By Allen David
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18
They call the show The Price Is Right, which is easy to claim, but has anybody ever challenged that assertion, checked to find out whether or not the price of all the crap Drew Carey pimps on that Las Vegas swap meet really is right? And that’s not even considering the soul-sucking human price the show has taken during the decades it’s devoted to conning its trailer-park-in-tornado-alley viewers into believing there is a spiritual/intellectual enhancement displayed by the ability to ballpark-figure how much shit costs. Sorry, Kenmore, smart folks determine that by looking at the price tag. For some reason, The Price Is Right didn’t seem quite so bad when Bob Barker was hosting, even in the final years, when he was molting beige feathers of pancake makeup with every awkward embrace of a polyester-encased contestant. Yet it is said that Barker went through four souls himself, getting his first replacement from Monty Hall during a deathbed transplant. That was back before doctors knew souls could be harvested from dogs, which accounts for Barker’s last two souls—and also, I’m betting, his sudden prominent conversion to the cause of animal rights. The fact his last name was Barker? I have no idea. Anyway, talk to you later. The Price is Right is on. Some lady from Riverside was just picked as a contestant.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19
She wins? She wins!!! Yep, Yolanda Johnson of Riverside is $33,234-in-cash-and-prizes richer after attending a taping of The Price Is Right in Burbank. The $33,234-in-cash-and-prizes sounds like a lot at first, but maybe not so much when you hear what she had to go through—the forever drive to Burbank, a 4 1/2-hour wait in line at the studio and then the acts of self-debasement that are demanded from the honchos who pick the contestants. CBS describes that process as a search for people who “have a lot of energy and enthusiasm” or “an outgoing personality.” Translated: people who act the fool. Fortunately, it paid off for Yolanda. I’m happy for her.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
Last week at this time it was Friday the 13th.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 21
Newt? No. Yeah? Wow.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 22
Awww, shoot, now I’m sad for Yolanda. Told her story to a friend who reminded me she won’t know how what kind of take she made on the game show until she does her taxes, when she’ll also learn how much the government takes when somebody has a good day.
MONDAY, JANUARY 23
Ernest Salgado, Sr., dies at age 91 of natural causes on the Soboba Indian Reservation as the eldest member of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians tribe. There are always mixed emotions at the passing of someone who survived long enough to maybe make people wonder whether he was going to be the guy who does get out of this world. But Salgado’s 91 years don’t just measure his life or the changes in the world since he was born, but the tragic/comic/sad/resilient condition of the Native American. Consider that Salgado was five years old when Native Americans were permitted U.S. citizenship, he grew up hunting deer with his father, attended high school at the Sherman Indian School, joined the Army to fight in World II and was doing exactly that on D-Day, became a union construction worker, served on the tribal council during the 1970s, and wound down his life as a regular on the machines at the Soboba Casino.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24
Robert “Bubba” DeJournett who was arrested by Upland police Saturday night on allegations of rape and assault, gets out of jail by order of the District Attorney this evening—no bail required—because . . . well, it’s hard to say for sure, but the DA seems to be saying that the cops didn’t do enough investigating to submit enough evidence … and the cops seem to be saying that they can totally see the DA’s point, and explain that they didn’t really have enough time to do a good investigation. As much as I hate to say it, I hope that’s the case. I hope DeJournett—think he’d mind if I just called him “Bubba”?—isn’t back on the streets after being accused of raping a woman incapable of giving consent and harming a dependent adult because, oh, I don’t know . . . he’s 59 years old, he’s retired from the Monrovia police, he’s a well-known girls softball coach, he’s retired from the Upland Unified School District, he ran for the Upland City Council last August or because his nickname is Bubba.