The country of California

Published 1:06 pm Saturday, February 4, 2017

by Rick Jensen

In 2017, you should never be subjected to the use of the word, “gnarly,” unless you’re describing your latest faux Chippendale woodworking project.

Sadly, my longtime arms-length friendly acquaintance Gnarly Nat demands he be addressed by this aged moniker.

Nat is one of the pouting Californians saddened that the unindicted Hillary Clinton wasn’t granted her turn in the White House.

He hopes to be voting to secede next year.

This is real.

This is not the liberal fantasy of mocking conservative Texans who impotently vow to secede every full moon.

This is a liberal fantasy of disassociating themselves in every way from the misogynistic, abuse-and-scandal-ridden Donald Trump since Hillary’s misogynistic, abuse-and-scandal-ridden husband was denied the pleasures of luring young interns into his White House inner sanctum.

Nat lives in a world in which “my criminal candidate is better than your criminal candidate.”

He also uses the word, “dude.”

A lot.

“Duuuuude,” Nat draws out. “We’re the sixth largest economy in the world. We are America’s breadbasket. We have the best waves and the best weed.”

I innocently ask, “What about Hawaii?”

“Yeah, we should annex Hawaii, dude.”

“So, give me the rationale for leaving the union.”

Nat smiled, stroked what years have reduced from a sun-drenched golden mane to a barren scalp, squinted with sincerity and delivered.

“Dude, over a third of my fellow Poppy-Staters are for strapping on the board and paddling into independence from your totally noodle-armed paddlepuss, Trump.

Who wouldn’t be stoked to know all of your neighbors think like you do and if the Republicans want a place here they can move to Needles?

Who do you think sells America its milk, almonds and Tommy Chong videos?

Cali, dude, Cali.

Even our Secretary of State is behind it.

All we need is to sign the petition that would totally repeal provisions in the California Constitution that the state is an ‘inseparable part of the United States’ and that the U.S. Constitution is the ‘supreme law of the land.’

“Cool, right?”

But why, I ask.

“Cause it’s time, man. We’re nothing at all like Kansas. We beat Trump. You take out the California vote and Trump wins the popular vote. See?” Nat said. “California won the election for Hillary and the Electoral College took it away from us by allowing all those other states to have as much of a say as we do. We’re Califreakin’ Fornya, man. Look at all the people here! You can’t move at all on the 5 or the 405 any day, any time. “

“Up north in San Francisco is the same,” Nat continued. “We get rid of the Republicans and we have no more water problems. We’re not giving it to greedy farmers or rich guys washing their Porsches.”

I ask, “If you take water from farmers and don’t build damns, what happens to your big, groovy breadbasket?”

“They’ll figure it out, dude.”

(That’s California.)

“We have the sanctuary cities and we’re stopping climate change. That’s why we have all these billionaires with the solar energy companies.”

I couldn’t help but ask, “Where do your billionaire solar campaign bundlers get their money if you secede and there’s no more federal tax dollars for their companies?”

Gnarly had the answer: “Oh, they’ll figure it out. They’re pretty smart.”

“I thought you hated billionaires.”

“Oh, sure, dude, but they’ve figured some things out and the good billionaires will keep it going.”

“You take a lot on faith,” I presumed. “Weren’t you against Brexit?”

“Yeah, man, breaking up that economic monster was a horrible thing. They were so on the way to international socialism and then ka-boom! That’s why we need to secede. We need to be more like Europe with free weed, free health care, free college, all kinds of stuff that people really need. Why should people pay for their basic needs?

“We can tax everyone who comes here to vacation and stuff and make millions.”

I now regret being curious enough to ask, “How do you keep Americans from coming into California without paying?”

Nat beamed, “We build a wall, dude, a big, beautiful wall.”

Conspiratorially, Nat leaned toward me, whispering, “And we’ll make Trump pay for it.”

RICK JENSEN  is Delaware’s award-winning conservative talk show host on WDEL, streaming live on