By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
PIGNATARO: Doesn't sound good to us . . . especially considering that had the county gone with A Taxi, it would have taken in half a million bucks more than it gets with American.
MOXLEY: I wish I was rich enough to blow half a million bucks.
PIGNATARO: Speaking of blowing, our third nominee is, well, something of a celebrity around here. In fact, this nominee has pretty much kept me working for, what's it been . . . three years now? Of course, I'm speaking of the county's proposed El Toro International Airport.
MOXLEY: How could we do justice to the biggest land-use project in the history of Orange County? It's got four big runways, all of which point in the wrong direction and have to be rebuilt—but the county insists nothing's wrong. The airport is surrounded by hills that make landing and taking off tricky, but county officials see no difficulties.
PIGNATARO: Instead of working to solve these problems, the county produced a lot of pretty drawings and glowing studies. Judging by the results of the big Measure F ballot measure in March, pretty much everyone out there agrees it's all bullshit.
MOXLEY: Which brings us to our last nominee, the Fletcher Flood Control Basin, located deep in the proud, proud city of Orange.
PIGNATARO: This is something of a dark-horse entry, considering that most people in the county probably don't even know it exists. But it's there —or rather, it's not there anymore! You see, Fletcher is a flood-control basin that, for one reason or another, the county decided to fill with dirt. That makes it not a basin! That was about five years ago—before the county realized that filling the basin put the surrounding residential neighborhood in danger of seasonal flooding.
MOXLEY: Aren't the wonders of science and engineering just incredible? And it only took the county five years! Anyway, digging out the basin will cost about $1 million.
PIGNATARO: Those are the nominees, all of which are deserving of special attention. But the winner is . . .
[PIGNATARO tears at an immense envelope. MOXLEY leans in over PIGNATARO's shoulder.]
PIGNATARO: . . . the El Toro Airport!
[Camera pans the audience. They rise as one, slapping their hands together in a raucous demonstration of support, as if to say this is, indeed, the most obvious waste of the taxpayers' money.]
PIGNATARO: We know it wins these awards all the time, but hey! These guys throw away something like $10 million a year! And they haven't begun to build it!
MOXLEY: By our count, that adds up to $40 million so far. If that isn't a winner, I don't know what is.
SWAIM [from off-camera]: We go now to REBECCA Schoenkopf on location. [A large screen rises from behind the stage. MOXLEY and PIGNATARO look surprised.] REBECCA, can you tell us where you are and what you're doing?
REBECCA: Well, Will, I'm not sure. Steve said something about the El Toro Airport? He said to go give it an award for Best Waste of County Money.
SWAIM: Yes, REBECCA?
REBECCA: Well, there's no one here, Will. The cameraman and I have been driving around and around. It's all locked up.
SWAIM: So, once again, you can't quite do the job you've been assigned?
REBECCA: But, Will, it's all locked up! There's no one here! And it's scary and dark!
SWAIM: You're just going to have to find someone to accept the award.
[REBECCA consults with Jack the cameraman.]
REBECCA: Will, we think there might be some Marines at Captain Creem up the road. What if we find some there and give the award to them?
SWAIM: Marines at Captain Creem are not the same thing as Marines at El Toro.
REBECCA: YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE HAD ME RUNNING MY ASS OFF WITH BARELY EVEN ENOUGH TIME TO EAT, AND YOU'RE NOT EVEN PAYING FOR MY PARKING, AND YOU ARE BEING REALLY MEAN!
SWAIM: Just find a way to give out the damn award, REBECCA.
REBECCA: Fine! We'll award the award to the ground! Give me the goddamn trophy, Jack! GIVE IT TO ME! El Toro Airport, may I congratulate you on your stunning win for Biggest Waste of Taxpayers' Money? Congratulations!
[REBECCA places the trophy by the fence.]
REBECCA: NOW GET IN THE CAR, JACK! Let's go up to Captain Creem and get a drink.
JACK: Becca, we have to get back to the hall.
REBECCA: Don't I owe you $20? Look, I'll pay you back in singles. You can take your time spending it. NOW GET IN THE CAR!
[Black screen. The large screen descends.]
PIGNATARO [clearing throat]: Since the airport couldn't be here tonight, accepting for it is Marlon Osmond.
MARLON OSMOND: Thank you, thank you. You're all too kind. You know, whenever I'm in Branson, Andy—that's Andy Williams—always makes a point of asking me about the El Toro Airport. In fact, it was just last week that we were taking a Turkish bath over at Charles Nelson Reilly's place, and we talked about nothing but El Toro. . . . And then that Charo showed up! "Hoochie-coochie!" she kept saying in that chicken-scratch way of hers. Oh, I hear she can go all night. . . .