Pet Peeves

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Spring is Here

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

It’s that time of year again. The crocuses push their way up for the first sign of spring. The second sign, the deer eat them. “Honey, is spring here?” “Not yet. No crocuses. Just deer.” In Laguna, the first sign of spring is different. “Honey, is spring here?” “Yes, dear. City council raised parking rates from $2 to $3. The second sign, the tourists scared away the coyotes.”

Spring is here. It’s the rebirth of tourists, traffic jams, and trolley sightings. The last activity replaces whale watching as the time most spent by people visiting Laguna Beach. “It’s a mystery,” explained a council member. “We have no village entrance, but people keep getting in.” Recent council discussions have raised the idea of building a village exit to disperse the maddening crowd. Tourists would be directed to numbered lots around town. Once there, zero tolerance volunteers would direct tourists to recycle their wallets into big green bins. The tourists would be thanked for visiting and directed to the village exit. To assure good memories and returns, each visitor would be handed a Shutterfly book with beautiful pictures of MTV and “Savage” actors gallivanting from seascape to seascape.

“It’s just being plein air proactive,” explained an art gallery owner. “If tourists are left to wander around town breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide, then we’ll be left with the same brown haze surrounding Catalina, another popular destination that presently has no exit plan in place.” A longtime Laguna artist added, “If throngs of visitors swell any more, seascapes will have to be painted in hues of brown, black and yellow pigments. Who buys smogscapes?”

Merchants are divided on the village exit plan. One shopkeeper, who was there to ask for a gelato store conditional use permit, asked the city council, “What will stop a tourist from using the village exit as an entrance?” Quiet ensued. A councilperson responded. “That’s a good question. Let’s table discussions until my term expires.” Another council member added, “Wait. I’ll still be here. Let’s amend that discussions be brought post haste after my term expires, too.” The shopkeeper objected to the delay. The city council leaped into action. “Ice cream, ice cream we all shout no on gelato.” By a unanimous vote, the council revoked the shopkeeper’s gelato conditional use permit and showed him the village exit that wasn’t being used as a village entrance at the time of his ejection. The shopkeeper relocated to Costa Mesa, a retail mecca dripping with gelato stores and no napkin dispensers in them.

Some brave souls, believe the more the merrier. They’re landlords to short-term renters. They’ve requested anonymity to dodge the local taxman. In exchange for my confidence, these enterprising individuals have offered to me with five buddies, a one-month stay to discuss our love of beer and spirits. Look for me in your neighborhood and wave hello. I’ll be sure to toast you back. Cheers.

 

Mark’s wife cancelled his Laguna short-term rental. He and his buddies made other arrangements in Costa Mesa with an enterprising chap, who tried getting involved in the gelato business here.

 

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