A small town in Sonoma County, California, population of about 8,000. I used to work there while living in Santa Rosa. I'm sure it has some nice people in it, but all the kooks and assholes there are very conspicuous. One of the most unique things about Sebastopol is the huge involvement of the populace in its city government. Every city council meeting seems to have more than the usual amount of wackos, they seem to have gathered and conspired, it seems, and everyone else is an evil fuck. A meeting can rarely get anywhere because some sidewalk lunatic has to be heard. It has recently been known as Ban Town because it has set out to ban just about everything despite that its pseudo-liberals wants the town to be known for its tolerance of all people. Some of its citizens want to ban WIFI and Smart Meters (PG&E's radio-controlled utility meters) because they think it is very harmful to your health. Other cities call them the tinfoil-hatted. They freak out because the radio towers here are made to look like trees and old water towers on a farm; it must be a secret conspiracy planting all those hidden towers; they want the shitty towers more obvious? It has banned public drinking due mostly to the increasing incidents of drunk teen-aged assholes causing problems. It is now up in arms over leaf blowers; I hate leaf blowers, but you'd think this was the most important issue for the town since the skate park with how much press it gets.
Dude A: Dude, let's head over to Sebastopol and have some fun with them hippie chicks.
Dude B: Nah, can't! Don't ya remember they banned our ass, man!
Walking down Sebastopol's Main Street you may notice anything from some pathetic middle-aged virgin dressed like a wizard; a bunch of clueless old folks who are very much supported by housing and a senior center, but watch out for the old lady driving the wrong way down the one-way street; or some snobby dipshit who thinks his shit don't stink. Both uppity hippies and dopey conservatives try to live with each other here. From holes drilled along the sidewalks, flags that were deposited by the local Boys Scouts troop stand and wave on all the patriotic holidays, and it was scandalous when some dude was caught by a bank machine camera trying to fill the flag holes with cement in the middle of the night. The anti-war Women in Black protest while across the street a bunch of rednecks wearing yellow ribbons chant loudly at them "Support our troops!"
Redneck: Support yer troops!
Women in Black: Stop the bloodshed!
Dude: Sebastopol is intense, man.
One of Sebastopol's jewels was Ives Park, had lots of character once, with an old metal monkey bars tarnished by the hands of countless kids, a man-made concrete creek with steep sides that splits the park in two that fed a pond filled with lively geese and ducks and fish. The park was surrounded by a wall of tall bushes that contained the space but which had openings here and there for access to the outside. A unique stand of majestic, old redwoods with a dedication plaque is a nice visit to stop and look up the tall trees. I was saddened when the playground equipment was replaced with its more boring plastic version (probably because a bunch of dopey overprotective parents thought the old stuff was unsafe); the geese and ducks are gone because the creek is polluted and filled with shitty garbage, and some were even killed by some assholes; everything from a mattress to one of the goddam park benches (which was covered with every kind of graffiti) that had previously been fastened to the ground ended up in the creek; the bushy border was taken down because it kept the cops from being able to look in and see the criminal activity, ruining the comforting enclosed feel of the place. It used to be peaceful but now it is filled with young, scary, obnoxious, foul-mouthed fucks and their stupid rap music blaring, and gross bums wizzing
in the bushes despite a public restroom is nearby. I saw some loser taking a dump under the redwoods.
Woman in park: Sir, what are you doing behind that bush?
Bum: Just doing nature's thang in ol' Sebastopol.
Woman: Why not use the restroom?
Bum: The paper's coarse!
Sometimes at Ives Park you saw an old dude who performed some kind of slow Tai Chi dance on the outdoor stage there to get attention. The town tries to give the park some class once in a while with Shakespeare in the Park and festivals. After a downtown parade, the Apple Blossom Festival happens in the park each year in celebration of the importance of the apple to Sebastopol's history. Ironically, very few apple products are produced there anymore, but they celebrate their lost industry despite that. The festival can attract outsiders to boost their economy, which brings up the contradictory, anti-progressive nature of the town; people there want the town to stay small and quaint, yet they want to bring in visitors to help their financial woes. Very wacky place. They call themselves Sebastopudlians. Jonathan Swift stuff, man. Despite all the shit I said about Sebastopol, it is an interesting place to stroll around in. It has some funky shops and the local sculptor has his funny junk art everywhere. The people on the street are mostly friendly. The music store is a cool place to try out all kinds of cool instruments.
Rock star: So, what they call the losers here?
Rock star: Get the fuck out! Sebastopol is messed up!