Then all of a sudden, you know, the Padres say, even though they signed off on the changes that took place at Qualcomm -- the Padres signed off on that, so apparently that was okay with them at the time that these so-called improvements took place. All of a sudden it's like, gee, the Pads need a new ballpark. I've been going to games since before Jack Murphy Stadium was built, so I've been basically in my baseball-viewing career, Jack Murphy Qualcomm has been the venue where I've seen most of the baseball I've ever seen. Seems like a fine place to me. I have no problem with it. But all of the sudden they announce they need this new ballpark, and there's this amazing capacity in the city council to fund this thing and go for it. All of a sudden they're all gung ho, which I found to be really, you know, after their timorous reaction to the public outrage over the improvements at Qualcomm, you know, all of a sudden they're just these fearless leaders in getting us this ballpark. This thing costs three times -- and it will probably end up costing more -- but it's three times what the library would cost, and they're just, like, leading the charge, they're ready to go. At that point I just said, you know, we have a real problem with our values in this city. I mean, San Diego's always been provincial, sort of a backwater in a way. It's almost like a suburb of Los Angeles. It's always had this sort of, like, lesser-than attitude, and thus natives have always had this fear of being a lesser city; so, gee, if you're going to be a big city in America, you have to have all these big sports teams, you know, so I guess that's what drives this whole thing. I'm convinced it's this sort of provincial fear of being a second-rate city, which we are! San Diego is a second-rate city. The reason we're a second-rate city is precisely things like this. "We have to have a ballpark just like Baltimore has," and loses money on, by the way. So, anyway, the whole thing just rubbed me raw; so, I thought, there's got to be a way to tie the library into this thing and bring the library issue back onto the table, which so far it doesn't seem to be back on the table, but they've made some sort of grudging references to it, but...
MP: So, what did you do? You designed this bumper sticker?
JM: Well, I made a sign and I put it in the window of my shop. I feel like this is the home of the brave and the free, right? So we can express ourselves, supposedly. I put this little sign in the window of my shop that has nothing to do with my business. You know, one of my customers told me, "You know, you're kind of like one of those guys, those Christians that put that little fish sign, that's sort of offensive to a lot of people." But I thought, you know, I don't know how else to express myself. What do I do, paint it on my clothing? I don't know. How does one go about expressing an opinion publicly? I don't own a newspaper; that's my basic problem. Anyway, so I put this sign in the windows, and it says, "Stadium? Thanks, got one. A library I could use." I started getting, I mean, people started coming in and asking, "Where do I sign up?" and all of this kind of stuff. I'm going, you know there's no organized opposition to this thing; that's just my sign. Sorry, I wish I could help you. After dozens of people came in asking where they could sign up or whether I sold bumper stickers or something, I thought, that's it. And then Welton Jones came in, the guy who writes columns for the paper. I don't read the local paper, but I recognized his name. He wrote a little piece, just had a little couple of sentences about me in there, and then it was just an onslaught. People were coming in and saying, "Damn, where's the bumper stickers, pal?" So I printed bumper stickers, like, it's not something I normally do, but I had to, you know? So I printed up the bumper stickers, and they've been selling like hotcakes.
MP: How many did you print?
JM: I printed about 400 the first run and I'm out of them. So I printed up a couple hundred more, and I'm thinking about sending out for more because it's not my particular forte.
MP: How much are you selling them for?
JM: A buck. Now the organization wants to use the idea, you know, the organized group. I said fine, if they want to sell it or whatever, it's great with me. So we've come up with some other ones, too; like I was telling you about one on the phone.
MP: What's that?
JM: It says "Field of Schemes" on the top, then on the bottom it says, "If you build it, you will pay." Sort of a takeoff on Field of Dreams. I checked with a few people to see if it works and they said, yeah, we get it. Sometimes you don't know, you come up with something. I've always done bumper stickers in small quantities of 20 or 30, just as jokes for friends. Like some friends of mine lived in Vista, and the Christians took over their school district, so I made one that said, "Pray for condoms in school," to kind of mix it up on that issue. But I've never sold them before; they've always been like a joke. When Nixon died, I did one that said, "Nixon's not dead. He's the U.S. ambassador to Hades." You know, stuff like that.
MP: You said you were getting some negative reaction, too. What's the ratio of positive to negative?