Diary of a Mad County

April 20-26

Wednesday, April 20: Nothing.

Thursday, April 21: To the young woman in the beige smock "walking" toward me in the crosswalk as I sat in my car at the corner of Fairview and Seventeenth in Santa Ana, I would like to apologize. Screaming filthy things at you from inside my car was wrong no matter how lame your effort was to get across the street, thereby delaying me. Likewise, it was unright to, behind the cover of my dashboard, dangle imaginary raw fish in a manner to suggest you were a slow-moving performing orca. I can see that now, as I can see (hear?) that it solved nothing to intone the word "Soooooeeeee!"in a high pitch that only I could hear. None of this solved the basic problem of your sloth and again, I apologize. I was frustrated at the rather protracted pace of your stroll—some might call it a saunter; others, whatever that thing is called that snails do where they leave a slime trail. Still, feigning that voice you do to attract dogs and saying "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon" was, in retrospect, not good manners. You see, I thought you were walking—I'm being generous—across the street in such a manner in order to antagonize and interpreted your hands placed contemplatively across your chest as a taunt. It was only when you had nearly reached my side of the street—minutes later—that I saw you weren't really slow so much as you were really, really pregnantand that your hands were not crossed on your chest but resting on the superstructure of your tummy. And I apologize for calling your baby oven a superstructure. So please accept my apology. Suffice it to say, I was wrong. Still. Pregnant or not. C'mon.

Friday, April 22: It's been a week since Eric Schlosser, author of FastFoodNation, appeared as part of the Newport Beach Public Library speakers series despite the fact that many parents protested his appearance because they thought the author of ReeferMadnesswould encourage their kids to smoke pot. The book, which none of the parents had read, says nothing of the kind, and Schlosser is on record as saying he doesn't even smoke pot, but none of that mattered as they managed to get the Newport-Mesa School District, as played by Don Knotts, to pull all fliers about the lecture series and restricted teachers from offering extra credit for attending the lecture. Thank God enlightened minds managed to keep drugs out of libraries and in the Balboa clubs, restaurants, peninsula rentals and Newport Coast mansions where they belong. One parent told the local city council that Schlosser's appearance would confuse children who "learn to stay away from drugs at school and at home, but he teaches in his book that it's better to smoke pot than to drink." And that just won't do in Newport, where kids learn, at today's 58th annual Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, that drinking is what makes America great and what makes boats move, despite the men vomiting over the edge. The race, or "Cirrhosisof the Naval," as it is known by locals, proves that everything goes better with booze, which is why people write funny stories about it and why the drunks who participate get trophies instead of DUIs. In fact, everything goes along swimmingly as the boats/kegs head south with the traditional "Yo ho ho and, aw, aw, I'm gonna be sick!"

Saturday, April 23: Theo Douglas, who doesn't believe the fine print of a restraining order applies to him, e-mailed me with this today: "Friday night I came home from work and got busy—again—cleaning out my files: old electric bills, cell phone bills, bank statements. Some of the stuff went back four years, plus my stupid friend's police report from when he got arrested. I decided it was too much to shred because our shredder was binding, so I took it all out to our outdoor fireplace, doused it with lighter fluid and lit it up. I figured it'd be all retro and stuff, you know, the way everyone used to burn trash in LA in the '40s and '50s before the air became decidedly more chewy. So anyway, huge smelly clouds of smoke later, my wife says, 'Uh, genius, did you know today was Earth Day?' And that's what Earth Day means to me." Now, I happen to know this wasn't some isolated, "it slipped my mind" case. Theo isn't "into" environmentalism, as witnessed by his affinity for coal-burning automobiles and Baby Seal Tartare. Still, he's a good deal better than George W. Bush, who's actually spending this weekend telling people what a great environmentalist he is. This is the same George W. Bush who has a major hard-on to drill in Alaska's arctic refuge. Of course, any time someone accuses him of being an oil hog, Bush trots out his support of a hydrogen car, which doesn't exist, so let me just announce my support for an auto made completely of boobies and ass. Anyway, more than a few people are getting tired of Bush's act. Why, just this week as CongressmanJohnDoolittlewas speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference lauding the benefits of hydrogen fuel, which doesn't exist, one man spoke up: "This is bullshit." And who was this man? Ralph Nader? Captain Planet? Nope, it was Richard Pombo, Republicanchairman of the House Resources Committee.

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