On the Outside Looking In


A locomotive broke loose from the Big Thunder train ride at Disneyland on Sept. 5, killing 22-year-old Marcelo Torres of Gardena and injuring 10 others. Since the roller coaster that mimics an Old West-era runaway mining train actually became one, we're staying the hell away from Space Mountain. Victims of the tragedy at the Happiest Accident Scene on Earth were initially treated at a makeshift staging area near River Belle Terrace. Make sure to visit River Belle Terrace next time you're at the Magic Kingdom for all your triage needs. Big Thunder, of course, is the same ride that mangled the foot of young David Fackler in 1998, turning his mother, Kathy, into one of the nation's leading theme-park safety advocates. New public disclosure of Disneyland accidents— brought about thanks to the tireless efforts of Ms. Fackler and others—allowed The Orange County Registerto report over the weekend that there have been 17 mostly minor injuries on Big Thunder since Jan. 1, 2001. But the strangest mishap occurred a decade earlier, when a 40-year-old Romanian man was found lying injured next to the Big Thunder tracks. Paramedics thought he had fallen off the ride, but, since there were no witnesses, Disney's official response at the time was, "Quite frankly, we don't know how he ended up where he was found." No such mystery this time, Mouseketeers.


Good friend of Clockwork and former Republican candidate for governor Nick Jesson was charged on Sept. 5 with six felony counts of state income tax evasion. Jesson and his wife, Trina, allegedly failed to report more than $3 million in income—proof positive that we've got to start charging the longshot political candidates we write about. In a day of carrying water for tax collectors, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas' office also announced they'd taken down Newport Beach socialites and GOP benefactors Richard C. Engel and his former wife Jolene on similar charges. Which just goes to show, The O.C.'s storyline about a Newport Beach family being torn apart by business scams ain't so far from the truth. Speaking of which . . .

THE O.C. WATCH Episode 6: If there were any doubts that real estate developer Kirsten Cohen's mega-rich father was not patterned after Irvine Co. chairman Donald Bren, they're blown out the proverbial poop chute on this installment of The O.C. Like Bren, Caleb Nichol runs a company—the Newport Group—that owns most of Orange County, has a 24-year-old bombshell dangling from his arm and is referred to by one character as "the Donald Trump of the West." Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we refer you to a variety of business-magazine and mainstream-newspaper stories over the years that have referred to our man Bren as everything from "the Donald of the West" to "a horizontal Donald Trump."

After Kirsten is kinda fired, kinda quits, The O.C.'s would-be Trump gives her the don't-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-ass treatment—but all is well by show's end. Not so for reformed Chinoan Ryan and the Newport girl of his dreams, Marissa. After walking in on Ryan sorta banging Nichol's honey, Marissa runs off to lose her virginity to stud- muffin Luke. To further prove we've entered bizarro world, Ryan's nerdy surrogate brother Seth seems poised finally to score with Summer. Hey, whatever happened to Anna Stern, the girl Seth hooked up with in Episode 4 after Summer ditched him for Luke?

Christ, we need a life.

LINE OF THE WEEK: "You're still smoking the weed, aren't you?" Caleb to Sandy Cohen, who discloses his family wants to leave OC for yucky Berkeley.


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