Diary of a Mad County

Wednesday, Jan. 5 Eighteen people sign a letter demanding St. John the Baptist, a Catholic grammar and middle school in Costa Mesa, ban two kids from school because their parents are gay. They say it's nothing personal against the kids who they want to kick out of KINDERGARTEN; it's just that the kids' presences at school, they say, may give people the idea that St. John the Baptist does not teach "the fullness of Roman Catholic doctrine." Now, I attended Catholic school for 12 years, and I never, ever remember the term "fullness of Roman Catholic doctrine" being used. I remember a lot of "Shut ups!" and a near-constant discussion regarding the girls dressing like sluts. By the time I got to high school, Catholic doctrine didn't seem to get in the way of recruiting lots of Baptist kids from South Central to play on the football and basketball teams. To be honest, I don't think any of the people who signed this letter actually attended Catholic school, since they said they're really doing this out of compassion for the kids because eventually their Catholic teachers will have to teach them that homosexuality is wrong. Now, anyone who attended Catholic grammar school knows Catholic teachers do not teach that homosexuality is wrong. This is because Catholic teachers do not teach sex: not hetero, not homo, not that thing where the cell, like, does itself and then splits apart—disgusting. Anyone who attended Catholic school knows the nuns' favorite religious feast was, without a doubt, the Immaculate Conception. Nope, we didn't talk about sex or about anything having to do with sex. I remember when I was in the fifth grade, we were reading a New Testament story that contained a line about Jesus hanging out with prostitutes and how this made a bunch of self-righteous twerps angry, but Jesus just told them to suck on it because he would rather love people instead of judge them and he thought anyone who did judge others was a big, clam-faced dickwad—though he may not have used those exact words—anyhoo, I was puzzled. "Sister," I asked, "what's a prostitute?" Pausing, the nun said a prostitute was a "very mean woman." That night at home, my sister was finishing up some ironing and told me to fold up the ironing board in that tone older sisters have, denoting both utter indifference and passionate hatred for your person. So I blurted out, "You know what you are, Dru? You're a prostitute!" Verily, as the iron's electric cord rained down upon my back, I felt the fullness of Roman Catholic doctrine. And it hurt.

Thursday, Jan. 6 Rain.

Friday, Jan. 7Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Polos refuses to grant the city of Anaheim a temporary restraining order today to halt the Los Angeles Angels from calling themselves the Los Angeles Angels. It's becoming clear that Anaheim didn't do a very good job of writing up its contract with the Angels, and the city is looking increasingly desperate to keep itself associated with the team. In fact, Anaheim is starting to look like that girlfriend you had in high school who's really nice and will do just about anything you ask, but you know as soon as you go away to college, you're going to drop her, but you don't have the heart to tell her, and you're hoping she'll figure it out, but she doesn't—which explains why she isn't going away to college. She says she can't understand why you can't be happy in the same place, with the same people doing the same things and maybe you just think you're better than everyone else, so you try to let her down slowly, tell her you want to see other people, you know, just to appreciate how great she is, and she says okay because she'll do just about anything for you, which you appreciate but you think is really sad. And now she's starting to give you grief about your "college friends" and tries to impress you by announcing she's going to college, too, but then it turns out it's just community college, and then it turns out it's just Cypress. And then she says she has a new boyfriend and he plays hockey, but nobody has seen the dude in, like, a year and really doesn't miss him—like at all—and just when you think you're rid of her, she shows up at your dorm wearing your letterman jacket and she's drunk, and it's really embarrassing because she keeps asking your Filipino friend, Rick, what it was like growing up in China. You get into a fight, and she says you think you're better than her, and you say "C'mon, Anaheim, you're cool. You've always been there for me, and I appreciate it, but I'm just looking for other things in my life right now. New experiences and revenue streams." And years later, she'll call you because she said she had a dream that you died and she wanted to make sure you're okay, and you'll feel obligated to ask her what she's doing, and she'll say she's selling dolls made from dried apples at craft fairs and she'll tell by your voice you're not the least bit interested, and you'll never call her again unless the stadium needs renovating.

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