Diary of a Mad County
Wednesday, May 24
The U.S. Postal Service, the people who bring you junk you don't want or need every day, announces the regions in which its mail carriers get bitten by dogs the most. Lo and behold if Orange County isn't second on the list, trailing only Houston in the number of attacks. In 2005, 94 OC letter carriers were bitten by dogs. Houston had 108 such incidents, a fact many blame on lax Texas leash laws as well as Houston carriers well-borne reputation for succulence . . . kidding! This is a serious problem. Consider that a Santa Ana mail carrier continues to recuperate from injuries suffered when they were attacked by a Rottweiler and a Pit Bull. Orange County actually led the nation in dog attacks in 2004 when 98 mail carriers were bitten. Reasons for the high number of attacks range from suburban sprawl to the continuing popularity of aggressive dogs as a way to divert attention away from a man's very small penis. Extremely small. Now, I know that when I was kid and delivered the afternoon newspaper—the Herald Examiner—I lived in mortal fear of dogs. Back then, the early '70s, the gold standards for viciousness—the Rottweiler and Pit Bull of yesteryear—were the German Shepherd and Doberman Pinscher, two dogs that were not only physically imposing but also seemed to come with their own ideology. I mean, whenever you saw a German Shepherd on TV, it was either rooting out Anne Frank or tearing into a freedom marcher in Mobile. As for Dobermans, they were said to be the only dogs that would turn on their masters, you know, like Dick Morris. Peddling my Schwinn Sting-Ray I had converted—poorly—into a moto-bike around the neighborhood, I would encounter these animals and fear would rule. Every now and then, one of their owners, sensing this, would beckon me over to pet Snowball or Himmler or whatever its name was, and they'd always tell me, "Don't worry. He won't bite. He's more afraid of you," all the while the dog probing me wide-eyed, panting, practically humming Wagner and saying with those eyes, "Afraid? Oh, yeah, I'm afraid. I'm afraid when I get you alone I'm going to go all Alabama on your ass."
Thursday, May 25
Disneyland announces that the actors who dress up as popular Disney characters such as Mickey and Goofy, as well as less popular characters such as Melan-Collie and Tepid, will get an 11 percent raise. For anyone who read Greg Stacy's April 27 interview with former character actor Crystal Nettles, you know the raise is well-deserved. According to Nettles, folks inside those costumes are kicked, beaten, stalked and have been known to pass out from the extreme heat inside. Unfortunately, the raises that are coming are for the folks who portray characters at the Disneyland in Hong Kong. In fact, not only will employees be paid more, they'll also receive better working conditions. For one, they'll get longer break times when working the hot summer months as well as be paid overtime any time they have to debrief government officials about foreign nationals they spied on.
Friday, May 26
Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett gets a 10-game suspension from Major League Baseball for punching Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski in the head. Players, officials and fans are outraged by Barrett's actions, especially since he didn't call them first and give them a chance to get in on the dance. Local baseball fans may remember Pierzynski as the big cheater who goaded an inexperienced umpire into believing that an Angels catcher had dropped a third strike, allowing Pierzynski to take first and eventually lead a winning White Sox rally that led them, not the Angels, to the World Series. Weekly readers will remember that we told you Pierzynski was a jerk before the season even started when we related tales about how much his own pitchers hated his guts as well as the time he kneed a trainer in the groin when the trainer had the temerity to ask him how he felt. Beloved? In a recent Sports Illustrated players poll—a poll of actual major leaguers—Pierzynski was named the player they'd most like to see get beaned—that is, get hit in the head with a 90 mph fastball. Pierzyski's 18 percent was ahead of 14 percent who said they'd like to see Barry Bonds get plunked, while 8 percent said they sometimes yearn.
Saturday, May 27
Senior citizens from Leisure World in Seal Beach take to the streets to protest the war, and I'm starting to wonder if this "Greatest Generation" crap ain't actually true. Unlike their younger counterparts, these folks seem to take their citizenship seriously. Sure, they're going to bankrupt Social Security and drag us all down into the muck by not dying in a reasonable amount of time, but hey, they dragged their government-subsidized bodies out to the streets, some of them using walkers and wheelchairs. Once there, they chanted and waved signs that read, "Peace is Patriotic" and, "How Many More?" and, "Impeach Taft" and "No Blood for Whale Oil."
Sunday, May 28
I was one of the folks who gave X-Men its $120 million Memorial Day weekend, and is it just me, or is the movie completely gay? Let's see, the whole thing is about "mutants" who look like everyone but have a different fundamental makeup, which angers some "normals." A "cure" is found, developed in San Francisco, but is opposed by mutant forces led by fun boy Sir Ian McKellen, who says there is nothing wrong with their lifestyle. . . . Oh, Kelsey Grammer's in it, for God's sake!
Monday, May 29
Now, I don't want to come off like a douche, you know, more than usual, but I went to South Coast Plaza's Crystal Court today and did a little shopping in Crate & Barrel, Borders and Pottery Barn. As I did, it occurred to me that some of my favorite places to eat—Tummy Stuffer, Lil' Pickle—were closed in honor of Memorial Day. Now, I enjoyed walking around Crate & Barrel and imagining my life being that well-ordered, but it seems to me that the one day when people are going to give a business a pass on closing its doors, and I'm including Christmas in this, is Memorial Day. I mean, especially now. So why is it that the people who tended to be closed were local merchants who no doubt felt the sting more than the big boys would have? On the other hand, I saw some smashing chowder bowls.
Tuesday, May 30
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