Planet of the AIDS

Earth to street artist: a message isn't a message if people don't get the message. Case in point: the HIV+ chimpanzee handbills we spotted all over Irvine and Garden Grove on June 23. The signs, which are generally glued onto electrical boxes, feature the abbreviation for human immunodeficiency virus, a plus sign (for "positive," we guess, unless this is an even more obscure mathematical formula) and the head of a chimp. The simian is laughing. Among those scratching their heads are officials with the AIDS Services Foundation of Orange County and the California Statewide AIDS Foundation in San Francisco ("We haven't seen anything like that up here," officials at the latter told us). Does the message have something to do with criticism of HIV research on animals? Alleged links between Josef Mengele, neo-Nazi groups, the CIA, Henry Kissinger, the Knights of Malta, and the mutation of the chimpanzee retrovirus SIV into HIV to wipe out dark-skinned people in Africa and gays in America? A clever marketing ploy for the new Planet of the Apes movie (starring Marky Mark as Chuck Heston and Chuck Heston as a damn dirty ape!)? Sadly, Clockwork must end this one with a communal shrug—and boy does our back hurt. (Research assistance by Aaron Ezroj)

GREASED LIGHTNING Ten electric cars are being loaned free to low- and moderate-income Anaheim residents as part of a $300,000 city-run, state-funded program aimed at cutting pollution, according to a July 24 story in the Times Orange County. What the Times didn't report: the same program replaced electric golf carts in Coto de Caza with 10 lowriders.

BREAKER, BREAKER, WE'VE GOT OUR SEVERED EARS ON Anti-abortionists have gone from clogging medical-clinic entrances to clogging local freeways. According to a July 25 Orange County Register story, big trucks with pictures of aborted fetuses and "abortionNO.org" signs are traveling in great big convoys across the 55, 91 and 405 freeways. Yeah, nothing endears you to a cause like a line of trucks making a political statement as you inch through bumper-to-bumper traffic. Oh, well, at least there are no HIV+ chimps; we understand abortionNO.org's message.

GRIDDLE ME THIS The Original Pancake House of Laguna Hills made the big time: the August issue of Consumer Reports. But the write-up wasn't about the restaurant's fluffy flapjacks. The mag's "Selling It" page needled the joint for a flier that said "Bring Mom in for Mother's Day" and advertised specials for a half-priced breakfast and $2 off on Dutch baby pancakes (Dutch baby pancakes? Jeepers, does abortionNO.org know about this?). As Consumer Reports keenly observed, the small print under the specials stipulated, "Not valid on Mother's Day."

JIF JAB Hats off to the Register for the most beautiful story ever on July 25. An argument two women were having over the affections of a massage therapist in Dana Point ended with one cuffed for assault. Her alleged crime? Hitting her foe upside the head with a peanut butter sandwich. Even if the allegations are true, we can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the suspect did not intend to hurt anyone. The sandwich contained creamy peanut butter! Everyone knows crunchy peanut butter is the lethal spread.

AIR HEAD A guy with pantyhose over his head walked into a Lake Forest credit union on July 26, pulled out a handgun and demanded money from three tellers. He filled his bags with loot and drove off in a Honda Accord with no license plates. Deputies searching the area came upon a plateless Accord with a flat tire on the 5 freeway near Sand Canyon. Inside the car were pantyhose, a handgun and a bag o' cash. The driver was arrested on suspicion of bank robbery. Damn, if you people remember nothing else, remember this: it's chunky peanut butter for head smacking, basic car care before robberies, and should you break down, toss any pantyhose, firearms and money. And one more thing: HIV+ chimp!

 
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