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Check box before living in our county

Jeff Ackerman, Publisher
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Someone dropped off an application for Nevada County residency last week. I knew this was a tough place to settle into, but I had no idea you had to actually apply for membership.

“Due to the tremendous demand to live in Nevada County, you must complete the following application to help us determine if you would fit in here,” the very formal-looking, but anonymous, document began.

The application didn’t indicate who the “us” were who would determine if I’d fit in here. My Realtor said I’d fit in just fine when he sold me the house. And they didn’t balk when I went to get my library card, although the woman at the counter did say I’d have to show some California ID if I ever want to check out anything of substance.



So I started to fill out the paperwork, just to play it safe.

“Which of the following best describes your reason for coming here?” the application began, giving me choices of:




a) It’s cool

b) It’s charming

c) The voices told me to

There was no place to check “all of the above,” so I wrote it in anyway.

“What is your hypocrisy level?” the questionnaire continued. That one caused me to pause, because I’ve met a few folks here who like to talk about affordable housing and tree cutting from their million-dollar wooden homes where trees once stood. I didn’t want to sound like them, so I checked “Average.” I do tend to rant about saving the skunks from time to time, knowing full well that I have a pair of skunk-skin boots in my closet.

“What will you do to lower the county’s population?” the application went on, asking me to choose from among these answers:

a) Force young people out

b) Put up gates on roads

c) Name all of the streets “Karen.”

d) Raise taxes

It reminded me that I have seen lots of streets named Karen, but not enough to make me want to leave or to ask anyone else to leave, so I checked “Gates on roads.”

“How would you propose we support county government?” the list continued, moving to more difficult choices.

a) Bake sale

b) Spaghetti feed

c) Property taxes

It was a trick question because I know you can’t possibly support an entire county government on bake sales so I chose spaghetti feed and moved on. I didn’t just step off a turnip truck.

“Favorite bumper sticker?”

I don’t have any on my car, but my wife does, and it says something about gorillas. Unfortunately, there were no gorilla stickers among the choices.

a) U.S. out of U.N.

b) U.N. out of U.S.

c) Build It, Damn It!

d) Dam It, Damn It!

e) Drew Happens

f) Rene Loves Robin

e) Undecided On NH2020

I didn’t like the choices, so I wrote in, “I’ve Upped My Standards, Up Yours.”

That one still makes me giggle. It was Pat Paulsen’s presidential campaign slogan, and I used to have it pasted to my truck bumper, until the bumper got shot off and I sold the truck.

“Forms of assistance required?” I thought it was a nice thing to ask, but, again, the choices were limited to:

a) Capital gains tax reduction

b) Divine intervention

c) Psychic

d) A great joining of the human spirit.

“D” sounded fun, so I checked that box, wondering if the people I was supposed to turn the application in to would put me on a mailing list.

“For whom do you channel?” the final question begged. I knew I guy down in Santa Cruz who painted velvet Elvis portraits that he said were channeled through him from the King himself (I know lots of people like that), but as far as I know, I’m not channeling for anyone. Especially not,

a) 3rd dynasty pharaoh

b) 8th century swami

c) 19th century cheese

d) Charles Schwab

e) QVC/Home Shopping Channel

But I didn’t want to flunk the test, so I checked the shopping channel. We just got a dish, and I get 150 channels for free for the next two months. Never mind that 100 of them are shopping channels and 40 are Pay For View.

As instructed, I sent my application (and a check for $5,000 to cover the mitigation fee) along to the Nevada County Naturalization Service.

I’m supposed to hear back telepathically in two weeks unless there’s a storm and the signals get jammed. In that unlikely event, they said they’d call.

Jeff Ackerman is the publisher of The Union. His column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 477-4299, jeffa@theunion.com, or 464 Sutton Way, 95945.


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