Illustration by Bob Aul Sandi Ciz and a friend got more than they bargained for when they entered what they believed to be a typical haunted house in the parking lot of the Block at Orange on Halloween night. Called "Heaven-n-Hell," the joint featured live actors re-creating a murder, a suicide, slavery, torture, prostitution, a drunk-driving accident, a trip to hell for not worshiping God 24/7—in other words, a weekend at Clockwork's place. But this creep-a-thon concluded with a tour guide telling everyone how evil the world is, blessing those who identified themselves as Christians, and handing out a brochure on the Bible. "This is something that was extremely misleading to the people paying $5 per person to enter what was thought to be innocent Halloween fun, only to be more of a brainwashing-type sermon," Ciz told us. "I myself believe that religion is important and that people have the right to believe in what they want, but it's a different story to entrap people in order to preach to them." Oh, it's worse than that, missy: when Bible-thumpers start horning in on perfectly fine pagan rituals, frogs and locusts falling from the sky can't be far off.
MORE EVIDENCE FROGS AND LOCUSTS WILL FALL FROM THE SKY The Oct. 31 episode of CNN's Crossfire prompted Weekly music scribe Buddy Seigal to fire over an e-mail titled "I Really May Vomit." What had Seigal battling to keep his lunch down was the sight of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) "railing about how Al Gore is in the pocket of corporate interests and saying that people who are principled about environmental causes ought to vote for [Ralph] Nader." If you believe the "Surfin' Congressman" and longtime GOP hack is crying in his beer over Nader losing by 46,231,828 votes, we've got a stealth-candidate scheme we'd like to sell you.
GET OUT OF JAIL CARD The Santa Ana-based 4th District Court of Appeals on Oct. 31 reversed the felony convictions against Matthew Raabe for the ex-county assistant treasurer's role in 1994's $1.6 buh-buh-billion bankruptcy. For those keeping score at home, that means NO ONE is in jail for the largest municipal financial fuckup in U.S. history. Former treasurer Robert Citron played the "I'm Stupid" card and got nine months of work release. County supervisors who failed to mind the store retired to avoid prosecution. Other county employees got off on legal technicalities. Too bad none of them were caught providing medical marijuana to dying people so they could get real hard time.
SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE Jerry "Glowmeister" Collamer on Nov. 2 e-mailed us a slew of marketing ideas for his hometown of San Clemente now that Southern California Edison plans to store thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods at the nearby San Onofre nuclear-power plant (see "Waste Central" by Nick Schou, page 10). Collamer suggests San Clemente High School change its mascot to a glowworm and rename its football team the Mutants. He also offers "You Look Positively Radiant" as a new civic slogan. "San Clemente can lay absolute claim to the phrase 'A Hotbed of Activity,'" concludes Herr Cornball. We're all for gallows humor at a time like this, but pity the poor tanning-booth operators and door-to-door microwave-oven salesmen who'll be driven out of business.
FRIED RICE, HOLD THE EGG ROLL UC Irvine researchers published a study in the Nov. 3 issue of Science that found the world's rice paddies emit ozone-depleting gases into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, China Daily reported on Oct. 28 that male sexual problems such as sterility, erectile dysfunction and prostate hyperplasia are rising, due to serious environmental pollution. In other words, a guy can't go outside in China without risking bouts of skin cancer and impotence. Insensitive types might call this cost-effective population control, but all things considered, we'd rather be in San Clemente.