Jeff Ackerman: Of pilfered piggies and a deli unwanted… |

Jeff Ackerman: Of pilfered piggies and a deli unwanted…

First, a memo to the person or people who stole some rabbits and three little pigs from the Nevada County Fair over the weekend (they later were found inside a box along the road):

“Dear Valued Fairgoer,

I know we are in a recession and I understand how the price of gasoline is forcing all of us to tighten our belts and watch our pennies. Lord knows it’s tough out there these days.

Having said that, I’m really wondering what possessed you to steal three little piglets from their mommy and three prized bunnies from their respective pens. I can only assume it was an act of desperation, as in you needed to eat and couldn’t afford a corn dog or taco. If that was the case, you’d have been better off stealing a cow, hog or one of those prized bulls. They might not have fit under your World Wrestling Federation tank-top, but they would have kept your belly full for at least a couple of weeks. They also taste better with Bud, since most studies indicate that people who steal piglets generally prefer Bud.

On the other hand, perhaps you didn’t take the three little piglets and rabbits for food at all, but maybe just needed some company. I’ll bet anyone who steals piglets and bunnies from 4-H kids can’t have many friends. If that was the case, I hope your landlord has a good pet policy. Piglets are cute, but they can flat wear a carpet out and their squeal is enough to make your hair stand on end (try watching your Jerry Springer show with the piglets screaming in the background). As to the bunnies … well … let’s just say bunnies like to reproduce, so you’ll really need to look into a larger apartment soon. I learned that the hard way.

On the other hand, maybe you were just trying to show off. “Look ma! I stole me some piglets and bunnies!” If that was the case it would have been much more impressive if you’d have stolen the rollercoaster, or maybe even the ATM machine. Anyone can steal piglets, but it takes some real doing to walk away with a beer booth or cotton candy machine. I know a guy who stole an airplane and he was quite the hit when he got to prison. You really do need to think much bigger. You don’t want to be in prison bragging about the night you stole three little piglets from a young 4-H student.

Next year, if you’re hungry, give me a call before the fair starts and I’ll get you some coupons good for a free root beer float.

Best personal regards.”


Meanwhile … over in Nevada City … a few merchants are up in arms (again) because a local fireman and his wife are going to open a Beach Hut deli inside the new building on Union Street. It’s a great building and the owners have been looking to fill the retail space for months.

Along come Cindy and Steve Smith, 40-year residents of Nevada County. The couple decided to pay more than $20,000 for one of 20 or so Beach Hut franchises (it’s a Roseville-based company with locations from Chico to Stockton). You would think Nevada City would roll out the red carpet for anyone willing to invest their life savings to open a business in this economy. Unfortunately, Nevada City just wouldn’t be Nevada City unless there was disagreement. The owner of Dos Banditos restaurant launched a petition to keep Beach Hut out of town, claiming its franchise status would ruin the town and create an unfair competitive advantage. “A franchise in a historical town? People come to Nevada City to get away from franchises,” Dos Banditos owner Eric Engstrom told the Sacramento Bee in Sunday’s edition. “What next, Starbucks?”

Engstrom, by the way, also operates a taco stand up on Broad Street and is asking the city for a larger sign.

The Smiths are naturally disappointed. They probably expected a more neighborly welcome. The City Council is expected to hear the issue Wednesday night and I hope they dismiss the protest with some admonition.

Rather than debate the merits of a beach-themed deli, perhaps the merchants would be better off worrying about the real possibility of the Foothill Theatre Company, and quite possibly the Nevada Theatre, shutting down. If that landmark Broad Street structure is eventually boarded up, a deli will be the least of Nevada City’s worries.

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

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