Thursday, May 10, 2001
The Things We Do for LoveWe've all had them at one time or another--those, um, focused ex-lovers who make Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction look like a church lady. Hey, some of us have even been one of those jilted partners who would do anything to recapture our lost loves.
Richard Alan Wilkinson is one such smitten soul who vied to impress his ex-girlfriend Debra Wright, who happens to be the city of Monterey's code enforcer. Wright has bestowed a number of citations on coffeehouse owner Morgan Christopher for various city code infractions racked up while he was remodeling his cafe. Christopher claims Wright has unfairly singled him out because of his criticism of her boss, city attorney Bill Conners. A number of nasty letters and a smattering of Squid's ink have flown around town regarding the illustrious dispute between Christopher and the city.
Enter Wilkinson (also a city employee) to fan the flames. He caught wind of the friction between Wright and Christopher and apparently decided to take matters into his own hands. Christopher says a camera-wielding Wilkinson appeared in his doorway on the afternoon of March 27 and started snapping photos of the cafe's interior. When Christopher confronted him, he says Wilkinson flew into a rage and bellowed, "I'm going to f*** you up!" before excusing himself from the premises. According to a police report, Wilkinson denied using profanity, but he did tell police that he was in love with Wright and was trying to capture a code violation on film to help her out.
In the end, Wilkinson apologized to police, and Christopher declined to press charges. And Squid bets that Wright is changing her phone number.
Just What, Exactly, Do You Mean By That, Sir?Last week Squid came across a quote by presidential spoiler (and, Squid had feared, trauma-affected mute) Ralph Nader (apparently he's talking again). "When the civil society is shut out of the national capital," quoth the maven, "you do one of two things: You close down and go to Monterey and watch the whales, or you go into the political arena, as Jefferson said."
If Mr. Nader means to imply that Monterey is a sleepy little village where people go to check out and never check back in, and the closest we get to political participation is pushing the volume button during West Wing, then Squid would invite him to the Board of Supervisors meetings in Salinas. Because the darnedest things can happen there. And it ain't Songs of the Humpbacks, pal.
Take the meeting on May 1. A well-intentioned Ed Leeper, desiring to make a point about the insufferability of racial epithets being uttered publicly, cut loose with a string of politically incorrect invective that makes Squid squirm just to think about. There was the N-word, the F-word, the N-word again, a K-word, a W-word, a G-word, more F-words ... everything, it seems, but the C-word. Leeper hollered this poetry 10 times or so, then watched the supervisors for their reactions.
Leeper, of course, was protesting the county's namby-pamby response to the fact that county jail employees aired racial slurs from the flick Full Metal Jacket over the jail's PA system a few weeks ago. He says he was hoping the supes would "feel up close the intense emotion and awfulness of being on the receiving end of racism." At the very least, now they know what it must be like to be on the receiving end of a Tourette's outburst. And that's something.
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