MONDAY, OCTOBER 22 As 500,000 people fled the San Diego area today to escape the towering wildfires destroying everything in their paths, America only wanted to know one thing: How is that guy who played Frasier? If there's one thing we learned from Hurricane Katrina (via President Bush), natural disasters are only so interesting unless a TV or movie star is in its direct path. For example, did Hurricane Katrina directly threaten Tori Spelling's B&B? No... but Wildfire Wilhelm did! (By the way, "Wildfire Wilhelm" is copyrighted by One Day at a Time, though other news organizations may use it if we're given ample credit for how brilliant and cute we are.) Did Katrina send TV's Frasier (Kelsey Grammar) running for the hills? Or director James Cameron? Or Olivia Newton-John, or Linda Ronstadt, Larry Hagman, Jeff Bridges, Mel Brooks, or Bill Murray? Did Katrina make Sting pause from having tantric sex to put on a flame-retardant Nehru jacket? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and NO. But Wildfire Wilhelm did—and while it's not a competition, Wildfire Wilhelm would totally win, because Katrina is too chickenshit to show her face in Los Angeles. In fact, not only does Wildfire Wilhelm have a sizable portion of Hollyweird's celebs running for their pampered lives—it almost killed Marie Osmond after her performance on tonight's Dancing with the Stars! After performing the samba, the winded Marie fainted, hitting the deck as Mormons around the globe gasped in horror. According to her dance partner Jonathan Roberts, "I think [she fainted] because of her asthma and all the fires here in Malibu that sparked it." Katrina never interrupted a reality show—unless you count the one President Bush was watching when all those people were drowning.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23 Oh, and speaking of President Bush not liking black people, but loving Frasier— suddenly the president is super interested in national disasters now that Wildfire Wilhelm has come along. In fact, the administration has shifted into "super look-like-we-give-a-crap" mode, going the extra mile to make sure the citizens of California appear to be getting all the help they need from the federal government. Not only did Bush anticipate Governor Schwarzenegger's request to declare a state of emergency, by drawing up the necessary pre-approved documents, the president canceled his planned trip to St. Louis so he could survey the scene. And instead of waiting an extraordinarily long time to send top officials to the ravaged area—like during a certain hurricane we could name—he quickly sent administration heavyweights to California, to show how seriously they were taking the situation. Of course, the gesture might have been more believable if Vice President Dick Cheney had not been seen sleeping through a cabinet briefing on the wildfires—but hey, let's give them a break. They're new at this "caring" thing.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24 Once accused of "not caring at all" after botching the Katrina rescue effort, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has now graduated to "caring too much"—at least when it comes to their own self-image. After the agency messed up a public briefing on the California wildfires by only giving the press 15 minutes notice, the agency didn't want America to see an empty press section. So what did they do? They ordered FEMA employees to sit in the press row, pretend they were reporters, and ask puffball questions. Unsurprisingly, this foolproof plan was immediately BUSTED, leaving FEMA officials with another thick coating of egg on their face. "We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment," moaned FEMA Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson. Wow! Not only can they pretend to be journalists, they can also pretend to be apologetic! With this kind of acting talent, next stop: hosting Saturday Night Live!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25 While it's easy to hate the Bush administration's callous nature, it's just as easy to hate One Day at a Time for our downright mean attitude toward Ellen DeGeneres and her predilection for giving away puppies as if she were Africa lobbing babies at Angelina Jolie. Yes, unlike 98 percent of America, we believed DeGeneres was WRONG for giving away her adopted puppy to her hairdresser, and DUMB for bawling about it on national TV after the animal shelter came by to reclaim it. And as it turns out? Ninety-eight percent of Americans were WRONG, and we were 100 percent RIGHT. (As usual.) Not only has it been revealed through DeGeneres' own emails that they got rid of the puppy because "he was just too much energy and time for us in our brand-new home with so much going on in our lives," but according to Page Six, Ellen had given away another dog two years ago—after only two months of ownership. "She may have had it for much less time than that," says Kerri Randles who gave Ellen the pooch. "I only say two months because that's when I called to check on the dog and found out she no longer had it. She acted like she was keeping it for life." So it now appears that Ellen has a habit of giving away dogs—which is probably what happened to Anne Heche. (Oh no we didn't!)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 While the utter lack of celebrities is just one of many reasons this column rarely touches on the subject of city hall, today was just so priceless we couldn't resist. Readers of the Mercury news section already know about the brouhaha regarding renaming Interstate Avenue in honor of farm labor leader César Chávez. And therefore you also know that the ensuing arguments have vaulted Portland's white guilt to a hilariously critical level. Well today, when city council met to discuss a compromise wherein a number of streets would be considered to bear Chávez's name, things weren't going Mayor Tom Potter's way and so he had the hissy fit to end all hissy fits. After blustering that he wasn't a "voting member of the council anymore," Potter passed his gavel to Commissioner Sam Adams, and before stomping out, declared, "I am irrelevant!" For once, Mr. Mayor, you'll get no argument here. Trust us—after a glass of warm milk, a nap, and an episode of Matlock, you'll feel much better.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27 Did you really think you'd get through the entire week without hearing one juicy piece of gossip courtesy of pop trainwreck Britney Spears? Oh, ye of little faith. Brit and hillbilly ex-hubby Kevin Federline have paid another visit to the courts to discuss custody rights—and to hear Brit and K.Fed's parenting coach report on their progress. (Let's just say, as parents go, they are somewhere beneath Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and above Joan "Mommie Dearest" Crawford.) But... WHATEVER. The best part of the day was when Britney left the chambers in tears to use the restroom, and when an Extra reporter asked her how she was doing, Britney responded with THE T-shirt slogan of the century: "EAT IT, LICK IT, SNORT IT, FUCK IT!" (Hilarious? Yes. But we don't think she learned that from the parenting coach.)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28 Sports! For those of you who care, some baseball team from Boston called "The Red Sox," won the World Series... which we're led to understand is supposed to be the "big game" or something. But here's the funny part! To show their happiness and love for their team, 2,000 Boston fans turned over cars, smashed windshields, lit fires in the streets, and hurled rocks at riot police. Finally! An explanation of why the Iraqis have been acting so weird—they must have won their own World Series!