Here's another reason why America should die. Sooner rather than later.


The above was the headline in Friday's Orange County Register. Let me repeat that. This was the headline. The lead article on the front page. Not Obama in Mexico. Not the return to the USA of the hijacked crew of the Maersk Alabama. No siree. The lead story was about Steve Rocco's conviction for stealing a bottle of ketchup.

For those of you not familiar with Orange County doings, I will summarize. Steve Rocco is a weirdo. He lives in an actual house, but he masquerades as a homeless man. He likes to role play his several versions of homelessness on the streets and byways of the OC.

Another thing. He likes to run for public office. It's a little game he plays. By sheer accident, he won a school board election in 2004. It was a bit of a shock to the people who take schools seriously but everyone survived, more or less.

By 2008, his fifteen minutes of fame had come and gone and Rocco was relegated to the unfamiliar role of former Orange Unified School Board Trustee. In other words, back to street theatre homelessness, complete with a bicycle and a bag of empty cans.

And you'd think that would be the end of it. You'd think things would play out like they do in normal universes where the Steve Roccos live their lives of quiet (or even not-so-quiet) desperation in relative obscurity until they have their obligatory heart attack and shuffle off this mortal coil. But the OC is not a normal universe. The people who run things here are as weird as the people they lock up. If you don't believe me, go talk to Nativo Lopez and those of his ilk.

So it was more than sheer coincidence that Rocco and the anti-Roccos would continue crossing paths in bizarro ways. Don't believe me? Want proof? Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for September, 2008.

Ahh, there we are. Mid-morning on an idyllic September Saturday. Oh! What's that we see? Chapman University security officers spot Rocco hanging around the campus. They keep an eye on him. Oh oh! They see him swipe a 14-oz. plastic bottle of Heinz Ketchup from a table outside the dining area, conceal it and pedal away on his bike. They catch up with him (who knows why), place him under citizens arrest (again, who knows why) and call the Orange police, who cite him for petty theft.

Like the idiot he is, Rocco demands a jury trial. And like the idiots they are, the people who run the OC government say, "Sure. Okay. Why not?" They say this even though the District Attorney's Office estimates a four-day jury trial would cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

Of course he was convicted of stealing the ketchup. His fingerprints were all over the bottle. It was an open-and-shut case. For those of you lame enough to want all the details, here they are.

And finally, the capper. A remarkably stupid comment that could only have emanated from the lips of a dyed-in-the-wool Orange Countian. Susan Kang Schroeder, designated spokeshole for the Orange County District Attorney's Office, stated after the smashing victory for the forces of condiment justice everywhere, "Our goal all along was to protect Chapman and their property rights."

Oh just fuck you, Susan. Just fuck you.

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