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Wedded blitz 

    If there’s anything that makes me more nauseous than a wedding, it’s a whole special section devoted to weddings. Not only do I have to sit through hours and hours of the pre-divorce ceremonies every year, now I have to read about them, too.
    Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just bitter because I’m always a bridesmaid and never a bride. My mother was right. After all these years, my mother was right. I’m just going to get a quart of ice cream and sit here in silence with my spoon for a while.
    Of course, reading about brides and grooms sure beats reading about the Tribune’s picks for its overblown “Top 20 Under 40� feature in its 2006 Book of Lists.
    At the Atascadero City Council meeting on Jan. 24, the civic leaders couldn’t say enough about how fantastic they thought the issue was, probably because their very own assistant city manager Jim Lewis kissed enough palms or greased enough babies to land himself a spot among the other fresh-faced glitterati. Youth is wasted on the young. So is attention. And money. We seem to spend a lot of money on youth in this country. And what’s up with how low they wear their pants these days? If I wanted to look at underwear, I’d go stand in front of Victoria’s Secret. And I do.
    At that very same council meeting, at which the city council was a mere motion away from voting to elevate the pages of the Trib to holy scripture, Councilmember Wendy Scalise vilified the Atascadero News for, as best as I can figure, quoting her accurately in a story relevant to all county readers.
    I saw the story she was mad about. I didn’t read it, but I saw it. The Atascadero News’s Heather Young wrote an article about the new medical marijuana dispensary opening in the city. A ways down in the story — I didn’t read it, remember, I was just skimming — Wendy says that she didn’t know anything about the dispensary. It’s her words, right there between two sets of little hatch-type marks that usually indicate a direct quote. I hardly ever use them myself, because I believe that I have more legal wiggle room without them. Paraphrasing has kept me from being sued on more than one occasion, as has my uncanny ability to pretend that I don’t speak English. I’m particularly good at imitating French. Le grande mots qui bouche du fromage, ooh la la!
    Wendy’s beef with the News doesn’t seem to have much meat to it, especially since she later said that the only reason she falsely denied knowing about the pot palace was because she was in a doctor’s office when she got the question.
    Unless the reporter beat the quote out of her (and I don’t know how Heather works, so I can’t rule that out), the piece looks legit to me. Of course, lots of things look legit to me. I am nearsighted, but the DMV still lets me drive, so my eyesight can’t be that bad. Plus, the last time they tried to get me to take the test, I just acted confused and told them to ouvre los automobilia avec des petrol, merci beaucoups.
    Wendy’s complaint may stem from her allegations that the reporter didn’t come right out and say, “Alright, I’m typing down all of your words now.� Sources tend to get sulky and surly when journalists don’t formally let them know they’re being milked for info, but in my experience, they get even more skittish when you come right out and tell them that you’ve set up your microphone and you’re about to hit “record.� Everyone likes to talk, but no one wants to have to eat their words, later. Words taste like crow, and crow tastes like chicken. I hate chicken, or poullet, as we say back in my native country.
   I don’t know exactly what happened between Wendy and Heather, but I do know that more than a few Atascadero city officials are notorious for not returning phone calls, even if a reporter asks sugary sweetly with a cherry on top. If a writer does manage to snag one on the line, there’s still the possibility that Wendy — or someone like her — will just hang up. It’s happened before, not 10 feet from my desk.
    But Wendy and her friends aren’t the only ones staggering under the weight of the Tribune’s genius. At the recent San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce meeting, former chief of police Jim Gardiner gave the daily scads of kudos for its devotion to youth. He also roasted outgoing Chairman of the Board Bob Wacker, and then commenced his own hunt for babies to kiss on his path to the County Sheriff seat. Considering how he lost to Pat Hedges once already, that shiny star’s gotta look like a mouthwatering brass ring to him right now, and I should be arrested for mixing that many metaphors in one sentence. But officer, je ne comprends pas l’allegacions de moi. Je t’adore!

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