Pet Peeves


TOW Heads

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

I told my wife the other day that we’re not sending our child to Top of The World Elementary. She said, “I hope not. You’re 63 years old. It would be an embarrassment to go with you to teacher/parent conferences.” I gave her my best “you hurt my feelings” look. I lashed back, “I’m pregnant. And I’m having this baby. You can’t stop me.” She sighed, “You have gas. Smells like triplets.”

My wife didn’t know about the big brouhaha happening at Top of the World Elementary. A nearby addiction rehabilitation house that has recently changed to an all male facility has sparked renewed parental concerns. A distraught parent explained, “Shirley Temples were tolerable, but a switch to Tom Collins could cause relapses. My children should not be subjected to these crashes. My kids drink out of juice boxes. Their innocence is at stake. My youngest drinks out of a sippy cup. He asked me for a water back the other day.”

TOW scheduled a recent town hall meeting to discuss these concerns and explore possible solutions. The cash bar was relocated to the Sandpiper. BYOs were not permitted on school premises. Social hosts got turned away. Party hats and party blowers were checked at the door. And still I got in. But I didn’t feel like myself.

The meeting was a wake up call. Rehabilitation was big bucks. These businesses were raking in $30,000 per month per person and accommodating up to six people at a time. Regulated under state law, sober houses were permitted to charge patients extra for new addictions, like coffee and cigarettes, to replace current ones. A knowledgeable industry insider commented that home-delivered Starbucks alone added $25,000 to the $30,000 stay. I was sold. I had my designated driver get me off the Top of the World down to the bottom of the world where I slither from day to day.

“Honey, I’m home. Good news. I’ve invited some people over. They’ll be six more for dinner for the rest of the month. They’re cleansing, so don’t bring out the beverage and food cart. They belong to a club that worships takeout and delivery. Everyone goes Dutch and pays us for our kind hospitality. Oh and our neighbors have to go along with these new short-term payers because it’s regulated by the state. The city has no say how long our guests stay. We can make new guests ever month and they pay us for the privilege of our company.”

You bet it sounds good. And the best part I haven’t even told you about yet. These TOW Heads like to come back and revisit because Laguna Beach is world renowned for it’s dried out climate. And they’ll pay you again and again because you’re the hostess with the most-ess.

Mark has applied for a sober house license. The paperwork has been held up. Mark can’t find his birth certificate and may have to relocate the sober house to his country of origin.   


  1. One out of every ten people have and addiction problem. (I’m adicted to commenting on posts of this digital local news.) But seriously the insurance companies have to have a hand in this somewhere and who passed the legislation on these halfway homes so they could be in any residential neiborhoods and how long has this been going on??
    And why am I the last to know when I could have gotten some real mileage out of stuffing my guitar with chocolate bars an serenade an all female addiction home?


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