Health Care Costs Still Rising

JUNE 15. A 76-year-old man was working at a bank when he had to be rushed to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach for an emergency angioplasty. He had no relatives with him and a lot of money and valuables on his person. Unsure how best to secure them, he asked his doctor, who intoned they would be best kept in the blue bag provided by the hospital. The patient complied, allegedly placing his diamond ring, gold Omega watch, gold money clip and wallet containing $3,000 in cash in the blue bag. The doctor requested the man hand the bag to him. "All my valuables are in there!" the man protested. "It's okay," the doctor replied. "We will take care of you."

The patient handed the doctor the bag. He did not see where it was placed as he was quickly wheeled into the operating room. When he awoke from the successful procedure and requested his personal items, he found he had indeed been taken care of: Hoag officials could not produce the blue bag or any of its contents. As of June 25, they were still looking. The patient suspects hospital employees, who might have overheard his exchange with the doctor. The contents of the missing bag are valued at $9,560.

PROTECT ME, YOU BASTARD JUNE 19. A visibly drunk man outside Costa Mesa's Club Mesa complained to police that while he was involved in a heated debate with a security guard, someone swiped his skateboard and baby blue Nike sweater. According to the club's manager, however, the victim was disturbing other patrons with loud and obnoxious behavior. When asked to leave, he refused and began jabbing his finger at the manager, poking him forcefully several times. After being physically removed from the club, the man's rant allegedly continued in the street. He placed his sweater and skateboard on the ground and continued to argue with the security guard. During the course of the argument, a young male walked between the two combatants, picked up the sweater, cheerfully told the victim he had taken his skateboard, and casually skated away. Neither the guard nor the victim moved to halt the alleged thief.

Claiming their security guard proved negligent in protecting him from loss, the victim has demanded that Club Mesa reimburse him. We are enjoying the skateboard, and the sweater fits fine, thanks.

THE FOLLOWING IS NOT TERRIBLY FUNNY BUT TANGENTIALLY INVOLVES DENNIS RODMAN, SO YOU WILL PROBABLY KEEP READING, YOU VAPID CELEBRITY HOUND JUNE 18. Get drunk around Dennis Rodman and strange shit happens—you might get married, you might win an NBA title, you might get ripped off. A 27-year-old unemployed female phoned police with the following tale of theft. At 1:30 a.m. Sunday, she was at the Buzz club with her best female friend. The two met Newport Beach's most famous former janitor and co-author. The ever-chivalrous Worm invited the ladies back to his house, along with several other partygoers. Once inside Rodman's home, the alleged victim dropped her car keys inside her Guess purse and placed the purse on the end of a couch. Around 4:30 a.m., after a time undoubtedly spent debating Noam Chomsky's assertions on transformational and generative grammar as outlined in Syntactic Structures, the woman rose to leave. Her purse was nowhere to be found. Finding her best friend passed out in one of the rooms, she borrowed the friend's car keys and drove home to Anaheim Hills. Once home, the woman retrieved a spare key to her own car and then drove back to Rodman's house to pick up her vehicle and return the borrowed keys to her woozy friend.

Upon returning to Rodman's at 6:40 a.m., an older man answered the door and told the woman that her best friend was "probably upstairs with Dennis." Unsure if she should interrupt all the squirmin'-Wormin' that might be going on, the woman hid her friend's car keys in a candle in the front courtyard of Rodman's house and left, planning to leave her a cell-phone message telling her exactly where to find her keys.

As the woman walked from Rodman's home to her own vehicle, she passed a house on 49th Street and Neptune. Two men hanging around outside the house asked if she wanted to "party" with them. The weary woman declined the invitation but asked to use the phone to leave a message for her friend.

The woman entered the stranger's house and found herself staring directly at her missing Guess bag, last seen on Rodman's couch. Unfortunately, its contents (her keys, license, birth-control pills and makeup kit) were missing. The victim quickly exited with the empty purse and notified police about her strange long night's journey into day. As of press time, there had been no arrests in the matter.

CANDID, YES. ON CAMERA? NO. JUNE 21. A woman staying at the Sunset Inn on 1830 W. Commonwealth Ave. phoned Fullerton police alleging that a man in another unit had stolen her bicycle. So that police officers might quickly identify her at the scene, the operator asked the woman to describe her appearance. "Short and fat with four children," was her response.

AIN'T NOTHING LIKE THE STEAL THING, BABY JUNE 23. A janitor at Corona del Mar High School obliged a vending machine serviceman by unlocking the caged vending area, enabling access to the cash-stuffed cola vaults. Clad in a brown uniform with matching hat and carrying a bag of money and a set of keys, the serviceman collected $1,000 in change from the machines and left. Shortly thereafter, another identically dressed serviceman arrived and asked the same janitor to unlock the vending area so he could collect the money. Oops. Turns out the first guy was an impostor. Police are searching for a man in brown with a jingle to his stride.


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