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Let Inga Tell You: My favorite column openers, Part 4: Life in La Jolla

La Jolla's beauty can't be denied, but that doesn't mean living here doesn't have its quirks, as Inga attests.
(Kathryn Anthony)

This fall will commence my 14th year of writing “Let Inga Tell You.” It’s been the best retirement gig ever. I’ve covered a lot of topics, some of them repeatedly: technology, kids, husbands, aging, rats, weight, parking, appliances, COVID and a host of local issues.

Over the past few columns, I’ve recapped some of my favorite leads from the time I started this column. (No, I’m not retiring.) Previously I covered husbands, kids, pets, grandkids, health and aging. This week it’s life in La Jolla.

• I know that everyone has to die of something. I, for example, am more than willing to die from chocolate. What I’m not willing to have is Death By Vons Parking Lot. People roar down the aisles of that lot like Bobby Unser on the Indianapolis Speedway. Except, of course, that when Bobby took the curve in the final stretch, he wasn’t talking on his cellphone. [Aug. 20, 2009]

• What is so rare as a day in June that is not gloomy? [June 15, 2016]

• I think it should be standard practice that after a remodel, you give a party for your neighbors and beg their forgiveness. [Sept. 11, 2014]

• It was the Monday of Thanksgiving week, three days before the kids and grandtots would be arriving, when my kitchen suddenly smelled like a marlin had died on the countertop. I only had one question: Does God hate me? [Dec. 10, 2015] [A possum had died and decomposed in the crawl space under my kitchen.]

• You know you’re turning into a curmudgeon when you can’t decide whether to write about dog poop or leaf blowers. [Sept. 19, 2013]

• Those who celebrated the Chinese New Year on Jan. 25 know that this is the Year of the Rat. I couldn’t help but reflect that in La Jolla, it is always the year of the rat. The little buggers really like it here. [March 12, 2020]

• There have long been allegations that there are plenty of parking-structure and off-street spaces in downtown La Jolla if the local denizens weren’t too cheap to pay for them. Well, OK, we are too cheap to pay for them, but that’s the least of it. [April 7, 2021]

• I can only conclude that La Jolla’s motto should be “Build it and you will get away with it.” [March 19, 2020]

• You know that life around you has become too perpetually noisy when you hear a sound that you can’t quite place but seems familiar. Then you realize it’s birds chirping. In fact, it’s your own aviary birds. [May 5, 2021]

• Sometimes I think I’ve fallen into the twilight zone when I realize I live in a state where it’s illegal to get a haircut. [Jan. 13, 2021]

• I was going to write about the vaccine rollout last week but my first draft was 25,000 words and they only allow me 800. But maybe that says it all right there. [Feb. 17, 2021]

• With an 11,000-square-foot lawn-infested lot and only a 1,600-square-foot home, my husband and I are plagued with nightmares of San Diego’s newly-created Water Police showing up in the dead of night. The only question is: Will they be after us or the azaleas? [June 2, 2009]

• Every letter to the editor on the subject of the drought suggests converting lawns to a garden of “attractive native plants.” Is it just me or is “attractive native plants” an oxymoron? [June 18, 2015]

• Even in a beach community, restaurants have standards, as in the not-uncommon sign “No shirt, no shoes, no come in.” It goes without saying that they’re referring to guys, as probably nothing would be better for business than women showing up topless. [Aug. 24, 2017]

• The man who knocked on my front door pointed to the curb. “Is that your car?” Instantly you know there’s no good news to be had. Which doesn’t, of course, keep you from fantasizing that he’ll say, “I just wanted to say that I totally love those older-model Toyota Corollas. Such classic lines. And so affordable.” [May 1, 2014] [My car was hit-and-run.]

• DMV, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. [Nov. 14, 2019] [Getting my Real ID]

• One night about a year and a half ago, some miscreants wandered up and down our street and smashed the side mirrors and taillights of more than 50 high-end cars. They significantly damaged our neighbor’s Lexus SUV, then moved to our driveway, where they whacked Olof’s BMW. But like the Angel of Death, they passed over my 2005 Corolla. I couldn’t help but wonder at the time: Was this a class thing? Did they consider my crappy Corolla one of their own? Or, I feared, did they just think it wasn’t worth the effort? [May 7, 2015]

Inga’s lighthearted looks at life appear regularly in the La Jolla Light. Reach her at inga47@san.rr.com. ◆