By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Wednesday, July 7 Sports Illustratedranks the most powerful minorities in sports, with none other than Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno topping the list. The honor doesn't give Anaheim Arte a big head. No, Arte, whose team plays in Anaheim, is so uninterested in the spotlight, so un-LA-like, you could say (which goes without saying since his team plays in Anaheim and is called the Anaheim Angels; I apologize for wasting your time), that he quips that the SIranking and "$4.50 will get you a cup of beer." Of course, that's only because Arte dropped the price of brewski at Anaheim, er, Angel Stadium first thing when he bought the team. Oh, how Anaheim loves its Arte. And he it. This is a love affair that figures to never end. Yes, it's smooth sailing for as long as anyone can see. . . . Okay, everyone outta the boat! Reacting to a Los Angeles Times story that says Moreno not-so-secretly pines to rename his team the Los Angeles Angels, Anaheim City Manager Dave Morgan says the city will enforce their Angel Stadium lease with the team that requires the team to be called "Anaheim." Showing that he has Morgan's and Anaheim's backs, Mayor Curt Pringle blasts Moreno, saying, "He's doing what anybody should do with their business in promoting it aggressively. We as a city applaud the success of the Angels this year, not solely on the field, but also in attendance and advertising and support for the team and outreach. Those are all good things." Pringle's comments are applauded by hostage takers everywhere and are slated to be included in the upcoming trade publication The Stockholm Syndrome for Dummies.
Thursday, July 8 A third accident on Disneyland's Big Thunder Railroad occurs when one train bumps into another, causing a 10-year-old child and his parents to suffer minor neck and back injuries. The accident causes some to call for the ride's closure since it has had three accidents since September, when a train derailed, killing one and injuring 10. In April, a train ran into the back of another on a test run, though Disneyland officials said the only way the accident could have occurred was with the trains empty, failing to mention they were empty because they had derailed a few months earlier, killing one and injuring 10. Seems to me the folks at Disneyland are missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity here. They've already cornered the market on sweet, cuddly family-oriented customers. With the Big Thunder and similar mishaps on the Roger Rabbit and Columbia rides, they could make serious inroads among amusement-park customers who enjoy the allure of not knowing when and if they may be injured or killed, a clientele who until now have been the domain of the airline industry and Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Friday, July 9 U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and her Republican opponent/specter Bill Jones agree to a televised debate on Aug. 10 on KNBC, a move widely praised by all other local TV stations. Besides lacking viewers, the debate also won't include any third-party candidates, including Libertarian nominee Judge Jim Gray, whose staff complains that Boxer and What's-His-Name are Bogarting the system, helped by the Marvel Comics-sounding League of Women Voters. League spokesman—may have been Vultura—says only candidates receiving 10 percent support in independent polls were invited to debate. Problem is there have been no independent polls, and one suspects a good portion of the people who say they support Bill Jones are doing so under the false impression that he is the creator of the Roadrunner cartoon series.
Saturday, July 10 Somewhere today, a father is playing baseball catch with his son with little concern for debates and killer amusement-park rides. Just a simple game of catch between a father and a son on a wonderful summer day, the kind of day that moves the son to ask the father, "Dad, did you know if I peed on this ball, I'd clean it." To which the father says, "Uh-huh." To which the son replies, "No really, because urine is sterile, and it'll clean stuff. That's why during the Civil War, guys peed on their muskets."
"They sterilized their surgical instruments with urine during the Civil War, not their muskets. They didn't have muskets in the Civil War."
"Oh, yeah, that was in one of those other wars."
"Right. Hey, why would you want to pee on a baseball to clean it?"
Sunday, July 11 Saw Anchorman, one of the funniest movies in recent memory and certainly among the top echelon of movies with the phrase "whale's vagina" spoken in them—though I'd still rank it behind Gandhi. Starring Will Ferrell, who also co-authored the script and was generous enough to give most of the big laughs to other actors—especially Daily Show alum Steve Carrell, who does an absolute Fred Willard job of stealing scenes, all the more ironic since Willard is also in the movie—Anchorman establishes Ferrell as one of the top comic actors going. That got me thinking: Ferrell was raised in Irvine. Stephen Hillenberg, creator of Spongebob Squarepants, the funniest children's cartoon of the past decade or two, was raised in Anaheim. Paul Frank, raised in Huntington Beach, is perhaps the wittiest guy in fashion right now, with his menagerie of TV-ready animal characters and T-shirts that say, "I'm not a beaver. I'm an otter." What I'm saying is you have a region thought to be dull and homogenous producing the likes of these and, let's not forget, Garden Grove's Steve Martin. Face it: Orange County is Canada. I don't know if that's praise or an indictment.