Diary of a Mad County

Tuesday, Sept. 20
PETA VP and good guy Dan Mathews e-mailed to tell me that his organization scored a major coup by getting former fur-wearing Martha Stewart to cut an anti-fur video spot. "I used to wear real fur, but, like many others, I had a change of heart when I learned what actually happens to the animals," Stewart says in the video, which debuts today at www.peta.com. Dan said he had met Stewart several times at parties and that the meetings were "cordial," but there was "tension as we've targeted her over everything from boiling live crabs to wearing fur." But when Stewart went to prison, Mathews, who has been in more than his share of jails owing to his work with PETA, wrote her a note: "I know we've had our differences over the years, but now we have one thing in common: we both know our way around a jail cell." Mathews, who grew up in Costa Mesa, has been in prison so much—sometimes in various states of undress, sometimes made up as a giant vegetable—that he sent Stewart a copy of a piece he wrote in Details magazine called "Connoisseurs' Guide to the World's Jails," in which Dan rated prisons for food, hospitality and accommodations. The best? Hong Kong. Worst? Chicago. Makes you wonder if he's ever been in the Orange County Jail, which has been unfavorably compared to Abu Ghraib. Here, let's ask him (e-mailing Dan . . .). Dan replies: "Costa Mesa High was the only OC jail I ever did time in. My advice to anyone who finds themselves behind bars is to exaggerate your charge to something like assault but not give any details and don't make eye contact and people will let you be; unless you happen to be in a giant carrot outfit."

slowery@ocweekly.com

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