The following appeared in Matt Coker's column A Clockwork Orange, which ran from 1996 to 2003. His hilarity still appears daily on Navel Gazing.
Nov. 21, 1996: "There's got to be a morning after," a wooden Carol Lynley lip-synchs in The Poseidon Adventure. Since the sappy tune comes from a disaster flick, it's the perfect post-election theme song for some of A Clockwork Orange's favorite politicians, like Curt Pringle. Hah! Anal rashes have lasted longer than the Garden Grove Republican's Assembly speakership.
Nov. 29, 1996: Fox News at Ten unleashed a bombshell: "Thousands of Southland teens have found a new place to party," anchorwoman Susan Hirasuna said with a startled gleam in her eye. "They call it TJ—for Tijuana." Whoa, teens in Tijuana? And they use this sort of hipster code word, TJ? Now that's news.
Feb. 21, 1997: In Newport Beach, you can pull your luxury car out of your gated temple of self-indulgence in the morning; pop over to Newport Center to have your nails done, the bikini wax applied and the fat sucked out of your thighs; and still keep that noon lunch date with the bitch screwing your husband.
May 2, 1997: James Edwards Sr.—the Newport Beach multimillionaire who put the "mega" in movie megaplexes—died on April 26 at age 90. Despite what you've heard, the founder of the nation's 15th-largest theater chain was not interred in a popcorn tub with extra-hot butter and remembered at services on April 30 at 11 a.m., 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m.
June 20, 1997: We want everyone in Readerland to know how much we love our health-maintenance organization, PacifiCare of California. It's a great company filled with great people doing great things. We have never, ever experienced any problems with the Cypress-based HMO. And we are certain that the powers that be at PacifiCare are fair-minded individuals who would never let a smidgen of negative publicity that somehow winds up in a member's column stand in the way of, oh, say, payments for continued treatments of an embarrassing condition in the pelvic region. So what's in the news this week? Well, lookie here: a Santa Barbara couple is using California's criminal-torture statute in a lawsuit that accuses PacifiCare of denying home health care for their sick infant.
Aug. 7, 1998: July 30 was a tough day for President Bill Clinton. It started with the embarrassing disclosure that independent counsel Kenneth Starr has asked the FBI to test the DNA of alleged First Splooey on Monica Lewinsky's dress (obviously, Monica didn't inhale).
Nov. 13, 1998: Fifty or so Muslims handed out fliers about Islam to moviegoers outside the Edwards 21 Megaplex in Irvine on Nov. 6 to criticize the new Denzel Washington vehicle The Siege. . . . "I don't want to stop anybody from watching the film," 23-year-old Ahmad Alan Abdo of Huntington Beach reportedly said. "But we're here to show that Muslims are your neighbors, friends and co-workers—not the perverted terrorists of Hollywood." No, those would be the agents.
?Aug. 20, 1999: Anyone get a load of the bust of Richard Nixon unveiled Aug. 14 at the Richard Nixon Library, Birthplace and Historical Massage Center? One word: Man, that's fucking scary!
Nov. 26, 1999: The entire Clockwork staff was ready to wait in a line circling the block after we received a press release touting a tour called "I'm On a Mission to Win a Hummer." Unfortunately, the prize being offered in the video-game promotion is one of those wide, all-terrain vehicles that attract the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Damn!
March 24, 2000: The legislation, sponsored by Golden State Mobilehomes Association, would tack a year onto the sentence of anyone convicted of selling minors heroin, coke, crack, LSD or PCP at trailer parks, including playgrounds, youth centers, clubhouses and video arcades. Heroin? Coke? Crack? LSD? PCP? Playgrounds? Youth centers? Clubhouses? Video arcades? Damn, no wonder Grandma Clockwork won't return our calls.
