Diary of a Mad County

THURSDAY, Oct. 31 Four days after that study comes out showing bumper-to-bumperdom between Orange and Riverside counties is going to get more severe, the Bush White Houseweighs in on a solution: bore a hole through the Santa Ana Mountains, retrofit it with a tunnel and pave a portion of the Cleveland National Forest for a brand-new freeway. Outstanding! Look next for Dubya to push for oil drilling off Crystal Cove, tire burning in Laguna Canyon and logging in Lake Forest.

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 The stupidest old man in the county enters Cathay Bank on Culver Drive in Irvine and hands the teller a note demanding money. The teller fills a handbag with a grand and hands it over. He leaves the bank and drives away—slowly, we bet, with his turn signal on the whole time—but not before a witness jots down the license number. The man then cruises over to the Union Bank on Michelson Drive, where he allegedly deposits $500 and gets a cashier's check for the rest. When 73-year-old Martin Randall pulls into the driveway of his Irvine home a few minutes later, police are waiting. The cops say they find the cashier's check on his person. He's arrested on suspicion of the Cathay Bank job and is a suspect is other recent robberies. Can Cops: The Golden Years be far off?

Gustavo Arellano and Daniel C. Tsang contributed to this report.
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