As California Burns, Refugees Party, Chill

Fire-heated stones!

As the soot-covered, numb-eyed hordes stumbled out of the fire zone and into San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, leaving the wreckage of their lives behind them and carrying everything they own on their backs, the nation's collective memory inevitably turns to the horror that happened in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. Will the poor homeless San Diegans be confronted with panic, crime, hunger, piles of human waste, and despair? Turns out nope!


An almost festive atmosphere reigned at Qualcomm Stadium. Bands belted out rock 'n' roll, lavish buffets served gourmet entrees, and massage therapists helped relieve the stress for those forced to flee their homes because of wildfires.

Where did all this come from? Certainly not from FEMA! The buffets (including "chicken with artichoke hearts and capers in cream sauce, jambalaya and shredded-beef empanadas") were donated by nearby hotels. The back rubs were provided by volunteers who wanted to help out. The bands ... who the hell knows where the bands came from? Maybe they just spontaneously manifested themselves out of thin air thanks to the party-style atmosphere, as if this were the end of a bad '80s teen comedy. Barbara Bush could stop by and remark on what a good time everyone's having, and they'd agree and include her in a game of ultimate frisbee! In fact, the people suffering the most may be the San Diego Chargers, who will probably have to play their home game Sunday in the stadium in Phoenix that the Arizona Cardinals rejected because all the refugees are busy playing hacky-sack and drinking root beer on their home turf.

Admittedly, a direct comparison between the two stadia isn't really fair. For one thing, pretty much all of the infrastructure around Qualcomm Stadium is still in working order. For another, San Diego isn't located in the most corrupt and degenerate state in the country.

San Diego Stadium Houses Fire Evacuees [AP]

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