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The Sunday Sojourner


A colleague of ours known for his “man about town” air and three dotted witticisms used to say: “I gotta get out more” whenever we youngsters would gather to talk shop at our local watering hole. The guy was everywhere, already, showing up bowtied and regal to every opera opening, every gala – but he meant there’s aways something to see in our business and he was right.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something comes along to shake that belief.

Take this week, please… (rimshot, maestro). The schools are back in session and our national politics are bubbling over like warmed-up soup, with the people posing as our leaders making sweeping statements about the press, what constitutes treason in our country, and exhorting national law enforcement officers to join His Satanic Orange Majesty in a collective condemnation of the people attempting to keep up with the clown car that is our current government.

And they did. We haven’t been so saddened by such a display since our storm-soaked Puerto Rican brethren smiled and selfied while catching the .29 cent rolls of Brawny paper towels Be Best hurled at them like drink beads from a Mardi Gras float.

Locally, many of our neighbors here in the 24/680 seem to have succumbed and have drunk the Orange Kool Aid.

Our freeways and streets have turned into Cage Fighting arenas, with the daily struggle to get to work without getting assaulted fading into a quaint memory. Objects, we would guess the things that are most readily available to people when they are behind the wheel (water bottles, liquor bottles, baseballs, that kinda stuff), are being thrown from car to car after any perceived slight.  Guns have been brandished and, sometimes apparently, even fired. We were hoping the irate amongst us might start hurling their cell phones at one another – which might help solve the problem with driver distraction we’ve noted out there – but so far they seem to be hanging onto their electronics. Kid’s toys, on the other hand, appear to be expendable and make handy missiles.

All this extravehicular activity has been leading to a series of crashes and crack-ups we wouldn’t have thought possible on ostensibly quiet suburban lanes, with drivers or people passing as drivers hanging on for dear life while their chariots roll through intersections, power poles, trees and sometimes over other cars. It has gotten so prevalent now this site covers only the worst of the lot – those leading to serious injury or traffic tie-ups. There are just so many.

Our columnist colleague mentioned at the top of this screed used to like to sit in with us, the police reporters, so he could find out what was really happening out there amongst the unter menschen, buying us drinks to loosen our tongues and hanging onto our tales while nursing a martini and cigarette, many of those stories punctuating his own account of life in the Great City “every day ‘cept Saturday, kid, that’s when I take a break to nurse the hangover.”

We’ve been asking how a man could fall into a decorative fountain at the Marketplace Shopping Center in San Ramon Friday night, apparently hitting his head on the way in and knocking himself unconscious around 9:30 p.m. It would be almost funny and worthy of our Big City columnist friend’s tales of life in our now abandoned city if someone had seen the fall and dragged the victim out so, hopefully, he’d have nothing more serious than a bump on his head and a story to tell later on in life.

Instead, this gentleman was apparently unconscious in the fountain for some time and when passersby did notice him and haul him out he was unresponsive. The Samaritan or Samaritans who pitched in commenced life-saving measures until the pros showed up and got the man to a hospital. We’re not sure how he is and no one, apparently, is saying.

As nice as it would be to put a “.” on this and other stories we appear to be in a place where so many tales, grand and small, go unobserved and underreported and, in the end, just leave us with big “?” And before you Usual Suspects pat us on the head and give us your “but that’s your job” spiel we must say it would take three times the staff we currently have to keep up with all the antics going on out there. Right now, we have to settle for cherry-picking the low hanging fruit.

Also deserving a “.” but sure not to get one would be the tale a Moraga homeowner related of finding a teen partier, naked except for his shower shoes after an evening of Suburban Bacchanalia, passed out and prone on our neighbor’s front lawn – a carefully placed drinking straw flying from our reveler’s backside like the flag on Suribachi.

Sadly, or perhaps for the best, our homeowner was too busy calling for help to record the image for posterior – er, posterity. The celebrant was gone by the time he returned with a duvet snatched from his kid’s room to ward off Moraga’s most voracious mosquitos.

Now, there were several parties in Moraga and elsewhere in our respective valleys last night and there were casualties, apparently, nothing dire but teenies picked up for driving while waaaaay drunk and others running into things or each other. Before you Usual Suspects weigh in again with “hey, we were all young and did dumb things once” we would say we agree and we get it – we just don’t want to lose anyone while being too dumb, you get what we mean?

That’s it. Time for a hand-turned Ramos Fizz and breakfast, another Sunday Sermon passing under our hand. We are reminded of what our colleague once told an interviewer about the possibility of his retirement: “It will trail off at the end, where I fall face down on the old Royal with my nose on the ‘I’ key.”

Frankly, we can’t think of a better way for a scribbler to go out than that.



  1. That’s pretty heavy! There must be a feel good story just waiting to break soon although the straw incident comes close. Time for a walk in the woods where it’s safe.

    • ‘Prolly right, Elizabeth, the guy sitting there, a newly anointed VP at a Big Name Bank… one of the office crew walking in with a photo of him taken in college days and peeled off the Interweb and saying: “Is this you?”

  2. Our neighbors share a fence line with a party house active this week. Apparently the occupants were throwing their empties over the fence — apparently trying to make their pool — and the neighbors would throw them back. Then the partiers would throw them BACK again until there was this comic book barrage of beer bottles flying back and forth over that fence.

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