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Matt Weinstock

October 18, 2007 |  6:53 pm

Oct. 18, 1957

Matt_weinstockdIf pressed, most persons who preside at information and complaint desks will admit there are times when they don't think the human race is going to make it. Sanity and/or serenity, they mean.

Not long ago, a woman phoned the complaint desk at the City Health Department and said, "I want to report a health menace--my doorbell is out of order."

Another non sequitur came from a lady who said she lived next door to a pet shop which sold horse meat. This she considered very unsanitary. "I'm expecting a baby," she added, "and I think something should be done about it."

A man inquired, "Are there any health ordinances on the proper fit of shoes?"

A woman asked, "Will you connect me with the free clinic for face lifting?"

Another woman complained that there was an odor under her house and she wanted an inspector to come out and check it. "I'm too fat to crawl underneath myself," she said.

A woman on the south side of the city said, "Our gas has been cut off and we have a small baby and I was wondering if you could pay the bill. My husband is working but we have too many other bills to pay."

A man who spoke in broken English asked, "How much will it cost for an arresting license?" He was asked, "Do you mean a restaurant license?" "No," was the reply, "I want a license to arrest somebody."

1957_1018_elvis_presleyONLY IN HOLLYWOOD -- Four devil-may-care fellows the other day got to discussing the outrageously unfriendly act of the manager of their favorite bistro in dunning them for what they owed.

The fact that they were sitting in the very saloon, running up more tabs, only added to their wounded feelings and their sense of outrage.

After heavy brooding they decided there was only one course of action--counterattack. And they agreed that if he sent them one more reminder they would threaten to incorporate and then declare bankruptcy.

A GAL carrying several packages dashed breathlessly into a Spring Street elevator after what was obviously a lunch hour shopping expedition and Operator Ann commented:

"Oh, oh. There went the rent money."

The gal sighed:

"Nope, this time I'm really living dangerously. I used the milkman's money."

ROBERT PAUL Smith's book, "Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing" is a middled-aged man's nostalgic recollection of his childhood with the sad reflection that kids today with their planned recreation are missing something.

For one thing, he points out, they don't know how to play mumblety-peg.

Not long ago a 12-year-old girl named Holly, who lives in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., read the book and became fascinated by the game. She asked her mother how it was played but ma didn't know.

Neither did her father or any of his friends. They'd played it as boys, they said, but had forgotten the rules.

Holly persisted, reports a friend of the family here, and finally her mother phoned Smith, who lives in nearby Westchester County, and asked him. He was so enchanted that he's giving her mumblety-peg lessons.

FOOTNOTES--A dime store in Redondo Beach has a live Panama parrot for sale--$125. Yes, dime store... You know what irks hot dog stand entrepreneurs? Customers remarking, "What have you got that's different today?" ... Now that the TV moguls have decreed a menu of "mature Westerns" for the punch-drunk public, Hardy Hoover of Downey asks only one thing--please no more escapes from the back door of the jail... That low moan you hear is from admirers of Stan Freberg, a young man with a great flair for satire. His Sunday CBS radio show will be his last. Yep, canceled. However, there are still his records, especially his latest, "Wun'erful, Wun'erful," with Lawrence Welk as the target.