Flight from California

 Peachy Keenan:


Patrick’s Roadhouse is still there, but Santa Monica, like the rest of the city, is a shell. As I wrote a few months ago, 120 stores were smashed and looted in the business district during the May/June Floyd riots. To this day, it’s a ghost town with plywood on nearly every window.

You know what else is everywhere? Homeless people. Not just glassy-eyed gutter punks lounging in decrepit tents. I mean ranting, fully naked zombies defecating and peeing on every corner. It’s been called Skid Row by the Sea for years, but today Skid Marks by the Sea is more accurate.

It looks like someone opened the prison in Aliens 3 and let the inmates out at Wilshire and Ocean Avenue.

(Side note: the median price of a home in Santa Monica is $3,750,000, making it the third most expensive ZIP code in America.)

Another wonderful family we know is leaving for good this week. Except the U-Haul they reserved months ago is suddenly unavailable. They were told there is not a single U-Haul in California right now, but they are welcome to fly to Dallas to pick one up. So they can drive it to Los Angeles, pack it, and drive it to Nashville. No prob!

The PODS and the moving trucks are all sold out, too.

Today at the hair salon, my non-political stylist told me that at least 10 of her clients recently told her they’re moving to places like Texas and Idaho. This is at a tiny salon with one chair! One of her clients said they’re leaving with the entire extended family, and they plan to get houses in the same neighborhood. My hairstylist just bought her first house here last year but said, “if they shut me down again, I’m out of here.”

But my haters do have a point. We are less free here. A lot less. Yes, it’s a police state. Yes, the sheriffs busted my son’s school dance which had a few too many kids hanging out. Yes, I am a political dissident forced to write my little screeds in the closet with the lights off on a typewriter I keep hidden under the baseboards, typing while the shower is running so no one can hear.

Which also makes me a water waster, which carries a life sentence in solitary while they pipe Barbra Streisand songs into your cell.

My mostly peaceful neighborhood these days is riddled with the cursed “In this House We Believe in Science” and “Refugees Welcome” signs. Everyone is welcome here!

Everyone but me, that is.

After the first riots this summer, I spent hours looking at Zillow porn, making my fantasy list of houses to move to in the Free States like Idaho, Texas, Tennessee, Montana, and Florida. Somewhere red, somewhere cheaper, somewhere with decent schools and maybe some friends already settled. Someplace not too cold (sorry Bozeman!) or too hot and muggy (sorry Sarasota!).

Actually, they all seem lovely. In fact, I’d move to any of those places if our Governor and Chief Hair Gel Enthusiast Gavin Newsom (and his “first partner,” which is what he calls his wife) come for me, gold-plated pitchforks in hand.

For now, Peachy remains in California and maybe the one to turn off the lights as the last one to leave except the alternative energy state already has inconsistent electricity and lighting.  Maybe it is because of all its electric cars.  For now, U-Haul needs to hire more drivers to get their trucks back to California for the next load.  The one thing we Texans will insist on is that when they get here they do not try to elect the same party that ruined their current state.


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