Diary of a Mad County
Wednesday, April 19
In an effort to lure an NFL franchise that would truly make Anaheim a major-league city, city officials assure the NFL they will not demand the franchise actually be named "Anaheim," thereby acknowledging that Anaheim is not truly a major-league city. Anaheim's total and abject capitulation to the NFL was inevitable, of course, given that the NFL is the most popular and powerful sports entity in the country; still, the speed of Anaheim's capitulation is amazing, given that just a couple of months ago it spent millions to claim in court that it was losing millions in revenue because the Angels were not using the name Anaheim in front of Angels. You'll hear no such arguments this time around, the city assures the NFL, telling league officials they can name the team whatever they want, to which the NFL officials reply, yeah, tell us something we don't know, and we don't recall saying it was okay for you to stop gripping your ankles. The NFL says it will give the team a name that will appeal to a broad spectrum of serious and casual sports fans. Expect the Los Angeles Brangelina Four Hour Erection Lose 20 Pounds And Eat All The Chocolate You Want Free iPod MySpace Furries to begin play in 2010.
Thursday, April 20
The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival announces the grand marshals for its annual parade. The "celebrity" grand marshal is Jerry Mathers, who played Beaver on the TV show Leave It to Beaver, which was very hot during the Jim Crow era. Yes, Jerry Mathers, your "celebrity" grand marshal. To be fair, Mathers is a megastar compared with the other "celebrities" scheduled to appear in the parade. They include: Masiela Lusha from The George Lopez Show (no idea), Young and the Restless star Kate Linder (no idea) and Little House on the Prairie's Alison Arngrim (didn't that go off the air last century?). As for the "theme" grand marshal, that honor, and deservedly so, goes to Tibor "Ted" Rubin, who, last September, received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Rubin is a World War II concentration camp survivor who was freed by American soldiers and, out of gratitude, joined the U.S. Army and fought in Korea, during which time he spent two and a half years in a prisoner-of-war camp and repeatedly risked his life to save others while wounded. Dude is a man. A real man, one of conviction and courage, one who, no doubt, on those long winter's nights in captivity undergoing unspeakable physical and emotional torture, got himself through the tough times by repeating to himself, "If I can just go another day, perhaps someday, somehow, I'll ride in a parade with Jerry Mathers." People, hasn't the man suffered enough?
Friday, April 21
My daughter yells, "Look, only $3.09 a gallon over at that Mobil station!" and I am genuinely excited. Plus, I have a strong desire to ring a bell.
Saturday, April 21
Outraged by the Machiavellian machinations of his now-former party, Pastor Wiley Drake hosts a "Voter Registration Lunch" that is actually a Republican voter re-registration party for folks like him, folks who are "fed up with party over principle." Drake hasn't been happy with the Republicans for some time, especially when they ran a Democrat named Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor. But the final straw came last week when the party's Maoist-sounding Central Committee ordered a Maoist-sounding "re-vote" for endorsement of Velcro Sheriff Mike Carona, who had lost an earlier endorsement vote. The re-vote had a Maoist-sounding outcome, with Carona winning by a single vote, probably because members leaning against Carona this time around were threatened with dunce caps and reassignment to the outer Hunan province. Drake likened the vote to the kind of good ol' boy, KKK antics that go on in Arkansas, and he invited people to leave the party and re-register with any other party. He invited all parties, except the Republicans, to attend the lunch and snipe a few new voters. And when I say all parties, I mean ALL parties. "The Democrats were the first ones I called," Wiley tells me. "I told them what we were going to do and would they like to send someone down. The guy said he knew a guy with a card table and he could give him a call. I said I'd save him the trouble; that we'd provide the table and the registration cards, we'd even give 'em lunch, all they had to do was show up." Now, all together now: THEY NEVER SHOWED UP. Yes, never have Will Rogers' words—"I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat"—rung any truer or more pathetic. There's a reason the Republicans are dominant in this county, and it ain't all about ideology. They're organized. They actually do stuff. Geez, here you have a higher-up from your main political rival handing you an opportunity that comes along, like, never, and you can't get one lump of protoplasm to sit their ass behind a table provided for them? Granted, you probably weren't going to get many converts among the gathered, who casually likened the Democratic Party to Satan—we can only wish Satan was so apathetic—or, worse, Hillary Clinton, but still, it's the principle of the thing. Who knows? Maybe you make a contact, the start of an alliance, maybe you find a smashing recipe for potato salad, who can say? Life's an adventure. Maybe you could have learned from an insider how a winning party does things, you know, although you're not yet in the Republicans' class when it comes to registering voters. What, they're paying people with compact cars for that now, right?
Sunday, April 22
Not Pentecost, Will. Not even close.
Monday, April 23
George W. Bush, riding a wave of popular approval approached in the past only by Tojo and venereal warts, comes to Irvine to talk about his great successes in Iraq and immigration. You figure Bush comes to Orange County because it's safe, and there aren't many safe places anymore for a president with a 32 percent approval rating—John Wilkes Booth had higher numbers; still does in certain areas of Alabama and all of South Carolina. Of course, with those kinds of numbers, "safe" is a relative term, and there is a relative mob outside the hotel where Bush is scheduled to talk to the Orange County Business Council. Protesters range from people who want us out of Iraq to people who want illegal immigrants out of the U.S. to people who want Bush to recognize the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks, the latter being a lot to ask of a guy who still has trouble recognizing when there's something lodged in his throat. On the plus side, regarding immigration, Bush says, "What is important is to set aside all the emotion and think about how to solve the problem in a rational, calm way." Unfortunately, he didn't say the same before we invaded Iraq or—wait for it—Iran.
Tuesday, April 24
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