By BOB VICKREY
Special to Circling the News
After reading the latest crime report in our local paper, I’m calling upon the citizens of my hometown in Southern California to come together and build a wall around our town.
Our beach community of Pacific Palisades has long been considered a safe place to live, but just recently I read that someone’s yoga mat was taken from a parked vehicle in broad daylight. And twice last week my newspaper went missing from my driveway. This rampant crime wave is out of control and must be stopped before it gets even worse.
I am not the only one here who has noticed that we’ve been attracting a bad element lately from the neighboring communities of Santa Monica and Brentwood—not to mention the celebrities from Malibu who are crossing our border. Many of these people are known actors, stockbrokers, realtors—and even worse—suspicious people who read books! I’m sure there are some good people among these visitors and wanna-be residents, but our border towns are clearly not sending their best.
Let’s take a page out of our President’s playbook and build a wall. A big wall—a tremendous wall! And we’ll make Brentwood pay for it. Don’t all those showbiz residents there earn mega-millions each year? They can afford it. We’ll make them pay.
The recent closing of Norris Hardware complicates the building process, so we may need to investigate alternative ideas for our wall. Local surfer and part-time “stoner” Jeff Spicoli has suggested surrounding the town with a barrier comprised of hundreds of longboards.
“Yo dude, this would be so ‘rad’ to have our boards blocking these intruders who should be out looking for some gnarly waves on their own turf,” says Spicoli, who also sparked controversy about whether the wall should be built with polystyrene foam or fiberglass. (We were unable to confirm reports that the White House is now considering utilizing the longboard wall idea along our Arizona border.)
Of course, after our wall is built, we should immediately institute background checks on people who are already living here. I’m told there are some ne’er-do-wells among us posing as Methodists and Lutherans, and who are likely up to no good. And who knows? Southern Baptists could soon be the next trespassers who’ll likely be blocking the front door at Ralphs Market protesting the sale of Red Bull. You have to ask yourself, who will come next? Democrats and Libertarians?
If these seem like extreme measures, let’s consider what we stand for in Pacific Palisades. We need to protect the sanctity of our town, including the hallowed nail salons where we get our foot massages; our spa retreats where we meditate and find our spiritual center; not to mention the coffee shops where we sip our soy lattes and double mochas. But perhaps most importantly—the juice bars that enrich our lives with daily doses of kale and cucumber anti-oxidants.
We need to find protection from these outside influences who simply don’t understand our values—and frankly, never will.
Late at night—that would be after 8 p.m.—several dozen wild-in-the-streets hellions ride through town on their fancy Yamaha motorcycles waking us at all-hours. They must be captured and prosecuted—and if necessary—water-boarded!
However, we may need to check with the local Chamber of Commerce office whether the water-boarding idea is permissible. If not, maybe we could just turn our garden hoses on them.
Now, with the opening of Rick Caruso’s Palisades Village, we have the opportunity to take a stand against this unchecked crime in our streets. The man believes firmly in securing the perimeters of his property.
We could take a lesson from Rick on keeping the “undesirables” out of Dodge. Maybe he could lend us some of his well-tailored, serious-looking security types who often emerge from village alleys wearing innocuous ear-pieces, and who always seem to be communicating with people on rooftops.
Even though Rick lives in Brentwood, we could make an exception to our policy on outsiders and allow him clearance to come and go past our wall at his leisure—especially if he would agree to foot the bill. Just in case Brentwood refuses to pay.
Let’s face it: we are now living in a divided country. Yes, building that wall is about the current rampant crime wave—but it’s mostly about my missing morning newspaper. But it’s also about the difference in our values. There are Americans who understand the nutritional benefits of kale in one’s daily diet, and there are those who simply choose to ignore that truth.
Sure, today it may be just about one missing yoga mat, but who knows? Tomorrow, they could be coming for our wheatgrass and high-fiber granola bars. A frightening scenario, indeed! Where does all this end?
Bob Vickrey is a longtime resident of Pacific Palisades whose columns appear in several Southwestern newspapers including the Houston Chronicle. He is a member of the Board of Contributors for the Waco Tribune-Herald. His long-running “Lunch Club” series was published by the Palisades News. You can find more columns on his website: bobvickrey.net