TUESDAY, APRIL 10
The mayor of Adelanto is arrested and charged with stealing more than $20,000 from the city’s Little League, which sounds pathetic at first, but after you think about it for awhile, sounds . . . yeah, still pretty pathetic. “It’s surprising anybody would steal from the Little League,” says John Goritz, San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney, after taking James Nehmens and his wife, Kelly, to the clink, where they posted $60,000 bail, and you wonder where the hell they got that kind of money. Anyway, it seems surprising at first–that anybody would steal from the Little League—but after you think about it for awhile—after you think about the fact that this wasn’t anybody who was charged, it was the mayor—it somehow seems not quite so surprising. In fact, it seems like it might be the tidy merging of two of our national pastimes . . . baseball, of course, and political corruption—of course! More disturbing, actually, is that last week Temecula police began investigating the disappearance of as much as $150,000 from a youth soccer league. It’s just another way that soccer seems to be pushing baseball aside as our national pastime. Now that’s pathetic.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11
Mark Muckenfuss of the Press-Enterprise points out that Riverside has a law against all those sign-twirlers who stand on corners near housing developments and income-tax preparers, which is just all-around weird because, you know, there are all those sign-twirlers standing on all those corners, not to mention . . . Mark Muckenfuss? Still, it’s better than being named Ed Adkinson, the Riverside city councilman and all-around grouch who made it his mission to wage war on the sweet folks making a few bucks harmlessly twirling signs when the sight of five of them working the corner of Tyler and Magnolia a couple of years offended his delicate sensibilities. “I think we look like a Third World country,” Adkinson told . . . Muckenfuss. “All we needed was some flower vendors and some fruit vendors and we’d be right there.” Okay, I get it. Who wants real people selling flowers and fruit—or waving signs, this era’s version of the sandwich board—when you can fill every shopping center with faceless uber-chains like Starbucks, Michael’s, Anna’s Linens and El Torito? Adkinson is unappeased by the fact that the twirlers for the tax-preparing service dress up as the Statue of Liberty. “What he’s dressed up as has nothing to do with it,” Adkinson told . . . Muckenfuss. “You’d have to let the liquor stores have a beer bottle dancing on the corner. With drug stores you might have the dancing condom. Why not have everybody dress up as George Washington on every corner?” Hey-hey-hey, Mr. Adkinson, now you just stop right there! Demanding that everybody dress up as George Washington? That sounds a little too much like Nazi Germany!
THURSDAY, APRIL 12
Radio schlock-jock Don Imus gets the ax by CBS a couple of weeks after describing the members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” What’s next for an out-of-work galoot? How about running for a seat on the Riverside City Council? Imus was born in Riverside, and if the sight of strong African-American women playing the game invented by Dr. James Naismith rubs him the wrong way, we can only imagine how he’d feel about dancing sign-twirlers. Meanwhile, he’s still got his gig playing one of the cavemen in the GEICO commercials.
FRIDAY, APRIL 13
Everybody’s muckenfussing about the price of gas—which is nearly 74 cents per-gallon higher than only two months ago—but the Press-Enterprise points out that there’s little anybody can do about it. Instead, it provides a list of tips for changing the way we live our lives. Some are quite helpful. But the story by Phil Pitchford leaves out what would be the biggest and most effectual change of all—working to nationalize our oil companies. Look, oil companies have dozens of reasons for increased prices, but the biggest one is their profit margin. The availability of affordable oil products is a matter of national security—just ask the kids getting blown to bits in Iraq—and putting the squeeze on Americans who need it is close to treasonous. Rather than going to war in the Middle East, we ought to rush the executive board rooms of the big oil companies, which are occupied by a bunch of Benedict Arnolds. We could carpool!
SATURDAY, APRIL 14
Wonder how the new doggie anti-depressants will affect the lives of cats?
SUNDAY, APRIL 15
An old citrus packing house opens as the new Claremont Art Museum, which is nice, but although our quality of life is always improved by a new art museum, we’d probably be better off if there were still some old packing houses, too.
MONDAY, APRIL 16
On the day before taxes are due, thousands upon thousands of people put themselves at increased risk of an audit by hiring somebody who is preparing tax returns illegally. Meanwhile, I file for an extension.