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'Festivus' meals withdrawn from OC inmate

December 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Festivus is the fictional Dec. 23 holiday brought to prominence by the hit TV show "Seinfeld." It's celebrated with an aluminum pole and the airing of grievances. But 38-year-old inmate Malcolm Alarmo King, a convicted drug dealer, resurrected the holiday and got a judge to believe in it, too.

King's attorney, Fred Thiagarajah, asked the court for permission so King could get a high-protein, no-salami diet three times a day. When Judge Derek G. Johnson asked for a religious reason for King to receive kosher meals, Thiagarajah cited his client's devotion to Festivus.

"It's not uncommon for folks in custody to try to get something different than what other people have, and this was a pretty good attempt to do that," said Cmdr. Dave Wilson of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

During his time at the Theo Lacy Jail facility in Orange, King enjoyed double servings of kosher meals until the sheriff's food services staff, who interviews those needing special diets, realized Festivus sounded phony.

King got away with his special diet for a couple of months. It ended when the county went to court to get the order thrown out.


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