Squid Fry for Jul 17, 2003
Thursday, July 17, 2003
FAMILY REUNION...As a wee little cephalopod, Squid remembers hearing tales of Squid's long-lost cousin Blinky. He was a shy loner, but always something of a ladies' squid, until some moral-less mollusk left Blinky at the altar and he disappeared into the deep, never to be seen again. Lucky for Squid, some deep-sea scientists between New Zealand and Australia just netted a squid fitting Blinky's description--one big eye and one little eye. According to biologist Mark Norman, "If you lived in pitch black, hunted by feeling vibrations or looking for the tiniest glimpses of light, withstood massive pressures and had to wait for months at a time to feed, you'd end up looking like Gollum as well." Squid prefers thinking of his cuz as more like Finding Nemo's cute star, the bright orange clownfish born with one small fin and one big fin, rather than Gollum, the slimy schizophrenic creature from Lord of the Rings. And Blinky's smart too: deep-sea Squids hunt for food with their one big eye, then wink it shut when blending into the darkness to hide from pesky predators. Just keep one eye open for the Squidettes.
LAY OFF THE LETTUCE...When the Monterey Bay Labor Council's taskforce on the health care crisis invited Squid to attend a rally last Saturday, Squid was stirred to join the "call for solidarity for an expressive action at the Salinas Wal-Mart." But then Squid realized the problem. There's no saltwater access to any Wal-Marts in the county, which explains Squid's reliance on the Martha Stewart Collection at the Seaside K-Mart (even though it's a dehydrating experience to squelch up Canyon Del Rey, dodging Canadian geese). Squid was hoping to go to Sam's big-box emporium, to check out all the convenient shopping under one big flat roof, since Squid's never had the chance to order two all-beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun from a McDonald's touch-screen as a blue-aproned Wal-Mart cashier rings up the laundry detergent and guns tagged with "everyday low prices." Checking out the Mary-Kate and Ashley fashions designed by the Olsen Twins and sold exclusively at Wal-Mart piqued Squid's interest, too.
But wait, wasn't there something to do with a health care crisis?
Squid re-checked the invite. There was a quote from "Where America's Taxpayers Foot the Health Care Bill," in the July America@Work magazine.
"Employers like Wal-Mart that game the nation's health care system have helped provoke the worst budget crises hitting the states since the Great Depression...Wal-Mart lowers the industry standard for all workers...as Wal-Mart increasingly offers full-service grocery departments in its stores, it is threatening hard-won health benefits and wage standards in the unionized grocery sector."
With shaky tentacles, Squid quickly dialed the Salinas Wal-Mart, and was told that only Super Wal-Marts have full-service grocery stores, and that the closest one is in Southern California. Whew! Maybe the protests at the itty-bitty baby Salinas store will keep Sam out of the local food biz, and keep Sam's government-subsidized health care plan recipients out of Natividad.