LISTENING FOR THE FIFE AND DRUM, OCEAN BEACH —
"Ocean Beach has always been about freedom," says Ocean Beach Citizens Brigade Confectionary Sergeant Ralph Wegmans. "And now a tyranny — once benign, but now malignant — is seeking to curtail that freedom. Americans fought a war once to throw off such a tyranny. That's why we have an Independence Day. And this Independence Day, we are prepared to fight another war — a marshmallow war — to keep that tyranny at bay."
Wegmans is referring to the OB Town Council's effort to shut down the Ocean Beach Marshmallow War, held annually on July 4 since 1985. Town Council Loyalists have cited the mess created by the war: some 2000 pounds of trash last year alone, much of it hard-to-clean sugary goo. They also claim that military escalation has brought frozen and flaming marshmallows into the fray, increasing the danger to local citizenry.
Wegmans is unmoved. "Freedom isn't free," he insists. "It has always come with a price. This case is no different. If people aren't willing to brave the pillowy barrage, then perhaps they're living in the wrong place. Perhaps they would prefer PB, Land of a Thousand Checkpoints. Or La Jolla, the coven of covenants. But it's OB for me, the land of the free. God Bless Ocean Beach."