Simple minds

News Free Sacramento: Leave it to the London Guardian to cover those trivial Sacramento stories our friends at the Bee consider unworthy of attention. While Team Scoopy was out tracking the story of Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s wedding to a woman half his age—which led off last Friday’s Capitol & California section—the paper apparently felt no need to report Lockyer’s announcement that Wal-Mart is suspending sales of rifles and shotguns in its California stores after nearly 500 violations of state firearms laws.

Please, someone at the Bee call Bites and tell us we’re wrong. Tell us that the announcement—which made headlines overseas—ran in the daily newspaper’s classifieds or just doesn’t show up in Web searches. Surely, Sacramento’s paper of record wouldn’t pass on a story involving a big, friendly corporation illegally selling guns to felons. Is the paper really more interested in the revelation that Lockyer’s betrothed is already “pregnant with his child”?

While we breathlessly await the answer to those and other pressing questions, Bites will just have to stick with the millions of true blue Internet-savvy Americans who are beginning to rely on the international press to find out what’s happening back here at home.

Complete idiot’s guide to Sacramento: The New York Times reviewer may think of them as “good natured, high-spirited, silly fun,” but the more politically correct among us realize that Gyro, Pyro and Walter—a.k.a. the Flaming Idiots—are, in fact, offensive and insensitive. That’s why the Mondavi Center is labeling all promotional materials for the neo-vaudevillians’ show this coming Sunday with the following disclaimer: “The University of California-Davis Mondavi Center celebrates and welcomes diversity and inclusion of all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, into the fabric of its community. While the Mondavi Center has no control over the names of acts booked to perform, it apologizes if any offense arises from any insensitive choice of name used by any act performing at the center.”

Because Gyro, Pyro and Walter were too busy juggling leaf blowers and eating balloons to be reached at press time, Bites phoned Mondavi Center marketing director Richard Rojo to get the lowdown on these hatemongers disguised as juggling comedians. “We present a lot of artists from around the world, so inevitably there are complaints,” said Rojo, who added that these range from performers being too loud to an Irish- American group questioning the booking of a British Army band. But this, he said, is the first time a group’s name has caused controversy. In this case, the arbiter of correct speech was the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities, which saved the day by devising and approving the aformentioned disclaimer for the Mondavi Center’s use.

In defense of the, um, pyrotechnically challenged hooligans, Rojo suspects they were thinking of the word’s everyday usage—“a foolish or stupid person”—rather than its primary dictionary definition: “a person affected with idiocy, especially a feebleminded person having a mental age not exceeding 3 years and requiring complete custodial care.” Asked whether the word “flaming” exacerbated the insult, and, if taken literally, could suggest an actual hate crime, Russo declined to comment.

Don’t hate them because they’re beautiful: Speaking of complete (insert culturally sensitive epithet here), Bites was delighted to see that our legislators, while doing next to nothing to break the state budget gridlock, are going to look great doing it. That’s right, legislators will spend time getting a makeover! Next Monday marks the second anniversary of “Welcome to Our World,” in which “Assembly members, senators and legislative staffers are expected ‘en masse’ to get beautified by pros while brushing up on California’s $6 billion beauty industry!” Folks who can’t wait to see their favorite legislators in inaction can look at highlights from the last beautython at the Professional Beauty Federation of California’s Web site (, which features riveting portraits of “Assemblyman Dennis Hollingsworth enjoying his hand and arm massage” and “Assemblyman Bill Campbell caught again, but this time in the middle of his manicure.” Or, just wait and pick up Tuesday’s Bee. And welcome to our world …