Damien on… California
Curiously, I can claim to have grown up in California. On Sixties maps of Ipswich, England – right across the area I lived in – the word “California” was printed.
Yet in all my years there, I never heard ANYONE refer to the area as California. There were no roads, streets or pubs named California. In fact NOTHING to justify the name hanging over my head for the whole of my formative years.
But today, I’m talking about the FAMOUS California. The one on the West Coast of The Colonies. The one where Hollywood is. The one which considers itself to be the Foremost Civilization On The Planet. The one where everything appears FIRST.
Which is unfortunate, since most new phenomena are BULLSHIT. Oh yes, it was California that gave us Political Correctness, Counselling, nutty fringe religions, serial killers, absurd glossy soaps and some SERIOUSLY naff “music”. They probably gave us Herpes as well.
Of course, we’ve gotten some small revenge. Like the ex-pat Brit who drives around Bel-Air with the personalised plate that says “BOLLOCKS” – he told the D.M.V. they were flowers (oh no they’re not!) And “Chief O’Brien” managed to sneak the word past the po-faced TV censors on “Star Trek”. We’ve even managed to slip bleep words into Oscar acceptance speeches, broadcast to a BILLION people, that the guy with the fifteen-second tape-delay didn’t understand. Tee-hee.
And we get away with all of it, because the Californians think we have CLASS (of course, compared to them, we DO).
Then there’s the entrepreneur who recently began importing Minis into the state. Because of its weather patterns and hills, it has more problems with air pollution than anywhere – thus its emission regulations are the most RIGID. WAY too rigid for the boys at Leyland, who stopped exporting them there in the mid-Sixties.
But California LIKES Minis. It likes ALL classic cars – thus it excludes cars over 25 years old from the emission regs. But sadly, Minis aren’t the best-built cars in the World and are generally rusting and falling apart long before they reach their quarter-century. If you want a Mini, the ones to buy are those made in the NINETIES.
So this chap started importing clean, Nineties, left-hand-drive Minis and 25-year-old-plus, clapped out ones – and simply swapped the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) plates over. When challenged (even Californians can tell a Nineties Mini from a Seventies one) he explained the cars had been HEAVILY restored, using ALL of the parts from a modern one. The only original part was the VIN plate.
And despite his story being absurd (like a man in jail claiming he is FREE and everyone ELSE is behind bars) the authorities BOUGHT it!
But when it comes to SERIOUS absurdity, there’s no stopping the Californians. Like the fact it’s a BLUE state – which includes the Gay Capital Of The World, San Francisco – and yet they voted DOWN same-sex marriage. AND they produced Miss California, who ALSO declared HER opposition. Of course, that was only her opinion – to which she is entitled.
And the fact that this chronicler considers her to be an air-headed bimbo with ghastly fake tits and a chin like Desperate Dan is only HIS opinion – to which HE is entitled.
Then again, having elected The Terminator as their governor – and given the fact he wants to legalize hash – perhaps there’s hope for California yet!