Diary of a Mad County

May 17 - May 23

Wednesday, May 17
Results of a 10-year study are released today showing that, pound for pound, women get drunk faster than men. The study, commissioned by the National Organization of Bros and Dudes (NOBD), will be published in the June edition of the group's scientific journal, Greatest News Ever.

Thursday, May 18
The O.C. ends its season by killing off main character Marissa, who, if you don't follow the show, is the pretty one with problems. No, the other one. What's interesting about the death is that it was so hyped by the Fox Network, which certainly isn't alone in using a main character's demise as a way to lure viewers. I don't know what it says about the culture, but when I was a kid, if a show was in trouble, they'd write in a wedding or a birth. Now they kill someone. And it's not like in the old days, when the people they killed off were minor characters at best, you know, so you'd get something like, "All right, this is a very dangerous mission, one of us is likely to be killed. Is everyone ready? Spock? Bones? Sulu? Guy in Ill-Fitting Red Space Tunic No. 2? All right, let's go. Oh, and GIIFRST No. 2, begin working these space-meat drippings into your scalp." Driven by an increasingly distracted audience, networks may feel they have to go to extremes to get someone to notice. "On this week's Pretty People With Problems, someone dies, and not one of the old folks or lame token friends, we're talking one of the pretty ones, and oh, do they ever have it coming. We will kill them, pretend the whole thing was a dream, then kill them again for real. And, if it is your desire, we will kill their family, and we're talking their actual family, along with any special pets or inspirational teachers they've had. Think you'll get that kind of treatment from the pussies over at the Lehrer News Hour?"

Friday, May 19
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announces the appointment of Kristina Dodge to the Orange County Fair and Exposition Center board of directors. The board sets and approves policies for the fair, which means they mostly come up with new stuff to deep-fry—past efforts include Snickers, Twinkies and anything that falls off the fair's rides, including the riders. Dodge replaces land baron Richard O'Neill, who, according to board tradition, will become the main feature at a deep-fried dinner. He is expected to be delicious.

Saturday, May 20
This goes out to the fiftysomething dude I endured at the gym today. But really it goes out to all the middle-aged gym poseurs who tan too much and talk too loud about the great life they lead. Here goes: Um, sir, with all due respect, please stop announcing how satisfying your life as a swinging single is. Talking in loud tones about which El Torito has the hottest night scene or about your wildly satisfying romantic life, which includes the inevitable "good-lookin' Asian gal," is not the least bit attractive to anyone in possession of a soul. The men who laugh at your tales and pretend to be envious of you to the detriment of their own humdrum marriages? They pity you. You are not a hero, you are a cautionary tale, the stink of desperation and loneliness rising all about you. Please stop, and, while you're at it, begin working these space-meat drippings into your scalp.

Sunday, May 21
On this, the Lord's day, it is revealed that The Da Vinci Code has made $77 million, the biggest opening for a movie after another quasi-religious thriller, Star Wars III. The Da Vinci Code, which I hear has something to do with Jesus posing as a chick, has stirred up quite a bit of consternation in the Catholic Church, which believes the book and film's central message—that Jesus was a good-looking cowboy hustler who hooked up with a crippled New York pimp—is damaging and has asked the faithful to avoid the film. Nice try. Just goes to show you, if you want to make a lot of money in movies, hire the Catholic Church to come out against your film. In this case, churchgoers were obviously curious to see the film's surprise ending, in which, I will now reveal, Pontius Pilate tells a stunned Savior, "Jesus, I am your father," then cuts off his arm and feeds it to his laser-mounted sharks. Jesus somehow survives, and, it turns out, he was Keyser Soze all along. At least, that's my reading of scripture.

Monday, May 22
The Angels lose 3-2 against the Texas Rangers. It's the team's sixth straight loss and comes right after the club was swept by the Dodgers over the weekend. The Angels are last in the American League West with a 17-28 record—their worst start since 1988. Still, fans haven't abandoned the team, and it turns out the Angels have followers far beyond Southern California, though their fascination with the team doesn't always have to do with baseball. Consider the Altoona Curve, a minor-league team in Pennsylvania, which has announced it will hold a "Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night" on July 2 in honor of a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled man against the Angels. Surprisingly, the lawsuit being so honored is not Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle's $2 million name-change catastrophe. Nope, it's San Diego lawyer Alfred Rava's complaint that his client's civil rights were violated when he was denied a pink tote bag given to women on Mother's Day. In that spirit, the first 137 men into the Blair County Ballpark will be given a pink tote bag. Not only that, but the first 137 women who are "thirsty but thermally unaware" will be given lukewarm "burn-proof" coffee. And just for the kids, the first 137 "inexplicably hungry children" will be presented with a beach ball, complete with a warning not to ingest it. So, to summarize, here is your Angel season to date: starts with joke of a lawsuit about club name, moves to talk of World Series appearance, moves on to frivolous Mother's Day lawsuit that degenerates into joke of a spot on the Altoona promotion schedule right alongside Beating a Dead Horse Night, Nerd Night hosted by Myron Noodleman and Irish Pat's Used Car Giveaway. Go Halos! And before you make fun of the Curve, consider that they are leading the Eastern League's Southern Division with a 27-17 record. Plus, you have to admire Altoona making something of itself after all the taunting it endured about its name in high school.

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