Diary of a Mad County

Wednesday, March 16 Reacting to rising gas prices and the increasing threat to the nation made by furry creatures, the United States Senate votes to drill for oil in the AlaskanNationalRefuge.Destruction of the nation's natural beauty has long been a cornerstone of the Bushadministration,and after four years' of failing to convince people that drilling in the ecologically sensitive area was a good thing, the White House was finally able to persuade people by charging that the area's caribou population posed a clear and present danger to the nation's lichen supply, especially in the winter months when dwarf willows and sedges are unavailable. To emphasize the threat before the Senate vote, Homeland Security raised the woodland creature terror alert to "Bitey." Americans, who in the not-so-distant past were against drilling in Alaska, now see it as an acceptable alternative because they have become addicted not only to their gas guzzling SUVs, but also their four-stroke, 325-horsepower Water Piks with sequential fuel injection. In fact, critics say drilling in Alaska may make clear the way for drilling off the California coast. Just imagine, Newport Beach, your shores could be just like that of Long Beach, where the water is always a pleasant tint of auburn and wonderstruck children frolic along the shore exclaiming, "Mommy, why does the water smell?" and "It burns! It burns!"

Thursday, March 17Speaking of getting burned, the RichardNixonLibraryandBirthplaceandHappyTimeDreamFactoryPresidentNixonNeverDidAnythingWrongLaLaLaICan'tHearYouagrees to actually attempt to tell the truth in their exhibits in return for getting all of the disgraced former president's papers, tapes and snuff films. The NationalArchiveshas long had a problem with the way the Nixon Library seems to whitewash the Watergate scandal as well as the way it presents Nixon's role in the Vietnam War. (It reportedly also has a problem with the library's claim that Nixon won the 1986 American Cy Young Award while leading the Boston Red Sox to the World Series.) In a tail-between-his-legs capitulation letter, Nixon Library executive director JohnH.Tayloragrees the library will strive to provide a "more strictly factual account" of the events leading to Nixon's resignation. What's interesting about the letter is that Taylor refers to himself as "The Rev." John H. Taylor. Now, I'm not sure what church he belongs to—perhaps he simply ordained himself as the high priest and keeper of the Nixon flame, given the messianic way Nixon is presented at the library. Have you ever seen that painting where a bunch of haggard and haddle Bulgarians hail the approach of Nixon striding across a mountain range in an ill-fitting blue suit and trench coat looking equal parts Jesus, Lenin and IBM middle management? In the past, Taylor has contended that the library's willingness to bend, mangle and chop up the truth into tiny pieces is simply part of its mission statement to stay true to the Nixon spirit, much in the same way the JFK Library has long had a "No Fat Chicks" policy.

Friday, March 18Speaking of the truth, word comes that Disneylandhas reopened its StorybookCanalboat ride today, two days after a four-year-old boy severed the tip of his thumb on the ride. The boy, who had gripped the edge of the boat when it docked, was injured when an adult stepped on the edge of the boat while disembarking, causing it to rock and pinching the boy's thumb between the dock and boat. Now, it's one thing when people get hurt/killed on roller coasters and quite another when they're going down on boats that aren't moving. These incidents seem to be happening more often, but I suspect that what is going on is we are hearingabout them more often. Given all the technology and oversight, I have no doubt Disneyland is much safer today than when I was spitting off the sky buckets. Of course, that's not what the Disneyphileswant to hear. You know, they're the ones always clucking their tongues when they see a candy wrapper on the grounds that "This would never have happened in Walt'sday." But I'm convinced that this kinda stuff—people getting hurt/killed—was going on all the time and Walt just did a much better job of keeping it from the public. Back then, the only way you heard about Disneyland injuries was through the suburban myths, you know, like the one about JayneMansfieldgetting her head cut off on the Matterhornride or CharlesMansonbeing the original Goofy.For all his saintly qualities, it wasn't until after Walt's death that the park could dismantle the dangerous rides that satiated his legendary bloodlust. Rides such as the Queen of Hearts Wacky Castle of Rotating Knives and Squanto's Blanket O' Mystery.

Saturday, March 19 Concerned about pressure behind lefteye.Allergies or stroke? I think about this now.

Sunday, March 20 Other stuff happens at Disneyland today. Can't talk now. Later.

Monday, March 21 Vice President DickCheneyvisits the offices of TheOrangeCountyRegisterto discuss a broad range of subjects from Social Security to the Iraq war to his death in 1983. Since most of our readers don't read the Register—havingbeen born after the Boxer Rebellion—here's a few excerpts:

Register:ThankyouMr.VicePresidentforstoppingby,weknowyouhaveaverybusyschedule.

Cheney: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Theadministration'sproposaltoconvertSocialSecuritytoprivateretirementaccounthasconcernednotonlyDemocratsbutalsothosewhohavelostmoneyinthestockmarket.Howwillyoucalmthoseconcerns?

Cheney: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Hungry! HUNGRY!!!

BringthevicepresidentanotherRussianorphan.

[Momentary, indecipherable screams.]

Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Now,gettingbacktoprivateaccounts,criticshavesuggestedthestockmarketscouldbecomepoliticizedwithdifferentfinancialmanagersjockeyingtogettheirclientsincludedinthevehiclesthegovernmentusestoinvesttheprivateaccountmoney.

Fire! Fire bad!

Mark,tellthevillagerstopleaseextinguishtheirtorchesandwaitinthelobby.Thevicepresidentwon'tbereadytoravageforquitesometime.

HUNGRY!!!!

Oh,howaboutalittleChinese?Helooksdelicious!

Tuesday, March 21Waiting.

SLOWERY@OCWEEKLY.COM

 
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