Lemon County, California. A Wry Look At Our Fruitful Lives...

Heaven?

Paradise - at a price...
Paradise - at a price...

Welcome To Paradise...

Nestled between the (occasionally visible) flanks of Humpback mountain and the Specific Ocean lies the Southern Californian paradise of Lemon County. Looking remarkably like Orange County, one bite lets you know this place is just a little more tart, not bitter, but certainly with bite. This is God's country – upgraded and improved. Hills are moved to give other hills better views. The poor and cosmetically impaired are hidden in houses with bars on the windows, and the desert is coaxed into blooming lushness by water stolen from less glorious places.

The officers of the Highway Patrol are less feared than the fashion police, who in studied silence, cite bad teeth, hair and clothing, with public humiliation the weapon of choice.

Downtown means the mall.

Retail therapy is a regular part of life, with daily worship at the temple of consumerism available from 10 a.m. every morning until late into the evening. The only things larger than the malls are the churches. Lemon County has two mega-churches, both having mastered the conundrum of wealth and spirituality, funded by book sales and driven by rock concerts called worship leadership.

Politics divides this paradise into ultra-conservatives and just plain ordinary conservatives, a divisive pustule that threatens to erupt at every social gathering. Everyone assumes that everyone else is a Christian and a Republican, and a fragile peace prevails.

Then there are the schools. Due to the high cost of freeways and water there is no money for schools. The Public option (said quietly for fear of bringing attention to your non-millionaire status) is entirely funded by bake sales, and is run by the most powerful political entity in the county, the PTA.

The correct option is Private School. It should be expensive, exclusive, and reflect the demographic of the nearest gated community. It is permissible to have a Jewish school, or even claim non-denominational status but, again, the “proper” school will be Christian. You will be able to identify its Christian-ness by the liberal use of an obscure saint's name, and by the fashion backward use of a tartan material for the girl's jumpers. These are, in fact, not tartans, but plaids, and thus de-Scottished, perfectly acceptable wear for Lemon County's young virgins.

Where you live is critical, but with every other person in the County being a realtor, help is never far away in that department. A million dollar tract home will do, but to be truly "in," you need to build your own house. You buy a lot, say 1,200 square feet, and build a three-storey mansion that magically includes more than 3,600 square feet of living space (the absolute minimum permissible). It requires a pool, or at least a Jacuzzi, a screening room, bedrooms, and more bathrooms than bedrooms by a factor of two.

All kitchens are entirely decorative and are never, under any circumstances, to be used for cooking. (If you hire caterers, they may use the kitchen for that purpose, but be sure to pull the requisite permits from the County.)

Your house must have a view, anything that can be looked at in the distance when the smog or June-gloom lifts. Ocean view is a clear favorite, with bonus points for seeing an island somewhere, closely followed by views of Humpback itself, or even just hills with no houses on them…yet. If stuck, city lights will do at a pinch, but it is critical that your house have a view.

You then join the local militia, sometimes called a community association, where the only item on every agenda is "protection of the view," with perhaps some mention of re-landscaping already landscaped areas.

Someone spoiling your view, because of an untrimmed tree, for example, can be banished from the county. Forever.

The weather, apparently perfect, is given a little help by air conditioners when warm, and patio heaters when cool. Rain is a phenomenon that removes hillsides and instantly makes cars magnetic, forcing them to crash into one another.

Everyone in Lemon County, or the "LC," as locals call it, is from somewhere else. I came from England, a tiny island with a huge ego. However, after nearly twenty years living in the "LC," I feel qualified enough to provide insight about living in our little corner of paradise and to raise a question or two as to why we do the things we do.

And to have a healthy laugh at our idiosyncrasies…

Dear Hub Reader


If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,

Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,

A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.

Available directly from:

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/homo-domesticus/12217500

Chris


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Comments 20 comments

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

hahaha! Fun piece! I like your style. Your countenance is also likable. Bet your novels are exceptionally readable! Glad I ran across you commenting on De Greek's hub.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellienna,

Thank you for the kind words. I'm enjoying the feedback from such a diverse and genuinely interesting group of people. I'm blessed that I see life as comedy rather than tragedy. I'd make a very poor poet, for example:)

Chris


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Well - It's truly good to have you here! You "class up" the place!

One of Hubpages' great benefits is having a place to write for a live audience who generously provide almost instant feedback. Whether one is used to writing mostly in private or is a published author, it seems to fill a niche like no other.

Yep we can choose to focus on either life's comedic or its tradic qualities. One's attitude is what colors them one way or the other.. -;-) I prefer the up-side too.

