Head’s up you editorial Gods of Grand Avenue. If you want to bolster circulation and bring a badly-needed humor infusion to Orange County, because bloggers and OC Weekly just aren’t cutting it, there is only one solution. Bring back Jeff Kramer. Kramer was a long time humor columnist for the OC Register where he did things like dress in an Orange costume and wave at drivers as they crossed over the Orange Curtain from LA County on the 5 Freeway, or lampooned getting voice mails from Irvine council member Christina Shea, or actually ate crow served by one of OC’s best chefs in the restaurant (I’ve tried in vain to find that story but can’t). Since Register columnist Mark Landsbaum continues to peddle his libertarian pablum from Texas where he and his wife have retired to and the Register continues to use Military mom Jenny Sokol’s column long after she left the confines of El Toro, why not have Kramer write for the Register again. Because the closest thing the Register has to a humor column is the comedic stylings of Frank Mickadeit. When I last saw Jeff, it was in years ago Rosarita, Mexico where he rode downstairs on a burro wearing a sombrero to an outdoor patio to officiate at a Register colleague’s wedding. Yes, call him Reverend Kramer. Jeff left OC for the tropical paradise known as Syracuse, NY (his wife is from Syracuse and they were married in nearby Skaneateles, where Joe Biden’s first wife was from). He was writing a humor column for the Syracuse Post Standard and is now writing a regular series of columns for the Syracuse New Times, an alt-weekly that does a nice job covering investigative news and cultural stories. Jeff has also written a play that the Laguna Playhouse simply must put on. Kramer’s latest column is about his meet and greet at the White House Christmas Party and meeting President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. From his NewTimes column: Just so you have some context, this was the annual holiday party for the White House print/online reporters, each of whom gets to bring one guest. In a sense, the party is really more of a two-and-a-half-hour cease fire. The First Couple occupies the unenviable position of having to appear delighted to welcome, feed and entertain the very people who get paid to torment them on a daily basis. The journalists, on the other hand, do their best to rein in their anger and cynicism at Obama for not delivering on his promise of transparency in government. Weary of the White House’s meager diet of self-serving press releases and outright bullshit, the press corps on this night eats its fill of taxpayer-funded rack of lamb and mini-latkes, and for a few hours life is good. “Everyone here’s a dick, but they’re funny,” chirped Julie Mason, a rising star at Sirius radio, fondly referencing her media colleagues. As it turns out, they don’t let just anyone in here. To gain access to the White House, I first had to clear a Secret Service background check, presumably to make sure I am capable of performing fake sign language interpretation in the presence of world leaders. Thus approved, I met Peter at his office Thursday evening, and we walked the few blocks to the White House with two other reporters. With the South Portico looming ahead, we fell into line. We needed about 20 shivery minutes to make it to the security tent, where our government IDs were checked against a list of official invites. A short distance later, the process was repeated at another enclosure. We tramped up a short flight of outdoor stairs to a third checkpoint and then up a ramp to a metal detector. We were expelled back into the cold, but this time we were inside the compound. Like, really. We passed a rack of bikes on the right and entered the White House from the east. Young, beautiful people, many of them Marines, greeted us with a mix of warmth and watchfulness. Peter showed me a small library that was filled with what I believe were books. I really didn’t care. All I could think was, “I’m at the freakin’ White House!” Pretty good for a guy whose biggest career highlight prior to this was getting to use the phrase “Chihuahua penis” in the Syracuse New Times. Jeff may be 3,000 miles away, but humor-laden opportunities in OC have no borders. If the Register can continue to pay long time columnists who no longer live here but still write for the local paper, then why not Kramer? Why the hell not?
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