We’re back from the desert

On July 31, 2002 by Eden M. Kennedy

And wow, it was hot. Duh, you say, but really you’re thinking, It’s summer, you freak! Yes, I am a freak because I live in a town wherein if the thermometer hits 80 everyone says, Oooh, I’m melting, and swoons into their sidewalk cafe chair, spilling their iced blended mocha all over their three-inch platform flip-flops. And now Fiesta is starting, a week-long celebration of colonial oppression. Santa Barbara was once home to lots and lots of Chumash Indians who were then enslaved by the Catholic padres to build a big, horrible symbol of oppression — I mean, a Mission. A big church. With murals. And a spooky graveyard. And gravely tolling bells. At Christmas they cart in a bunch of sheep and goats and pen them in around a life-size baby Jesus. It’s a big Holy Petting Zoo. You’d think that with attractions like that I’d be running to get Jackson baptized into such a fun-loving church as the church of Rome is. No, I’m afraid his immortal soul is in his own hands. As is everyone’s. Did anyone read that part in Edie where the author describes how all the Sedgwick ancestors were all buried in a circle, so that on Judgment Day they’d all rise up and they’d only have to look at each other without having to acknowledge all the tattered riff raff in their cheap suits buried around them? What kind of religion is that, I ask you. Is there a champagne room in the afterlife? A frequent flyer VIP lounge?

Anyway, Fiesta is either an excuse to put on a frilly shirt and go watch a bunch of adorable ten-year-old flamenco dancers, or an excuse to go get stinking, dick-in-the-dirt drunk while still wearing the tattered remains of your frilly shirt, which, if you’re not careful, you will be buried in — so shop wisely. I’m now at the point where I do my best to sidestep the political incorrectness of the occasion, simply so that everyone can enjoy their margaritas in peace. I may be a whiner, but I’m not a spoilsport.

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