Illustration by Bob AulThings may not be going great for Al Gore. He's getting a Texas whuppin' from George Dubya Bush in the polls. Disenfranchised Lefties are ready to sacrifice Gore at the Eugene V. Debs/Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Political Altar. And on June 14, he lost the endorsement of the California Nurses Association (the state's largest registered-nurse group) to presumptive Green Party nominee—and eventual 5 percent of the vote getter—Ralph Nader. But at least Gore's got Twisted Sister in his corner. Dee Snider, the lead singer of the heavy metal band that had Tipper Gore's bunched panties bunchier in the 1980s, produced one of the decade's most memorable sights when he appeared before Senator Gore's Senate Commerce Committee in September 1985. Snider left that hearing in a huff, and yet he's now standing up for Tennessee's walking mannequin. “Snider is not alone in forgetting the past,” writes Jeff A. Taylor in the July issue of Reason. “His band mates are also backing Gore, as are Frank Zappa's heirs. . . . [V]arious Zappa offspring—Moon, Diva, Dweezil and Ahmet—have also made contributions to Democratic candidates and causes, including some directly to Gore 2000. Diva has gone so far as to invite Tipper, the woman her dad once termed 'a cultural terrorist,' to sit in on drums during a performance last December.” Of course, Dubya already captured the endorsement of the most twisted sister: Nancy Reagan.
BUDDY CAN YOU SPARE A GIPPER? Speaking of Nancy Reagan, Senator Phil “Grim Reaper” Gramm is hellbent on putting her husband's likeness on a circulating coin, according to an item in the Washington Times' June 13 Inside Politics column. That's something “I'm going to make happen,” said the Texas Republican who chairs the Senate banking committee that has jurisdiction over U.S. coinage and currency. Gramm is not clear which denomination he will choose, but he did say it'll probably be easier to push through a Reagan coin once the former president, who is 89 and suffering from Alzheimer's disease, joins Bonzo in eternal bedtime. Whatever the amount of the coin, it'll no doubt be nicknamed “The Gipper”—as in, “Hey, don't Gipper and dime me” or “Gipper for your thoughts?” Cashiers everywhere will forget how much change they owe as they count out Gippers. And they'll remark how much you look like Danny Thomas.
HIGH, HARD ONE Angels color commentator Rex Hudler is pretty long on color and woefully short on commentating. Hudler, who cheered on mic last season as the Angels got into a bench-clearing brawl, offered this laser-like insight a couple of weeks ago: “[H]e's got a good fastball and throws the occasional slider. And by 'occasional,' I mean every now and then.”
WHICH WAY TO THE FAKE BEACH? Soak City U.S.A. opened June 17 in the parking lot next to Knott's Berry Farm. The new water park fulfills the dream of the Orange County Republican Party by rolling the clock back to the 1950s, a simpler time when men were men, women were women, Ike was in the White House, queers were in the closet, and blacks were in the back of the bus—hell, they weren't even allowed in OC yet. Soak City's 21 water rides and attractions are modeled on the beach culture of the '50s. In other words, a fake shoreline in Buena Park will use cement, transplanted sand and heavily chlorinated water to re-create the safe, clean beaches we remember as kids—but can't have now because of sewage spills, urban runoff and marauding skinheads. Tickets are $13.95 for kids and $19.95 for adults, while parking is $7 per car. Soak City? Sounds like Soaked City.
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.