Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy

Dear Loyal Readers,

The Legislature has been out of session for six weeks and, judging from Big
Daddy’s mail bag, it’s clear that folks already are restless and
inquisitive. Apparently, there’s only so much time anyone can spend walking
the K Street Mall or doing lunch, so let’s get right to your questions.

Dear Big Daddy,

This town crashes to a halt when the Legislature is in recess. What do
Capitol staffers do for recreation when the Legislature is gone?

They do what everyone else does when they get a break from work: They go on
vacation. Instead of being trapped in Sacramento with nothing to do, they
head out to some of California’s true garden spots. I’m told that trips to
Merced, Stockton, Hanford, Bakersfield, Modesto and Garden Grove are the
featured destinations this year, allowing legislative staffers to add a
whole new collection of travel stickers to their suitcases. Hanford is such
a popular spot, I understand that people have been going down there for the
past two election cycles, and that anyone who makes a third trip this year
will get a $25 gift certificate to Araujo Dairy Farm & Feeds or free Pabst
Blue Ribbon from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Kings County Bowl. Big Daddy
would probably pass on this trip, as he’s guessing there probably isn’t a
lot of–or, frankly, any–JWR in Hanford.

Dear Big Daddy,

Who is Bill Cavala, and why is he such a big deal? He retired from the
Capitol, but I’ve heard a lot of people talking about him–that he is a
master tactician. But at what?

This is one of those cases where if you don’t know who Bill Cavala is,
having Big Daddy tell you who he is will never be able to make you
understand why he’s such a big deal. How to describe “The Doctor,” as he’s
known to some, is difficult. He’s probably the oldest person known to still
wear a bowl cut, a la Moe Howard, if that helps you identify him at any
local watering holes that you might venture into. The Doctor had the uncanny
ability to memorize census tract numbers and put that knowledge to good use
on behalf of the Democratic Party for decades. It’s a good thing he got into
politics, because Big Daddy is hard-pressed to think of another vocation
where that kind of ability would be useful.

Dear Big Daddy,

Does a toupee or beard doom a guy’s chances in politics? I’ve got both, do I
have two strikes against me?

It depends on how phony they look and when you started donning them. If
you’ve had them for years and people are “used to” seeing you like that–and
no one makes jokes about you looking like a ferret has died on your
head–chances are you’ll be OK. Now, even if you just started getting your
head of hair from a spray can, and you need to do a little “touch-up” work
every Sunday night to keep that full head of hair for the following work
week, you may not be dead in the water. After all, have you looked at some
of the people who hold office today? Some of them have faces and hairstyles
that only a mother could love–and even then, it’s probably a pick ’em

Dear Big Daddy,

What have you heard about the governor’s real height? Is he really only
5 feet, 7 inches with five-inch heels?

With a lead of 10 to 17 points over his Democratic opponent in next month’s
election, I’d say the governor is standing about 10 feet tall these days.

Dear Big Daddy,

Where’s the best Capitol food? Is it the sixth floor in the Annex or the
basement in the restored wing?

Son, if you’re eating in one of the Capitol’s restaurants with the family of
five down here from Weed as they stop on their way to Disneyland, all of
them clad in their sandals and socks, chances are you’re waking up alone in
the mornings.

Get up and get out! Venture across the street to one of the Capitol’s finer
drinking establishments for lunch or dinner, and you never know what else
you might be able to pick up while you’re there.

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