Diary of a Mad County

Wednesday, Aug. 17
The Automobile Club of Southern California announces that La Habra has the cheapest gas prices in the state, which is nice but sort of like saying your village is known for having the cutest strain of cholera. La Habra's citywide average for a gallon of gas is $2.65 as compared to the state average of $2.77 and the Anywhere Steve Is Currently Driving of $2.89. (I actually paid $2.97 today and felt like less of a man, especially since my kids witnessed my violation.) Anyway, yeah, I mean, ooooooohhhhhh, $2.65! How can they do it?! Just two dollars and 65 cents for something that wasn't two dollars a couple of years ago? Thank you, sir, may I have another! Boy, I'm gonna take me a bunch of motoring trips—I mean they're just giving this stuff away! You know what's going to be my first trip? La Habra. Ever try to get to La Habra? It requires commitment. There is no freeway to La Habra, not to mention no discernible reason to go there. Well, except the cheap gas now. But you're going to have to fill up twice just to get in and out of the place. To be honest, I don't think I've ever been to La Habra—I've thought about going on several occasions but was scared when told one has to have a high tolerance for pain as well as a strong aversion to cannibalism. I don't know what that means.

Thursday, Aug. 18
The National Labor Committee claims workers in two Chinese factories were mistreated as they made books for the Walt Disney Co. Spokesmen for the Chinese government addressed the charges, saying, "Duh, it's China. . . ." The NLC, the same people who wiped that life-force-sucking smirk off Kathie Lee Gifford's face, showed videotape of Chinese workers who claimed they were injured while making such Disney children's books as Simba's Big Day Out, Cinderella's Bourgeois Abandonment of Her Daily Duties Is an Affront to Fellow Workers and The Seven Dwarves Best Keep Their Cute Little Ramen Holes Shut if the NLC Comes Around. Workers also complained about the twice-daily parades and having to answer supervisors' critical remarks with the term "Gawrsh" in a comical voice uncomfortable to the Chinese palate. Disney officials sloughed off the charges, saying the workers' claims of oppressive conditions, extreme heat, long hours and unpaid overtime was actually the job description to walk around Disneyland as Winnie the Pooh—in effect, Pooh-poohing the charges. Still, I mean, how bad must conditions be in your factory to get noticed in China, where slave labor is the second-highest contributor to the economy behind the Democratic Party?

Friday, Aug. 19
Two thousand pot plants worth about $500,000 on the street—$465,000 in La Habra, though worth so much more in sentimental value—are spotted in a field north of tourist hot spot the Bowerman Canyon Landfill ("The Bowerman Canyon Landfill: come for the scabies, stay for the meatloaf!"). The plants were spotted by a Sheriff's helicopter patrol, which dispatched ground troops, who, according to TheOrange County Register, found the field "equipped with rudimentary irrigation equipment, and the plants, some as tall as 10 feet, appeared to have been harvested at least once this season." Okay, is rudimentary meant to denote haphazard care? Because, excuse me, 10-foot pot plants don't just grow by themselves—well, they do, but they don't do it as happily without a lot of love and caring and cuddling and listening to their problems, stroking them, all the while explaining "that smell" to your wife and kids and why daddy needs more time for his special "meditation," as well as dealing with the evil Mendez—MenDeeeeez!! So the police, instead of recognizing a hearty adventure standing 10 feet in the air in front of them, cruelly dig out the plants, taking them God knows where. Seriously, God, do you know where?

Saturday, Aug. 20
In Devore ("We make La Habra look good!"), metal mavens Iron Maiden take the stage at the Glen Helen Pavilion's staging of Ozzfest and, as is the custom at such events, are immediately pelted with eggs, bottle caps and ice . . . wait, that's the tradition whenever the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does its Jimmy Buffet set. No, apparently being pelted by eggs, bottle caps and ice is not a good thing for a metal band, and apparently most of the junk is coming from one specific area from very specific people right in front of the stage. Courtney Love on a Mommy and Me outing? No, but the claim is that Metal Momma Sharon Osbourne orchestrated the pelting. Yes, Sharon Osbourne—or as she is known in that family, the Sane One—apparently took such a dislike to Iron Maiden, specifically its singer Bruce Dickinson, that she and daughter Kelly Osbourne—whose particular talent is that her name is Kelly Osbourne—recruited people to throw things at Iron Maiden. But it was more than poultry. Power to the band's PA system was cut off several times, and when Dickinson attempted to speak to the audience during the band's encore, a voice came over the PA yelling, "Ozzy!" After Maiden's set, Sharon reportedly took the stage and called Dickinson a "prick," which, given his name, is kinda redundant. Maiden fans are outraged that the band that gave the world "Bring Your Daughter . . . to the Slaughter" and "Public Enema Number One" should be treated so shabbily. Folks on Maidenfans.com believe the rift is actually between Black Sabbath—featuring Osbourne's late husband, Ozzy—and Maiden, stemming from Dickinson's claim in British rock magazine Karrang! that Ozzy uses a teleprompter onstage. Others believe that Dickinson has not-so-quietly suggested that Osbourne sold out his rock-icon status by allowing his life to become a sitcom in which he bumblingly chases dogs and throws ham at neighbors. Just like Hank Williams.

Sunday, Aug. 21
Strangest sunburn ever.

Monday, Aug. 22
The Orange County Transportation Authority narrows its "solutions" to congestion on the Riverside (91) Freeway. Next week, they're going to cure cancer and heartache. Anyway, with a unanimous vote, the OCTA approves of going forward with, among other things, an elevated highway that would run in the 91 median from the Eastern (241) Toll Road to the Corona (1-15) Freeway, or as it has come to be known, the Trail of Tears. The OCTA and Riverside County Transportation Commission are scheduled to vote on final strategies in December. An optimistic Paul Taylor, OCTA executive director of planning and development, said, "We're in the homestretch." Which means that someday, God willing, perhaps, our children's children's children's children may actually witness the sight of project workers along the 91 standing around and doing nothing.

Tuesday, Aug. 22
Pat Robertson, fuck yeah!



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