Diary of A Mad County

Photo by Jack GouldWednesday, Dec. 8 And it came to pass in the land of Cracker (Georgia) that a child came bearing with him gifts of pipe, powder and shrapnel to his Christian academy. And yea, the schoolchildren and principal were amazed and troubled and called out to those on high, proclaiming, “Dude's got a bomb!” And the avenging angels came and did take the child, who said onto them, “Verily, I did not come bearing pipe bombs to blow up the school. Nay, if I had intended that, would not have I brought the other two sitting in the garage of my father's house?” And the child then astounded the assembled by telling them he had come bearing pipe bombs in order to sell them for 30 and five bucks so he could buy Christmas presents. And lo, how great the gnashing of teeth, well, tooth—Georgia—when the boy learned the reason he had to sell pipe bombs for money to buy presents was his parents had sold the family's presents in order to get money to buy him more pipe bombs. God bless us everyone.

Thursday, Dec. 9 Something. Wait, I'll remember. Nope, lost it.

Friday, Dec. 10 Bernard Kerik, George Bush's choice to be America's next great color coordinator—i.e., head of the office of Homeland Security—withdraws his name after it is revealed he may not have paid proper taxes on an undocumented worker who did some work around his home. As shocking as a wealthy white person hiring an undocumented worker is the fact that Congressman Christopher Cox, the Susan Lucci of government appointments, is not mentioned as a possible replacement for Kerik. Cox has made a career out of missing out on careers, having been mentioned but never chosen to be vice president, Supreme Court justice, CIA chief as well as a possible replacement for the guy who replenishes Donald Rumsfeld's bile. Undaunted, Cox is reportedly now interested in pursuing posts as either a cowboy, spaceman or fire truck.

Saturday, Dec. 11 I attended the big American Kennel Club's big-dog show in Long Beach, where I found scads of dogsand the comfortable shoes that love them. I had a great time, but a word of advice: if you ever attend a dog show, it's probably a good idea to zip it on the Best in Show references. “I don't get it,” one woman told me when I did. “Everybody told me I had to see that movie, and when I did, I came out saying, 'So, what was funny about that?'” To which her husband, whose face could not have spelled out long suffering any more had he been Chris Cox's guidance counselor, barked, “Yeah, you don't think it's funny because it's your life.” Woof. . . . USC quarterback Matt Leinert wins the Heisman Trophy, becoming the second Mater Dei High alum to win the award—Notre Dame's John Huarte being the first. Mater Dei becomes only the third high school able to make that boast, a boast pumped up by USC supporters who are giddy to point out Mater Dei now has twice as many Heisman winners as UCLA—though when they say it, it's in a torch-lit room surrounded by flying monkey butlers and accompanied with a “Bwahahahahahaha!” Now the question is whether Leinert will return for his senior season or if he'll jump to the NFL? Personally, I think he should go for the money. I mean, he's a left-handed quarterback from USC by way of Orange County, what could go wrong? . . . Attended the big Christmas boat parade in Huntington Harbor, where the consensus is that the parade started way too early for the mixed drinks to take effect and what is possibly Christmassy about a yacht blasting Van Halen and that MTV's Date My Mom is the most disturbing TV show since MTV's Rent My Sister and the WB's Seventh Heaven.

Sunday, Dec. 12 Another Orange County athlete, Newport Coast's Kobe Bryant, is in the news. T.J. Simers of the LA Times reports that Bryant's falling out with former Lakers teammate and “big brother” Karl Malone has less to do with Malone's injured knees and more to do with Malone's hitting on Bryant's wife, Vanessa. Bryant, saying he was defending the honor of his wife, you know, like when he defended her by buying her a $3 million ring, says he doesn't want Malone to rejoin the team, to which practically everybody else asks, “What team?” Bryant, who was once sold as the next coming of Michael Jordan, not only in talent but also in corporate-friendly temperament, has been revealed as a walking toxin, a vortex whose personality swallows and destroys relationships with parents, coaches, seven-foot franchise centers, guys named Karl and hotel employees, all of whom end up alienated, used and angry, though if they're lucky, they end up with a $3 million ring. (In the interest of full disclosure, I actually thought the Lakers—my all-time-favorite team—made the right choice in choosing Bryant over O'Neal, but I was completely wrong, as I was wrong when I wrote that O'Neal would never win an NBA championship and when I told anyone who would listen that the Lakers shouldn't draft Magic Johnson and should instead take Sidney Moncrief. Okay, I'm an idiot, as anyone at the dog show will attest.) Bryant has crossed into that netherworld where trouble finds him at every turn, a world inhabited by the likes of Dennis Rodman, John Daly and Mike Tyson. And at age 25, with a rape accusation and numerous wrecked relationships behind him, what is Kobe Bryant if not Mike Tyson without the self-effacing (and defacing) humor? And this will actually mean something, kids. Word is that the woman who accused him of rape is looking to change court venues to Southern California, possibly to Orange County, for the civil trial. This may have seemed foolhardy three months ago, but now? Is there a check big enough to hold all the zeros if the Miami Heat end up in the NBA Finals?

Monday, Dec. 13 Former Huntington Beach councilwoman and mayor Pam Julien Houchen pleads not guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with the illegal conversion of apartments to condominiums. Houchen's trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 1, but the offers are already streaming in. I get a call today from Ralph Andrews, producer of the PAX network's Lie Detector. Andrews asks me about Houchen and if she'd be interested in being on the show, which premieres in February and has people accused of this or that take lie detectors to find out if they're clean, something Huntington Beach—two mayors having resigned in disgrace and under federal investigation—may want to incorporate into its inauguration ceremony. . . . In other political news, the Electoral College officially elects George W. Bush president of the United States when, as according to protocol, the chicken is beheaded by a barefoot virgin clad in raiment. As mandated by the Constitution, the Speaker of the House, a naked and painted Dennis Hastert, still shaking and frothing from his polling dance, releases the fatted iguana, and Americans rejoice by asking, “What's an Electoral College?”

Tuesday, Dec. 14 My apologies for getting all alternative press on your ass, but I believe puppies are good things, especially ones named Stanley, though they really should think about not eating as much dirt.


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