Pet Peeves


Civics Lesson 101

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz

I was a good student most of the time. I raised my hand before answering teacher questions. I did my homework on time. I got good grades. And no I don’t want to be Laguna’s next school principal. I’ve seen what happens to people that do everything right. They have to leave. I like Laguna. I’m going to keep my head down and stay out of politics.

Well, I’ll make an exception and poke my head out of the sand one more time. Three seats are open for city council. Seven concerned citizens are circling these seats. The music is playing. It’s “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.” No, that’s not it. It’s a local remix, “Don’t Cry for Me, Laguna, There’s Still No Parking.” This past Monday, Aug. 18, the candidates met a public audience during the first of several candidate forums planned before Election Day, Nov. 4. Then the music stops and four of the seven won’t have a council seat or remember what remote parking lot they left the car in. They’ll have no choice but to stand at the bus stops and wait until March 2015 for the federal grant to kick in that restarts the trolleys. On the bright side, waiting for public transportation in Laguna winters sure beats everywhere else. I’d stop to help, but I don’t want to associate myself with losers. It’s a condition of my parole. Oops, I almost forgot, I need to line up somebody for my random drug test scheduled this Friday at 10 a.m.

I don’t remember much from high school. But I do remember civics class. It was about being a responsible citizen and the rights and duties that come with it. I knew myself and dropped it for smoking in the boy’s room. I was going through a stage and I retook civics in summer school that I again dropped for smoking in the girl’s room. A third time at civics was the charm. Under a plea agreement, all parties were gagged to discuss details regarding a civics class that erupted into civil disobedience. That’s all I can say about it, other than you’ll have a better understanding of this column’s unworthiness when it comes to civics, teachers, tar and feathers. Object. Strike that from the record. Hearsay.

Following are candidate names and my name thrown in for fun. I’m ineligible to run because of my sealed civics disobedience record. Match the candidate to their cause. Email your matches to I’ll pick the first five winners with the correct answers. Lucky winners receive a box of milk bones. Having a dog is not necessary to play, if you’re 18 years and older in dog years. Cat owners are not advised to give dog bones to cats, especially if a dog is around. (PS: I was going to take a civics page from President Herbert Hoover and give out a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, but decided not to steal the thunder from Oprah Winfrey or Ellen DeGeneres giveaways. Consider these milk bones a pat on the head and a civic minded ‘thatta boy’ to the lucky winners!)

Civics Match Quiz

Candidate                    Priorities/Platform

1. Mark Crantz                       A. Smooth things with Coastal Commission

2. Paul Merritt                        B. Hire leasing expert for empty storefronts.

3. Kelly Boyd                        C. Allow outdoor dining on Forest Ave.

4. Michele Hall                       D. Contract out for police services.

5. John Madison                    E. Expand teen summer-job hiring

6. Toni Iseman                       F. Handling issues quickly

7. Eli Grossman                     G. Value of committees

8. Robert Zur Schmiede         H. Need for more platforms shoes

Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased border collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.




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