Orange Crushed

By Bob AulOrange County got even less orange on Jan. 11 when bulldozers dug up Placentia's last citrus grove. The City Council, which approved a housing development on the land, gave preservationists five months to save the orchard. But Preserve Our Past couldn't get the matter before voters or line up a sponsor to purchase the grove by the deadline. "We feel very hopeless," John Wolcek, the group's co-founder, told the Times Orange County. Let's all tip a vodka and OJ to losing one of the final remaining connections to what the county's named after for something we really need: 16 more houses.

DEL SCORCHOED As a result of the settlement of a trademark-infringement suit brought by TriStar Pictures and Zorro Productions against Del Taco, the Laguna Hills-based fast-food chain will modify its ads with the Zorro-like character, The Orange County Register reported on Jan. 11. To avoid further confusion, Clockwork recommends that Del Taco replace its pitchman with a bug-eyed rat dog or a cartoon bandito in a muy gigante sombrero.

SHOULDN'T THAT BE "FUTBOL MOMS"? Republicans announced on Jan. 13 that they will attract Latinos by abandoning their decades-old "Southern strategy"—that's the one the Nixon White House used to play on the race and gender fears of white men. "Hispanics are to the elections of 2000 what 'soccer moms' were to 1996," said GOP national chairman Jim Nicholson. The National Association for the Advancement of Soccer Moms immediately chastised Republicans for dumping them faster than Newt Gingrich dumps wives. Republicans feel especially excited about the Latino recruitment drive going over well in their Orange County stronghold, which is home to poll guards, Barbara Coe, Gloria Matta Tuchman, the Dornan voter-fraud inquiry and Harold Ezell's rotting corpse. Oh, and Loretta Sanchez. The Garden Grove congresswoman and Democratic National Committee co-chairwoman immediately came out swinging. "We will not allow you to run away from your party record," Sanchez told Nicholson. "We will not allow Latinos to be used as props at events or as photo opportunities by your presidential candidates during this election cycle." Then she locked arms with Al Gore for a campaign photo.

FINAL SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE There were reports before Y2K came and went that fundamentalist Christians are plotting to destroy a Moslem mosque in Jerusalem to fulfill biblical prophecy and speed up the end of the world. They needn't bother because the real final step necessary to bring about Armageddon occurred when Jane Fonda became a born-again Christian. Yep, that's "Hanoi Jane" Fonda. That's reclining on the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery Jane Fonda. That's—grrrrrrr!—Barbarella Jane Fonda. According to the Jan. 13 Washington Times, Peter Fonda's older, less-brain-dead sister has been attending church services and Bible study in Atlanta. One friend calls her faith "very, very deep," and another speculates that her conversion forced the split with Ted Turner, who once called Christianity a "religion for losers." Of course, since the Time-Warner/America Online merger will officially make Turner richer than God, he can say stuff like that.

DICKED DAY Does it say something about Yorba Linda City Hall that it was closed on Jan. 10 for Richard Nixon's birthday? Does it say something about Yorba Linda City Hall that it was open on Jan. 17 for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday? Does it say something about Orange County that only 11 of our 33 cities closed for King day? Does it say something about American businesses that just 14 percent recognized the first King day in 1986? Does it say something about American businesses that just 26 percent recognized it in 1998? Does it say something about John McCain that he voted against a King holiday? Does it say something about George Wallace that he supported it? We're just saying. . . .

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