Mars Barred

Photo by Tenaya HillsIt occurred to Weekly reader Randy Rausin that something about Dubya's call for a manned mission to Mars had a familiar ring to it for. So Rausin digs through his bookcases, pulls out Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everythingand on Jan. 10 faxes Clockwork the following passage:

Of course we have no prospect of such a journey. A trip of 240,000 miles to the Moon still represents a very big undertaking for us. A manned mission to Mars called for by the first President Bush in a moment of passing giddiness was quietly dropped when someone worked out that it would cost $450 billion and probably result in the deaths of all the crew (their DNA torn to tatters by high-energy solar particles from which they could not be shielded). RRRRRRUBBER BISCUIT The condom-in-the-chowder lawsuit filed against McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant in Irvine is settled days before the trial is to begin, according to a statement issued Jan. 12 by the plaintiffs' attorney. Details are confidential. Laila Sultan, 48, of Stanton, claimed she was eating at the Schmick with three friends in February 2002 when she bit into an unwrapped, rolled-up condom. Regular readers may recall the near impossibility of this feat as proven in the seminal research by our own Jim Washburn(detailed in his Nov. 28 Lost in OC column). Schmick's legal eagles say there was no evidence the offending willy wrapper came from their kitchen. Further skepticism surfaces on the secrets-revealing website TheSmokingGun.com, which posts a December 1996 lawsuit Sultan filed after she claimed she was burned by hot coffee at a Long Beach Taco Bell. A lawyer for the Irvine-based fast-food chain called the claim "a B.S. case," but they ultimately settled with Sultan for $2,000. TheSmokingGun.com also reveals that she has filed two other suits after claiming to have been injured in auto mishaps. FOR CHRIST SAKES, GIVE IT UP ALREADY That pounding noise you think is all in your head the afternoon of Jan. 14 is actually the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission(LAFCO) hammering through the last obstacle to the city of Irvine annexing all 4,287 acres of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. An appeal of the annexation by the shills for George Argyros International Airport—the Airport Working Group (AWG)—is denied by LAFCO, which sets the stage for an online auction later this year of retail and industrial land that'll ring the Great Shrinking Park. At Irvine City Hall, Mayor Larry Agran and various officials are quietly pleased to break the news of LAFCO's vote. Meanwhile, somewhere near the entrance to Hell, attorney and AWG bulwark Barbara Lichman is not surprised. "Totally expected," a terse Lichman says. "As you know, the Irvine Co. has LAFCO packed. We did better than we expected." And she's not done, vowing to file suit challenging the annexation. BUSH ASKED TO GIVE HEAD Writing on the anti-Semitic, homo-hating, Chicanismo website La Voz de AztlŠn (www.aztlan.net) on Jan. 15, Ernesto Cienfuegos calls on Mexican President Vicente Fox to ask his amigo Dubya to hand over the cabeza of Pancho Villa. As Cienfuegos tells it, the legendary Mexican revolutionary's noggin was stolen by "soldier of fortune" Emil L. Holmdahl at the behest of Georgie Porgie's gramps, Prescott Bush. It's apparently now ensconced in a glass display case at the headquarters of Yale University's secret Skull and Bones society, whose membership has included Bushes Prescott, George I and George II. Reached by Clockwork for comment, Dubya says, "Pancho Villa? Didn't even know that tennis champ had died!" NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON'T This trŤs magnifique montre is all set to catch the opening of Cirque du Soleil's Varekai on Jan. 16 when we can't bring ourselves to enter because someone apparently decided to move the supermarket strike in front of Cirque's entrance at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Fortunately, the nearest lover of pretentious French-Canadian circuses informs that this isn't the strike over eroding health benefits for checkers, baggers and meatcutters, but rather an informational picket on behalf of one lonely Cirque performer who allegedly got the ax—or le hache—from the Vegas MystŤre production for testing HIV-positive. "Although the company's own doctors cleared him to safely perform, Cirque du Soleil management told [Matthew] Cusick that because he has HIV the company would not continue to employ him," explains a fax we received before the show from national gay-rights defender Lambda Legal, which had called the Weekly promising a massive opening-night demonstration. We count five picketers. Cirquers reportedly say they're awaiting a ruling on a Lamda complaint before doing anything about Cusick, whose scheduled appearance outside the Cirque gates on Jan. 22 were to draw an even larger protest, promises Lambda. Using their math, you'll probably give a polite nod to seven informational picketers before entering the tent to watch assorted Asians, Canucks, Gypsies, Euro-trash and even Americans (South Americans count, right?) dance, juggle, contort, make mirth and sing their bloody arses off. IMMINENTLY QUOTABLE "What a joke. If there was a real war on terror, they'd go to the hotel room of Henry Kissinger and arrest him right now." Unnamed man on the street from Scenes From an Endless War, Free Speech Television, Jan. 17. NO THANKS We receive a letter from state Assemblyman John Campbell (R-Irvine) inviting us to a "Dollar & Sense" workshop on Jan. 24 at the LakeView Senior Center in Irvine. So let's get this straight: a politician who's been representing a state that finds itself in such a dire financial free fall that we recalled a governor we'd just elected; replaced him with a fading action-film star; and are poised to make painful cuts, raise fees and rely on voters to tax . . . er . . . bond themselves out of the mess—otherwise known as the Tax for the Next Generation—THIS GUY wants to give advice on how to manage our money!?!

