Diary of a Mad County

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 24 "Hey, Dad, can I sleep over at Kevin's?"

"Did Kevin invite you?"

"No, see, there's the thing."

THURSDAY, Nov. 25 What am I thankful for? Oh, same as everyone. I'm thankful for my family and friends, for the laughter of children, and for the strange love and circuitous looniness that is Mary Kay LeTourneau. I'm thankful for that chick who threatened to blow up the cruise ship because she wanted to see her boyfriend, and I'm thankful the last time I talked to one of my old girlfriends, she said she had assumed I was dead but that for whatever time I had left, I should refuse the sign of the beast as well as all credit-card promotions. I'm thankful that no matter how much I write that Traditional Values Coalition head Reverend Lou Sheldon looks gay, acts gay or is probably a closeted gay, he never seems to remember who I am, so every time I call, he tells me, "If you want a blowjob," gay papers "have ads for blowjobs right there," convincing me that dude really is gay. I'm thankful that when we run covers of gay men kissing or George Bush flipping people off, incensed people steal copies of the paper en masse from certain locations, thereby increasing our pick-up rates, which allows us to raise our ad rates, which makes us more money, which brings this directive from headquarters: "Give us more covers of gay men kissing and George Bush flipping people off. . . . Oh, and that impish Greg Haidl—he's delightful!" I'm thankful for the kook parade that is The Orange County Register's Letters page, which today includes this from some guy in Irvine: "This Thanksgiving, let's remember to whom we owe thanks. God's fingerprints are all over the establishment of our country, and it is he alone who deserves the thanks and praise." Yeah, so fuck you, Mom, and your punk-ass delicious turkey. But most of all, I'm thankful for you, the readers, who apparently don't read very closely and never seem to notice what a half-ass job I do every week on the Tuesday entry of this column.

FRIDAY, Nov. 26 More than 350 people show up at the Anaheim Town Square shopping center to protest the arrival of Santa Claus, whose silence during the Holocaust was regrettable. Actually, the protestors are mad that Santa will once again not be allowed to parachute into the center as he had been doing since the mid-'90s. This is because of a 2002 federal law prohibiting aircraft from traveling within a three-mile radius of Disneyland—the shopping center is 2.9 miles away. The only planes allowed to fly in that area are emergency aircraft, which, given Disneyland's recent safety record, means it probably has its own air-traffic controller. Anyway, back to Santa. He arrives via a hot-air balloon, the evilest of all transportation, favored by the likes of such sadists as The Wizard of Oz, Hitler, Richard Branson and the guy who invented the Annual Performance Review. (Last year, they put Santa on a fire truck, and as we all know, nothing good ever came from a fire truck.) Protestors held placards and signed a petition to end the restriction. The petition is expected to be sent to U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Alabama), who is expected to have a good laugh and remark that not all crackers live in Alabama. He'll then tell protestors they can kiss his jingle-belled ass as he climbs into his Gulfstream executive balloon.

SATURDAY, Nov. 27 About 150 people march down Chapman Avenue in Orange to protest the shooting of Jose Manuel Aguilar by police. Police say Aguilar brandished a knife and moved at them in a threatening manner. When he got within half a car length of an officer, he was shot. As backup police officers arrived, they say Aguilar rose up and was shot by all three officers 15 times. Now, I'm not going to automatically say the police overreacted because heaven knows they have a tough job, and I know I wouldn't want to be stabbed, and I'm sure in their line of work, there are times when an individual needs to be shot 15 times like when that individual is Rasputin, or a bull elephant, or the Dalton Gang. The point is 150 turned out to protest the killing of a human being while 350 people showed up to protest that Santa wasn't allowed to skydive. That's myAmerica! The protestors were greeted with supportive car horns as well as people who actually shouted, "America, love it or leave it!" Sure, it may sound out of date, but it recently became the official marketing slogan of the Canadian Immigration Service.

SUNDAY, Nov. 28 Angels owner Arte Moreno goes on a local radio show and says that he won't rename his team any time soon. Moreno has mentioned he'd be interested in calling his team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as a way to enlarge his market. While there's been the requisite anti-LA reaction, fans would be advised to look beyond the name and realize they're lucky to have such an aggressive owner who's likely to plow more revenue into procuring other high-priced and talented free agents such as Vlad Guerrero, the reigning American League MVP. On the other hand, the Angels are cutting Troy Glaus loose and going with a guy at third—Dallas McPherson—who hit all of .225 in all of 16 Major League games. And they allowed all-time saves leader Troy Percival to sign with the Detroit Tigers. And they just traded Jose Guillen, the team's second best hitter, to the Washington Nationals for Ceasar Izturis' little brother. You know what? Los Angeles Angels will be just fine.

MONDAY, Nov. 29 The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today regarding the right of the sick and dying to grow their own medical marijuana. Justices say they are concerned that people who aren't really sick and dying may use medical marijuana anyway. Yeah, and people who aren't really dieting might take diet pills. People abuse all sorts of medicine, and no one thinks to ban the medicine; if they did, you'd need a pusher to get cough syrup and Botox. Justice Antonin Scalia, Mr. Compassion, told the cancer victims in the courtroom he was concerned about people with "alleged medical needs" abusing marijuana, and being an alleged human being, he should know. Chief Justice William Renquist was not in the courtroom today, as he is recovering from treatment for thyroid cancer. Still, he reportedly called in to talk about the case, though no one could make out what he was saying over his incessant munching of Cool Ranch Doritos.

TUESDAY, Nov. 30 UC Irvine psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, profiled recently in the Weekly, wins the 2005 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award. Loftus, whose pioneering work has changed the way scientists view the malleable nature of human memory, will be awarded $200,000 for winning the Grawemeyer, which is awarded to those whose ideas have had an impact in the arts, humanities and social sciences. To be honest, I can't remember exactly what it is Loftus did, but I do have a vague recollection of getting a Tootsie Roll from Lou Sheldon. I think it was a Tootsie Roll. . . .



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