The Rundown

By Allen David

Posted April 19, 2012 in News


School buses, like the dinosaurs to which they have been for so long and so insultingly compared in size, appear to be going the way of the once-roamed-the-Earth. The Jurupa Unified School District will lay off 18 school bus drivers at the end of the current semester, becoming the latest totally or partially school-busted Inland Empire district. This puts Jurupa Unified in the company of Lake Elsinore Unified, Riverside Unified, Corona-Norco Unified, San Jacinto Unified, Redlands Unified and Alvord Unified. Moreno Valley Unified and Menifee Union are scheduled to take up the issue this month. No biggie, says one Riverside Unified official, insisting that since eliminating home-to-school busing in 2010 the district has not experienced a drop in average daily attendance or an increase in truancy. So, yeah, no biggie.


How many times do the rangers have to warn you? Yes, the primates that roam Hemet do look very cute, and all the human traits they manifest can be so disarming. But below their civilized surface, these are wild creatures, and you interfere with their instinctual rituals at your own risk—sometimes at the risk of your very life. Another anthropomorphizing idiot learns the hard way today when he makes the grave mistake of approaching one of the Hemet chimps while it is marking its territory in some bushes outside an apartment complex. Apparently, the man mistook the primate’s affectations of intelligence for the real thing, and actually tried to get the little ape to stopping watering the landscaping. The result was predictable. The monkey—named Charles Michael Bourdon—pulled a semi-automatic handgun and fired two rounds toward the guy’s home. Now the hapless mischief maker is in the animal shelter—Southwest Justice Center—and if you want to adopt him, bail is $1 million. The District Attorney’s office is reviewing the case to file charges.


People have been pulling Woodstock comparisons out of thin air for a dozen years, and that remains ridiculous, even in the rain falling through that air today at Coachella. But the sporadic late-afternoon showers dampening the bedheads of the festivalgoers on the green polo grounds in Indio at least suggest what the mudgrovelers at Yazgur’s Farm went through. Actually, the worst weather today arrives when the sun goes down, taking the temperatures with it, just as the winds pick up against the scantily clad attendees. The sun worshipers don’t handle the less-than-optimum conditions very well, and for all the lip service they give to their love of music, the fact is that the crowds are not very crowded, even for such highly anticipated acts as Pulp and Refused. To be fair, Coachella is chella-cold.


Coachella, etc.


Coachella, ad infinitum.


Well, sure, no biggie about the school buses—no, I can’t let it go—if the only measures of a school bus’s value are attendance and truancy. But what about education? How are the kids going to be able to fathom the size of dinosaurs if there are no school buses to compare them with? Take the dinosaur Argentinosaurus, for example—or to put it another way, how do you know whether you have enough room to take one? Someone could tell you the Argentinosaurus was 130 feet long, but what does that really mean? As anyone who has ever ridden a school bus knows, it means the Argentinosaurus was approximately three school buses long. Diplodocus or Apatosaurus? About two school buses. T. rex? One bus. Utahraptor? About half as long as a school bus. Test Friday.


Checking in on my column-izing doppelganger, David Allen, of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin for the first time in a very long time—and yet, maybe not long enough. David’s most-recent column (that I’m interested in) concerns the demise of the Adult Spelling Bee they’ve been having in Claremont for the past seven years. Gee, wonder why watching a bunch of grown-ups and retirees from service clubs, businesses and the colleges try to spell “homogeneity” didn’t catch on. You got it: the Adult Spelling Bee went into a tailspin in 2010 and 2011 when David Allen was one of the people who announced the words that contestants were to spell. He as much as admits it. “After all, any event in which I’m involved tends to fail,” Allen writes. “In 2001 I emceed the annual banquet for Cal Poly Pomona’s Accounting Hall of Fame. It was the last annual banquet. In 2007, I was grand marshal of the Pomona Christmas Parade. The Pomona Jaycees, its sponsor for decades, soon folded, causing the parade to take 2008 off.” And speaking of taking off . . .


Be the first to comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.