Tired of near-'round-the-clock yelping at the popular Huntington Beach Central Park bark park, eight neighbors claiming emotional distress have filed a $1 million suit against the city, according to a Jan. 2 story in The Orange County Register. The residents have apparently bitched for years—even longer in dog years—about noise from the two-acre park. Some went so far as to say racket from nearby traffic is pleasant compared with the incessant barking. That got us thinking of those ingenious, government-sanctioned swaps that allow major polluters to pollute freely. For instance, oil companies can spoil pristine land in one location in exchange for restoring another location to its natural state. Chevron even turns such government-enforced ecology into advertising campaigns. ("Do people really care about Birdshit Rock? People do.") Surf City could move folks away from the dog park and plop them next to that toxic mess near Edison High School. That place—where you'll find the occasional La Brea Tar Pits-style dog carcass—is a regular yelping-dog roach motel! Or the city could double the size of the bark park in exchange for pooch owners footing the bill to fix the massive sewer leaks under downtown. Better yet, turn the dogs loose inside the Waterfront Hilton and inhabit the park with Huntington's most noxious beast of all: Councilman Dave Garofalo.
LEASH LAW In other canine news, an Orange County couple is fighting for custody of a rottweiler. Patti Dalby and ex-boyfriend C. Brooks Brann were in a Newport Beach courtroom on Jan. 3 trying to get a judge to decide who gets the 125-pound, black-and-tan hound Guinness. Brann wants to take the dog and $50,000 of Dalby's money with him to Montana. Dalby, who claims her other dog, Roxie, is Guinness' common-law wife, wants the rottweiler brought to court so the judge can see where his affections truly lie. It's times like this we'd like to wipe with that jury duty notice we just got in the mail.
A REAL CUTUP Prison guards in Sao Paulo, Brazil, say they found 23-year-old Flavio dos Santos Cruz screaming and bleeding profusely in his cell early on Jan. 4. This was odd because—unlike in California—you normally don't find prisoners screaming and bleeding profusely in their jail cells in Brazil. It turns out Santos Cruz was not bloodied by corrupt California guards participating in a prison-guard exchange program with Brazil, but by his own shaving razor. The convicted rapist (wince alert!) sliced off his penis and flushed it down the toilet. Why? The Bible told him to. "It is written in the Bible that if a part of your body distances you from God and makes you commit a sin, you should cut it off," Santos Cruz told reporters. (Prisoners in Brazil—unlike in California —can talk with the media.) Doctors, who rigged Santos Cruz up with a tube so he can pee, say that since he did not cut off his testicles (which apparently don't distance him from God), he'll still be able to ejaculate and—with medical help —impregnate someone. Clockwork hears Roxie's available!
NICE WHOPPERS Employees peeped through a hole at a Burger King restaurant in Anaheim and watched a Chino Hills woman and her 9-year-old daughter go wee-wee, according to a lawsuit that went to trial in Orange County Superior Court on Jan. 8. "As I was reaching for toilet paper, I looked at the hole and saw an eye in the hole looking at me," Denise Rhoads said at a Jan. 5 news conference. Burger King's mouthpiece admitted there was a hole—until it was quickly repaired, that is—but he denied employees ever watched Rhoads and her girl do their business. We believe him. Surely if a Burger King operator knew workers were treated to live entertainment on the job, he'd figure out a way to deduct a charge for that from their piddly paychecks.