A number of petitions have been circulating in Alameda this year, and from what I hear, they have caused some confusion and anxiety among voters. A number of people are disappointed to have missed the opportunity to sign certain petitions, while others are regretting having signed them. Some, in fact, have become so mired in an indiscriminate fear of ballot measures that they are attempting to gather signatures on a petition to ban signature gathering.
Let's all take a deep breath, and remember these three time-tested principles of petitions:
- First, when confronted with a ballot measure or other petition, you should take a minute to read whatever it is that you are signing. If you are in too much of a hurry to read so much as the first sentence of a ballot proposition, you probably shouldn't take the time to put your signature under it, either. Although it may be possible to remove a signature later, it will sure be a lot simpler for everyone concerned, including you, if you look before you leap.
- Second, if a proposition seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be especially careful to check for small print if the signature collector smells strongly of sulfur. Quite a few Alamedans have been burned by failing to observe this simple principle.
- Third, think twice before signing a petition that uses the word "penguin." To the best of my knowledge, there have never been large numbers of penguins in Alameda, nor do they seem inclined to relocate here, so any claim that we face problems stemming from an excess of penguins is probably a red herring.
Miss Oleo is clearly unaware that we Right-Thinking Alamedans deserve to be outraged at the results of our own inattentiveness. The Alameda Daily Noose and I aren't sure what else she is going on about, but it can't be anything good, because we thought we saw the word "penguin" in there somewhere.