Fear & Loathing on Webster Street

Courtesy Photo &nbsp&nbsp The rather pathetic balloon memorial for Ethan Escorcio, courtesy of the Juan Cobo Memorial Women’s Soccer League.

Fear & Loathing on Webster Street

“What’s happening on the West End?” Well, somebody got shot! And nobody cared. Let me start with an exchange from one of the greatest TV shows ever produced:

DETECTIVE BAYLISS: This murder makes no sense.
DETECTIVE PEMBLETON: Just once, show me a murder that makes sense.
— David Simon, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS

“What’s happening on the West End?” Cricket sounds, leaf blowers, and general despair. At the risk of being controversial and editorializing when I should be promoting events (there are none) and businesses (most shut) on this side of the island, it all just feels very strange. Whatever Ethan Escorcio did, he deserved better.

Everyone seems to be more concerned with another senseless murder that happened a few states away rather than a senseless murder that happened right here. On our corner. They both matter. I’m a little upset that people aren’t more upset.

So, before this column ends in two weeks (late-breaking news!) “What’s happening on the West End?” A terrifying yo-yo effect on the new rules being enforced, relaxed, then re-enforced. It’s mental whiplash for business owners and residents alike. People are already generally freaked out. However, the Biblical-level midnight prediction for the end of the world given to me yesterday by a neighbor did not come true if you’re reading this.

So I’m getting off the soapbox for a while and giving this column back to whom it really belongs: the entrepreneurs and everybody else who works and lives here. I’m done ranting. We want to hear from you. If you have something to say, send it over here, to me, whether it’s about the West End, or even this very paper. Go ahead, shout us out if you’re upset. We’ll publish it and I’ll make it right.

Maybe I take the title of this column too seriously. “What’s happening on the West End?” I’m beginning to report on the collective existential freak-out that is our neighborhood en masse rather than the mortifying struggles our small business owners are facing. If somebody out there wants to take over for me for a week, or for good, you’re welcome. The new plan is that I interview everybody one by one. First up:

Katie Kaboom of HairTech on Webster is gonna tell you about life on the streets as an unemployed beauty salon owner driven to madness. Babe, your life is the best John Waters movie never made. I love you. If I ever catch you crying into a taco bowl ever again, you’re in big trouble. You’re beautiful and better than that.

Next will be the epic “Margaritas With Maggie.” Drinks on me at Otaez, doll. I think you punch out at Grocery Outlet around 3:00? Seriously, West End folks, go make friends with this nice lady and the other great people at Grocery Outlet — they’re keeping you alive!

And I’m eventually going to get an exclusive with the elusive Patti the Comic Book Lady whether she wants to talk to me or not. Seriously, Patti, we’re still friends, right? I may have to send in Spider-Man and interview her in disguise. As a cartoonist, I can’t tell you how hard our industry has been hit, so go buy a book from this gorgeous gal at Alameda Cards and Comics.

Also, let’s see if I CAN’T get a few words out of Yanni at 1400. Maybe the amazing Annie, terrific Taysia, luminous Lynette, or the nimble, noble, nonpareil Natalie can help me coax him into talking to me for once.

In other West End news: the trash on Buena Vista Avenue remains as interesting as ever. A special thanks to whoever left the Hello Kitty boom box on the side of the road. It’s mine now. And I love it. I can’t wait to crack open some prosecco and listen to the CD left inside. I hope it’s “Only You” by Yaz on repeat.

This is Party Boy, signing off.