The Deputy's Mitzvah.....
To make him sleep.....
We are not dead yet.
Proof once more.....as if anyone needed it.....that the deity is a female, and her sense of humor is vicious.
I would not have it any other way.
The moment I waxed nostalgic about film shoots and cameraderie.....and sleeping in, and eating sitting down.....
It turns out that a former associate signed us up for an actual film shoot in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere. If we decline, we are blacklisted.
Two beach parties in a row: 13th Street and El Sur Beach.....followed by a 1:40am wake-up for a 5:30am call in San Jose......for a Suzuki commercial.
I love you, Lord.
Anyway, in the middle of lunch for the Suzuki shoot in San Jose......I get a call from Amanda at The Store.
James is there, and Roy Smith. There is a situation.
The situation.....considering the whole context of The Fire, the mandatory evac, the blockade, etc. etc. etc. is so exruciatingly delicious that my mind wanted to explode with joy.
But......we are all people here, struggling in this vale of tears.
We do not despise the sheriffs......we kind of despise the Sheriff. One of the sheriffs needed a mitzvah.
A mitzvah is a blessing. A favor.
A mitzvah is a mitzvah......you do it because it needs to be done.
The value of a mitzvah.....from my understanding, involves both the cost to the giver and the value to the receiver.
A nice kid, the deputy.....caught in a problematic system. My gripe is not with the sheriffs.....but with the Sheriff. I do not trust his motivation, competence, troops, or their training to undertake his "Jerry's Kids Martial Law Practice"......but why beat up the troops.
And, to preserve the value of the mitzvah.....I can't tell you shit.
Hate the war, love the troops.
How ironic that those dispensing the mitzvah are: on probation, under indictment, under suspicion.
The last time I extended a mitzvah to a sheriff:
I was returning from a long day at Big Creek in Big Sur with my Stanford kids......it was 11pm on the Valley Road....on the straightaway by Douglas Ranch. A Sheriff unit was stopped in the middle of the road.....lights whirling.
I pulled cautiously up beside the unit: "What up?"
The Deputy was clearly in shock: "I just hit a deer. I don't think I killed it. It ran off into the brush. I get poison oak really bad.......I don't know what to do."
"Dude. Let me help. Give me your gun, and I will deal with the deer. I don't get poison oak."
"I can't do that!"
"Well, fuck. Give me your flashlight and the shotgun."
"I can give you the flashlight."
I took the light and climbed down into the brush and followed the trail. Sure enough, there was a doe....with her pelvis crush, but still alive. I climbed back out.
"Dude, give me your gun. I found her."
"I can't do that."
Fuck, man.......Where do they get these guys?
I went back to my van.....got my knives out, and took a boning knife back to the scene. I gave a prayer of thanks and sadness to The Watchers, and cut the doe's throat.....and held her while she died. Then went home.....and got up at 5am to work again.
Two days later, the same Deputy came around the corner at Sleepy Hollow in my lane and almost ran me off the road. He flipped a bitch and flagged me down.....and gave me a citation for a wheel over the yellow: "Driving in an oncoming lane, or illegal lane change" or some such. $265.
Still, I am like Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football.......You gotta have faith.
Let it go. It doesn't matter. We are all struggling under the same load.....and have to pull together.
So, now.......when The Fire is out, and even the dozer guys are getting depressed at the bullshit jobs they have to pull to earn their grand a day......
Contingency line behind contingency line.......and we have a hard road closure. Locals only, with a real pass. Cachagua Fire ID cards not good enough. You work 3o hours a month for free with high skills? You have been working 90 hours a week for a month for free with high skills. Not good enough.
The Sheriff must decide on all passes.
"We have to exclude lookie-loo's."
"We have to protect the security of the locals"
"We have to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice......"
Ten days ago, we had an actual fire.....with actual danger........ The roadblock was a sign. There was free access.
The ridge was packed with lookie-loo's....drinking beers and eating popcorn and smoking fatties and watching the fire. Unlimited access to the Cachagua Valley. It was nice....a fun party, and no problems.
Now that the fire is sound asleep........they have fired up the Jerry Lewis Telethon Martial Law Practice.
My dearly beloved Irish grandmother loved her grandkids more than life. She had heard that one should wait an hour before swimming after a meal.
Forever after, Grandma would not allow us to take a bath within an hour of dining.....for fear we might drown.
Grandma had also heard that if you gave dogs chocolate, it would give them worms. It turns out that chocolate is bad for dogs.....so, good call, Grannie......but I argued and argued with her about the concept: "Grandma.....if chocolate gives dogs worms.....there must be worm eggs in the chocolate. It should give me worms, too......."
Grandma was was unmoved. "Chocolate gives dogs worms."
"There is fire danger in Cachagua......"
So......We have lost probably $5,000 in lost business during the course of the fire......not counting the cost of running the blockade and handing out supplies, or the lost opportunity cost of actually spending time in the office......and tomorrow night we are closed again. God forbid people should drive to Cachagua and have a meal.....SEVEN MILES from the nearest active fire source. Punt off another three grand.
The California Highway Patrol is one of the finest law enforcement agencies on The Planet.....and California highways present a major challenge even to them. These officers are highly skilled....and don't come cheap.
Did you hear? California can't pay its bills.......We are firing teachers.
We have a CHP officer sitting at Sleepy Hollow, 24-7. Mostly, they detect a silly yellow pass on the dashboard of the given oncoming vehicle and wave them through.......
When the Sheriff's Office first put this insanely stupid system in place on Friday at 3pm.....I was driving from Cachagua to town. The very first vehicle I saw driving towards me was the unregistered and uninsured work-truck of Jake The Fucking Scumbag......a full-time burglar, drug-addict, drug-dealer and constant poacher and murderer of wildlife.
Good job, Sheriff. Consider trying Cialis, rather than jerking around your constituency for fun and practice.
I just had some Fig Newmans.......I guess I have to wait an hour to take a bath, huh?