Breaking News!

Illustration by Bob Aul This just in to Clockwork's Action Live Eyewitness Station of the People Storm Watch 2001 Desk: HOLYFREAKIN'MOTHEROFGOD, IT'S NOTRAINING! Our cousins in TV news may have overhead choppers, blown-dry hair, inflated salaries, even more inflated egos and cool outerwear, but that doesn't mean we can't go outside for this live report. Wonder if we need to unplug the computer before . . .

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SLIME TIME LIVE We'll return to Clockwork's Action Live Eyewitness Station of the People Storm Watch 2001 Desk in a moment, but first: the Santa Margarita Water District waited 16 hours before notifying county health officials of a Feb. 25 spill that flushed 42,000 gallons of raw sewage—not Christmas margaritas, as the district's name falsely implies—onto Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. County health officials say they need to know immediately about spills so warnings can be posted for swimmers. The water district's tardy notification could bring such stiff penalties as an inconsequential fine or a stern "You better not try that again, mister!"

SOAKED CITY The weather stops getting all biblical, and everything goes kablooey here at Clockwork's Action Live Eyewitness Station of the People Storm Watch 2001 Desk. But we're back at a busy Fullerton intersection watching cars no longer navigating the curb-to-curb death flood! As we approach a semi that's not going all Dale Earnhardt on us . . . uh, check that . . .

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AND NOW, THE REST OF THE STORY Santa Margarita water officials—who do not man blenders, as the district's name falsely implies—contend the law requires them to notify the county of sewage spills only "as soon as practical." The spill occurred at 5 p.m. on a Sunday and took about three hours to sop up. Then at 8 p.m., an all-new episode of The Simpsons was on. Next it was off to Carl's Jr. for those double-beef, double-cheese burgers with nummy cheese paper! The water boys rushed home to make sure the spill wasn't covered on the LA newscasts. No problemo: TV news bureaus in OC are closed on weekends (news only happens here Monday through Friday). After rolling into the office at 9 the next morning, they noticed the yellow stickies on their computers, reminding them to tell county health officials about the 42,000 gallons of human shit that flowed into public waters 16 hours earlier.

GIMME SHELTER Clockwork's Action Live Eyewitness Station of the People Storm Watch 2001 Desk is outside downtown Santa Ana's government complex—the home of the homeless—to find out how folks who live roofless 24/7 cope now that there's no rain. We are under a stairwell with a shaggy gent in a soggy refrigerator box that is . . . wait a second . . . Yes! We can confirm that it's drizzling. "Sir, your reaction to this rain?"

"Rain? What rain? That's Weird Harold peeing on us."

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FUNNY PAGES Two makeovers ago—what was that? Two years ago?—The Orange County Registerwas among the most bitchen-looking dailies in the country. Then it remade itself to appear all "street," like the old Herald Examiner. Starting March 4, it re-remade itself into the Irvine World News. We don't know what tosses our breakfast burrito more: the advertising coupon at the bottom of the front page or the March 5 "news" story, "Hundreds respond to Register's new look." An alternative headline: "265,543 don't give a shit."

 
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