The Right Coast

January 13, 2005
The llamas of Jamul
By Tom Smith

The other day I got behind a slow truck, slow because it was towing a trailer in which two llamas stood, doing their stately llama thing. I must be getting used to living here, which I have done for 12.5 years. I am no longer surprized by the problem of killer dog packs attacking emus, for instance. I also understand that in my unincorporated area, a retiree thinks nothing of stopping his large dog in the middle of your driveway, allowing him to deposit an enormous turd there, and then strolling on. Oddly, I am not outraged. I understand, this is just the way we do things here. I'm thinking of buying this lovely item, but I doubt it would make a difference.

I am excited by the opening of a new babershop, Sal's, where a haircut is just $6. It is right next to the drive-thru Starbucks which picks up the chiropractor's wireless network. I got my hair cut a couple of days ago, the alternative being grading exams. I thought Sal did a swell job. Lots of little flourishes with the scissors, much attention to my beard, and so on. Jeanne's reaction was interesting. "You look like a pinhead!" she said. "How can a haircut make me look like a pinhead?" I replied, skeptically. "Well, not a pinhead. But it makes your head look like it has an odd shape." Could it be that Sal only charged $6 because he was not, in spite of appearances, a very good barber? My head does look strangely elongated. I'm not sure I care.

I have decided I hate Hummers. They seem to be getting increasingly popular out here. They never seem to have been off-road. I don't know why people buy them, except to engage in an odd sort of display. I don't care about global warming and all that rot. I would look admiringly on an F-350 with some mud on it and and a collaspible shell on the bed. Indeed, I would like to have one. But a Hummer is just a weird take-off on outdoor chic, illicitly mated to military machismo, now in the service of soccer moms. It makes no sense.

With all the recent rains, some little species of frog, or toad maybe, has sprung out of the mud, and is croaking madly every night. For those of you who don't speak toad, what they are saying is, "Sex! Sex! Sex!" They do their business quickly, and deposit their eggs in the mud. Sometime after that, little mudholes turn into roiling masses of tadpoles. Some of them presumably make it to froghood to carry on the species. In past years, we have walked with the boys to a little mudhole in the brush, on land neglected by the Nature Conservancy, to watch this miracle of nature. They may be getting to old for that now.

The Indian casino planned for Jamul by the Jamul Indian Village and the Lousiana Association of Gaming Thugs seemed to have encountered a delay in the person of Governor Ahnold. It is a classic. All of the Indians of the village, blended together, would add up to perhaps 1.3 Indians by blood. The relatively full blooded Indians opposed the idea but were voted out of office after various arsons and other irregularities. The six acres not being enough for a casino, they are attempting to annex an additional 100 acres. I have no idea how it will work out. In the meantime, the publicists hired by the Village and/or the Loosiana gang are running ads in the local newsletter, trying to associate gambling with the way of the Great Spirit. Lots of talk about how they have been here for 10,000 years, though presumably class III gaming is much more recent.

Mark is wailing so I have to go. His mom won't let him bite her; the world is unjust.