Font fiasco infuriates fusspots, but then everything does

UMM... Community Development Director David Loya tries to explain elusive details of Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) via interpretive dance with help from his “li’l explainers,” Fluffy Dimples the Accessory Dwelling Unit Budgerigar and Rory the Rent Stabilization Bear, to a visibly discomfited council, trying to avert their eyes from the unfortunate spectacle. Photo courtesy Shea Freedomhowler | Union

Asta Fanasta
Mad River Union

ARCATA, APRIL 1 – Protesters again disrupted last night’s meeting of the Arcata City Council, took over the Council Chamber and are demanding that the city use a radically different font in its board meeting packets.

The occupation began organically as activists filed in Council Chamber, hoping to learn more about a fascinating 5,000-word ordinance that would slightly alter building setback requirements and make minor, technical changes to signage regulations. One activist was deep in the weeds, devouring the ordinance’s language and learning about sewer laterals, when it dawned on him the entire packet was written using the Times New Roman font.

The activist said in an interview that he’s interested in the nuances of governance, such as regulating the groundwater infiltration of sewer laterals, but the font problem obliterated all other concerns.

As word of this egregiously insensitive font choice spread amongst the crowd, the activists rose up 

council from the dais. Some carried signs that stated “Down with Julius Caesar” and “Gladiators go home.”

“The use of Times New Roman is an act of violence against my people,” said Winston Bandwhittle-Wooster, the self-styled “serif sheriff” who is of English heritage, and recounted with disgust the Roman occupation of Great Britian from 43 to 410 AD. 

“Haven’t you ever heard of Hadrian’s Wall?” said the Englishman through a set of crooked, yellowed teeth that reeked of Earl Gray and pimm’s cups.

“Stop! Just stop,” an activist bellowed at the council, as she does at every meeting.

Although councilmembers were initially defensive about their use of the Times New Roman font, the occupation has apparently weakened their resolve.

Councilmember Brett Watson is now experimenting with the board meeting packet fonts and has mocked up versions featuring Apple Chancery, Shanty, Comic Sans and Papyrus. 

Polled about which font they would prefer, most of the activists were leaning towards Papryus, although some were concerned that the biblically-inspired font could represent cultural appropriation. There are also concerns that use of Papyrus by a government agency might meet the threshhold of being a terrorist act under United Nations conventions. 

Watson said that another option being considered is to simply hand-write every page in the board packet, although there are concerns that the city would need to hire a small army of scribes. 


The council was next forced  to deal with a legacy issue, which manifested a few years ago when a giant tar ball the size of a bus was extracted from a sewer main on downtown H Street, the result of 50 years of bong-smoking hippies rinsing their works into the drains.  

It turns out the chemical reaction had an unexpected byproduct: “Dynocannamegachemahol.”

A nontoxic but highly potent mind-altering substance that has been equated (by scientists) to slamming four shots of tequila and inhaling several hits from a 86 mg THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) vape pen.  In clinical trials, several reactions have been observed, from happy giddiness and dancing on the way to work to full-on headaches with nausea and vomiting.

But the canny council quickly realized the profit potential of the newly found substance, recognizing that proceeds could house the homeless, pay for local health care and feed the 98 percent.  

Local cannabis labs are working diligently to understand the extraction process and county supervisors are debating the viability of the project. 

Winkler: conflicted again

Occasional Mayor Michael Winkler, who per routine had to recuse himself from most of the evening’s business due to conflicts of interest, returned to Council Chamber just in time for another round of denunciations from Wanda Condescenda-Jeremiad.

She and erstwhile cohort Grumbla Grimm-Green proceeded to fault the council for a number of shortcomings, some containing a grain of factual basis but most of it the usual made-up crap incubated in the struggle junkies’ online echo chambers.

Realizing that the protesters were dealing in overblown exaggerations, fear mongering and self-serving falsehoods, Winkler declared a still another conflict of interest. He explained that those sorts of arguments compose the bulk of his statements from the dais, and could be seen as a form of competition. 

The occasional mayor amused himself during that portion of the council meeting in City Hall’s Community Development department, thumbing through new development project applications so as to identify fresh prospects for his energy consulting business.


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