DUMB AND UGLY IN BIG SUR, LET MY LIZARDS GO!
Thursday, February 28, 2002
DUMB AND UGLY IN BIG SUR Squid loves magazines. A vice, perhaps, but it''s a vice without prejudice. Squid is just as curious about what''s inside Time as, say, High Times. One favorite magazine feature that will always grab the Squid eye is the perennial ranking issue--the Forbes 400 is nearly as good a barbershop read as Playboy''s top 100 sex stars of all time. And so on.
So of course "THE 50 BEST PLACES TO LIVE" in the March issue of Men''s Journal positively sprang at Squid from the magazine rack the other day. Would it finally be adjudicated that the Monterey area is or isn''t the great place everyone makes it out to be?
Alas, according to the Men''s Journal, MONTEREY is not cool enough for the mag''s fleece-and-flannel-clad man-about-town readership. Nor is CARMEL, though Carmel might make a list in something called Old Men''s Journal. No, no, ranked among places like Telluride, Colo. and Homer, Alaska, for livability and proximity to the nature gods is drum roll, please BIG SUR, pulling in at 25, dead middle of the pack.
Big Sur''s climate was described as "perfect in every season." Better yet, the scene down there is said to be "sparsely populated with attractive, smart people." This is important. Readers will be led to believe that dumb, ugly people do not exist in Big Sur.
As a sidenote, that squirrely burg to the north called SANTA CRUZ came in ahead of Big Sur, in 17th place. Despite recent news that it''s the least affordable town in America, its lure seems to be that it''s a stoner playground summed up simply as, "Surfboards, volleyballs, and weed."
Also nearby but ranked above Big Sur was HALF MOON BAY at 22nd. It''s described somewhat cryptically as a place for "Golf and surfing, swimming in money."
LET MY LIZARDS GO! Municipal government can be so sad sometimes. Forget all the graft and the cronyism--just sitting through an entire city council meeting is enough to make Squid weep. Sure, the slow and deliberate pace of democracy is what steers this nation on its steady course, but sometimes local government cries out for a benevolent dictator, someone both decisive and kind.
Anyway, it was with profound despair but sudden relief that in the course of regular duties Squid recently came across a dispatch from the CITY OF MARINA. It seems that improvements to Imjin, Reservation and Blanko roads had hit a snag when road builders came across some LEGLESS LIZARDS. Because of their protected status under state law, the leg-free rascals could not just be smushed under the bulldozer treads. They required proper relocation to safe habitat.
What sort of creature is this? Squid imagined an animal stuck in a kind of reptilian evolutionary purgatory. These little scampers have the looks of a lizard, maybe even the smell of a lizard, but lack the legs and feet of a lizard. Somehow they are not snakes either, not because they have not mastered the slither, but because, according to some quick research, legless lizards have the "moveable eyelids" snakes lack. They got no legs but they got eyelids. A rotten deal if you ask this mollusk.
Squid, who is equally helpless on land, was crushed to read in city documents that the soon-to-be refugee lizards do not move beyond a radius of "50 feet during a given lifespan." It seems that the lizards are to be moved to habitat area at the city airport which, according to officials there, "should not pose any issues regarding aeronautical use..." Whew!
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