and where you can’t squeeze three cars onto a driveway designed for two.

“We’ve had cases where cars will park cheek to jowl in front of the garage, so there might be three or four cars in an area that was designed for two cars,” SLO Community Development Director—now Assistant City Manager—Derek Johnson explained about the front yard parking ordinance. 

Cheek to jowl! The horror! The horror! 

Meanwhile, a college kid who may have been upset about being turned away from a private frat party stabbed two other college kids last Friday, and would-be rapists attacked two college women in the last couple of weeks. Student-on-student sexual assaults occur with sickening regularity.

Cal Poly used to spray a stenciled red handprint on campus locations were sexual assaults occurred, but they removed them because when parents and prospective students toured campus, they inevitably asked why the campus seemed to be covered in red handprints!

Why you gotta be so rapey and stabby, kids? 

I know it’s exciting to be in college away from your parents, but you’re adults now. You need to act like it. I’m not victim blaming. You should be able to stumble drunkenly around town and campus and be free from violence, but you’re not. You’re targets. That’s your reality. The city’s picayune noise and unruly gathering ordinances are the least of your problems. 

But seriously, move your trash cans. 

The Shredder is feeling a little bitchy. Send ideas and comments to


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