The Rundown

By Allen David

Posted June 23, 2011 in News


As always, aficionados of child pornography have placed their orders early for the release of—hahaha—the Big Bear High School yearbook.


The Big Bear High School yearbook is released, but the child pornography community isn’t. There is no reaction at all. For the first time ever, the Big Bear yearbook leaves everybody limp. Some people, frantically grasping for anything that might save Big Bear’s grandest tradition, point to a blurry photo from some blah school dance, in which a boy appears to have his hand under a girl’s dress. Nobody falls for it . . . or, rather, everybody does. Ultimately, embarrassed school and law-enforcement officials order the yearbooks to be collected. Personally, I think they ought to burn them. Yeah, it will be hard . . . wait . . . no . . . nope . . . I thought it was going to be hard, but then I took a last look at the yearbook. Nuthin‘.



Chloe Turner of Girl Scout Troop 268 in Big Bear goes to the Art Garden as one of this year’s honorees at the Top Seller party—that is, the annual event for the girls who sell the most Girl Scout cookies. Chloe earned her invitation by selling more than 700 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, which is not only good for the Girl Scouts, but also helps keep the “big” in Big Bear. It also appears to be a pretty good indicator of Chloe’s ability to focus. She wisely kept her distance from the latest dusting of Girl Scout cookie controversy—an economically based decision by 12 regional Scout councils to drastically curtail customers’ cookie-buying options by selling only six varieties. Now you know why your niece was always fresh-out of Thank U Berry Munch . . . and Dulce de Leche and All Abouts and Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip . . . Through it all, Chloe simply concentrated on the basics—keeping cookies rolling out the door and counting the money that rolled in. Thin Mints? Do-Si-Dos? Trefoils? Samoas? Lemon Chalet Cremes? Tagalongs? A sale was a sale to Chloe, no matter what the cookie was called . . . although if the Girl Scouts ever decide to introduce a new cookie to their line, they could do worse than to call it a Chloe.


After reading today’s story in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin—you know, about the six people who were held against their will on Friday in Rancho Cucamonga—I definitely felt a connection with them. No, I am not claiming that the five minutes of my life I invested into reading an account of a local event in a local newspaper somehow transfused me with even a general understanding of what was really going on with those people during this traumatic experience in their lives—like, why they were targeted and how they were captured, where they were kept, what they were fed. Because when I am honest with myself, I must admit that would be impossible … since Daily Bulletin staff writer Jannise Johnson didn’t include any of that information in her account of the incident. What, do I look telepathic? Yet after my experience with the story—after earnestly jumping neck-deep into it, after faithfully slogging along each of its tangents, pursuing every shred of evidence it mentioned and pondering the questions it posed upon reaching each dead end—when I finally read the very last word and climbed out of the piece wrapped in the pure certainty that I had learned abso-f#*@ing-lutely nothing.


It seems like only yesterday that our tour bus departed the frustrating Land of Incompetence, yet here we are pulling in to the whole new World of Cruel Insensitivity. Can it really be possible to cover that kind of distance in less than a day? Apparently so, because there’s no doubt we’re here—that’s settled in the instant I see a playbill for the Center Stage Theatre, which is presenting Mark Dunn’s A Delightful Quarantine. Yep, that’s what it’s called. But what makes this play so wrong—so cruel and insensitive, just to remind you where we are—is that it . . . well, how about I just quote straight from the playbill . . . “centers on the middle-class community of Fontana, California, whose residents and visitors have been placed in quarantine.” Un. Bee. Leave. Uh. Bull. A play about people who are quarantined in Fontana? Wow! That would be pretty imaginative—and, of course, sorta cruel and kinda insensitive—if not for the fact that 196,069 people just so happen to swim in that particular sea of fire every day. It’s called their lives.


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