By Allen David
Theatre arts aficionados in Big Bear who had been waiting for Waiting For Godot are still waiting—and will be for the foreseeable future. The Big Bear Theater Project’s production of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist tragicomedy—in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot—has been canceled without explanation via press release. “We apologize to our loyal followers,” Brian Adams says in the press release, adding rather absurdly and tragicomically (considering the lack of information), “and appreciate your understanding.”
THURSDAY, JULY 26
The way Jim Matthews writes about his love for wildlife, it’s hard to say which animal might be his favorite, although we suspect it’s whichever one happens to be dying at the moment, especially at his hands. Matthews publishes the Outdoor News Service, which includes tips on the latest technological advantages for human beings interested in killing fish, birds (The Wingshooter’s Newsletter) and bigger game (it formerly published the California Hog Hunter and California Bucks newsletters). In today’s column published in the San Bernardino Sun, Matthews expresses his unchecked happiness at a lawsuit filed by the parent company of the Ringling Bros. Circus against the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) after it lost a suit alleging mistreatment of elephants. Matthews describes HSUS as “an organization that does next to nothing for animal shelters but sues, badgers and lobbies politicians and businesses into adopting its radical animal-rights agenda.” Matthews writes that in August HSUS will be “facing the music in a case that should attract the attention of hunters, ranchers, farmers and anyone impacted by HSUS’ radical animal rights agenda.” He looks forward to HSUS “getting a taste of its own medicine,” just as many of us dream of Matthews with his lips lined with barbed hooks or chased to exhaustion by heavily armed hunters, wounded by just-off-the-mark arrows or bullets or traps, ultimately spread-eagled across the hood of a car, maybe his head mounted on a plaque above somebody’s fireplace. Of course, some badgering, lawsuit-happy group with a radical human-rights agenda will probably make that impossible. But we can dream.
FRIDAY, JULY 27
Watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, and it’s pretty funny the little sight gag they’re playing, making it look like the Queen of England is sky-diving into the stadium. Everybody keeps talking about what a “wicked” sense of humor the Queen has. All in all, it’s a pretty nice opening ceremony, but one thing is missing—a moment of silence to acknowledge the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Olympics, when 11 members of the Israeli team were killed in Munich. The International Olympic Committee turned down the idea. That’s rather wicked, too.
SATURDAY, JULY 28
SUNDAY, JULY 29
Kim Rhode, who trains at Redlands Shooting Park, wins the Olympic gold medal for skeet shooting and becomes the sport’s most prolific medal winner in United States history. The Redlands Shooting Park has been in its current location going on five decades, and in case all this award-winning talk makes you want to get your gun, Johnny, it features nine trap fields, four skeet fields, 10 sporting clays stations, Amateur Trap Shooting Association (ATA)-registered trap shoots, National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA) shoots, trap and skeet leagues and fun shoots. One of the people who frequents the place says skeet shooting is a nice alternative to things like bowling or golf. Nice.
MONDAY, JULY 30
We all know things are bad at Ontario International Airport, but the headline on Dug Begley’s transportation column in today’s Press-Enterprise suggests an ongoing safety problem of a heretofore unimaginable type and severity. It reads, “ONTARIO AIRPORT: Falling passenger counts continue.” I couldn’t read any further. It was all I needed to know, anyway.
TUESDAY, JULY 31
When the people of Norco call their city “Horsetown, U.S.A.,” they’re not talking shit. But their dirty, not-so-little secret is that the 17,000 horses that live in Norco produce about 65 tons of excrement per day. And when the subject of what to do with all that crap comes up, the people of Norco talk about the City of Eastvale—which they’ve got a plan to turn into “Horseshittown, U.S.A.” Yep, a study prepared for the Norco City Council would haul tons of its horsepucky into Eastvale, where it would be burned at a plant that would use a thermal process to convert it into energy. The proposal has caught Eastvale politicians by surprise, but Norco Mayor Beth Groves says her city noticed Eastvale in May. The Eastvale council expects to discuss the issue at its Aug. 8 meeting, where residents are encouraged to bring fans and paddles.