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The picket of the litter 

Equal pay for equal work! Just say no! Four more years!

Sorry. If you were expecting my typical half-cooked rant about local notables, potent potables, and whatever other dreck I managed to dredge up from the depths of my brain this week, you're in for a sore surprise. Or a pleasant one, depending on your outlook.

I'm on strike, see. So if you want to hear my thoughts about the Carrizo Plains and the black-op-helicopter-thinking that's circling around the issue, you're out of luck, Chuck.

If your name isn't Chuck, you're still out of luck. Them's the breaks, kid.

I'm taking a cue from my brethren at Atascadero State Hospital and the California State University system and countless other organizations that represent The Man and The Man's incessant trodding down of the already downtrodden. I'm throwing out the tools of oppression and joining the proletariat in lifting my voice for independence, justice, freedom, and whatever else is fashionable these days.

By the way, the proletariat is the one I want to be siding with, right? They're the workers, if I remember correctly. Or is it the bourgeois? Either way, I'm for the little guy, as long as the little guy is against the big guy and everything the big guy represents: long hours, low wages, and high taxes.

Ooh, those high taxes. They get me all hot and bothered under the collar. Not only does this April 14 mark the ritual financial reaming courtesy of Uncle Sam that is Tax Season, but this April also represents the half-percent bump in sales tax in San Luis Obispo. I hate parting with my money, and I hate it more when it's more money.

Some religious type once said that the love of money is the root of all evil, but I'm not really evil because I don't really love money. I just really, really, really like it. We're good friends, me and money. But there's nothing serious between us, so don't get the wrong idea. Look, you can ask money out if you want and it wouldn't bother me. Like I said, we're just friends. It's not love. Seriously.

But while I'm on the subject, I'll mention that San Luis Obispo isn't the only city digging its greedy fingers into my wallet. Arroyo Grande, Morro Bay, and Grover Beach are taking a bigger slice of the penny, too.

It's enough to make me want to throw something, and I mean in a bad way.

See, around here, folks don't throw bricks or bats or bouquets or bouillabaisse or whatever anachronistic "b" words they use to mean "good" and "bad" over at the Tribune. We only use bricks to reinforce the rusting iron bars of the intern cage. And as for bouquets, well, for some reason flowers shrivel to potpourri whenever they cross the New Times threshold. Oh, and sometimes we fire up briquettes to really roast someone, and charcoal is like a brickbat, right?

Mmm barbecue. Did you know that county supervisor tastes just like chicken? Stop me. I'm drooling.

Anyway, if I did have access to one of the Tribune's bouquets, I'd present it to the brave county supervisors Katcho Achadjian, Harry Ovitt, and Jerry Lenthall who fearlessly voted to prevent UNICEF's jack-booted thugs from marching Rommel-style across our beloved Carrizo Plain.

UNICEF! And to think, children across America contribute their precious Red Bull money to this horrible what? ah crap yeah, okay. The copy editor says it apparently wasn't UNICEF that the brave supervisors were battling, but UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization.

That seems like a lot of words to put on the side of a black helicopter.

But either way, nice work. The World Heritage designation would have undoubtedly brought people to check out the scenic 250,000-acre area. Educated people. Cultural people. Scientific people. Foreigners, probably, come to think of it.

And, as was pointed out at the meeting, those types might have gotten in the way of the heroic petroleum industry's heroic work to heroically tap the area's heroic oil reserves. The U.N. designation might even have, in some way nobody could manage to quite explain since the designation carries no real anything, infringed on somebody's property rights.

Just like it did at the Taj Mahal and the Acropolis. Have you ever been to those places? There isn't a heroic oil rig in sight. Just a bunch of culture and historical education opportunities, and let's be honest who wants that besides the organization that puts those very words in its very name and, probably, as was mentioned earlier, on the sides of its black helicopters that swoop silently through the night on nefarious missions of conspiracy and secrecy, and uh culture.

Call me an April Fool if you want, I just just ah crap again. I just did what I said I wasn't going to do. Look, you didn't read any of this. I'm on strike remember? In fact, you did read all of this, but I didn't write it. New Times brought in a scab or some other despicable, money-grubbing backstabber to do my work for me. How capitalist!

And you know what? Now that I think about it even more, I couldn't have typed this column because there was a big blackout that knocked out my computer on March 27. Yeah, the power was out for hours all over the city, probably because of some UNESCO black ops. Watch your back, San Luis Obispo, because while I'm on strike, I won't be watching it for you.

Of course, even if my demands are met I'm asking for a yacht carved from a single diamond and a lifetime supply of Cheeze Whiz I'll be back next week. I haven't seen my good friend money in a while, and I don't like spending too much time apart.

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