Thursday, May 14, 2009

Everything must go

Strapped for cash but plush with dreams, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is floating the idea of selling a number of state-owned properties, including the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Cow Palace, the Orange County Fairgrounds, and the Cal Expo.

The potential offering creating the greatest excitement is the legendary San Quentin Prison, located on 438 acres of prime waterfront real estate on the north side of the San Francisco Bay.

"What an unbelievable offering this is," Schwarzenegger says enthusiastically. "This is a place of legend, the stuff of dreams. Just think of the great movie stars associated with this fine property - Pat O'Brien and Ann Sheridan in 'San Quentin', Humphrey Bogart in 'Dark Passage', Woody Allen in 'Take the Money and Run', Angelina Jolie in 'Changeling'. I think. I'm not positive about the last one because I've been busy as of late being governor. And 'Dragnet'. People were always being sent to San Quentin at the end of 'Dragnet'. And of course, both Johnny Cash and B.B. King made great records in that prison."

"The place is history incarnate. Just think of the fabulous crime stars who have lived there. Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan, Eldridge Cleaver, Juan Corona, Merle Haggard, Tookie Williams, I could go on and on. Right now we've got Randy Kraft, 'the Night Stalker' Richard Ramirez, and Scott Peterson all 'in the house', pardon the pun. I guess my point is that from an investor's point of view, this is a place where people really want to live."

Donald Trump has already surfaced as a possible investor, noting the potential value inherent in converting San Quentin into a 'gated lifestyle resort community'.

"You've got this wonderful piece of property in California, which is such a wonderful, wonderful locale," says Trump. "And right on the edge of San Francisco, which is just very, very diverse, and I can see a lot of upside with the right sort of marketing. I'm thinking San Quentin could be a new Vegas of sorts, something different with a lot of international appeal."

One possible roadblock to development plans may be the fact that the facility currently has over 5,200 full-time residents who would face the possibility of being turned out on the streets in the event of a sale. Schwarzenegger sees this as only a minor hurdle.

"Yes, it's true that a few people might be displaced, but to make an omelet you've got to crack a few eggs, and these are bad eggs to begin with, so we bring back the electric chair and fry the worst of them. Then we move the hard-boiled to another container, take the Mexicans down to the border and tell them to scramble, and as for the rest, I hate to be accused of coddling them, but oh well, a thousand pardons."

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