Wronging Our Writes

While the rest of you were out boozing it up, your favorite time marker ticked off the final seconds of 2001 nude and alone in our darkened cubicle, armed only with a flashlight to read and re-read our fan mail. Before we fire up the shredder like it's subpoena time in Ronald Reagan's National Security office, we'll share some with the rest of you.

Before Sept. 11—when it was still okay to refer to George Dubya Bush as a muttonhead—Tom Dunker of Garden Grove sent "T-shirts and Bumper Stickers I'd Like to See." Among them:

ONLY ABOUT HALF THE BUSH FAMILY ARE THIEVES; I WONDER WHO THEY WILL APPOINT AS PRESIDENT NEXT TIME AROUND; and GEORGE BUSH SAID THAT THE ELECTION WAS A TEST OF INTEGRITY. FORTUNATELY FOR HIM, MANY OF HIS FOLLOWERS DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD INTEGRITY. THEY THOUGHT MAYBE IT WAS A SEX DEVICE THAT BILL CLINTON USED ON MONICA LEWINSKY.

Gadzooks! You'll need quite a large T-shirt or bumper sticker for that last one.

Among several letters that Franny Hatch of Costa Mesa hand wrote on notebook paper was a three-pager heavily influenced by Bob Dylan. Hell, turns out just about everything's heavily influenced by Bob Dylan:

In the state of California, as you know, Matt Coker, Governor Gray Davis regulates and gives out thought communication (the governor of every state does the same and it comes from the federal government. Thought communication came to America from England in 1967, according to Bob Dylan). Thirteen people who are Bob Dylan's friends, all super stage-legend rockers, have verified thought communication (including Bob Dylan). Five people with affidavits on thought communication: 1) Bob Dylan, 2) Kris Kristofferson, 3) Paul Simon, 4) John Fogerty (individual super stage legend who used to be with Creedence Clearwater Revival), 5) James Taylor (if absolutely needed). Eight other super stage-legend rockers say they will back up Bob Dylan on thought communication. William Shatner, also a friend of Bob Dylan's, has said, "May I be a kind example of thought communication?" I would like to tell you, Matt Coker, that Brooke Shields also has told me about thought communication. She is also a friend of Bob Dylan's. Brooke Shields is "off the record."

Oops!

Finally, a Wilma Flintstone of Newport Beach reacted to our April 6, 2001, item that reported American Patrol, a hate group that trawls the border for brown people, "called two Weekly writers 'assholes,' our editor a 'traitor' and our readers 'sexual perverts.'" Wrote Wilma:

1) Some of you ARE assholes. 2) I can personally vouch for at least one of your readers being a sexual pervert (to wit: me). And, 3) When did reporters start sticking up for editors?

Ever since that threesome with Pebbles and Dino.

FASTER PUSSYCAT THRILL THRILL "Hold on tight and make sure your knuckles are white because this baby burns rubber across 2,202 feet of cool coral track," boasted Knott's Berry Farm's Dec. 14 announcement about Xcelerator, a '50s-themed rollercoaster scheduled to open in May that'll launch riders 82 mph in 2.3 seconds through a 205-foot ascent and immediate descent at a 90-degree angle. Will the boysenberry birthplace ever learn? Two patrons lost their lives on two other Knott's coasters in 2001, as the Buena Park theme park joined the Disney resort across the road in Anaheim in leading the state in the most thrill-ride accidents reported to the state that year. You see, to compete against each other and other tourist traps, these parks constantly outdo one another with bigger, faster or wilder rides. When it comes to safety, Disney and Knott's monitor themselves—and just recently decided to stop reporting all ride accidents to the state. Hell, yes, we'll hold on tight! FEAR OF A BROWN PLANET The Washington Times' John McCaslin led off his Dec. 17 Inside the Beltway column by insinuating that votes from "illegal aliens" put Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) over the top in her slim win over incumbent Bob Dornan in 1996. McCaslin then dropped the other zapato: Sanchez now opposes an election-reform bill because she believes it'll make it harder for people with language barriers to vote. McCaslin's implication is clear: Sanchez wants to keep getting votes from those damn illegals. Of course, the disputed votes in '96 weren't from illegals; they were from people who'd been mistakenly registered to vote right before their citizenship kicked in. And subsequent local, state and congressional investigations found their votes wouldn't have changed the election outcome. Meanwhile, another item in the same column predicts Representative Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) will be the next majority leader. EMINENTLY QUOTABLE "Before the tragedy of Sept. 11, the only thing scary about Anthrax was our bad hair in the '80s and the Fistful of Metal album cover. Now, in the wake of those events, our name symbolizes fear, paranoia and death." —Anthrax, who open for Judas Priest at the Anaheim House of Blues on Jan. 20, in a news release that jokingly announced the band name was changing to Basket Full of Puppies. ANIMAL HOUSE The Long Beach city attorney on Dec. 20 sought an injunction against Cal State Long Beach's Sigma Pi fraternity, whose Belmont Heights house sounds worthy of Bluto Blutarsky. Complaints against the frat house—which has elicited 168 police calls since 1997—include loitering, jaywalking, illegally parked cars, loud music, pot smoke, piles of vomit, open sex, used condoms, profane singing and chanting, and bottles and other trash strewn about the residential tract. City and campus officials hope by forcing the issue, the frat will clean up its act, but sources we just made up tell us Sigma Pi is plotting a revenge that involves killing Doug Neidermeyer's horse, screwing Dean Vernon Wormer's wife and destroying the town's parade. TONY BALONEY In his Nov. 23 story on Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, the Weekly's Anthony Pignataro wondered if TR was attempting to curry favor with state Attorney General Bill Lockyer in the handling of a lucrative government contract. Following that story, TR spokeswoman Tori Richards told us there is no investigation. Our sources were innumerable. Hers? Lockyer himself, she claimed. But TR's office refused to supply us with a record of the alleged phone call between Lockyer and TR, and our sources continued to insist that Lockyer is snooping around TR's offices. Then, in back-to-back stories on Dec. 28 and 29, the LA Times' Stuart Pfeifer and The Orange County Register's Bill Rams reported that a grand jury investigation of TR's office is "spearheaded" by Lockyer. Reached on Dec. 31, Richards continued to insist there is no AG probe. That leaves one question unanswered, but we have another: How is the Orange County grand jury going to follow the path laid out by previous grand juries—look at all the dirt on Rackauckas and still come out with a dependably toothless report that won't change a damn thing? JUDGE DREAD Costa Mesa lawyer and children's advocate Gay Sandoval has boldly launched a write-in campaign against OC Superior Court Judge Ronald Kline, who faces federal charges of possessing child porn. Kline allegedly kept photos of naked kiddies and an electronic diary of his observations while serving as a youth baseball umpire. But it's too late for Sandoval to get her name on the ballot or even a mention of the charges in voter pamphlets. The most she can do—if she gathers enough signatures Jan. 7 through Feb. 19—is get a blank space on the ballot so a name can be written in. Of course, the sad thing is that even if her name was on the ballot and the kiddie porn charges were printed in the pamphlet, there's still no beating a sitting judge in Orange County.

WHAT THE HELL IS IT? Guesses include a turd, the fossilized remains of Cro-Magnon phallus and a Pringles potato chip. Whoever can tell us what's obscuring this photo as it appeared on page A3 in the Dec. 22 Los Angeles Times wins a Clockwork prize pack. E-mail responses to mcoker@ocweekly.com.
 
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