Sunday, November 21, 2021

Wrestling Tournament Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

With kids back at school and certain pandemic-related restrictions easing, lots of varsity sports are going again. If, like me, you suddenly have kid on the high school wrestling team, and want to know what it’s like to attend a tournament, read on.


How much lead time will I have before the meet?

Your mileage may vary, but don’t expect a lot of notice. Not all kids wrestle in all tournaments, and you may receive so many emails with so much information you may struggle to process it all. If you ask your kid, she may or may not know, or might deliberately mislead you. These are teenagers we’re talking about, remember.

It’s easy enough to find the high school, but how do I locate the gym?

Good luck with that … it’s not like a high school mountain bike racing course that you can see from space. Google Maps could help, if the school is important enough to have nice little building outlines, but one large building (e.g., gym, auditorium) looks a lot like another. Probably you’ll have to walk laps around campus, ignoring advice from other would-be spectators who are likely even more lost than you.

Is it possible every single entrance will be locked?

Anything is possible during the pandemic, but more than likely there will be a single gate open somewhere, amidst many dozens of locked ones. Don’t worry, you probably won’t miss your kid’s first match. (Actually, you probably will. You should have left earlier.)

That dude who climbed the fence … was that smart?

Yes, you should have followed his example. He probably saw your kid’s first match.

Does attending an indoor event like this present a significant COVID-19 risk?

Of course! Half the people won’t have masks, and half of those who do will be wearing them around their chins, and it’s chockablock up in the bleachers and pretty much everywhere else. Also, your kid is huffing and puffing in her opponent’s face, and each kid faces anywhere from three to like, I dunno, ten opponents? She’s bringing that viral load home with her!

What is the riskiest thing about the tournament, from the COVID perspective?

That would be the unmasked coaches shouting instructions at their wrestlers at 130 dB to be heard over the ambient noise.

Is that worth the added COVID risk?

Of course not. There’s no way the wrestlers are paying attention, and if they haven’t started following their coaches’ advice after countless practices, they’re not going to suddenly start now. This is just the coach equivalent of backseat driving.

If I let my daughter join the wrestling team and attend one of these meets, and she comes down with COVID, am I going to Hell?

Let’s look at the facts: most schools have wrestling teams; most teams attend tournaments like these; most of these tournaments are held indoors; and all kinds of families allow their children to participate. Thus, there’s nothing uniquely reckless about attending the meet. Think of it this way: if your kid went to play tennis at a public court, and was shot by some lunatic, would you think, “I never should have let her play tennis!”? No? Well, how is this any different? We’re in a pandemic and, despite vaccinations and (mostly) wearing masks, some people will get COVID and that’s just the way it is. So no, you’re probably not going to Hell (at least, not for this).

The meet is like nine hours long and my kid is only wrestling three matches. How will I know when it’s her turn?

If you keep an eye on the mats, you’ll see her wrestling, but by the time you get there you will have missed half of it. It’s better to keep your eyes glued to her the whole time, from across the gym. If you see her put on the anti-cauliflower ear protection, it is definitely GO time. Of course, you could be waiting hours. In fact, you will.

I plan to attend the tournament with my wife and other kid. Is it a good idea, from a COVID standpoint, to take shifts watching for the match while the others wait outside?

Yes, that’s a fine idea, though the way time stretches out in such situations, there’s bound to be a bit of resentment over perceived unequal surveillance duty.

I just saw my kid eating. Since nobody would eat right before a match, she must not be up for quite a while, so I could go for a walk or something … right?

Don’t be so sure. These kids don’t necessarily have any idea what’s going on either. I heard several kids, asked when they’re up, respond, “I have no idea.” I mean, think about it: you are completely obsessed with trying to make sense of the situation, because you’re an adult, but these teenagers are, as my mom used to put it when haranguing my brothers and me, “all over the place spaced-out BLAH!” Your kid’s mouth may very well be bulging with food when her coach says, “You’re up in five!”

I find it really nerve-racking trying to keep tabs on my kid at the meet. Could anything make this even more stressful?

Why, yes! They could have a whole other gym you didn’t know about, where other matches are going on! Meaning you can’t be sure you’re not missing her match simply because you don’t see her on one of the mats. The second gym means you have to keep track of her all day long!

If there are, in fact, two gym buildings where matches are being held, can I be reasonably confident my kid’s third match will be in the larger gym, given that her first two were?

