Diary of a Mad County

Photo by James BunoanMONDAY, May 19: On OCRegister.com this morning is a story about violence in the Middle East with this headline: "Bush Appeals for Peace." They're kidding, right? … The only thing worse than being the Kona Lanes today, which closed two weeks early to make room for something crappy, is being an Orange traffic commissioner who gets popped for drunken driving after plowing his Chevy Suburban into a tree. Party on, Mark Burkhardt! … The only thing worse than being Mark Burkhardt is being one of the ancestors of the Acjachemen Nationsince the San Juan Capistrano City Councildecides today that it's okay to build J Serra Catholic high school on your graves. Nice. Though many people opposing the school spoke at the council meeting, Capistrano councilman David Swerdlin cited a petition with 3,000 signatures supporting the school. That is, until many of the opponents said they had signed that petition having been led to believe it supported a vote opposing the school. Whaaaaat? Government officials misleading Native Americans? That's just silly. You know, if there is a Great Spirit, one day a shift in power will come and the Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano will not only be known as California's oldest church but the one with "the loosest slots in town!" Until then, watch for those bleeding cafeteria walls, kids … At least the folks in Buena Parkknow their rights. The City Council had voted to ban fireworks, or "My eye! My eye!" as they're known on the street. Well, 200 volunteers spent five weeks going door-to-door and harassing people outside of supermarkets to get the needed 2,918 signatures to suspend the council's decision. You know, there are so many things in this world that deserve your time and attention and this is how you choose to spend it? Fighting for the inalienable right to watch colored paper burn and produce that rotten-egg smell? Still, I laud these people's work ethic. Imagine, they not only had to find nearly 3,000 firework enthusiasts who had enough fingers to grip a pen but also knew how to use it.

TUESDAY, May 20: The median home price in Orange County is now $400,000 … The price of a three-bedroom ranch-style would really help out the La Habra Family Center, which provides medical, dental and counseling services to 2,000 low-income families. We find out today that the center won't have its grant application considered by county officials because it missed a deadline by four hours, making it ineligible for its $225,000 yearly grant and effectively closing the center. How could the Family Center staff be so irresponsible? Oh, they fell back on that old "Our grant writer, Cheryl Snowdon, has cancer and is incapacitated by the effects of chemotherapy, which has left her in great pain and with a diminished mental capacity and unable to work on the 465-page grant and some center staffers had to finish it themselves, including her husband, who not only had to worry about it but his severely ill wife." Yeah, that old saw. You know, I'm not even going to joke about this. Look, county fucks, by the time this is published you'll probably have been raked over so many coals so many times for your heartless, heartless actions that you'll have to poop through a tube. And, by the time this is published, you'll probably have reversed yourself fearing the loss of your immortal soul—which I believe you misplaced sometime between finishing the county exam and starting the "Kicking Orphans for Distance" seminar. Give the center its fucking money. If you're worried that other organizations will use this as a loophole to push deadlines, write something into the grant by-laws that says, "Deadlines must be met. No exceptions will be made UNLESS THE GRANT WRITER IS SEVERELY ILL WITH CANCER AND IS RESTRICTED FROM FINISHING THE GRANT BY THE HORRIBLE EFFECTS OF CHEMOTHERAPY, WHICH, IF THERE IS A GOD IN HEAVEN, WILL BE FORCED UPON COUNTY OFFICIALS WHO DON'T CONSIDER THE SUFFERING OF THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS."

WEDNESDAY, May 21: I have a remarkable facility for sniffing out infidelity. Don't ask me how, but I can sense when a couple is cheating. It's a gift. And the place where my cheating eye sees the most fooling around is undoubtedly large parking lots, where cheaters feel safe and faceless. You've seen them too; you just don't notice. They're the ones who linger at their cars, staring into each other eyes, the man usually leaning in a casual stance of power, the woman clingy and cloying asking with her eyes for the big man to take care of her and to throw that bitch at home out on her ear. I mention this because today I spent a lot of time at the Irvine Spectrum Center—that Irvine mall that looks like Oz—and I was shocked by the number of parked-car couplings I saw. That place swings, which figures, considering its builder, Irvine Co. czar Donald Bren, is being sued by a woman for child support of two kids he fathered out of wedlock. Anyway, I swear to you I heard this conversation as I took a break in the food court. The woman next to me says to her male friend that there's this guy in Kansas City she really likes but she could never do anything about it because she was married, but now that she's divorced, she's hoping to see him again. To which the man replies that he believes his live-in girlfriend to be immature. To which the woman nods. To which the man says:

Man: Can I be honest with you?

Woman: What?

Man: Do you know how hard it is for me to hear you speak about other men?

Woman: Really?

Man: Yeah.

Woman: Let's go out to my car.


THURSDAY, May 22: Shawna Enyart is sentenced to 10 days in jail after she is convicted of playing her radio too loud. Blasting Black Sabbath? Kinda. Enyart cranked Christian programs in the morning and hateful mock-jock Laura Schlessinger in the afternoon. Her Garden Grove neighbors complained the radio was louder than a leaf blower and local police have responded to 34 complaints since 1999. Neighbors found the rantings of the hateful Schlessinger unbearable, given that she is completely lacking in human feeling—which means county officials will soon approach Schlessinger to head up their family services division … Disney announces it will be closing its Disney Stores. Millions scurry to find alternative locations selling $18 Simba sipper cups with faulty caps … Disney relinquishes control of the Angels to Arturo Moreno, who is presented to the media as team owner. The first thing the Arizona billboard magnate says he will do is lower beer prices. Unfortunately, the beer will be served in defective sipper cups.

FRIDAY, May 23: Attend horribly boring Angels game—Devil Rays 3, Angels 1—and see signs proclaiming that $8.50 beer has been lowered to $6.25. Stadium urinals do a brisk business.


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