TUESDAY, APRIL 29
A borderline funny story with a potentially heartwarming end winds up confirming every depressing thing we know about the way life really works when a big balloon pig with a rich bounty on its head lands in an exclusive country club, where two already privileged families share the five-figure reward. Beyond that, who can be sure that the whole thing isn’t just a cynical publicity stunt cooked up by Roger Waters? The ex-Pink Floyd star, still best known for his years with Pink Floyd, played a bunch of Pink Floyd songs at the Coachella Fest—including a 31-year-old ditty called “Pigs,” which really got Waters’ avant-garde a-goin’. While he played “Pigs,” a big inflatable pig emerged from the stage. Look, I know it’s the same kind of thing that Pink Floyd used to do, but here’s what made this pig different: the name “Obama” was printed on the underside. See? Topical! Roger Waters still matters! Anyway, the pig came loose and floated away, there was a $10,000 reward and lifetime tickets to Coachella for its return and a couple of rich people in Hideway Country Club found it in two pieces in their gated neighborhood. Someone reported seeing David Gilmore hanging out back with a BB gun.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30
Officials from five Inland Empire cities urge residents to remain calm in the wake of an announcement by Linens-N-Things that it will close stores in Riverside, Corona, Fontana, Montclair and Chino as part of a Chapter 11 plan. There are no immediate reports of linen shortages in the affected communities—most people have apparently stocked up in preparation for such a disaster, either storing their linens in specially designated “cabinets” or “closets” or resourcefully using sheets and towels already on their beds or bathroom racks. But things? People want things. And make no mistake, they will get them—even if they have to drive to Linens-N-Things in Temecula, Mira Loma and Rancho Mirage. Yes, even if that have to do that.
THURSDAY, MAY 1
Bigwigs at the San Bernardino Sun, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and other MediaNews Group, Inc. papers that form a hangman’s noose around Southern California journalism apologize to their readers for being more fucked up than usual. They blame it on “computer and system failures,” which is the 21st century’s version of “the dog ate my homework.” MediaNews Group, headed by the corporate raider Dean Singleton, is famous for cutting coverage to increase its bottom line. Today’s papers are abbreviated in size, miss features and certain sections and were unable to post some news on line. “We apologize for the inconvenience,” the bigwigs say, sounding sincere enough. People appreciate that—although, to be honest, they barely even notice. Those papers are pretty fucked up, normally.
FRIDAY, MAY 2
The company that owns the rights to the work of the late Theodore Geisel—better known to generations of little kids who want to grow up to be lawyers as Dr. Sues (he spelled it Seuss)—honor the spirit of their benefactor by threatening the Lake Elsinor’s minor league baseball team with expensive litigation. The team was planning a Dr. Seuss Night as an attendance-attracting promotion. Gimmicks were to include ballplayers wearing red-and-white-striped socks, public address announcements performed in sing-songy rhyme and green eggs and ham sold at the snack bars. But lawyers for Dr. Seuss Enterprises LLP of La Jolla fired off a cease-and-desist letter and after a brief attempt to negotiate a compromise, the baseball team put its cat in the hat and cancelled the promotion. Poor fans. They had to watch nine innings of minor league baseball.
SATURDAY, MAY 3
The Log Cabin Republicans of California publish their endorsements of several Inland Empire candidates for the June primary. The group emphasizes that it did not concentrate on “gay issues,” apparently not counting the one that gives the Log Cabin Republicans its entire raison d’etre (that’s French for “reason for being,” for all you metrosexuals)—it’s an organization for gay Republicans! “The gay wars are over. We’ve moved on,” says James Vaughn, the Log Cabin Republicans state director—and I’m sure that’s a great consolation to everybody coming out of a comas this morning after last night’s bashing in the parking lot of the club with the rainbow flag on it. In related news, calling a club of gay conservatives the Log Cabin Republicans makes me laugh as much as that gay bar in Long Beach called the Mine Shaft.
SUNDAY, MAY 4
A 50-year-old Riverside man is apparently fine a couple of days after getting sick—symptoms included a burning sensation on the tongue, intense thirst, sweating and an elevated heart rate—on a sip of red-colored Gatorade G2 Fruit Punch energy drink. The guy says he immediately noticed the taste was not right. My question: Isn’t “not right” the way Gatorade is supposed to taste?
MONDAY, MAY 5
Margaritas! Now that’s an energy drink!