Well, fellow San Diegans, Memorial Day 2010 has come and gone and with it has begun the event that defines a California endless summer like no other: the Annual Invasion of the Zonies.
You San Diegans know the drill. Sometime around Easter all those Zonies who moved from Duluth to Phoenix in January saying, “My how wonderfully temperate it is here during the winter!” begin to remember that, come summer, the surface temperature of Arizona approximates that of Venus. (I swear I’ve seen a Saab melt into a puddle of Swedish goo on a Scottsdale street in August.) So the migrant retired workers spend the next two months lubing and tuning their Winnebagos and lining up on the border at Yuma. Then, on Memorial Day, the Governor of Arizona a fires a gun (of course with all of Arizona’s open carry laws there’s no real need to wait until Memorial Day but tradition is tradition) and the invasion of the Zonies begins.
And pacific life as we Southern Californians know it ends until Labor Day. Some years Thanksgiving.
There they are, the Zonies, parking their RVs down at Mission Bay across the heads-in spaces, taking up twenty spots each , setting up awnings and habachis and laying claim for the summer because they’re retired anyway. As a result the closest any San Diegan will get to park to Mission Bay is La Mesa.
There they are, the Zonies, driving four vintage RVs side by side down the I-15 at precisely fifty-two miles per hour, causing twenty-mile traffic jams. I think Zonieland has a contest every year to see which Zonie can cause the biggest backup on a San Diego freeway. The winner gets free cortisone shots for a year. That’s why Zonie RVs have those cameras on the back: to count the number of cars stacked up behind them. And have you ever passed a Zonie RV? It’s terrifying. All you ever see is a tuft of white hair atop a captain’s chair and two, liver-spotted hands on the steering wheel.
There they are, the Zonies, hogging the Zoo and SeaWorld, taking four hours to figure out how to take a picture of the Pandas with that new digital camera the grandkids gave them while little San Diegan children are left in line to cry. There they are, the Zonies, taking up all the prime three to five PM dinner reservations in town, so our only choice for an afternoon tête-à-tête is Mickey D’s.
Well I, for one, am tired of these aliens in sneakers and oversized sunhats invading my homeland. They have diseases, you know, those Zonies do, all full of catchy stuff like rheumatism, cataracts and incontinence. They cause a ton of crime, too. I have it on good authority that, every summer there’s a spike in shoplifting of stuff like Depends and Prep H at the Walgreens. And they’re shiftless and lazy. You never see a Zonie work; they just get fat off fat government social welfare checks.
Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve had it. Absolutely had it. Zonies are the enemy amidst. It is time to act. I suggest we go over to that national guard armory by Mesa College—the place the guy borrowed the tank—and “borrow” a few rocket-powered grenade launchers. Then, come next Memorial Day, we hide in the Yucca plants along the I-8 across the bridge from Yuma. First three Zonie RVs come across the state line—Kaboom! We blow ‘em right off their chassis. The other Zonies see the smoking hulks, they’ll turn around and go invade New Mexico and make life miserable for the folk in Taos.
Let the battle cry be raised across the land! Death to Zonies! Death to Zonies! Death to…..oh, right. Never mind.
Darn you, 14th Amendment. Turns out those Zonies have rights. Rights as people, mind you, not rights citizens of the Great State of California or even as citizens these United States. Zonies have rights to life, liberty and property just because they’re people. (And, yes, under those WalMart crew shirts and WalMart underwear Zonies are people. Shriveled, incredibly blanched people.)
So, my fellow San Diegans, looks like there’ll be no RPGs for us next Memorial Day. We’ll just have to suck it up and tolerate those nefarious Zonies as they come here and spend money on full admissions to local attractions (that’s ok; we’ll just get Fun Passes and go see the fish in October), and at restaurants and hotels (darn them and all those local summer jobs they create). I know it’s Zonie money but, hey, money’s money.
But can’t we at least discourage the onslaught a little bit? Hey, how about whenever a local member of law enforcement—or waiters and waitresses—stop someone in the normal course of their duties they ask “suspicious” looking people—AKA Zonies—for their papers? You know, see if they have valid permits to be a Zonie outside of Zonieland. And if they don’t? Whammo. They’re sent packing back to one hundred-thirty Fahrenheit quicker than you can say “Undocumented Old Person.”
Of course we don’t want to “profile” people. We can’t stop them just because they look different than Us. But there are subtle ways you can tell who those Zonies are. I mean, just look at their shoes. Look at the way they talk. You find me a blue haired old person in a pair of sandals with socks speaking about whitefish in an upper-Minnesotan accent and, badda-bing, it’s “Papers, please” time.
And for those Zonies originally from Wisconsin: “Papiere bitte.”
After all, if you just make things hard enough on ‘em they’ll get the message and leave…..