Thursday, October 04, 2007


First published in the Daily Sundial, March 29, 2004

It is clear from recent headlines that the gang problem in Los Angeles has gotten completely out of hand. And when I say Los Angeles I mean, of course, Orange County. What else can you make of the recent news from Newport Beach? Six boys at Ensign Middle School were banned from appearing in a class photo because they were wearing pink. School officials were concerned the color might be associated with gang-related activities.

So pink is now a gang color? And not just pink, mind you, students called the color “Easter pink.” If I’m not mistaken, “Easter pink” is a pastel. Gangs, for the most part, try to project a tough, even menacing image. If today’s gangs are trying to achieve this by using pink, it is clear every other color on the palate has been taken. That means, somewhere out there, you can probably find the “Pacoima Periwinkle Posse” the “Torrance Terra Cotta Terrorists” and the “Eastside Eggshell Mobstaz.” Obviously flax, snow pea, oyster, geranium, sunwash, canal blue, watermelon, stone, mocha, tinted aqua, robin’s egg blue, willow, and off-white* were also taken by other street hooligans.

To be fair, finding a good gang color has been tough for some time. As early as the 1980s, the Bloods and Crips had locked up two thirds of the primary colors. Sure they made peace, but they didn’t put red and blue back into the rotation for new, up and coming gangs to pick. So now that all the solid colors have been taken, what are the new thugz to do? Madras plaids are probably the direction you’ll see things go. By adding several colors and patterns, the combinations could be endless. Perhaps this is how tartans got started in Scotland. If the madras trend plays out, America could face the ugly sight of elderly people being attacked for their vacation-wear.

But what of this gang in pink? Just what are they up to? I asked a few friends and I got no suggestions more helpful than, “Well, maybe they work at Fredrick’s of Hollywood.” That was so absurd, it didn’t merit consideration. These are gangsters; they’re not going to be selling lingerie. The real answer is much more obvious: they’re selling Mary Kay cosmetics. Mary Kay sells cosmetics through direct and multi-level marketing. If you sell a lot of Mary Kay product, the company will give you a pink Cadillac. Perhaps Easter pink?

These ingenious Orange County gangsters have mixed mob thuggery with multi-level marketing, and it is obviously a potent combination. They’ve got the Newport-Mesa Unified School District running scared. Perhaps the school principal had been forced to buy cases of lip gloss under fear of violence. I’m sure that fear is real. I’ve compiled a brief history of how the Newport Mary Kay Gang, also known as “The K-G,” rose to power. It is, indeed, a frightful saga.

1996: A band of ambitious pink-clad teens begins selling Mary Kay cosmetics. Within months, they began moving into the turf of the Mission Viejo Melaleuca Madmen, a small-time posse dealing vitamins and facial scrubs. The Melaleuca’s fold quickly and later form a local chapter of the Young Republicans.

1998: Through a combination of terror and makeovers, the K-G control most of the direct-market cosmetic traffic in Orange County. Every K-G member is awarded a pink Cadillac. The day the cars are delivered, the K-G unleash a vicious wave of drive-by shootings directed at the region’s last surviving Avon ladies.

1999: With their new mobility, the K-G expand northward, taking down the Gardena Tupperware Crew. The T-Cs leader is found dead with a mascara stick in mouth. His rouge also didn’t complement his eye-shadow. This deliberate humiliation put L A County’s gangs on notice: mess with the Newport Mary Kay Gang at your peril.

2000: Nothing happened. Y2K bug, whatnot.

2001: K-Gs took on the Westside Amway Gangstaz, one of the most powerful multi-level marketing gangs the city had ever known. The Amways were known for their wide array of cleaning products and their almost fanatical devotion to the gang, kind of like Scientologists, but with drain-cleaner. Many gallons of fake-Windex were spilled on the streets of Inglewood during the violent battle. The K-Gs emerge from the battle victorious. Their power is unchallenged in all of Southern California.

2002: The administrators at Ensign Middle School notice some of their students are dressing and acting in an unusual manner. For instance they’ve been in middle school for six years.

2003: A staff meeting is called to discuss the problem.

2004: After much deliberation, members of the Newport Mary Kay Gang are denied a place in their 8th grade photo. Ryan Seacrest gets involved. Being in a gang seems pretty lame after being defended by the host of American Idol. The K-Gs soon disband. Some begin selling herbal Viagra over the internet.

*All these colors were taken from this month’s J. Jill catalog.

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At 2:27 am, Blogger Birchsprite said...


At 7:27 am, Blogger imitate said...

I'm printing this one and making all my co-workers read it. You kill me, Workman.


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