Pet Peeves: Historical Open-Treetise


By Mark D. Crantz


2 col pet peeves Mark CrantzLaguna Beach is a special place because it is made up.  Yes, you read this correctly.  Laguna Beach is not real in a collective sense.  Laguna Beach is only real in the singular mind of each resident.  Your perception is the only reality that counts.  No, not really.  I don’t care what you think because my mind has special powers that your mind doesn’t have.  I’m going to let the cat out of the bag.  “Bye-bye kitty.”  Okay, now that I’ve done my good deed for the day, I’ll tell you my super power secret.  My mind is a black hole.  There’s nothing there and that trumps your brain matter.  That’s right.  I’m out of my mind and I’m willing to help the less fortunate residents get their minds out of the bag.  “Bye-bye one Note Johnnies.”

My black hole matters because I can travel in time and space to learn how history dealt with the same contentious issues that worry residents today.  Much like making a tuna melt, I generate prodigious amounts of negative energy by holding my face to a frying pan in a scientific process called mind melts.  Do not try this at home because you are not a super power, scientist, or cook.  These are all professional vocations that take years of serious study and even more years for your parents to pay for.  Other super powers, like me, have come to an unfortunate early end by parents so overwhelmed by college costs that they’ve beaned their prodigal sons and daughters with these frying pans in another scientific process called spontaneous combustion.  Fortunately, my parents supported my super power travels in time and space because it got me out of the house unlike their friends’ millennial kids who never leave their homes in present time and space.

Indy readers are reading this article in the week after Aug. 7, 2013.  However, I’m reporting this column to you the week of Aug. 7, 1774.  I’m with General George Washington, who has just been referred by his dentist to a local carpenter to be fitted with wooden teeth.  Good oral hygiene is important in winning wars.  Washington’s mumbled orders of the last several years have cost the colonists dearly in their fight for independence.  Four out of five carpenters agree that fewer troops would have drowned crossing the Delaware River, if General Washington had enunciated more clearly, “Don’t stand up in the boat.”  Now outfitted with dentures from the cherry tree he cut down and admitted to as a boy, General Washington feels inspired to exhort lie after lie to his troops because the truth up until now has only gotten him the most miserable winter of all times in Valley Forge, Penn.  “Forget fair and square,” Washington exhorts.  “Stand behind trees.  Wear camouflage clothing to blend in with the foliage.  Let the British parade in the open in their bright red uniforms.  Then shoot, take cover, reload, and shoot again.”  This sneaky command won American’s their freedom from great tailors and equally awful dentists.

And the history lesson to be learned from this time and space travel is that view proponents are out in the open compared to the tree huggers who hide, while both take vitriolic aim at one another and yet their ultimate outcome effects another reality, the merchants. Yes, the merchants don’t shoot the registers until they see the green of tourists’ wallets.  Hopefully, a compromise can be reached that benefits one and all and keeps Laguna Beach the magical place that it is in everybody’s minds.

Which reminds me, I need to call Larry Nokes and Ganahl Lumber for a dental referral.


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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