Fish Outta Water

We came across a cable-television commercial on June 9 for the product of the new millennium: Bobby Big Mouth. Bobby looks like a real bass that's been mounted on wood, but flip a hidden switch and he'll face passersby and unload wisecracks, sing “Splish Splash” and wiggle to any music that's playing. Judging by the folks in the ad nearly busting their guts every time Bobby Big Mouth opened his big mouth, he's sure to make you the coolest in the trailer park—especially when you've heard the same goddamn putdown for the 407th time. We especially liked the bearded guy in the spot who snapped his fingers along to Bobby's crooning as if the rubber fish was Mel Torme (who may very well be mounted on a wall somewhere). We took down the number to call the operator standing by and place our $19.95 order, but then came a TV ad for an identical fake fish called Boogie Bass, who also sings, dances and costs $19.95. Our confusion only mounted—pardon the pun—when we scanned the Macy's pullout ad in our June 11 Sunday paper and came across Big Mouth Billy Bass, who sings “Take Me to the River” and “Don't Worry, Be Happy.” He's on sale for $24.95, which may be a bargain once you factor in the shipping and handling for his TV-ad counterparts. Decisions, decisions. Maybe we'll just mount a real bass stuffed with a microcassette recorder that plays a continual loop of the same desperate plea: “Water . . . water”

GRAY MATTER Governor Gray Davis has denied parole to every inmate who's come before him—even in violation of state statutes mandating parole when conditions are met. He vetoed legislation to simply study the Three Strikes law. He shitcanned a bill allowing reporters to interview prisoners (just like in the Pete “Lil' Petey” Wilson days). Davis has increased state prison spending (We're No. 1!) while our education spending reeks (We're No. 41!). When we knocked on the governor's mansion door on June 6 to ask Da Gov about all this, his houseboy Ramon informed us, “Bossman in Pebble Beach.” Turns out Davis was playing in the annual Governor's Cup golf tournament, which is sponsored by—drum roll, please—the state prison guards' union.

OUT LIL' PETEYING LIL' PETEY You know things are out-of-whack when our Democratic governor is praised by his Republican predecessor Lil' Petey as “a pleasant surprise on the stance he has taken on criminal justice.” Advocates for humane food policies for the poor now fear Davis may end state financing of food-stamp benefits for legal immigrants—a low to which even immigrant-baiter Lil' Petey never stooped. And environmentalists who helped get out the vote for Davis in 1998 are wondering why clear-cutting logging practices have exploded. Perhaps the answer lies in a July 13, 1999, fund-raiser that generated $129,000 in contributions for Davis from—drum roll, please—the timber industry. As Salon reported on June 9, Davis rewarded his gift-givers (the same day as the fund-raiser)by issuing logging rules that the federal government and enviros deemed too weak to protect threatened species. Five months later, he appointed an executive from the timber company that co-sponsored the July soiree to the state forestry board. Could former Attorney General Dan Lungren—now darkening the halls of Chapman University—have been much worse?

HOW MANY LICKS DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO THE COCAINE CENTER OF A LOLLIPOP? Police at the Bogota, Colombia, airport on June 8 seized 215 “Bon-Bon-Bum” lollipops that were destined for New York and discovered that the bubble-gum centers of each had been replaced with three-fourths of an ounce of pure cocaine. That made each pop worth as much as $7,000 on American streets. As a public service to readers, Clockwork sampled the nose-candy-filled candy, and boy, did it take one helluva hard snort to pull that damn lollipop up through the straw.

OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief 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 alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.

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