This could be our last chance …

A little over three years ago I modestly proposed a surefire way to put Vacaville back on the map and keep it there for all eternity (or at least through the following July).

The plan was simple: Form a limited partnership, amass a war chest of, say, $500, and split the funds to make down payments on both the weed-choked Nut Tree property and the mediocrity-choked Oakland Raiders.

Voila! With a little work and some creative financing we’d have had the Nut Tree Raiders and Vacaville’s future would have been shining brighter than a Suisun City saloon siphon.

Unfortunately, we were only able to raise $3.79 from Vacaville’s notoriously tight-fisted investors and the rest is history. The Nut Tree became the Fish Bowl and the Oakland Raiders marched proudly into the playoffs again. Our window of opportunity slammed shut with great finality.

Bitter but unbowed, I’m willing to give Vacaville one last chance for glory. We may no longer have the world’s biggest Wooz. We may no longer have the world’s biggest Safeway. And we no longer have the world’s largest pumpkin, but we may be able to lay claim to the world’s biggest squid if we move quickly and decisively.

Go ahead, say it: S-Q-U-I-D. It sounds like victory. Now try saying B-I-G S-Q-U-I-D. Sounds even better, doesn’t it?

And Vacaville’s newest symbol of success is just waiting for us to scoop it up and bring it home. All it will take is guts, brains and plenty of salt water.

Perhaps I should explain.

(Sure, why not?)

According to the Associated Press, a new, bigger-than-the-average-Toyota species of mystery squid has recently been discovered “in the cold, inky black three miles below the surface of the ocean.”

Hey, this already sounds like fun, but there’s more. It’s goofy-looking, has bizarre, 20-foot spidery legs and a little pin head. Best of all, there are plenty of them down there and they’re not an endangered species.

And, they’re everywhere. These colorful and collectible cephalopods have been sighted in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico and nobody, but nobody, has laid claim to them yet.

All we need to do to capitalize on this truly unique and obviously adaptable ocean life is to dredge a 15,000-foot-deep lagoon adjacent to downtown Vacaville’s celebrated CreekWalk, fill it with fresh seawater and then go squid hunting.

Sure, it’ll cost a little more than the Oakland Raiders would have three or four years ago, but it’ll be well worth the initial outlay.

We’ll have the SquidWalk, Calamari Corners and the Tentacle Festival – a triple crown of deep-sea fun right in our own back yard.

Remember Squidley’s, the fabled Vacaville restaurant that was far, far ahead of its time? It could be back, bigger and better than ever (more cocktail sauce, garcon!).

Don’t let this chance slip by.

Weigh anchor and hoist the mainsail – all we need do is dare to be great …

Originally published February 3, 2002

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