I've had to tone down my favorite motto, "if it can't be fun, why do it" because to some folks it sounds so irresponsible! Of course, it's not. It only means that whatever one does can be done with more merriment and joy, which are qualities which must be put into anything for it to be "fun". Events are inherently neutral for the most part. Joy and gloom are subjective views of things going on and almost always, the choice is ours. Doesn't mean having inappropriate glee in serious situations but is possible to give them a bit lighter,more positive aura.

Poetry can be written from either viewpoint. That's a personal choice too, as is whether to write poetry at all. I think of Ogden Nash & E. E. Cummings - even Shakespeare, when he chose to focus on the comedy of life around him.

One should always write as one sees fit. It's a personal expression and must fit. No reason to write poetry if one prefers prose - and no reason not to write both if it suits. And in my humble opinion, your style suits very well!

Anyway - glad you're enjoying hubpages and you'll be getting even more feedback as you circulate and get acquainted, I'm sure. For a newcomer, you've already been rated almost as high as the ratings go!! 99! WOW!I I'm impressed, Chris!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

That's practically a hub in itself! After a tough couple of years I am so enjoying the artistic outlet this type of writing allows me. Online is fun, but nothing beats bumping into someone you haven't seen for many years thanking you for making them laugh! It was at their suggestion I'll be adding a fourth strand to my blogs/hubs - Homo Domesticus - The rise of the HouseHusband!

Now all we need to figure out is how to actually make a living doing this...

Thanks for great encouragement, especially as I think your work has real class,

Chris


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Yeah - I could always use some extra cash but I've never given a thought to earning any by writing so I'm happy with this experience. I've written profusely all my life - but admittedly - only private correspondence & very private poetry - and whatever possible in online social groups -where one is sometimes asked what one's on if too many complete sentences are emitted! My website was my semi private outlet before Hubpages. I was invited by Merlin Fraser. Happen to know him? He, too is English, has written a trilogy of suspense novels and came to HubPages as another outlet. We'd met in one of those social groups in which very much writing is looked askance upon and heaven forbid - it it really says anything! I've really enjoyed being here these 7 months or so. (Has it been that long! Time does fly!)

I so admire the style and talent you have for writing such good - and wholesome - humor. I have a tweak of wry humor in me but I guess too much private self expression does little to encourage it.

Thank you for the high compliment coming from you!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

Merlin tagged me last week, I have a feeling that if the two of us were to meet in a pub somewhere it would be an evening to remember. (though we'd forget due the beer etc...)

Chris


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana

Chris, you inspired me. I'm writing a reply to your hub with a little about how my town compares to yours. I'm including a link in the hub to yours, so people can compare.

I should be done editing it by tomorrow.

I was just sitting here worried I would never find something to write about again! Thank You So Much!!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

great idea

I think our audiences would really appreciate the mutual humor -I love the idea of bouncing stuff of each other...


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana

lol. Sorry, but I can't stop laughing. I'm visualizing eggs and poorly made pancakes being hurled back and forth...


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

You are not a well woman...


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana

><

\___/

|_|

(The above face was my daughter's doing. Genetics are a terrible thing.)

It doesn't show up right when I post it, but it's a crazy person sticking their tongue out.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Oh for crying out loud...

The advertisment below the comment box is for Dishon & Block Attorneys at Law, showing an obviously distraught couple after a (now cleaned up) food fight with the tag line..."When they can't be trusted, you need someone who can"

So the moral is, don't stick your tounge out at people, it can get VERY expensive...

Happy Monday,

Chris


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana

I wonder why I don't see the same ads you do? When I look under the comments, it just has ads for Newport Beach Houses and Short Poetry.... ??? I want to see the food fight.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

You can tell how distractable I am right? Went to great Hubcamp yesterday - I'll email you some tips. Bottom line, funny doesn't sell (much)

Chris


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California

Very funny Chris, and very true. I too am from somewhere else, and so are most of the people I know. As usual a very good hub.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

fastfreta,

Thanks for reading and the follow. Hopefully I can keep you laughing on a regular basis.

Chris


Tammy L profile image

Tammy L 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

I've got a great view from my apartment. The front overlooks the staircase to the upstairs apartments and the back overlooks a fence covered in foliage.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Tammy,

OK you just ruined my image of Texas - you're suposed to be able to see the horizon from everywhere, aren't you? How on earth can you ride off into the sunset...

There ought to be rules about that...

Oh, yeah, huh

Merry Christmas,

Chris


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 4 years ago from Orange County, California

Chris, I too am from the fruited county, having grown up in Cypress when it was still pretty much dairy, orange groves, and strawberry fields. Loved your perspective and your humor, and look forward to reading more hubs by you! Voted up, funny, awesome, and interesting!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 4 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

K. Burns Darling,

A big "Thank You"

I think you would enjoy my book - I just wove a series of my hubs into a "year in the life" how-not-to-book!

Homo Domesticus. A life Interrupted By Housework

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/homo-do...

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