I asked a member of the wrestling team this very question, and she replied, “You won’t know until you know.”

Are wrestlers commonly given to tautological utterances of this type?

I wouldn’t know … I have only one wrestler in my family and she’s new to the sport.

When I’m scanning the bleachers, the throngs of wrestlers, and the random spectators distributed throughout the gym, because I’m looking for the only kid whose whereabouts interest me (i.e., mine), I feel like I’m playing some kind of real-world “Where’s Waldo.” Is that a good analogy?

No, “Where’s Waldo” isn’t a good analogy because Waldo always wears the same red-and-white cap, red-and-white striped shirt, and round glasses—a combination few other wrestlers would be sporting. Your kid, meanwhile, is wearing the same colors as the rest of her team, which is the same color scheme as several other teams. Meanwhile, for some reason these wrestling teams don’t congregate at these events … they’re widely distributed throughout the building(s) so you can’t just look for your home team. Another thing: Waldo stays put, whereas these wrestlers are always on the move, constantly dipping and diving and disappearing, so it’s like a shell game from hell. You’ll experience extreme disorientation, like when you were at the public swimming pool a decade ago, trying to keep an eye on both your children as they sprinted off in different directions, one into the water and another vanishing into the crowd. So it’s less like “Where’s Waldo” and more like being trapped in a kaleidoscope.

Is it true that “Where’s Waldo” started in the UK, where his name is Wally, and that his name was changed to Waldo for the American market, Charlie for the French, and Walter for the German?

Why yes, that’s absolutely true!

Is it normal for a wrestler to have a doppelgänger who continually throws her parents off the scent?

I think you can pretty much count on that … I’m pretty sure it’s a corollary of Murphy’s Law. In my case, my kid’s doppelgänger—same braided hair, same fair skin—happens to be a dude. Only the bulging biceps gave him away, which is less helpful than you might think because the whole experience is so overwhelming, especially if your eyesight is poor and the air is permeated with sweat, like a rank mist, so everything is a blur.

During my daughter’s match, her rival totally had her in a hammerlock, which is apparently allowed(!). I asked my daughter later if that hurt, and she insisted it didn’t. She went on to say, unbidden, that her rival was “nice!” Is my kid out of her mind?

You might want to get her checked out … that could be a symptom of a concussion.

If my kid tells me her next match isn’t for at least an hour and encourages me to go take a walk, can I step out for thirty minutes without having to worry about missing anything?

No. If you step out for thirty minutes, you will miss her match … meaning you just waited around for two-plus hours for nothing. Just go home at that point.

Are you speaking hypothetically, or did this actually happen to you?

I’d rather not talk about it.

Has it ever occurred to you that the wrestling tournament might just be an elaborate psychological experiment?

God yes.

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

From the Archives - A Rather Hostile Letter

Introduction

I am very careful in these pages to respect people’s privacy. I don’t quote people, even anonymously, without permission. The only exception so far has been in the case of my late father because I can’t ask him, obviously.

The person quoted anonymously in this post is also now dead. Thus I feel I can now post this curiosity from my archives.


A rather hostile letter – October 22, 1990

Dear Miss W—,

I had a verbally abusive boss whose favorite phrase seemed to be “pure, unadulterated bullshit.” And your recent letter, Miss W—, reeks of it. Let’s have a look at that first sentence:

“Your father read part of your recent letter aloud to me.”

The first couple of times I read this I unconsciously transposed a couple words, which created a different, probably more accurate version of the sentence:

“I read part of your letter to your father aloud to him.”

I rather doubt my father read the letter, or all of it anyway, because he’s never been able to make sense of my correspondence. This is not an intellectual lacking on his part; as we both know, he seems to be some kind of genius. That’s kind of the problem: he has always felt there are better things to do with his great brain than to try figuring out what I’m trying to convey in my letters. Am I just sucking up, or trying to imply some kind of affection? It’s too much hassle to try to decipher so I’m not surprised he located a secretary figure and in some very carefully worded and tactful manner said the rough equivalent of, “I don’t wanna deal with this shit; here, you do something with it.” (This is the same message I used to get from that old boss, but I respected him for it. After all, he was usually blowing off a creditor or something, not his son.)

