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Matt Weinstock

October 22, 2007 |  7:03 pm

Oct. 22, 1957

Matt_weinstockd The men of the copy desk gloomily agreed the other day that another hallowed city room custom is just about gone--reporters and editors bellowing "Boy!" and getting an instant and spirited response.

Time was when this strident call created panic and havoc among the copy boys and they raced like genies to the point of origin, stood at attention and meekly awaited orders, no matter what.

Furthermore, it was the dream of these copy boys that some day they would reach the status of reporter or editor and yell "Boy!" at a succeeding generation of willing slaves.

Now the call elicits only mild interest from copy boys, even suspicion or indignation, and a relaxed lope to the caller to ascertain what the fuss is about.

One copy reader confessed he now calls in a modulated air:

"Copy boy, sir."

Another says casually, at room temperature:

"Say, Charley, have you got a minute?"

Another admits he acquired a complex about calling office boys several years ago while on another paper where the lads played chess. He could never bring himself to disturb them at a game he'd never been able to learn.

1957_1022_manAN AIRCRAFT company a few days ago announced the dismissal of several hundred employees, explaining:

"The layoff brings into temporary balance a more desirable economic ratio."

One of the victims says that's mighty fancy language for getting fired.

ONLY IN L.A. -- A man who drank too much in a midtown hotel decided to play it safe. He left his car in the parking lot and took a cab home.

Two blocks from the hotel, the taxi swerved to avoid a collision and skidded, throwing him out of the seat.

He got out, indignant, and started to walk away. The cabby stopped him and demanded payment.

"Look," said the borracho, "I can drive better than that and I'm drunk."

He walked back to the hotel, got in his car and drove home without incident.

THE WAY Joy Gaylord of Baldwin Park tells it, a certain tribe of savages believed they could acquire the strength and courage of a lion by eating one.

Being at war with a fierce neighboring tribe, in fact, on the eve of a crucial battle, the chief decided a lion dinner was in order. His hunters captured a live lion and it was put into a pen for fattening.

The chief was considering a suitable morsel to feed it when scouts brought into camp the lone survivor of a crashed plane carrying Olympic athletes.

It was immediately decided that he would be the perfect tidbit so they put him in the cage with the lion.

Naturally, the condemned meal ate a hearty man.

AT RANDOM--"Distressed" furniture has deliberately placed nicks in it. Well, an ad in the New Yorker for a $175 lamp describes it as having brass mountings on "mildly distressed brown nutwood." Aren't we all...

During the noon hour Walt Hackett overheard a man on Broadway between 8th and 9th malaprop interestingly to a companion, "I'm not eating lunch today. My stomach's been off it's feet lately..."

Ralph Richardson's chair collapsed under him at a recent Board of Education meeting and he remarked, "I spent four months campaigning to get this chair and look what happens!"...

Birdwatcher note: The juncoes flew into the backyard on schedule. They're the black-hooded, sparrow-size little devils which give a flash of white as they flick their tails in moving. They arrive every October, leave in March...

Sign on a Volkswagen observed by John E. Edwards: "100 more payments and it's all mine."