Thursday, October 21, 2004
PHONY AS A…Dear readers, take note. Nothing says I Love Squid quite like a big fat check. Yes, Squid likes getting money in the mail. No, it doesn’t happen nearly enough. All right, it never happens. But a mollusk can dream, no?
Squid felt lucky recently, receiving a long security envelope in the mail. (And speaking of security envelopes, what’s the point? Sure, they are thicker than most, and the dark blue shading prevents the outline of a check from showing through. But the fact that one’s using a security envelope practically screams, “money enclosed.”)
So, Squid got the envelope, assumed it held big bucks inside, and nearly inked Squidself upon seeing…money! Upon further inspection, and much to Squid’s dismay, the money was phony money—a three-dollar bill, with a big picture of Ila Mettee-McCutchon’s face in its center. One side reads, “I help my friends.” The other says, “It’s my way or the highway.” and Squid chooses to overlook the misspellings: “Phoney [sic] as phoney [sic] does.” Sure it’s slightly clever and most definitely snarky, but Squid’s still holding out for real cash. Unless this three-dollar-bill works at Rollick’s, anyway.
MORE POLITICAL INTRIGUE…When they say small-town politics are downright nasty, yes, in fact, they are talking about Marina. According to a tipster, some Marina incumbents are trying to silence the opposition the old-fashioned way: By quashing candidates’ First Amendment rights. So Squid picked up the phone—not an easy task without opposable thumbs—and dialed City Council candidate Richard Boynton to get the scoop. What did happen on that fateful day, last Saturday to be exact, at the Marina Air Fair, which by the way is held on city property, sponsored by the city and open to the public at no charge?
“I was told by Mayor Ila Mettee-McCutchon that I could not pass out [campaign] literature on city property,” Boynton says. “I haven’t memorized the entire city code; I just took her at her word. And not being inclined to make a stink about it, ‘oh if that’s the way it is,’ I stopped handing out paper. But I continued to talk to people.”
No need to make a stink, Boynton. Leave the dirty work to Squid.
Squid wanted to talk city code with Marina City Attorney Robert Wellington directly, but at press time, with Squid’s editor breathing down Squid’s neck (if Squid can be said to have a neck), Wellington hadn’t called back. Maybe he prefers talking to judges and clients—in other words, humans—more than talking to mollusks. Whatever. But according to an e-mail exchange between sitting Marina Councilman Ken Gray—who is not up for reelection in November—and Wellington, passing out political literature at a public event is considered free speech and is “absolutely” protected by the First Amendment.
But Squid has a hunch the powers-that-be may have cause to tap political opponents’ phone lines, or search their library records under the Patriot Act. Ah, yes, John Ashcroft would be so proud.