DRESSED TO THE NINERS… Squid appreciates a little Super Bowl trash talk, at least when it’s done in the spirit of good fun. The zoos in San Francisco and Kansas City, for instance, staked naming rights of the next newborn goat on the game’s outcome. Should the 49ers win, Kansas City would be stuck with a goat named Jimmy Garappolo. So Squid was pleased to see theMarina Police Department get into the act. Until the end of Super Sunday (Feb. 2), MPD’s officers are allowed to wear 49ers caps while on duty. “It shows there are people behind the uniform,” Cmdr. Donna White tells one of Squid’s colleagues. “We have a lot of fans in the department.”

The Marina police went so far as to tag the Kansas City Police Department on social media, challenging them to don Chiefs hats, and White says officers there are working on their commander for permission. Squid believes this could become a trend. Imagine being pulled over for speeding by an officer in an IndyCar cap.

On Feb. 3, Marina’s officers will be back in normal headgear. And Squid will know the outcome of Squid’s own friendly wager with a species native to Missouri. If the Niners lose, Squid must put away the shrimp-flavored popcorn and dine on catfish bait.

DANCE DANCE INSTITUTION… Speaking of odd dress codes, Squid has been seeing a lot of smiling kids wearing bright red shirts and yellow scarves appearing in Squid’s mailbox lately. Squid thought at first they were Hogwarts mailers, perhaps from Gryffindor (their colors, after all), but alas, it was just informational items about National School Choice Week. It’s a PR campaign outlining the different types of schools available for K-12 education – chiefly public, private, charter and home school.

Squid decided to embark on a self-taught history lesson using the Way Back Machine (because NSCW no longer lists its supporters on its website), and Squid found that right-wing think tanks and people such as Newt Gingrich, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett,Parents for Educational FreedomSuccess Charter Network – oh, and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos – have backed this campaign.

Squid doesn’t need a diploma to see a pattern: those supporters are all for school voucher programs and throwing free public education to the forces of the free market.

Only then did Squid come across the most cringe-worthy marketing material for NSCW: the “official” NSCW 2020 dance. It looked like the electric slide gone horribly wrong, but with a lot more clapping, “helicopter arms” and scarf-waving. How does Squid say it gently? It’s really, really uncool.

Squid wishes the propaganda makers out there good luck appealing to the cool kids, or their parents.

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