Illustration by Bob Aul Ryan the intern came over to the Clockwork desk on March 14 and said, "Hey, Clockwork, quit licking that and take a look at what I just came across." He proceeded to whip out something from the Web page of Assemblyman Robert Pacheco (R-Riverside). You might recall that Pacheco— not to be confused with that Japanese pinball game of nearly the same name—was the Assembly Republican leader for about two minutes before the party leadership realized they'd put a Hispanic in a high-level position. Our own Scott "Not a Hispanic" Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) then slithered into the post. What caught Ryan the intern's fancy was Pacheco's proposed Assembly Bill 1085: Drug-Free Mobile Home Parks. Now that we've created zones around schools and playgrounds to keep our kids off the drugs, it seems at first look as if Pacheco wants to protect our seniors from the drugs doctors don't shoot into the old farts to artificially preserve them long enough to completely bankrupt our Social Security system. But on closer reading, Pacheco's bill doesn't mention seniors at all. The legislation, sponsored by Golden State Mobilehomes Association, would tack a year onto the sentence of anyone convicted of selling minors heroin, coke, crack, LSD or PCP at trailer parks, including playgrounds, youth centers, clubhouses and video arcades. Heroin? Coke? Crack? LSD? PCP? Playgrounds? Youth centers? Clubhouses? Video arcades? Damn, no wonder Grandma Clockwork won't return our calls.
KNOTT'S SCARY FARM What's the deal with Knott's Berry Farm and roller coasters? The latest problem is the WindJammer, which was shut down—presumably for good—because the damn thing essentially won't jam in the wind. Knott's has filed a $6.2 million lawsuit against TOGO International because of maintenance problems, and the Buena Park theme park wants the Japanese coaster manufacturer to take the wooden monstrosity away, The Orange County Register reported on March 15. The suit reportedly says the ride has closed repeatedly due to design flaws that keep WindJammer cars from operating in winds of 25 mph or more, but it sometimes grinds to a halt in breezes as gentle as 3 mph. Among those who will likely be sad to see WindJammer go are area chiropractors, since riders often complained about the painful way the ride jerked them around. Of course, neck and back pain's a picnic compared to getting whopped upside the head with a falling board. Last summer, a piece of wood jarred loose from Knott's Berry Farm's GhostRider and struck five riders, including a tourist who was hospitalized overnight with cuts to his head. Union workers had expressed fears about GhostRider's workmanship when nonunion laborers put the thing up in spring 1998. Just try to get us out of Camp Snoopy now.
SINGING IN THE RAIN A Clockwork Orange—the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film adapted from the Anthony Burgess futuristic novel that was amazingly adapted from this column even though this column didn't start until 25 years after the film was released—returned to British cinemas on March 17. Kubrick had effectively banned his most controversial film from playing in his adopted home more than a quarter-century ago amid death threats and Brit-government criticism that the film, which is about a gang of thugs indulging in a rape and murder spree they call "ultraviolence," glamorized violence. (What the . . .? Were they looking at the same movie we saw?) Contrary to what you may have heard, Kubrick did not vow that Clockwork would only play in Britain over his dead body, which is why it's screening there now (he died last year). He'd actually decided before going to the Great Cutting Room in the Sky that the time was right to rerelease what he considered his most complete film. This Clockwork—the one you're reading—would also like to deny the ugly rumor that we appeared in the movie as the giant impaling weenie. That was our little brother.