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The new year already sucks 

I've got buyer's remorse for 2008 already. It looked good when I first saw it cresting over the hill. It was flashy and sleek and had that new-year smell I love so much. I kicked the proverbial tires and signed the proverbial paperwork and found myself the proud owner of a new year. The ball dropped, the confetti flew, the Champagne corks popped, and I celebrated. Everything gets fuzzy after that.

When I came to after my annual blackout, I was sickened to find that everything looked the same as it did in 2007. To top it all off, someone had thrown up all over what had been a nice, shiny new year. Gross. And whoever it was had been drinking the exact same stuff I had been drinking: Bloody Marys with prune juice instead of tomato juice. And triple sec instead of vodka. And a chocolate biscotti instead of a celery stick. Curiouser and curiouser.

I cleaned up the puke, then hugged a pot of crummy coffee while I blearily typed this column. I had nothing but piss and vinegar to draw from since I'd been effectively out of commission for the last few days, and after I emptied my screaming bladder, I only had vinegar. So I poked through stacks of notes sent to me from disgruntled Animal Services volunteers, medical marijuana users mad about federal crackdowns, and the same old faces in the same old places.

They've all got good points. They're just the same old good points. It's enough to make this Shredder downright depressed. People are sick and can't get the medicine they need. People are mentally sick and worried that the county is going to cut back on some of its already limited services because of budget problems. Volunteers cringe at influxes of animals that could make good pets for someone but might just end up in the ground.

I decided to flip through some old columns of mine, since I'm my favorite writer, and I happened upon the resolutions I made for people last year. Back then, I made resolutions for Ernie Dalidio's opponents to come clean, but that didn't happen in 2007. I waxed cranky on the relationship between a SLO County supervisor or two and how they take their cues from the Farm Bureau. Sound familiar? It should to anyone disappointed by this past year's viewshed ordinance fizzle.

Why don't people listen to me? Is it my breath? It shouldn't be, because I've been rinsing with bleach lately. It's not doctor recommended, but my mouth doesn't smell like a cesspool any more. My eyes are always burning and watery now, but that may be because of my frustration with 2008: The housing market is still slumping, local banks are still getting robbed (enough already!), and my coffee maker still brews something other than coffee. It looks more like bat diarrhea than French roast, but I still drink it. It's better than nothing.

Fortified with caffeine and only slightly less hung over after a few sips, I thumbed my nose at the tatters of 2007 tainting my 2008 and decided to focus on the new. The up-and-coming. The ch-ch-ch-changes. (One side effect of this coffee is a slight stutter.)

The biggest and brightest change will be a new president. Though he was never impeached, George W. Bush will finally be forced out of office--thank you, Constitution!--and one lucky grand prize winner will get a four-year, all-expenses-paid-by-taxpayers stay at the White House. Maybe more.

Now it's just a matter of making sure the right person wins. To be totally honest, I haven't really been following national election news this go-round. I've been too busy with other things, like keeping tabs on our sheriff, casting a wary eye at the board of supervisors, scanning police reports, keeping my e-mail spam free, buying bleach in bulk, learning to speak Urdu, taking yoga, and sleeping.

But it's never too late to start, right? That's what the Internet is for--to tell me what I should be thinking about and why and when and how I should vote. Wait a minute while I fire up my old Commodore 64. It cost a bundle to get it wired for web access, but boy was it worth it.

Project Vote Smart lists Jedidiah Elijah Wendell Kennedy Banks as an announced Republican nominee. Sounds impressive. With a name like that, he's got to at least be tough. I mean, I had a hard enough time as the only kid named Shredder in my third grade class.

There's also a potential Prohibition Party candidate. I didn't even know we had a Prohibition Party. Where were they when I needed them on New Year's Eve?

On the more likely side, it looks like Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are the more popular Republican choices, and Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama are ringing Democrats' bells.

I'm looking for a candidate who shares my values. I'm pro-choice when it comes to taxes and anti-war of any kind. Even the card game. I think that businesses should be friendly to the environment and the environment should be friendly right back to businesses. Health care should be more available to people, and people should take better care of themselves, and everybody should take care of me, because my hangover headache is coming back and that prune juice-coffee cocktail sloshing around down there is kicking in with a vengeance. I hate 2008.

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