Diary of a Mad County

Wednesday, Jan. 31
Newport Beach restauranteur/fugitive Sid Sofferdies in Las Vegas. Soffer owned Sid's Steakhouse and the Blue Beet for some time but eventually had to flee the city because he was looking at serving jail time for code violations. To be honest, I didn't know too much about this dude, except that everyone says he's an icon and that he ran away to Vegas, so I called former Weeklystaffer Anthony Pignataro, who now holds every journo's dream job of editor of MauiTime weekly newspaper (and that would be the Maui that's in Hawaii). Anthony lived in Balboa, just steps from the Blue Beet, where he spent many a night, so I figured he could give me a perspective on Sid:

Hey Anthony, it's Steve.

Uh huh.

How's it goin'?


Cool, cool. Thought I'd just call to talk, you know, 'cause we used to talk all the time, you know, about stuff.

. . .

You know, stuff. Like that one time, you remember, when you kept saying that I was better than you, and I should have been the one they chose to be editor ofMauiTime, not you.

. . .

Yeah, you were all sayin' 'Steve you're better than me,' except I'm pretty sure you said 'waaay better,' and then you said, 'You should have been editor ofMauiTime,' and I was all, 'Oh, I don't know,' and you were all, 'No man, you're waaay better than me, you should have been editor ofMauiTime.'

Yeah, no, that never happened.

Sure it did. You said it that one time, a couple times, about how much better I was than you, and how I should have been editor ofMauitime.

Does this have a point?

Have you been snorkeling?


Snorkeling? You know, I spent a lot of money on that mask.

You've told me.

Oh, I guess I forgot. Kinda like you forgot how you said I was waaay better than you, and how I should have been editor ofMauiTime.

All right, we're done.

Wait! Wait. Sid Soffer died.


Sid Soffer.



Hmmm. Okay, bye.


Thursday, Feb. 1
Is it just me, or does it feel evil? Anaheim police release video clips lifted from a cell phone that show a “man” repeatedly slapping and taunting two developmentally disabled men—neither of whom can talk, and one who has the mental capacity of a two-year old—while another man records the beatings, laughing and clapping as the victims cry and whimper like tortured puppies. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no God, and if there is, He's found another job. The victims and alleged thugs were clients and employees at the Jossen Vocational Academy in Anaheim. Police arrested Patrick Solisof South Gate, the troll hitting the two men, and are looking for Michael Douglas Rama, whom they believe was recording the whole thing. Sleep well at night, do you Mike? I bet you do. Now, seriously, how small does a man's penis have to be for him to find it necessary to gain some semblance of self-esteem by beating a defenseless man with the mental capacity of a child? To not only beat that man, but to tape yourself beating that man so, I assume, you can masturbate to it later? Really, how infinitesimally teeny would that man's weenie have to be? Like, so small that even one of those guys who writes The Lord's Prayeron a grain of rice wouldn't be able to write so much as “OK” on a penis that small? “Can't do it,” they'd probably say. “Need something with more surface area. Like half a caraway seed. Or a molecule.”

Friday, Feb. 2
And a trend is born. And that trend is called Taking Advantage of the Helpless. Oh, just everyone is doing it! The government. Donald Trump. Two dipwads named Solis and Rama who seem first in line to be Satan's oil monkeys. And our own Tracy Lynn Salcido,who's been charged with stealing from Orange County's emergency shelter for abused children. Salcido, the chief financial officer for the Orangewood Children's Foundation, the fund raising arm of the Orangewood Children's Home in Orange, is alleged to have diverted $780,000 for her own private use from 1999 to 2005. Salcido is also alleged to have purchased a home, cars, trips and shopping sprees (“I'll take another coupla pallets of unfathomable evil, please.”)

Saturday, Feb. 3
I hug men. Lots of them. Don't you dare judge me.

Sunday, Feb. 4
Football game of some sort. Disappointing commercials. Note to self: Acquire some semblance of a life.

Monday, Feb. 5
Orange County, like everywhere else, is captivated with the greatest story ever, as news breaks that NASA astronaut and Navy Capt. Lisa Marie Nowak is arrested in Orlando and charged with battery and the attempted kidnapping of a female rival for the affections of Bill Oefelein, himself a Navy commander, astronaut and pilot of the December space shuttle Discovery mission. The fact that two astronauts have been romantically linked is lurid enough, especially since NASA has discouraged relationships between astronauts since the near-disaster of Apollo 13—”Houston, we have a problem. One of us is afraid to commit.” But making the story even better is that Nowak drove from her home in Houston—where she lives with her husband and three kids—to Orlando in order to intercept Colleen Shipman, who was supposed to be hooking up with Oefelein at the airport. Nowak was so focused on getting to Orlando on time that she drove wearing diapersso she wouldn't have to stop along the way. Nowak did get to Shipman at the airport, and sprayed her with pepper spray before she was caught by police who found her carrying in her pants a steel mallet, a folding knifeand a load. Now, some people think that this incident will give NASA a black eye, but I think it may be the one thing that gets people interested in the space program again. In fact, NASA has already announced that all future shuttle missions will be co-ed. Yes, co-ed . . . and completely naked.

Tueday, Feb. 6
What would happen if they held an election and nobody came? Voters in the first district selected a new supervisor today, and by “voters” and “selected” I mean no one under the age of Paleozoic. And now we go to Weekly correspondent Nardine Saadat a local polling place: “A whopping 130 voters reported to their polling sites at Spurgeon Methodist Church and Santiago Elementary, where the elderly dutifully served as pollsters and empty space served as voters. Ivan Ashbaugh, a peppy polling inspector—yes, PEPPY—observes that 'It's disappointingly quiet.' One voter who was struggling with the new eSlates commented, 'All this fuss for one guy?' Replied Ashbaugh, 'We'll do it for one; we'll do it for one hundred,' as the woman left on her geriatric scooter. On the plus side, poll worker Maricella Gonzalez got a quarter ways through Jeffrey Archer'sThe Prodigal Daughter at the Santiago site.” Just as the Founding Fathers intended . . . completely naked.


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