Pet Peeves

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Book ‘Em Danno

By Mark D. Crantz

“Book ‘Em Danno.” The Laguna Beach police investigated three house thefts. Two suspects are believed to have posed as potential house buyers during open houses. One suspect would distract the listing agent, while the other suspect roamed the house looking for desired items. “Did I hear you correctly? The seller wants $8.5 million for 250 square feet?” The agent replies, “Correct. They just lowered it. It was $10.5 million, originally.” The police checked other witness/house hunter statements. “Unbook ‘Em Danno. Book the sellers. Extortion.”

In an unrelated matter, the Village Entrance’s first phase was completed. The project was 30 years in the making. A city official proclaimed, “The newly renovated area brings beauty and an environmentally friendly design to the Civic Arts District with parking, walkways, benches, bike racks and green space to be enjoyed by residents, downtown business patrons and visitors to our summer festivals.” In addition, Phase One added two new parking lots, multiuse trails along Laguna Canyon Road, decorative lighting, extensive landscaped planting areas, new vehicular and pedestrian bridges and water quality features, such as, basins and permeable pavers.

An alert citizen reviewed the work and called police to report a missing item from Phase One. “I’d like to report a theft.” The police answered, “Home or work?” The caller hesitated. “Ahh…citywide.” Now, the police hesitated. “You mean, like in, the whole city…stolen?” “That’s right officer. There’s no Village Entrance. Poof. Never done. Just a lot of side stuff. We were promised a village entrance for our tax dollars. Never got one.” The police responded, “Okay then. We’ll get right on it, sir. Thanks for calling.” The investigation ensued. Three hours later the police made a public announcement. “Book ‘Em Danno. Charge city hall for fraud and deception.”

With city hall currently under arrest, residents have noticed improved traffic flow, fewer thefts and a city budget surplus. A public outcry to keep city hall workers detained further was denied by a judge on constitutional grounds for the right of the accused to get a speedy trial. Police were called in. The judge was arrested. “Book ‘Em Danno. Alleged dementia. Mandatory psych evaluation.”

The city continues to run better than ever. Phase Two of the Village Entrance was cancelled. Citizens realized tourists had trouble finding Laguna Beach and didn’t want to ruin a good thing by showing them the way in. The Village Entrance was nixed. Unfortunately, the nixed Village Entrance provided judicial grounds to release city hall workers and the alleged demented judge. Apparently, under law, there was no theft of something that nobody wanted in the first place.

All’s unwell that ends unwell.

Crantz tells the Indy there are times that he misses having a Village Entrance. He goes to Dana Point to stare at their entrance. Then he feels better and doesn’t miss ours at all.



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