Letter from California

An archive of the weekly "Letter from Calfornia", written by Jim McCarthy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I've Put My Finger on the Flaws in Her Plan-April 25 2005

San Jose police this week pointed an accusing finger at Anna Ayala for attempted grand theft. Be warned that finger jokes of that kind will continue right til the end of this column, but I promise to use them only to point out the true ridiculousness of the Finger-in-the-Chili episode.

In this country, people are considered innocent until proven guilty, but that’s just in the courts. Everywhere else, it’s perfectly permissible to make snap judgments about the painfully obvious. For example, Congress may not have been able to get McGwire and Bonds to fess up to hitting the juice, but if any of you have ever been men who turned 35, you know that symptoms of that period in your life do not typically include massive weight gain in the chest and arms. Massive weight gains, possibly, but not there. And those of you who have never been a 35 year old man, have you ever heard of one of that group report dramatic gains in strength? Perhaps you heard one of them say, “Yeah, I can tell I’m getting a little older. I can suddenly bench press twice my weight.” Or maybe his wife takes a look at his aging physique and comments lovingly, “you’re not getting any younger, hon. If you don’t watch it, you’re going to need to get shirts with a bigger chest size.” Not likely. Barry, Mark, you did it. Sorry. Now go console yourself with your fame, your legions of fans, your and millions of dollars.

Likewise, all signs point to Anna Ayala as the mysterious source of the extra ingredient in the Wendy’s Chili, not some unfortunate victim of the chili-chopping machine. What’s both funny and terrifying about that is not so much that she put a finger in her own chili, but that she had to get that finger from somewhere. Las Vegas police determined that the finger had not been cooked in chili at any point and you have to trust that because they’ve got Grissom and the gang doing the tests on things like this. That means Ayala just dropped it in there and then put it in her mouth for dramatic effect. Gross.

Why, oh, why would someone do that? I can’t even imagine…is she an activist trying to demonstrate the insecurity of the American food system? Perhaps she’s a disgruntled former Wendy’s employee with a crazy vendetta? A loan shark with a customer in arrears to the tune of one digit?

Nope, just a woman with a dream. And someone else’s finger. The dream is to rip off a big company like Wendy’s by making an easily disproved claim similar to small-timey hoaxes she’s pulled before. Just last year, she accused El Pollo Loco of poisoning her daughter. Then, she sold a trailer that didn’t belong to her to a woman who spoke no English. I guess this time she got the idea, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-like, to put two great scams together: ripping off a fast food joint and telling bald-faced bald-lies that are bound to catch up with her. She’s got a long and distinguished career in coming up with half-baked schemes that don’t really work and make her look both wicked and pathetic at the same time, like some kind of trailer park Dr. Evil character, but not funny.

You hear about how people don’t always believe in the justice system anymore, and there’s some logic to that. Even if you’re a total has-been actor who nobody under the age of 35 has ever heard of, you still seem to be able to buy your way out of a lot of trouble, Robert Blake. At least, that’s how it goes sometimes. And it seems that people like Ayala can make a living by accusing people of poisoning, harassing and otherwise ruining her otherwise blissful life.

Not this time, though. Ayala’s not only on the hook for attempted grand theft but she’s also looking at a financial punishment for all the sales Wendy’s lost, which is millions and millions of dollars. It’ll take her years of suing people to pay all that back. It’s hard not to feel pretty good about that. On the other hand, she was sitting at home watching “Meet the Fockers” when the police knocked her door down, so it’s also hard not to feel a little pity for her too. She should sue the makers of that movie for negligent use of legendary actors in annoying and clichéd roles.

But she won’t. She’s a dim bulb, because this little web of deceit is so stupid and obvious that Barney Fife wouldn’t even feel the need to mention it to Andy before taking care of this caper. People rip off big companies for real money every day. Sad but true, and it doesn’t take a genius.

This episode proves, though, that it can’t be done by a moron. God Bless America.


Post a Comment

<< Home