Howzabout we send Campbell, Laila Sultan, Barbara Lichman, Dubya and Pancho Villa's head on that first Mars mission?

Theo Douglas contributed to this week's report.

New Column!

Fun With State-Mandated Bibles in Classrooms

Huntington Beach attorney Matt McLaughlin is collecting signatures to qualify a state ballot initiative that would put Bibles in public classrooms. A lot of you God-haters are whining about some supposed separation of church and state, about how schools should worry more about teaching kids to read See Dick Run before amping up to holy scripture, about all these kids as young as nine going to chiropractors with back problems due to all the heavy books they're forced to carry in their backpacks now. Well, we say, "SHUT YOUR GODDAMN PIE HOLE, BEELZEBUB!" Considering the state of our schools, Mr. McLaughlin's idea is tremendous, especially when you consider these alternative uses for Bibles:

•The Good Book's great for fixing a wobbly desk.

• Avoid owies on hard playgrounds by attaching Bibles to your knees and elbows with rubber bands.

•Balance The Word on your head as you navigate the halls to develop good posture.

•Paste eating is a huge problem in today's schools, especially in the lower grades. But did you know that when paste, saliva and a page torn out of a Bible mix in your mouth, a chemical reaction occurs to create a tasty wafer? Sure, the Catholics stumbled upon this years ago. It's Body of Christ-errific!!!

•Shred biblical pages to make a soft bedding for the caged hamsters—then meticulously dissect them.

•Did somebody say, "Fourth period spitwad fight!"?

•The restroom's out of toilet paper again? No worries.

•Take a yellow marker and highlight all the contradictions you can find—such as "He is a God of war" (Exodus 15:3) and "He is not a God of confusion but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33); or "God does repent" (Genesis 6:6) and "God does not repent" (Numbers 23:19) and "God does repent" (I Samuel 15:11,35); or "God admitted He is the cause of blindness, deafness, dumbness" (Exodus 4:11) and "God does not willingly cause grief or affliction" (Lamentations 3:33)—to prove to your science teacher that you do, too, pay attention.

•Hey, junior-high girlie: Looking for something to stuff in your bra? No worries.

•Ditto for bulge-deficient dudes.

•Upper-grade kids can use Bible pages to roll their own . . . if you cats are hip to our lingo.

•Burn Bibles to keep warm once Governor Schwarzenegger is forced to cut the heat.

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