Udder madness

Changing horses: Like you, Bites followed the minute-by-minute unraveling and, er, raveling of the Kings’ Peja-Artest trade deal last week. Sure, you got the broad outlines from other media. But here’s how it really went down:

January 24, noon: Peja hears Maloofs dangling trade on TV. Peja surfs, sees no local ads featuring cute Peja face. Calls mom, then Vlade, who says. “I told you: rebound! But did you listen? Nooo.”

1:15 p.m.: Ron Artest pulls a Webber, balks at trade, says no to cow town. Bibby’s nightclub posse calls Artest, assures him there is plenty of trouble to be found along J Street at 2 a.m.

2 p.m.: Maloofs hold press conference to nix trade but note that they are quite happy with new haircuts. They remind world about need for new Kings arena because current luxury boxes just don’t bring in the same coin as $50,000-a-night Hardwood Suite in Vegas. “CEOs are not pleased with the limited selection of single-malt scotches and the lack of massage chairs,” they scoff.

January 25, 3 p.m.: Mayor Heather Fargo, sensing loss of team, as opposed to, say, loss of affordable housing, declares state of emergency. “No Peja equals no straight female fans,” she sighs.

4 p.m.: Speaking of affordable housing, Artest warms to trade after he learns Loomis may be for sale.

5:15 p.m.: Peja’s mom approves trade to Hoosier country when Larry Bird calls and sings “Indiana Wants You” in Serbian. Peja decides South Bend might be a nice purchase for his family. Envisions starting a horseshoes tourney and racecar team with Vlade. Urges Mrs. Vlade to close trendy club and open an Applebee’s in Terre Haute.

January 26, 4:30 p.m.: Kings announcers drop cutesy “Peja-Vu” nickname, announce trade after coining a moniker for Artest. “Another nice rebound by the Artest in Residence,” cracks the color announcer. “And if you don’t like Artest climbing into the stands to pummel the heckler from Galt who works two jobs to afford season tickets and $11 beers, then you don’t like NBA basketball!!” adds the play-by-play man.

5:30 p.m.: Bee puts entire staff on story, calls in reserves from Modesto, Fresno.

8 p.m.: Mayor Fargo calls off state of emergency, says if the Kings move, she has a plan. “Donkey basketball,” she says. “Just as many asses involved, and you don’t have to pay them!”

Late, very late: Artest commands teammates’ respect by actually playing defense after using crayons and felt pens to paint his sneakers Kings black. Gets huge endorsement deal from Crayola.

From hand grenades to the horseshoe: Last week came the news that Gary Delsohn, a veteran newspaperman who as of late had expressed some weariness with the daily soy-ink-on-dead-tree grind, would take a job as a speechwriter for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. That’s the second time lately that someone in the local media who made his living pointing fingers at the governor has switched over to working inside his horseshoe-shaped complex of offices. Last summer, John Decker was a Bee photographer assigned to shoot photos of only Schwarzenegger. Now, he is the governor’s official still-camera man. If this pattern holds, Bites will be getting a call from Arnold any day now.

Dave Cox, maverick lawmaker: The California State Sheriff’s Association (CSSA) honored Assemblyman Dave Cox last week. According to a CSSA press release, Cox deserved recognition for, among other things, “funding to methamphetamine production and use.” Bites admires Cox for his independent thinking.

Till the cow comes home: The evil bull that went missing from the front of the Department of Aging is still missing (see “Concrete jungle,” SN&R Bites, January 26). But reader Al Storm gently pointed out that “if you had lowered your gaze a bit, you couldn’t have missed the fact that the ‘bull’ had an udder.” Thanks, Al. Bites didn’t mean to, um, steer anybody wrong.