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Never Never Land


Theresa Allen

Ladies and Gentlemen, the captain has just announced our approach to John Wayne International Airport, Orange County, California. Please return to your seats, fasten your seatbelts and return your trays to their full upright positions.

As we make our approach, I want to take this opportunity to offer you an orientation to lovely Orange County, California. Many of you may not know that John Wayne International Airport used to be known as Orange County Airport. It was named to honor Orange County's most popular and beloved resident, John Wayne. What? How's that? No, I didn't know that his name was actually Marion…Anyway, as I was saying, Orange County's Airport was renamed John Wayne International Airport. It was recently remodeled and now presents an attractive, updated face to all of Orange County's visitors! What? How's that? Well, I don't know how many undocumented workers there are on the janitorial staff at JWIA. I don't know if they are paid the federally mandated minimum wage, no, I don't know that. I'm sorry. But I can assure you that here, in Orange County, we are as compassionate and socially conscious as the next County. In fact, I myself live in Orange County and own many such undocumented workers of my own! Yes, what would I do without Luz, who does such a wonderful job on my toilets, or Luis, who absolutely LOVES doing my yard work. He even loves doing it in Southern California's legendary Santa Ana conditions. The temperature rises and rises, and Luis just can't wait to sweat and toil on my 5 acre estate!

But, enough about me. You will notice that there are many, oh, let's call them, public gardens. You might confuse these for public parks, but we here in Orange County, with our futuristic vision, prefer that these are gardens rather than parks. Even though you will notice park benches in these gardens, do not make the mistake of sitting on them to eat your lunch. No, these gardens are to be looked at! Why, how pleasant is it to be gazing serenely at a public garden from the safety of one's BMW and to be assaulted with the aroma of someone's homemade bologna sandwich, left over tuna casserole, or ghastly mayonnaise? No, we've thought of everything here in Orange County. We want the experience to be wonderful for everyone. That is why it is imperative that if you find yourself at one of our many public gardens, you not use the benches, not bring food and, by all means, do not loiter. Walk through the gardens as fast as you can. You don't want to give Orange County's finest any reason to have to usher you out of our gardens, do you?

Many of you will be entering Orange County with the intention of living here. First off, I wish to extend a warm welcome to you and hope for the best of success. Secondly, I wish to issue a small caveat. Orange County is a land of planned housing communities. You won't find any tacky pastel colored homes here, no large monuments - fountains, lawn jockies, tacky garden gnomes, nothing to, shall we say, make your home unique. Who needs all that uniqueness? If you want tacky individuality, leave Southern California! Besides, the home owners associations of each of our wonderfully modern and au currant communities, won't allow such aberrations from our chic and uniform norms. We must all manage to fit in, mustn't we? What? How's that? The color of exposed blinds? No, I would think that kelly green blinds would not be a good idea, unless you tint the windows to hide the color. We wouldn't want to assault our neighbors with such an un-chic and un-uniform color of blinds, now would we?

And, many of you are coming to Orange County to attend our most prestigious institute of higher learning, the University of California, Irvine. What? How's that? UCI's one and only ivy league scholar is no longer a member of the faculty? Oh no, I believe that you are wrong. He's listed in your brochure. He's there. What? How's that? You say that you know that he is gone and not coming back because you bought his house from him and are moving in as soon as we land? Well there are certainly other resources at UCI. I assure you, it is a world class university. What? How's that? You say that many of the so-called "Professors" at UCI aren't PhDs? Well, I wouldn't know about that. But I assure that UCI is just as competitive as the next university and that a degree from UCI carries some respect! What? How's that? You say that select faculty from various respectable universities in the Midwest haven't heard of UCI? Well, who needs them! They're just jealous. The faculty at UCI have better tans! And, UCI was the site of the filming of the first "Planet of the Apes" movie. Sour grapes. That's all it is.

Finally, you will note that there will be a plethora of busses lined up in front of JWIA. If you are opting to use public transportation, you need to be aware that some of those busses are tour busses to Disneyland and don't run on regular city routes. What? How's that? What's the difference between a year at UCI and a weekend at the Magic Kingdom? Well, I rightly don't know. I'll have to ask on that one.

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