Diary of a Mad County

MONDAY, May 20 On the night veteran TV newsman Jerry Dunphy's family announces his death, KCAL/Channel 9, the eightysomething's final spot on the dial, presents the following stories in quick-cut succession:

•Students posed nude in a high school photo class.

•Images of kids as young as eight posing seductively in skimpy clothing are the hot new thing on the Internet.

Penthouse magazine court decision.

•Update on the stripper mom's dispute with a Christian grade school.

Playboy playmate talks about life as a Playboy playmate.

Wethinks the Dunphster picked the right time to check out. No word on whether his ashes were spread from the desert to the sea to all of Southern California. But just in case this is the start of one of those "they always go in threes" situations, may we nominate Paul Moyer and Ann Martin for the next spots?

TUESDAY, May 21 The Orange County Register certainly knows how to send off a local broadcasting legend. Read their headline. Then read their caption:
WEDNESDAY, May 22 Those scamps at Abercrombie & Fitch once again have everyone's panties in a bunch—and this time, it's actually over panties. More accurately, thongs . . . for girls as young as 10. The clothing retailer with stores at Brea Mall and South Coast Plaza's Crystal Court stocks stringy undies with images of cherries; candy hearts; and words like "wink wink," "kiss me" and "eye candy" on the front. But before the Forces for Everything Good, Pure and Republican can launch a boycott, Abercrombie yanks the unmentionables. It's almost as if they do this shit solely for the inevitable media attention from the desert to the sea to all of—you get the idea. A few weeks ago, there were the protests over Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts featuring Asians with slanted eyes, coolie hats and messages like "Wong Brothers Laundry Service—two Wongs can make it white." The store's summer catalog, chock-full of nude, teenage-looking models, caused a similar uproar. Look next for a new Abercrombie & Fitch line of crotchless diapers, Play-Dil-Doh and Mr. Potato Gives Head. THURSDAY, May 23 Doheny State Beach in Dana Point is knocked off the top of Heal the Bay's list of Beach Bummers, also known as California's 10 dirtiest beaches. Arroyo Quemada Beach, which is perilously close to a Santa Barbara County landfill, takes the No. 1 spot and all the responsibilities that entails. Doheny remained crappy enough to come in second, which means if Arroyo can't fulfill its duties as California's dirtiest beach, Doheny assumes the position. Baby Beach at Dana Point Harbor came in filth, er, fifth, but North Doheny Beach and the San Juan Creek ocean interface, which are also in Dana Point, fell off the list they made last year—which means Dana Pointers obviously aren't trying hard enough. Come on, people, more fiber! Overall, Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay's 2001-2002 Beach Report Card showed less pollution along the entire California coast than the previous year, but it was also one of the driest 12 months on record (rain tends to flush more pollutants onto beaches). Look for the upcoming El Nio to balance things out. The San Clemente-based Surfrider Foundation also released its third annual State of the Beach Report, which once again found beaches endangered by manmade barriers erected to protect beachfront property. Surfrider gave Cali a good grade for its extensive testing of ocean water and a bad grade for that extensive testing leading to more beach closures. We just can't win.

What's worse than a bacteria-infested beach? How about a 10-naked-guys-infested beach? Teenage girls partying in a mobile home on El Morro Beach near Laguna Beach are startled around 2 a.m. when Chinese guys dressed only in their birthday suits come ashore. Before things can devolve into a KCAL-9 top story, the chaps pull clothing out of plastic bags, get dressed and walk away. The undocumented immigrants are all later picked up by cops, who believe a fishing trawler dropped them off the California coast with flotation devices.

FRIDAY, May 24 The FBIadds scuba divers to its growing list of ways in which terrorists may next threaten us. Those Chinese guys are lucky they washed ashore before that bulletin was issued. SATURDAY, May 25 Cigarette makers spent a whopping $9.57 billion to promote their brands in 2000, something anti-tobacco campaignersallege helped stem what had been a steady decline in consumption, the Los Angeles Times reports. But just as there's big money in puffing up puffing, huge amounts of private, taxpayer and tobacco-company settlement funds are being used in anti-smoking campaigns. The Garden Grove-based Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange Countyannounced it's getting a healthy cut of foundation grants for its multimillion-dollar effort to cut cigarette use among OC gays. Part of that will go to an advertising agency. Is that a vicious circle we smell, or is it the smoke from the Viceroyour life partner just blew in our face?
Pole position SUNDAY, May 26 Drug kingpin Pfizer rolls out its Viagra Race Carat the 2002 Flo-Jo Memorial Half Marathon and 5K festivities at the Laguna Hills Community Center. Attendees get their photos snapped in front of the car that's driven by Mark Martin, who, despite his phenomenal success ($3.5 million in 2001 winnings on the Winston Cup Marlboro Vantage Menthol Cools Benson and Hedges Circuit), must take an awful lot of ribbing from fellow drivers. Things like "How come Mark's always in the pole position?" or "He sure knows his way around a stick shift" or "Look at that showoff Mark, making hairpin turns with no hands again."

Shoot! Saturday, May 18: Anaheim high school students make a difference at 9891 Stonybrook Lane.
Photo by Jack Gould


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