But that’s just conjecture; perhaps my dad did read my letter; perhaps you didn’t. But what’s not in question is that you, the lady friend, did respond instead of him. I suppose you might expect me to be grateful, since you did take some trouble. But really, how warmly did you think I’d receive your letter, as a substitute? And did you think you’d endear yourself to me with your insulting tone? Consider Exhibit A, this quote from your first paragraph:

I decided I would respond to your mailbox woes, which I have known, too, that kind of hurt anger you’re not sure whether to direct at your so called loved ones, or at the mailman, or at the stupid box, itself.

Wow, “mailbox woes.” I guess you and/or my dad construed my letter as a self pitying plea for attention. Well it wasn’t. It was a plea for money. My dad is supposed to deposit money in my bank account every month (not because he’s generous but because he’s required to, according to a clause my mom wisely wrote in to their divorce contract). So the “hurt anger” you might think you know seems very different from mine. I have never been confused about where to direct my anger. My mailman is reliable and my mailbox is an inanimate object. I guess an elementary school student with a good imagination who reads about The Little Train Who Could might buy your cutesy personification but I don’t.

Most of your opening paragraph merely insults my intelligence, but its final sentence, “So consider this a pen pal note,” actually insults my feelings. It does not hurt them, it insults them. It insinuates that I’m just some poor lonely dork who sulks a lot about not getting any mail, a guy who would be just thrilled to carry on a correspondence with anybody, even his dad’s lady friend he’s never even met. My letter, if you’ll look closely (I’m sure you’ve got it right there), belabors the fact that since I never get letters from Dad, our relationship has become a purely financial one in which I simply write whenever I need money. It is this very specific relationship that I’m disappointed in. Building a new one, with a stranger, cannot replace or amend it.

It’s possible you just didn’t understand my letter, and thought the money part was just an aside. It’s also possible that you know exactly what the letter meant but you don’t want the old man to give away any more of his money because you’d like to get your hands on it instead. If this is actually the case, then I underestimated you. Perhaps you said to my dad, “Oh, don’t worry Harry, the lil’ bugger just needs a lil’ ol’ pen pal to write a lettery wettery to him. He’s just a lil’ lonely, that’s all.” My dad, pleasantly surprised that no action (such as a bank transfer) is required, settles back into his blissful ignorance and reminds you how wonderful you are, at which point you take a victory lap by writing me a transparently disingenuous letter, just to rub my nose in it. If this is the case, congratulations. You’re a real operator.

But it could be that both these theories are wrong. Maybe it’s you who feels lonely, which is totally believable if you’re counting on my dad for companionship. Even in these early courting days you must get the feeling his mind is somewhere else, such as some technical problem at work or some mathematical flight of fancy that is simply more interesting to him than anything you, an elementary school librarian, might have to say. Perhaps, seeing as to how we’re both liberal arts types, you think we could carry out a literary correspondence of high intellectual value. Based on your letter, you seem to be an expert on Romeo and Juliet. You’re absolutely right, “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?” is not a question of spatial location, but rather a question of Romeo’s name. What tipped me off to that is that “wherefore” means “why,” not “where.” I don’t know that I’d have described this as a “dense obscurity,” but perhaps I’m not quite reading it on as deep a level as you. But what I can’t understand is why, later in the letter, you wrote, “I’d better get back to work here or people will begin to ask, ‘Wherefore art thou, librarian?’” It’s as if you yourself were now using “wherefore” to mean “where.” Was this just a goof? Or was it a subtle dig at the baser intellects of the school kids, who are still on Curious George?

Speaking of Romeo … how are you and my dad doing? Has it crossed your mind that you might be Rosaline instead of Juliet? Perhaps not—perhaps Dad’s still on his best behavior. Well, every dog has his day and I guess you’re having yours. Live it up while you can, it won’t last. Once he starts to think of you as family, he’ll take you for granted just like the rest of us. Just ask either of his past wives. S— probably has infamous status in your estimation by now. Has he told you the sordid tale of how she made him fat by feeding him too much pasta? I’ve heard that about half a dozen times by now. Actually, I lived at their house one summer, and as far as I could tell, the mayonnaise burritos he made on the sly had more to do with his weight gain. The real reason he’s lost weight since she left him is that he’s too cheap to buy groceries, other than buckwheat flour, millet, and soy lecithin (cheaper than eggs, you know). And of course he always trims down when he’s on the make.

