Diary of a Mad County

June 7 - June 13

Wednesday, June 7
Having grown the largest set of balls this side of Stalin's horse, OC Sheriff Mike Carona announces he has put Lieutenant Bill Hunt on administrative leave to investigate whether Hunt violated campaign laws as he campaigned to replace Carona as sheriff, the most egregious charge being that he ran a campaign to replace Carona. Clearly, this is a bald-faced example of payback on Carona's part—and just because Carona is bald. People are shocked—SHOCKED!—that Carona would act so recklessly because he's never displayed such a wanton disregard for decorum and right behavior before—you know, if you forget the thing where he parties with Mafia associates, and the allegations of sexual misconduct, and the "brother for life" now under indictment, and the doling out of badges and concealed-weapons permits to political cronies and martial-arts instructors who pull their guns on golf courses. Yeah, completely out of the blue.

Thursday, June 8
There is much smiling as we find out that terrorist/thug Abu Musab al-Zarqawi got all blown up and dead. Even folks like me who were never happy with the Iraq campaign recognize that al-Zarqawi is a bad, bad man who used ideology as a cover for his homicidal tendencies, and if he'd been born in America with the same damaged brain, he'd probably have been a kid who tortured small animals, then moved up to bigger game. That being said, it was somewhat disquieting to watch the Pentagon news conference announcing al-Zarqawi's death in which a picture of the face of a dead al-Zarqawi was paraded about like a snapshot of a guy standing next to a fish he caught. Perhaps what was most amazing about the picture was that it was framed—a really nice wooden frame with a series of curved ridges. What's more, it was matted, you know with that paper or cloth border around the picture to add a bit of drama and elegance to the shot. I'll tell you what: we may not be able to provide our troops with body armor, but we know how to dress up a death shot. "Oh, I like that. Yeah, let's go with the wood frame—the brown really plays up the purple in his lips. And let's go with the eggshell matting. It'll accentuate the gore."

Friday, June 9
Information released by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy says that Saddleback Valley Unified is the only Orange County school district falling short of getting its elementary school children the required 200 minutes of physical activity every 10 days. District officials explain they had meant to institute the policy, but had forgotten because they were feeling logy after a big meal and were distracted by the immediate need to unbuckle their pants. Nonetheless, they assured state officials they would immediately institute the policy, though they were less forthcoming about whether they would put an end to the district's popular "Thank God It's Fried Day" box-lunch program sponsored by the OC Fair.

Sunday, June 11
People are shocked—SHOCKED!—when the glass-bottom, wooden paddle ship Phoenix sinks en route to the Bay Area from the Balboa Fun Zone, where it was docked for the past 10 years. Who would ever dream that a glass-bottom, wooden paddle ship would fare so poorly in the open ocean? Balboa locals were so shocked they had been taking bets on how far the boat would get before taking a dive, smart money being on "Not very far" and "Now." The Phoenix had been used for corporate events and weddings while at the Fun Zone, but had fallen into disrepair and was purchased by Bay Area businessman Rick Parker, who planned on taking the ship to Martinez and turning it into a restaurant. Now that the plan has been sunk, Parker will have to go with one of his alternative plans, which involved either using a boat made entirely out of FabergĂ© eggs or a railway dining car made out of plastic explosives.

Monday, June 12
Wait for it . . . Goooooooal! The Czech Republic has just scored again on this, the Greatest U.S. Soccer Team Ever, making the score 293. This was supposed to be the year the U.S. did something in the World Cup because apparently our team was ranked No. 5 in the world, but clearly we're No. 1 when it comes to being rank. Anyway, the Czechs are scoring early and often; in fact, they just scored as I wrote that, and again as I wrote that. And right now. Though not now. But now. Anyway, it's about this time that I'm glancing at TheOrange County Register's sports section, and I see in the "Talkback" space this from reader Kevin Johnson of Mission Viejo: "It is a sad state of affairs. The World Cup game between Mexico and Iran is on ABC TV, while the USA vs. Czech game is relegated to ESPN2. What country do we live in?" What country, Kevin? I'll tell you. It's a little country called the United States of America, where we practice the most direct form of democracy known to man: capitalism. If you like something, you vote for it with your dollars. Non-Mexican-Americans clearly have not voted for soccer for some time, and therefore, the folks at Disney (which owns ABC and ESPN) wisely put the U.S. game on a cable network, while Mexicans and Mexican-Americans do vote, and so they watch, so they provide ratings, which provides ad revenue, which provides money to Disney. But maybe you've got a problem with money, Kevin. Maybe you've got a problem with democracy being, as you are, from a "master planned" community.

Tuesday, June 13
You know what I wish? I wish the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song "Dani California" would get a fair shake on the radio. That somehow, some way, "Dani California" would be played more than the 24 times per hour it averages right now. I mean, I almost went four minutes the other day without hearing it on the radio, and I felt my equilibrium shaken. Isn't there some way we could assure that KROQ and Indie 103.1 and Star and KRHC—the new, 24-hour "Dani California" station—were forced to give the song a chance? Fair is fair.

slowery@ocweekly.com

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