TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7
Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain stroll around a blood-red carpet for 90 minutes of Q&A, giving mumbo-jumbo responses to a variety of dumbbell questions from a variety of numbskullianly undecided voters. In summary, it goes something like this. Q: What th–? A: Ya gotta admit, America was fun while it lasted.
WEDNESAY, OCTOBER 8
The Fast Food Dude, whose clogged arteries and forced humor constituted the recipe for a funny-as-a-heart-attack column in the Riverside Press-Enterprise for several years, is gone. Jeff Girod left the paper a few months ago, apparently to rework his hackneyed reviews of high-caloric food into lowbrow screenplays. (Can’t wait to watch them with a plastic plate of nachos-and-cheese!) But the unsightly ripple effect of Girod’s work endures in the Buddha bellies and fat asses that roll all over the Inland Empire—57 percent of the residents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties are overweight or obese. Now a study by the Riverside County Health Department reveals that more than half of its cities have more fast-food outlets than grocery stores and produce stands. This after a UCLA study found San Bernardino County had the worst ratio of fast food-to-grocery stores among California’s 24 most-populated counties. Ratios like this typically produce 20 percent more case of obesity and diabetes. “Riverside and San Bernardino counties have among the most unhealthy food environments in the state,” says Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. Somewhere, the Fast Food Dude is smiling—I think, because he just burped and farted at the same time.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9
In not-so-fast food news, desert tortoises that have been relocated by the U.S. Army to get them out of the way of military training exercises have suddenly become the trendiest new appetizer at all the best coyote parties in the Mojave Desert. That thing they’ve always had for roadrunners? Done, apparently. Coyotes have killed and eaten about 90 desert tortoises that have been moved to keep them from being run over by the tanks that Fort Irwin plans to bring into the delicate habitat for training exercises. The Army already has 643,000 acres for tank training, but says it needs an extra 131,000 acres to accommodate faster tanks and longer-range weapons used each month to train some 4,000 troops. Conservationists naturally protested the decision when it was announced, inasmuch as they hate freedom. The relocation has been temporarily suspended while officials try to figure out why the coyotes love freedom so much. Especially when it’s on the half-shell.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10
Hemet police detectives cruising Craigslist respond to a particularly enticing ad and undercover officers consequently arrest two men on suspicion of growing and selling marijuana. The men are taken into custody during an undercover purchase of high-grade pot that they advertised on the online classified site in yet another blow to the revenue stream of the traditional family newspaper. It’s not the first time Hemet cops have used Craigslist as a crime fighting tool, but previously they have arrested prostitutes who advertised on the site. Maybe they thought the “t4men” category was short for THC. What a boner that would have been!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11
A single skydiver dies after spinning out of control on his way down and landing too hard at the Perris Valley Airport. The accident occurs a day after another tragedy near Perris, where two automobile drivers died in a high-speed, head-on collision on Cajalco Expressway. The incidents seem to prove that you really are twice as likely to die in a car crash than from sky-diving.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12
Thousands of history buffs flock to the California RV Show at Fairplex to soak up the sepia-toned ambiance of those just-bygone days when people would actually spend vast sums of money for gigantic vacation vehicles that get five miles per gallon. About 1,000 recreational vehicles of all types and sizes—from small towable trailers to large Class A-as-in-asinine motor homes, are packed tightly together at the Fairplex’s sprawling parking lot on White Avenue. It’s like an open-air museum or antique art exhibit, where dealers from 62 Southern California agencies search for some of the suckers who presumably are still being born every minute. Meanwhile, the Chino City Council votes down a proposal to permit owners of large recreational vehicles to park them at home.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 13
Victorville Mayor Terry Caldwell travels 100 miles to the Port of Long Beach and tells the members of its Harbor Commission that he wants a port for his city, too. The Port of Victorville? “An inland port is inevitable,” says Caldwell, “and Victorville is the logical and ideal choice.” Caldwell is talking about a huge storage and distribution center, something that will take the pressure off the cramped conditions around Long Beach. The Harbor Commission unanimously authorizes a six-month feasibility study.