Now, if you have designs on marrying my dad, and taking over as my stepmother, bear in mind you have a tough act to follow. I liked S— for a number of reasons, one of them being that, as custodian of Dad’s finances, she put money in my account with the same regularity that my landlord expects from me. Now I have to deal directly with my dad, who thinks my financial affairs are all conducted in play-world, like I leave my money-woneys under the gub-gub tree for the billy-willy bird and if I’m late, it’s nothing but goop-whoop soup for a week!

I wish you could see my dad’s dismissiveness of me in its proper context, that being the truly magnificent repentance speech that he gave after S— bailed on him. This time it was gonna be different, this time he was gonna pay attention to those close to him, he would stop forgetting birthdays, he would start writing letters. I did get one letter since then, but it was a mass-mailed form letter boasting about his business trip to Hawaii. As for my birthday, he didn’t send a card because, he later explained, he didn’t know if I would be home to receive it.

It is because people like my dad will never change that it would be useless for me to mail this letter, and in fact I never intended to. I’m just blowing off steam. Your intentions in writing me were probably good, and I guess I can’t blame you for thinking I’m a sad sack who just needs a pen pal, since you don’t know me at all. How could you fathom the tortured relationship I’ve had with my dad, when he surely never talks about me (or my brothers)? How were you to grasp that my dad’s suggestion of you writing me was simply a way to get around depositing the money I asked for? You’re just a pawn in our stupid chess game. I thought I had my dad in check, but he marched you all the way across the board and made you a queen. I always hated that rule.

So yeah, you’ll never see this letter. I could send it to Dad, but that would be worse. First of all he would just get all twisted up and confused again, which oddly enough would make me feel kind of cruel since the guy just doesn’t get it, he can’t. When he decides to engage he can be a hell of a guy, so at times we get along well. I had a great time touring the Berkeley campus with him last spring break, for example, so it’s a shame I had to bring in all this unpleasantness around wanting the money he’s supposed to give me. Too bad this letter has no audience … I guess I’ll just put it in the archives, and maybe someday when I’m dissin’ my kids they can shove it in my face to show me what a fool I am.

Oh yeah, you wanted to know about my pets and their names. Sorry, I have none. No cats, no dogs, no goldfish, nothing to name. I know, it’s terrible, I’m so lonely. And yet even still, I will never be your pen pal.

Your pen pal (not),

Dana 

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Saturday, November 6, 2021

Ask a Northern Californian

Dear Northern Californian,

Is it true you Northern Californians say “hella” all the time?

Margo F, Bozeman, MT

Dear Margo,

Yes, it’s absolutely true, we hella use that word here. (See!?) A UC Berkeley linguist asserts (as reported here) that the term originated in the Bay Area, probably in Oakland. I first encountered it as a student at UC Santa Barbara; someone had written “Lisa C is hella good to me” on the blackboard and my TA said, “‘Hella’? What’s ‘hella’?” I wondered the same thing (and also wondered, “Who is Lisa C?”). When I moved up north I started hearing “hella” a lot, and liked it immediately. I was particularly enchanted when I first heard it used to mean more than just “very” … for example, “I ate hella chips.” This term was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2002.

Since I’ve lived in Norcal for so long, I can’t be sure “hella” isn’t used everywhere, so I asked my brother Max, in Boulder, Colorado, if he hears it out there. He replied, “It is very rare that someone says ‘hella.’ When that is uttered here, it is answered with consternation, as though it threatens to upend our privilege.”


Dear Northern Californian,

Aren’t you afraid of earthquakes?

Becky Mills, Columbus, OH

Dear Becky,

I wouldn’t say I’m afraid. Of course I’m aware that earthquakes happen around here, and they can kill people, but it’s not a particularly significant risk. As Hans Rosling et al report in the excellent book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, deaths from natural disasters have plummeted worldwide in the last eighty or so years, from 453 per million annually in the 1930s to just 10 per million today. That’s about a tenth of the risk of dying in a car accident.

I’m kind of more afraid of wildfires, but not enough to live somewhere else. The Midwest has tornados, the East Coast has hurricanes, the Great Lakes region has mosquitoes the size of Chihuahuas … nowhere is totally safe.

Dear Northern Californian,

Is the French Laundry worth the hype?

