Bag Lady Heat Retreat Found

Those of us who routinely visit Orange County's Central Courthouse are accustomed to brief delays for security precautions. Usually some first time visitor didn't read the signs that state people can't enter the building carrying knives, ice picks or screwdrivers (the tool, not the drink).

A few months ago, a young man ahead of me in line for the metal detectors carried a concealed small but potentially lethal knife attached to his ankle. He grew pissy when deputies confiscated it. "Oh, you guys think that's a weapon?" he asked.


Lately, courthouse deputies have encountered a sharp increase in the number of homeless entering the building to escape the sweltering heat. Our county's central courthouse in Santa Ana is a depressing Soviet style structure, but it has an air conditioning system that'll make you wish for a blanket when it's 100 degrees outside.

Today, a homeless middle-aged lady stood ahead of me in line for the metal detectors. She must have had 20 or 25 old plastic shopping bags filled with stinky crap. Less than pleased deputies were forced to look through much of it--and it took forever.

Finally, she entered. I caught up to her and asked, "Trying to avoid the heat?"

She fired back: "No, I'm a judge and I declare you're an idiot."



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