HELTER SHELTER… Squid has stuck close to home during Monterey County’s shelter-in-place order, finding the outdoors much too peopley, as in, there are too many damn people violating the shelter-in-place order. Plus, with Squid’s head being so large, it’s difficult to find masks that both protect Squid and accentuate Squid’s features nicely.
But it was so beautiful over Memorial Day weekend that Squid couldn’t help Squidself. Squid hopped into the jalopy (with Squid’s beloved bulldog, Rosco P. Coltrane, riding shotgun) and set out to see the sights. Cannery Row: Too many tourists, not enough masks. Carmel-by-the-Twee: Too many tourists, not enough masks. Big Sur: Too many tourists (and boy were they behaving badly, like the dopes who started a BBQ grill on a wood-chipped area outside of Nepenthe, or the dopes who stole patio furniture from Big Sur River Inn so they could have a seated picnic) and again, not enough masks. As a shaken Squid headed back to the lair, Squid resolved to tune in to the May 26 Board of Supervisors meeting and share some strongly worded commentary, along with some gesturing that no one would see via Zoom.
Squid was waiting for Squid’s turn to speak when Squid heard a familiar voice: Jeff Gorman, former chieftain of the Monterey County Republican Party who’s running for Congress against Jimmy Panetta. Gorman, who lists his occupation on LinkedIn as “Taxpayer at United States of America,” has been a fixture at recent “ReOpen Monterey” protests, showing up with mask askew and fire in his eyes.
Gorman started out well enough, pointing out that for many people and businesses, winter is coming and it’s going to be tough. Squid nodded and thought, he’s right. Squid was intrigued: Gorman was making sense. And then this:
“I noticed a large chunk of our problem with the disease is in the farming and ag community,” Gorman says. And Squid again agreed: Farmworkers are forced to live in close conditions, and ride to and from ag fields in equally close conditions, and don’t always have the proper safety gear to help stay safe. Maybe Gorman was about to advocate for a new and improved farmworker safety program!
Nah. Instead, Gorman went off on a ramble about undocumented immigrants.
“I am very curious to know if there’s a particular problem, particularly with those who are not in the country legally,” Gorman said. And then, perplexingly wondered if the farmworkers not here legally “might be a different form of civil disobedience.”
Squid’s not sure what Gorman meant by that, because to Squid’s mind, farmworkers are here to make sure Salinas Valley produce gets picked and shipped to the rest of the world, not to protest a disease they can’t control with safety gear they haven’t been provided.