Chase L, Portland, OR

Dear Chase,

I cannot say, as I’ve never eaten there. You have to be very wealthy, very organized, very well connected, and/or have naked pictures of God to get a table at French Laundry. Because it is such an utterly elite place, it is nonsensical to assume that just any Northern Californian would have any experience with it. Go ask Lance Armstrong.

(Here’s a photo I didn’t snap.)


Dear Northern Californian,

Do you get offended when people call San Francisco “San Fran”?

Melissa M, Provo, UT

Dear Melissa,

I don’t get offended by that, and in fact I’m even pretty mellow about “Frisco.” The reason is, like many locals I like to refer to San Francisco as “the city,” which I know would cause any New Yorker to burst a blood vessel. In exchange for being tranquilo about people saying “San Fran” and “Frisco,” I also take the liberty of calling Sacramento “Sacto” (though you can hear the quotation marks in my voice).

Dear Northern Californian,

What would you say is the biggest difference between NorCal and SoCal?

Rebecca S, Seattle, WA

Dear Rebecca,

I would have to say that SoCal’s love for the automobile is the biggest difference. Driving is a way of life down there, even with all the gridlock, sprawl, and road rage. Consider a city like Irvine where every street is a six-lane thoroughfare and walking is practically illegal, and compare it to Berkeley, which according to this article has the highest rate in the nation, among cities of 100K or more, of people who bike to work.

Dear Northern Californian,

Is it “the I-5” or “The Five” and why are you so wrong?

Lydia L, Portland, OR

Dear Lydia,

Neither. Interstate 5 is referred to as simply “I-5” (no “the”) by every Northern Californian I’ve ever heard. In general, SoCal folks say “the” before a freeway name (e.g, “Get on the 101 and head south), and NorCal folks do not. If that makes me wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Dear Northern Californian,

What do you think of this recent exodus of Californians—especially Northern Californians—to Texas?

Bill G, Palo Alto, CA

Dear Bill,

First of all, I couldn’t care less how many leave the state … humans aren’t exactly scarce here. Second, if people wish to “escape” our high taxes, our regulations, and our politics … well, Texas can have ‘em. Consider this declaration, from Mark Duggan, the co-author of a report on this (as quoted here): “Right now market forces are telling California, ‘Get your s—together. This exodus thing—I think it’s a risk.” What a douchebag. Doesn’t he remind you of the blowhard in the bar who invites you to punch him in the stomach as hard as you can? Well I’d like to. Duggan is the director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy research, and (like so many Stanford types) he’s obviously a tool.

I think it’s speculative realtors driving much of this hype, such as Marie Bailey, mentioned in the same article, who “cruises around the Dallas suburbs in her bright pink Tesla Model S with the license plate ‘MOVE2TX’” and who “moved four years ago from Orange County to a 2,000-acre housing development in Prosper, Texas, then started running party bus tours for other prospective California transplants.” Bright pink Tesla with a personalized plate? Bus tours? Texas can have her, too, and all her SoCal pals.

I’m certainly not alone in believing rumors of the migration to be greatly exaggerated. According to the results of a survey conducted by UC Berkeley, “Residents are moving out of state, but not at unusual rates.” UCB’s research “draws on many data sources to investigate the so-called exodus: public opinion data, the U.S. Census, consumer credit histories, home ownership rates, venture capital investments, and information from the Franchise Tax Board.” The study also noted that “California’s economy attracts as much venture capital as all other states combined,” so anyone who thinks Austin will be the new tech hub will be sorely mistaken. Oh, and one more thing: Shiner beer is weak.

Dear Northern Californian,

What are your favorite cuisines that feature in NorCal? Is there any place on earth with better food?

Max A, Boulder, CO

Dear Max,

It’s tempting to blather on about how California Cuisine was invented at Chez Panisse, which is walking distance from my house; and how I’ve also had great meals at Tadich Grill (the oldest restaurant in California), the Cliff House (third oldest), Sam’s Grill (fourth), and the Union Hotel (sixth oldest), all in NorCal; but those places aren’t what get me really excited. I think our specialty is the taqueria. I’m in good company here, as the famous food writer Calvin Trilling, writing in The New Yorker, has paid homage as well, calling the San Francisco burrito “so good that at times I've been tempted to put it on my list of favorite dishes that rarely seem to be served outside their place of origin.” This might sound like faint praise, but remember, this is coming from a New Yorker. Even to his daughter, whom he was trying to lure back to New York, he admitted that the food in San Francisco was “O.K. for out of town.”

