Illustration by Bob AulA guy walks into the Fountain Valley Petco on Nov. 28. He picks up a plastic dog-food container. He goes over to the rare birds section, grabs a rose-breasted cockatoo, and places it in the dog-food container. At the checkout counter, a clerk scans the container. The guy pays up and is heading out the door when the bird sticks its head out. The clerk says something like, “Hey, mister! What's that rare rose-breasted cockatoo doing in your dog food?” The guy claims the bird is his and splits. An employee gives chase and is nearly run over by the guy's car but gets a license-plate number. Police pull over a car driven by James Dinh Troung, 23, of Westminster. He's arrested on suspicion of grand theft and assault with a deadly weapon, booked into Orange County Jail, and later released on $50,000 bail. Chloe the cockatoo remains at large. If you hear the muffled sound of a bird saying, “Chloe wants the hell out of this goddamned dog-food container,” call the Fountain Valley Police Department at (714) 593-4485.
HELP FROM ABOVE The Reverend Wiley “Loves Homeless, Hates Homos” Drake of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park called Clockwork on Nov. 30 to say he's using his City Hall-fighting skills to help Plein Air painter Michael Lavery of Laguna Beach. Lavery often paints on two canvases at once. Under Laguna Beach law, putting up more than one easel is considered an art show. So the city popped Lavery, who gets his day in court on Dec. 15. How did Drake get dragged (or drag himself) into this mess? He and his wife honeymooned in Laguna Beach 35 years ago and often return to escape the North County madness. Along the way, he befriended Lavery. Drake, who has fought his own city for years over the homeless housing he provides, sees parallels among himself, Lavery and, uh, Al Capone. “How they came after us had nothing to do with why they were against us,” Drake said. “It was a technicality.”
MORE WILEY Asked about a Hindu temple proposed for Buena Park, Drake called his perspective “ironic . . . given the problems I've had with the city.” Ironic, indeed: he's against it. “Not because I have something against Hindus having a temple in Buena Park but because of what is happening with Hindus across the world. A lot of my Christian brothers and sisters are being hacked to death by Hindus.”
WALLY JUST BEING WALLY The scrumdiddlyumptious host of OCN's Orange County Prime Story thought she would breeze through her Nov. 30 interview with the area's most famous conservative relic of a broadcaster, Wally George. But Brooke Robbins had no idea what was in store for her. Wally called her a “bimbo.” Perhaps valiantly masking the pain, the anchorwoman recalled: “He said, 'I'm just kidding.' I said, 'I know you are' and then threw it to commercial.” She insisted the incident was “harmless,” that she “didn't take it bad at all,” that “off-camera, he was very nice.” But was that the sound of a pin dropping we heard on the other end of the phone, or a tear?
OCN replays the program later this month.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PRESS RELEASE EVER Seven young people pictured in perfect Up With People poses, singing into mics. Instead of MTV-approved street duds, however, they're wearing military fatigues. It's the Israel Defense Forces Musical Ensemble, and they're coming Dec. 11 to Newport Beach's Temple Bat Yahm. To make the singing soldiers feel at home, please bring a burning tire and a sack of rocks.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.