Thursday, July 12, 2001
Our Lad in PlaidGuess the glassy-winged sharpshooter and the power crisis are getting to be too much to bear for our state legislators--they''re cracking like walnuts up in Sacramento right now. A few weeks ago a group of assemblyfolk from Los Angeles, led by Assemblyman Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles), performed a stirring rendition of "I Love LA" on the Assembly floor to promote a bill sponsored by Wright. That sparked an idea in the brain pan of Senator Bruce McPherson (R-Santa Cruz), who, as a fellow of Scottish extraction, wants dearly to see California get its own official tartan. So McPherson did bedeck himself in a kilt of his own clan''s plaid (a fetching red, blue, gold and white affair) and, accompanied by blaring bagpipes, pitched SB 614, which would make naturalist John Muir''s clan tartan that of the Golden State.
In his speech, McPherson noted that his suggestion for a haggis-eating contest (haggis being a highland treat of sheep''s stomach bag and lamb''s liver) was politely refused by the senate bosses. He instructed his fellows in kilt-wearing etiquette (mid-kneecap is the longest acceptable!) and finished his speech thusly: ''"Now, let''s revel in some more sounds from those loud and impressive windbags--and let''s hear some more bagpipe music."
Going PostalGreat suffering scuba divers dumped onto forest fires! Merciful "welcome to the world of AIDS" mirror-writers! Squid was nearly hoodwinked by an urban legend last week when a panicked citizen forwarded a chain email declaring a state of emergency in cyberspace.
"Guess the warnings were true," the message''s author lamented. "Federal Bill 602P will levy a charge of five cents per each E-Mail sent. This means no more free E-Mail. We all feared this was coming."
Squid fluttered around for a few minutes waving a hanky and feeling faint. No free email? No more witty repartee ping-ponging between keyboard-pecking cogs? ''Tis not to be borne!
Quick as a flash, Squid''s officemate suggested checking the veracity of the missive before freaking out. Good idea. So Squid went to the urban legends Web site www.snopes.com, where the 5-cent email hoax was patiently deconstructed by the guardians of truth as a lie that dates back to 1999.
But Squid''s in good company. In an October 2000 debate between the candidates for New York''s open senate seat, an anchorwoman asked Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congressman Rick Lazio what they thought of the bill. Clinton earnestly condemned it as "burdensome and not justifiable." Lazio derided it as "an example of the government''s greedy hand in trying to take money from taxpayers."
Lions and Tigers and SquidFirst bears, now mountain lions--where''s a poor squid to do? Squid had packed the picnic lunch and geared up for a hike in Carmel''s Mission Trail Nature Preserve--when a call from a concerned Carmel citizen saved squid from becoming catch of the day. According to a flyer posted near the Mission Trail entrance on 11th and Torres, a mountain lion was spotted catching some rays along the trails. While the Carmel Forest-Parks and Beach Department says they''ve seen neither hide nor hair of the big cat, Squid''s keeping a safe distance. There will be no squid nigiri for that kitty.
Toss Squid a caber: firstname.lastname@example.org