(Here’s a photo I snapped at Taqueria Cancun, my favorite place in San Francisco.)


As far as your second question, I am not personally aware of a place with better food, but that doesn’t mean much. I haven’t eaten out in Paris, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, or Vietnam so I’m not exactly a world expert. And I will confess that NorCal falls short in at least two culinary realms: 1) you’ll likely have better fish taco options in SoCal, and 2) you can get definitely get a better bagel in NYC.

Dear Northern Californian,

You weren’t even born in California. Who are you to field these questions in the first place?

Brandon H, San Francisco

Dear Brandon,

In a way, I think being a transplant almost makes a person more quintessentially Californian. According to the Sacramento Bee, among American-born California residents, only about 64% are natives to the state. Besides, I’ve been here in NorCal for over 31 years … doesn’t that make me more of a Northern Californian than any California native under the age of 31? 

Dear Northern Californian,

Isn’t northern California a mecca for tax-and-spend liberals?

Eddie Koskinen, New Ipswich, NH

Dear Eddie,

I’ll tackle the “liberal” part first: it doesn’t appear to me that NorCal is actually more liberal than SoCal. The following map, from Wikipedia, shows voting behavior as of 2018. The horizontal line is how California is typically divided into north and south—more on this in a moment. (Map created by Kingofthedead; details here.


The only red county in SoCal is Kern County, population ~900K, so it’s only about 2% of the state population and thus pretty much irrelevant.

Now, about that NorCal/SoCal dividing line: it’s more historical than geographical. According to Wikipedia, “Pro-slavery politicians initially attempted to permanently divide northern and southern California at 36 degrees, 30 minutes, the line of the Missouri Compromise. But instead, the passing of the Compromise of 1850 enabled California to be admitted to the Union as a free state.”

As for taxation, I can say that Albany, the city where I live, has among the highest sales tax in the country, at 10.75%. The first time I noticed this on a receipt I started to get upset, and then remembered that I’ve voted for pretty much every tax increase I’ve ever seen, including the last sales tax hike. The proposition said something like, “We want to raise the sales tax again because we need to buy some stuff.” I thought about it for a second and decided that seemed perfectly reasonable.

On the other hand, our (at least locally) famous Prop 13 keeps our property tax from going up very fast, which as a homeowner I must admit I enjoy even if it depletes our state coffers. Those who move to Texas are sure going to miss Prop 13 in the coming decades. But, according to this article, “California’s higher income taxes on wealthy earners helps allow the state to generate and spend about 60% more than Texas each year.”

Dear Northern Californian,

What is the dress code in NorCal?

Lauren N, Ashburn, VA

Dear Lauren,

The dress code here is casual yet chic. Just kidding. (My wife once phoned a pricey restaurant in Washington, DC to ask about the dress code and that was their pompous response.) As far as I can tell, in NorCal you can dress pretty much however you want. I do see more style here than I remember from my SoCal days, but they were brief and long ago.

As I’m no expert on fashion, I did a little research on this and found this handy article in Condé Nast Traveler magazine. The photos in the article confirm what I already suspected: that you can get away with wearing whatever you want here. For example, you could hella wear an outfit like this:


One caveat: it’s not always sunny and warm in the Bay Area, so don’t run around in shorts and a tank top and expect to be comfortable. I learned this the hard way as a kid, when we came here on vacation and I froze my ass off.

Dear Northern Californian,

I tend to think NorCal people are a bit smug, so tell me: what embarrasses you the most about your region?

Well, I’ll confess I was tempted to bag on Marin County for its long opposition to vaccinating children, but then I figured I better fact-check myself, and you know what? They’ve really come around. As described on the county’s website here, their lowest vaccination rate was 77.9% back in 2011, but they’ve been steadily improving and are now at 94.3%, just below the state average. It helps that California passed a law in 2016 prohibiting personal belief exemptions (PBEs).

As annoying as anti-vaxxers are, though, they’re not nearly as damaging to society, worldwide, as Facebook, based here in the Bay Area. I would be utterly, completely, overwhelmingly relieved and stoked if those heartless, amoral Facebook bastards relocated their headquarters to Texas.

A Northern Californian is a syndicated journalist whose column, “Ask a Northern Californian,” appears in over 0 blogs worldwide.

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