Travel as Metaphor

The blog of novelist Sue Swift.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff Up” file

I read at least one newspaper daily, and every once in a while I come upon an edition that’s to wacky that I feel compelled to share. The most recent time this happened was on Friday, September 23. My husband and I were eating a wonderful breakfast in an Auburn restaurant (which I won’t name because too many people know about it already. If you get there at the wrong time, waiting patrons fill the patio tables outside the door, and the parking lot is filled with hungry folks.)

But I digress. Back we go to the front section of the Sacramento Bee, the daily fishwrap around here. It is generally a decent newspaper, but on Friday last they outdid themselves. Perhaps a tribe of mischievous elves had taken over the newsroom, but more likely, Loki has taken over our planet and is torturing us to satisfy his evil sense of humor.

The front page is pretty standard and serious, but the fun starts on page three: “Beatty speech thrills nurses. Get this: Warren Beatty may be running for governor of California against the incumbent, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bowfinger versus the Terminator…didn’t I tell you already that even I, a writer, can’t make this stuff up? If I pitched this to my editors, I’d be laughed out of the room.

Here’s another wrinkle: Rob Reiner is also thinking of running for governor. So we’d have the spectacle of Meathead v. Bowfinger v. Terminator. This is surely how legends, if not nightmares, are born.

Onward and downward.

Page 6 story: S.F. leaps at chance for a ski jump. Yes, the wise city parents of San Francisco plan to create a ski and snowboard jump on Fillmore Street. This is one of those things about which my mother would say, “Don’t ask.”

On the next page we have news of Amber Frey. You remember Amber, don’t you? She’s parlayed stupid slutdom into a career. The spectacle she presents makes one wonder if the Clorox she uses on her head has affected the brain inside.

Lest you feel I’m cruel to dear Amber, here’s what this paragon has done: she manipulated a former lover into paying four years of child support for a daughter that isn’t his. The poor fellow’s attorney said the truest words possible about Ms. Frey: “…she’s like a bad penny; she keeps coming back.”

I am willing to take up a collection to provide Ms. Frey a one-way ticket to the opposite side of this planet, say, to Fallujah. At the merest whiff of interest, I’ll set up a PayPal account, and we can get rid of this boil on society’s ass forever.

On top of that, she has another child by a different father. I have another suggestion for Ms. Frey: CONDOMS.

Speaking of condoms, there’s a fabulous little article on page 18. A Chinese company is selling condoms named after Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The company had considered and rejected names like “First Night” and “I Miss You,” concluding that they just didn’t have the “same aura of respectability.”

I don’t know about you, but that statement left my brain gobsmacked. It was closely followed by another brain-smacker: an article about a couple who were fined for kissing at their wedding in India. Yes, the culture that brought us the erotic sculptures at Khajurato temple and the Kama Sutra won’t allow a bride and groom to kiss at their wedding.

Watch this space for future installments of “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.” I’m sure there will be lots of material in our future.


  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger Willie B. said…

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