PIPING HOT… Squid doesn’t watch much reality TV – tuning into local city council meetings with a bucket full of shrimp-flavored popcorn scratches that same itch – but Squid is aware of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise (Squid lives in a lair, not under a rock). Squid sometimes even gets updates on the various personalities and dramas – Squid’s rainbow-colored fish friend Cindy (technically Cindy is a rose-veiled fairy wrasse, look it up) is really into it.

So Squid took notice when Squid oozed over to Elroy’s Fine Foods recently, only to see a front door display of coffee mugs bearing the words “Real Housewives of Carmel,” “Real Housewives of Cachagua,” “Real Housewives of Big Sur,” etc. Squid wasn’t aware that Bravo had launched so many local editions of the franchi – Oh. Right. This is unofficial fan merch, also available on Etsy for $15.99. Now Squid knows what to get Cindy for Cindy’s birthday.

And actually, come to think of it, Squid would watch a Real Housewives of Del Rey Oaks. Just imagine the drama that could unfold as ladies that lunch find themselves on opposite sides of a debate over the Fort Ord Regional Trail and Greenway… write in if you want to brainstorm, Andy Cohen.

ON BRAND… Speaking of brand identity, Squid has been impressed lately by the county government’s emphasis on branding. On Tuesday, May 16, the Board of Supervisors revisited Board Policy G-140, “to implement standards for the use of the official emblem of the County of Monterey.” (In case you were wondering, the board already took up the issue of whether it’s called Monterey County or the County of Monterey – it’s the latter – back in April.)

The 30-page G-140 policy document, still in progress, starts with a proclamation: “Upholding design standards will be paramount to building awareness of and bringing credibility to the county’s brand, of what we stand for and the work we do.” There are all sorts of details – like the minimum emblem width of 1.25 inches and at least 2 inches of white space around it, plus a color palette of full-color, grayscale and gold options – that, purportedly, contribute to aiding the county’s credibility.

Meanwhile, there are roughly 200 people out of a place to live because county code enforcement officers, acting on a tip, discovered illegal dwellings in North County (see story, News section). Squid wonders if the color palette makes those residents feel better or worse about the same government agency’s enforcement of safety regulations that also, in effect, enforce homelessness. Maybe as long as their correspondence comes in open sans typeface (or allowable alternates Helvetica or Arial Unicode MS), it will temper the blow. But probably not.

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