Yes, I know it is hard to believe, but I am a jerk. Actually, it should be another more descriptive word, but this is a family-friendly newspaper. Well, except for on Wednesdays. By the way, the Opinion Editors at the Nexus have always been great, and I always meant to thank them for not printing my random word groupings on Wednesdays. As my kids are getting older, I would hate to have to hide my saved Nexus papers under a stack of Playboys. But I digress…

Yes, I am a butthead, a jerk, a hoser (for all you Canucks), a bastard or any other name that seems to refer to donkeys, male anatomy or feminine hygiene products. If there is one thing I can count on in a college town, it’s that there will always be new, clever ways to name call. In the many years working at UCSB and in Isla Vista, I’ve been called just about all of them. I admit I don’t always understand the references — partly because I am getting older and not all that hip to the current slang and partly because maybe I overthink them. Honestly, when I am called a butt-wipe, I think of a really soft and gentle sanitary baby wipe that feels good against the skin. Is that really a bad thing? Really, just call me a jerk. I know what you mean, and you know what? You’re probably right.


I was trying to get home one night on Del Playa and there were a couple of cops on the street. They weren’t letting anyone go down the street and when I kept explaining that I lived just a couple of buildings down the street, the cop yelled at me and threatened to arrest me if I didn’t go the other way. Why was he a jerk, and can the cops stop me from going down my street to get to my house?

Yeah. That was probably me. A couple of months ago, there was an incident on Sabado Tarde where a guy began shooting a gun and ran through some apartment buildings towards Del Playa. Officers were just down the street when the gun was being fired and saw the guy take off. We had to block off part of Del Playa and Sabado Tarde in order to try to catch the guy and try to keep people from going into the area where he might have been. Considering this was a Friday night, there were quite a few people heading home. Even with every officer in the area there, it still was difficult to close down a small part of I.V. While on Del Playa, I repeatedly had to tell people to go the other way since there was a man with a gun somewhere nearby. You may have noticed that many of us were carrying assault rifles and were hiding behind cars and walls. It was not a safe area and after telling the same people several times that they could not go through that area, I was a bit testy. Sorry if it was rude, but it wasn’t like I was taking pleasure in keeping you from your warm and cozy bed. I actually didn’t want people going into a dangerous area. So after several times of coming out from the safety of cover and turning my back toward where a gunman might be (and he was there), I was a jerk. And can we stop you from going down your street? When there is a dangerous situation, absolutely. A big part of my job is keeping people out of danger whenever possible. Sorry to be a jerk to you, but if you see the cops walking around with assault rifles, it’s probably a bad situation and staying away might be a good idea anyway. It’s safe now, so how about a hug?


I was pulled over and when I gave the officer my driver license, he saw my California ID card in my wallet. He took the ID card that I’ve kept since high school and said I wasn’t allowed to keep it. I wasn’t using it, so why did he take it?

In California, and I am assuming it’s probably the same in most states, it’s illegal to have two state identification cards. I realize one says Identification Card and the other says Driver License, but other than those words, they are the same thing. Oh, and one of them allows you to drive a car. I always forget which one.

The reason they don’t want you have two identifications is that many bad things happen when you have two IDs. Not bad like Godzilla-stomping-on-your-house bad, but pretty bad. A second ID floating around tends to get lost and is a boon to identity thieves. They can use the ID card or driver license to open credit accounts at stores and next thing you know, I’m knocking on your door asking why you bought 40 cases of Lactaid and a year’s supply of Depends at CVS. Even though it wasn’t you, it still is a pain to clear your credit history.

Also, from a cop’s perspective, the second ID often ends up in the hands of a younger friend who was “just holding it for” you. Also, they often end up holding a 12-pack of Natty Light outside SOS Liquor for you as well. Soon the ID is being seized, tickets are being written, someone ends up going to jail, SWAT teams are descending from mysterious black helicopters, martial law is declared and Godzilla is stomping on your house! Do you not realize that having a second ID can lead to giant radiated lizards stomping on people’s homes? So to save Tokyo, or at least to save a really bad Matt Broderick remake from hurting you, we will take the second ID and send it back to the DMV.


So what have we learned today? Apparently I am a class-A jerk, two IDs can destroy Tokyo and reading these articles can lead to confusion and dementia. I do what I can for you because I care. Be safe and stay warm!

When Mark Signa’s kids are old enough for “the talk,” he has a pile of Wednesday Nexuses waiting for them. No talking necessary.


Got caught by a cop? Your party popped by the po-po? Ticked by a ticket? If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you; question authority! Email me anytime at or call UCSB PD at (805) 893-3446.