SquidFry: No man is a failure who is enjoying life. William Feather

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JERRY… Squid’s not exactly the bashful type, and not really one to hope that Squid’s friends and coworkers forget Squid’s Big Day. Quite the opposite, in fact: Squid starts announcing Squid’s birthday at least a month in advance, and then, when it rolls around, Squid celebrates for a full week. But this year, Squid’s taking a tip from Monterey County Supervisor JERRY SMITH, and asking Squid’s friends to “sponsor” Squid’s Birthday Bash — for the bargain price of $2,500. C’mon! Squid deserves it.

Squid recently got an e-mail invite to Smith’s WESTERN BBQ BIRTHDAY BASH, Aug. 26 at BERNARDUS LODGE. “Join Jerry & Byrl and celebrate Jerry’s birthday with family and friends,” it reads. “Special Guests will include: Former Secretary of State BRUCE MCPHERSON & Senators JEFF DENHAM & ABEL MALDONADO among so many others.

“You have been an incredible friend in the past and we sincerely hope you are able to sponsor Jerry’s Birthday Bash this year.”

Squid hoped so, too, until Squid scrolled down to see the price tag attached to the “sponsor level,” which includes 10 tickets: $2,500?! Yikes! It’s a little too rich for Squid’s cold blood. So is the “host level,” $1,000 for four tickets or just one ticket at $250.

Which is why Squid plans to skip out on Smith’s bash, and throw a party of Squid’s own. Wanna play? It’s only $2,500.

ACTIN’ LIKE AN OCTOPUSSY... Squid’s been staring down the ugliness of a blank page for well over half an hour. Oh, sure, Squid could talk about the highly sensitive SALINAS PD cops so wrought with emotion after leaving the funeral of a CHP officer last week that they stopped off at HOOTERS on the way home for some appetizers. Because really, nothing cures the ailing heart like roasted breasts. Squid understands this. But some Joe Blow complained about the in-bad-taste choice, and now the boys are locker room gossip.

Or Squid could go riff on all the Squidmail about Salinas Mayor DENNIS DONOHUE’s city beautification plan. “Could the guy not start with himself and put on a tie every now and then?” one e-mailer complained.

And Squid could harp on the parking in OLDTOWN SALINAS that the REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY hired a company to fix two years ago. What’d they come up with? “A short-term strategy.” Fine work, boys.

Thing is, Squid doesn’t find any of that stuff tantalizing this week because Squid’s longtime friend and tormentor is leaving the paper this week, and Squid just doesn’t feel like snacking on civil servants. Yes, somewhere under Squid’s thick skin is a black heart, and Squid’s is, oddly, quivering. Squid’s going to miss the old galoot. And his feisty distemper. And his soul-less edits. And his backwards New Jersey fashion sense. Boy, this is odd. Oh, wait a second. Maybe Squid just needs better appetizers. 


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