Thursday, December 16, 2004
YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR HAT ON…And the rest of it, please. Squid’s all for middle- to late-aged women posing half-naked…wait a minute, maybe Squid’s not. Case in point: the Carmel Fire Belles: a group of ladies who gained national exposure for creating a calendar full of shots of half-dressed women of a certain age next to a bunch of fire equipment. The women, who appear to be having a grand old time in the calendar, said they were inspired by the movie Calendar Girls, and dressed down in order to raise money for Carmel’s run-down fire station.
Problem is, the city has been saying from the get-go that it won’t take the money. Squid’s not shocked: the cutesy-pretty reputation of the town is at stake. This hasn’t stopped the ladies from selling the calendars. For $20, one gets a shrink-wrapped color calendar filled with shots like a middle-aged woman in a fire jacket and no pants holding a fire hose in a suggestive manner. Even though, according to Carmel mayor Sue McCloud, the “city’s position has not changed,” last week the Monterey County Herald reported “[Calendar] proceeds go to the city of Carmel for remodeling the city fire station.”
Besides the fact that the city doesn’t appear to be changing its position any time soon, Squid says that old people stripping for money is becoming a tired marketing ploy. Clothes were invented for a reason, not necessarily to protect us from the bitter California cold.
HOLIDAY CHEER…There’s nothing like glowing reindeer to put Squid in the holiday mood—well, except for glowing reindeer and a cup or two of spiked egg nog, or hot buttered rum. So when Squid heard that the Monterey Bay Travelodge won the third annual North Fremont Business District holiday decorating contest, Squid got liquored up—oops, Squid got in the holiday spirit—and slithered over to 2030 North Fremont. There was a nip in the air, and joy in Squid’s heart. Yes, Squid was looking forward to being in the company of others, also lit with Christmas cheer.
But when Squid arrived, what to Squid’s wondering eyes did appear but a bunch of noisy, angry people marching with picket signs, blocking out the reindeer! And they weren’t singing carols, they were shouting union slogans, and obstructing Squid’s view.
Who were these grinches, raining on Squid’s holiday parade, and why weren’t they feeling merry and bright during this most wonderful time of year? They were hotel housekeepers and laundresses and other employees of the jolly establishment, protesting the fact that their wages are frozen at $8.84 an hour, and that Travelodge owner Kilsoo Seo recently axed their health insurance. C’mon, guys, where’s your holiday cheer?
According to Squid’s source—a high-ranking North Pole
official who only spoke to Squid on the condition of
anonymity—Seo barely made it onto the “nice” side of
Santa’s list, just sliding in under the deadline. Ol’
St. Nick had some concerns about Seo’s slashing health
insurance, but the award for holiday decorations more than
made up for that. “After all,” the anonymous elf tells Squid,
“who needs health care when you can look at pretty
RING SQUID’S BELL: SQUID@MCWEEKLY.COM