One Hand Clapping

Illustration by Bob AulThe feds have launched an investigation into the toy rifles on Disneyland's Tom Sawyer Island following a freak accident on Jan. 21 that cost a 6-year-old North Hollywood girl most of her left index finger. It would be callous of us to say this is another example of Mickey getting the finger, so we won't. Instead, we'll head to Mexico City, where a cop drove a nail through the palm of his hand on Jan. 22 to protest his dismissal from the force. Oh, now that he has a nail sticking through his hand, they'll surely hire him back. Meanwhile, a construction worker in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, accidentally severed his hand with a miter saw on Jan. 23. It gets worse: the pain was so bad he took a nail gun and shot himself in the head. It gets worser: the first 1-inch nail didn't do the trick, so he kept shooting himself in the head—at least a dozen times. It gets worser still: he lived!

HASTA LA VISTA, BABY On Jan. 23, the Anaheim City Council shot down a proposal by hatemongers that would have given police the power to arrest immigrants for being in the United States without documentation. Harald Martin—the Anaheim cop and Anaheim Union High School District trustee whose obsession with locking up anyone who doesn't look like him would be precious were it not so scary—crafted the proposal on the wall of his cave. Then, Ms. Fear of a Brown Planet herself, Barbara Coe of the Huntington Beach-based California Coalition for Immigration Reform, dragged it into the council chambers, where it was met by phrases such as "doesn't have" and "a snowball's chance" and "in hell." It's much ado about nada: a USC study released that very same day showed immigrants are ditching California for other states where the cost of living and job opportunities are better. Guess Coe and Martin will have to move with them. Shucks!

LOVE THAT DIRTY WATER Clean Water Now! activist Roger von Butow released findings to the Times Orange County on Jan. 26 that showed hepatitis A and enterovirus were discovered by a UC Irvine researcher last fall in Laguna Niguel gutters and storm drains that flow into Aliso Creek, which dumps out at surfing hot-spot Aliso Beach. Enterovirus exposure generally causes nothing more than sore throats and the sniffles. And while hepatitis A usually produces only fevers and headaches, it can occasionally kill. County officials, who were notified of the UCI findings in November, could not explain them—so they deemed the research inconclusive, called for more study and failed to warn anyone venturing into the waters. Clockwork proposes this conclusive research: make county officials wallow in Laguna Niguel gutters. Fill their Sparkletts bottles with water drawn from Aliso Creek. Have them boogie board until they're blue at Aliso Beach. Then have them get back to us.

YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN "Las Vegas has become Orange County with casinos." Those are the words of D. Taylor, an official with the union that represents bartenders, busmen, cooks and maids, in a Jan. 26 New York Times story about Sin City's growing pains. It seems that the recent Las Vegas population boom has brought with it bad air, snarled traffic, dwindling water supplies and a squalid downtown. "Look at all those gated communities—those big, beautiful houses where people don't know their neighbors and never talk to anyone," Mayor Oscar B. Goodman lamented as he took it all in. "It's nothing but—I'm not supposed to say this—sprawl!" He's looking at it all wrong. The Strip's got Paris, the Venetian, and New York, New York. Why not put a big roof over Sprawlsville, add some gaming tables and overpriced boutiques, and call it Orange County, Orange County?


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