As one era comes to a close, and George W. Bush desperately seeks a non-brush-clearing accomplishment to fondly look back upon, (“No major locust plagues on my watch!”) a new, exciting era begins, provided you find selling pencils for soup money exciting. Fortunately, we have a new president whose retooled slogan, "Change You Can Do Laundry With," is well suited for the times ahead.
Like many small towns, Pacifica is vulnerable to the economic meltdown that some say is just beginning to melt. For instance, The Corral Steakhouse, which survived for several years despite being so remote that it could be found only by accident, has closed only months after being named Best Steakhouse in San Mateo County. Everyone is mourning the loss of this venerable institution except some nervous cattle and the county’s second-best steakhouse.
In this economy, if we aren’t careful, eventually we won’t have any restaurants left that don’t feature a happy meal. And it’s not only restaurants that are vulnerable, as evidenced by the fact that Fresh & Easy apparently has decided to close without bothering to open up first. Old Republic Title in Linda Mar also has closed, probably because no one could figure out what exactly it sold.
As they say on Madison Avenue, “When the going gets tough, the tough rebrand.” Do you even know what our motto is? Neither do I. I had to look it up, which shows you just how effective it is. Turns out it’s "Scenic Pacifica!" That, besides being what my English teacher would call a "sentence fragment," isn’t going to bring in any tourist moolah. Here are some possible replacements:
1. "Pacifica, several of our restaurants are still open!"
2. "Pacifica, the sleepy bedroom community that never sleeps!"
3. "Whatever happens in Pacifica stays in Pacifica—although nothing ever happens in Pacifica!"
4. "Pacifica, a great place to blow your kids’ college fund!"
5. "Pacifica, not too small to visit, not too big to fail!"
Admittedly, these might not be the best slogans in the real world. I’m a comedian, after all. That’s where you come in, dear reader. Send me your motto ideas and I will publish the best ones in a future column, provided there are any good ones to publish. Come on, I know you can do it, and if not you, then that creepy guy reading over your shoulder.
We also need a new official song. Our present song, sung to the tune of "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Yay," is called "Hail Pacifica," although it rarely hails here.
I propose we replace it with "Fog Bless Pacifica," sung to the tune of "God Bless America":
Fog bless Pacifica, land that I love.
Stand astride her, and hide her,
Day and night from the light up above.
Foggy mountains, foggy valleys,
Foggy ocean, white with fog.
Fog bless Pacifica, my fog-drenched home.
This song embraces what I call a fog-positive attitude, which will become a huge selling point as global warming picks up steam (literally). And it can be sung during the seventh-inning stretch at Little League games.
Another idea that has been bandied about is for Pacifica to have its own currency, and I’m totally behind it, so long as "Emperor" frank winston’s picture is on the front. The idea, popular during the last Depression, is to have money that can be spent only here in town, often for a discount. The trick is to make bills that can’t be counterfeited by Colma, those cheap bastards.
Finally, we need to pass a Styrofoam foodware ordinance that can save the planet and the restaurants. And none other than Gorilla Barbecue has shown the way. The restaurant, which contrary to rumor has never served barbecued gorilla, recently began offering biodegradable packaging for an extra quarter. Keep in mind, its customers are not a bunch of vegan, hemp-wearing greenie-wienies but hard-core carnivores with bloodstained hands and gristle stuck between their teeth, and so far two-thirds of them have voluntarily chosen to pay extra to save the planet!
Based on their success, I propose we enact the state’s first hybrid "mandatory-voluntary" Styrofoam ordinance, and require that restaurants give their customers the option of Styrofoam-free packaging. Of course, any restaurant that wanted to go completely Styrofoam-free would be welcome to do so. Heck, they could take it even further and go package-free and ladle soup directly into customers' hands if they wish.
The point here is to reduce Styrofoam use without putting any restaurants out of business, which is important to me personally, because I’m a lousy cook!