Dump Dopehead

It was an intriguing cover today (March 5) with the headline “Waste time. Save money. Ride the bus!” and the accompanying photo.

As someone who chooses to often leave my car at home and ride the bus/trolley, I figured it would be an interesting read. Alas, I gave up on the article shortly after the writer, Ollie, shared that “I’d inundated myself with an alphabet of drugs along with every color and composition of alcohol” before he began his transit-story research.

Spare me your loser writers and their illegal-drug habits.

Does he or do his editors ever contemplate whether those drugs are being supplied by the Mexican narcoterrorists spilling the blood of any and everyone who gets in their way as they supply their American dopehead customers?

Paul M. Clarke
via email


My old 15-minute commute from Encinitas to Carlsbad became a 45-minute to 1-hour and 15-minute bus ride when my car broke down (“Waste time. Save money. Ride the bus!” Cover Story, March 5). In North County, there is NCTD. I believe it means Never Comes on Time Dammit or No Connection to Destination.

Jay Spencer

Leftover Ollie?

How disappointing to read this week’s feature story (“Waste time. Save money. Ride the bus!” Cover Story, March 5).

Don’t get me wrong. Seeing Ollie on the cover was a thrill. My immediate thought was that the previous letters to the editor had an impact on getting Ollie rehired. Thus the idea that “Remote Control King” would be back caused me to flip to its usual column space.

Instead, I found that there was no “King” column, only, and I’m guessing here, a leftover story that had been submitted by Ollie but not published. That is, until all the uproar about his termination.

Like so many of the recent feature stories, I found it trite with no ironies, a foregone conclusion, and that it was overly groomed. Just like the bug girl (“Please Let Me Sell Them Pest Control,” February 12) and the abortion lady (“Bertha Bugarin Heads to Jail,” February 19), it was easy to figure where the story was headed in the first couple paragraphs.

I liked other features that Ollie submitted, the bicycle ride for instance was a hoot, but I had the real impression that this was hastily formatted and printed to appease those of us who are saddened to see Ollie go. This is like learning that a favorite movie star has passed away, then finding the worst film the star ever made by chance when flipping through the channels.

I do hope that the Reader is reconsidering Ollie as a full-time staff writer and that he will consider reinstituting his former regular column.

Thom Hogan
College Area

Down With Duncan

Duncan Shepherd got game. Amazing. Has he published any books? Does he do lists of best, worst? Does he provide lists by subject, genre, foreign, etc.?

Name Withheld
via email

Duncan Shepherd’s reviews can be sorted by star rating on the Reader website. — Editor

High On Plates

I’m calling regarding the article about the license plates (“How Much Can You Say in 7 Letters?” Cover Story, February 26). I thought it was really interesting. I’m a license-plate collector, and I have them from all over the world, and I have all 50 states. My most unusual personalized license plate is one from the ’80s — they wouldn’t even make it today — and it says “ecstasy” on it.

David Ford
Normal Heights
via phone call

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I am so glad to see your writing once again in the Reader. That boot still on? Your story was hilarious. With all the crazy economical and political nonsense going on in the U.S., it is important that people take the time to laugh and read funny stories and NOT take life so seriously. Thanks Ollie.

After arduously enduring Ollie’s (reprinted 12 page) essay, published in Wednesday, March 4th’s San Diego Reader entitled “Waste Time. Save Money. Ride the Bus”, I am simply left to wonder, what the hell was his point? Was it that after wasting so much time on the bus, he felt the need to fritter away his readership’s time as well? Nevertheless, I plodded through his mind-numbing account of self indulgent, excessively descriptive, bigoted, humorously failed, and disconnected ramblings about such things as his attention deficit disorder, red underwear worn on the outside, his wearing of a table cloth cape, lesbian neighbors, illicit drug use, et al. Finally (on page three) the author was able to get around to briefly mentioning, the up until then, unapparent topic of his writing: the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. This, by the way, was only previously evident because of the title and the masthead photo of the author (obviously Photoshopped) sitting atop the tail of an MTS bus. This should have been a clue and now I wish that I could have those ten minutes of my life back. Fully two-thirds of the way into his ramblings, Ollie finally arrived at what I assume was the purpose of his writing or, perhaps he just finally realized that he’d better provide some substance to his article. What followed was a harsh and drastic change in tone which was not for the better (thank goodness for the copy and paste function, right Ollie?) Subsequent, was a dizzying array of demographic comparisons and census reports finalizing with the stunningly obvious observation that La Jolla has a population comprised predominantly of Caucasians and that South East San Diego consists largely of minorities (just brilliant). Then followed this earth shattering conclusion: “even in times of economic hardship, with rocketing gas prices and increased consciousness for the environment, those who can afford to drive instead of use public transportation still do. And that’s the prevailing circumstance and mindset of the bus passengers I spoke with: no car, the bus sucks, but it’s the only alternative.” Seriously, Ollie, did we really need you to tell us that? Your lesbian neighbor probably had it right: “Arguing with a druggie in red underwear and a cape rarely leads anywhere.” Robin Smith San Diego, CA

As a twenty year vet of riding public transit in San Diego, I will state that Ollie's article represented the peeps more so then this week article in 'CITY BEAT' which represented the transit adminsitrators and elected officials who are the greatest benefactors from transit.

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