Brown County, meet Orange County.

Over the weekend the Daniel Hauser story went from a sad, small-town saga to a tale worthy of Tinseltown -- Danny's Excellent Adventure.

Daniel is a Brown County farm kid. He baby-sits his siblings, milks cows and bumps around the fields in a four-wheeler. In Brown County, a big night out is a burger at Carl's Corner, a fistful of pull tabs and a ballgame in Essig. But even the relative glamour of Carl's was a stretch for the Hausers, who have mostly lived in splendid isolation on the hard, flat lands outside Sleepy Eye.

Daniel was a sick kid caught in an emotional ethical dilemma: Should a mother be allowed to refuse medical treatment for her son, even if it is likely to save his life? The court wisely said no, so Daniel's mother, Colleen, grabbed her son and ran.

Enter, stage left, the great wide otherworld of Southern California, home to the spectacular and the surreal, or as writer Joan Didion once described it, "a place in which a boom mentality and a sense of Chekhovian loss meet in uneasy suspension."

Of course, the simple farm family did not wind up in Neverland by themselves. No, a sojourn like this requires a guide, or as the movie folks like to say, a narrator. Her name is Susan Daya, who also uses the last name Hamwi. In California, you either have one name, like Cher, or three names. She is raven-haired and sun-weathered and you can almost picture her in some television courtroom drama set in L.A., trying cases barefoot.

In Brown County, you live on the farm, or in town, and when someone calls you on the land line you answer, "Yep."

In Southern California, if you are Susan Daya Hamwi, your office is a 57-foot yacht named the Concordance, parked off Marina Del Rey and your answering machine tells callers to "have a magical day."

Daya Hamwi charged the plane tickets to California for the Hausers, though she says they paid her back, and she was on the plane with them to Los Angeles while Daniel was technically a ward of the county.

Somewhere along the way, the Hausers were lucky enough to meet a criminal defense attorney named Jennifer Keller who appears to be one of the few people in our plot so far that lives in Adultland. She persuaded them to come home, so I liked her already. Then I learned she also quit as actor Robert Blake's attorney during his murder trial, so now I like her even more.

On Monday, Colleen and Daniel Hauser flew into the New Ulm Airport in a Lear Jet, accompanied by a movie maker and film crew. Only in California can an unknown movie producer, Al Pezzuto, who has not made a movie you've heard of, be able to secure a jet in the middle of the night.

(Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann flew back to Minnesota with some of his own only-in-a-movie fairy dust. Hoffmann flew to California last week to see his son, who'd been called up to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The younger Hoffmann hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat and won the game.)

Pezzuto's company makes movies with interesting plots, including one about a woman who kills all her husbands, one about a 5-year-old trying to raise lion cubs, and one called, "The Green Stone; An Incredible True Story Of Paranormal Adventure," in which the warrior queen Gwevaragh "opened the door to the astral plane and called upon the demonic raven Oah-Tet who, coming forth from its dank dimension, made short work of the invaders, only to turn on Gwevaragh and her subjects."

I'm guessing this won't be playing in Sleepy Eye any time soon.

Karen Pezzuto, Al's wife, is also a lawyer and a World Series of Poker player. Of course she is; Californians all have these bizarre duel lives going just in case someone drops by and turns them into reality shows. Karen Pezzuto also has cancer, and apparently showed empathy but talked some sense to the Hausers.

Thank you, Karen. You may have just helped save a life. Which, if you strip away all the Hollywood ancillaries, is what this story is really all about: A kid will die unless he's treated.

So let's be thankful some Californians set aside the New Age hoo-ha for awhile so that Daniel Hauser has the opportunity to come forth from the dank dimension he's caught in, make short work of his invader and have many, many magical days ahead.

Jon Tevlin • 612-673-1702