July 7, 2000: The state Commission on Judicial Performance admonished Orange County Superior Court judges Susanne Shaw and Gary P. Ryan. Shaw was dinged for singing in her courtroom, discussing punishment with prosecutors without defense attorneys present, letting a defendant know what they do with "skinny little white boys" in jail and other inappropriate behavior. Ryan was arrested after an accident in Newport Beach in which his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. The same judicial panel received reports of Ryan snoozing on the bench in '97 and '99. Something stinks in OC, and it's not La Palma.
July 21, 2000: The ocean-view digs of the most famous 6-foot-8, 220-pound, multicolor-noggined African-American in Newport Beach will be the setting for live webcasts. Ex-NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman's infamous parties are scheduled to go online in about two months. The address? RomanTV.com. Clockwork is lobbying for the Worm to call this must-see web TV Big, Big Brother.
Dec. 22, 2000: Another status-quo mouthpiece, the Wall Street Journal, just put out one of those cute little "what's in, what's out" lists that says Babs Bush is in, Babs Streisand is out, the Gipper is in, Tipper is out, denim jackets are in, stained dresses are out, blah-blah-blah. Here are some the Journal missed: Election rigging is in, popularly elected presidents are out, death warrants are in, peace missions are out, sublimidableness is in, sanity is out. . . . Hey, this is fun!
Sept. 28, 2001: Against an Old Glory backdrop, the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries ad proclaims, "The Spirit of America Lives!" Victims [of 9/11] are mourned. Terrorists are scorned. "We revel in our relaxed casual way of life," the ad states. "We don't demand that others think or feel as we do. We truly believe in individuality, freedom of thought, speech and ingenuity. The creative spirit led two cousins in 1927 in a Monroe, Michigan, garage to design a chair that reclined. Their belief in America and their idea spawned the world's largest and best-known furniture company, La-Z-Boy." Yep, from jetliners falling from the sky to lardasses falling into recliners. God fucking bless America!
Oct. 26, 2001: Lest anyone think Clockwork has been knocked from our perch alongside the nation's media elite because—as of press time, despite repeated trips to our mailbox and desperate calls to the Postmaster General—we had not yet received our anthrax letter, rest assured we were sent something even more maleficent. The bold "TNT" stamp on the front of the bulky envelope subtly hinted at the destructive power of the contents: a press kit for the new Whoopi Goldberg movie Call Me Claus.
May 10, 2002: Twenty Disneyland patrons complain their throats hurt, but no one is hospitalized. A Mouse House spokesman says a guest standing in line may have accidentally released mace or pepper spray. The attraction? Honey, I Maced the Audience.
Dec. 13, 2002: Like something out of Raising Arizona, a husband and wife are arrested on suspicion of bank robbery after leading police on a high-speed chase—with their 7-month-old daughter along for the ride. After a Wells Fargo branch in Brea is held up, police chase a car through Fullerton, Placentia and Brea, at speeds reaching 95 mph. . . . [The parents] are held without bail, and their daughter is unhurt—although, more than likely, quite wet.
Jan. 17, 2003: There have been recent peace marches on tourist-happy Disneyland and upper-crusty Fashion Island. Next up on Jan. 18 is the Richard Nixon Library, Birthplace and Carpet Bombitorium. If Dick weren't burning in hell, he might join in.
Oct. 10, 2003: With the massive baby boomer generation entering their golden years and today's coffin-dodgers more active than ever, Knott's Berry Farm is eliminating senior-citizen discounts. These days, you'll find grandma actually riding Montezuma's Revenge—and not just suffering from it.
Dec. 19, 2003: We watch FOX News with the mute button on at Hacienda de Clockwork, so we couldn't tell during the Dec. 14 morning newscast whether we'd just captured Saddam Hussein or a really filthy Santa Claus in Anaheim. Whoever the guy in the long beard was, why the hell was someone sticking a finger in his mouth? Do you know where that mouth's been? Do you kiss your mother with that finger? Can you guess how much bacteria festers in the saliva of mass-murdering, titty-twisting, rape-room-romping Iraqi dictators? Jeez, and they wonder how epidemics spread these days.