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Matt Weinstock

January 30, 2008 |  7:19 pm

Jan. 30, 1958

Matt_weinstockd As all dedicated students of trivia know, it's the little things, not the big ones, that irritate and arouse people.

At the moment, the mail is littered with derogatory comments about the proposal, presented at the recent hearing of the Assembly Subcommittee on Transportation and Commerce, to establish a minimum $50 fine for convicted litterbugs.

More particularly, these people are hot about the further suggestion that willing folk be constituted as a corps of unofficial litterbug watchers, encouraged by cash rewards, to report such misconduct.

"EVERYONE will concede that city and county beautification is highly desirable," writs R.R.G., "but what we're creating here is a flock of stool pigeons. Men, women and children would become informers straining to punish persons who deliberately or accidentally threw a chewing-gum wrapper out a car window."

Mrs. Helen F. writes, "This is another insult to the intelligence of decent people. Why are elected officials constantly looking for new ways to belittle, embarrass or punish people?"

R.B.'s approach is simpler: "I hear they're planning a new law to help curb people from throwing refuse from cars. We could call it our Little Litterbug Law."

1958_0130_ad_stack_4A PALMS lady named Elsie brought back from a trip to Acapulco a huge black velvet sequined sombrero which she claims has magic qualities.

After purchasing it, she and her husband went to a restaurant. There was no place to set it down so she took it along when she went into the powder room.

While combing her hair she discovered in dismay that she had no change to tip the maid--nothing less than 50 pesos. She was wondering what to do when the answer presented itself. Other patrons, it seemed, had been tossing money into her sombrero. She gathered up the coins and handed them to the grateful maid.

SOMETIMES the imaginings of youngsters make more sense than what adults dream up.

The other day Sandy, 7, announced to Paul and Margaret Landacre that she had written her first novel--about Piddocks, a very unusual kind of people.

As Sandy explained it, "The big Piddocks were bad and evil, the little Piddocks were good and nice. But the big Piddocks made war on the little Piddocks. The argument was about being good."

"Then the big Piddocks began having dreams. They dreamed that the little Piddocks had the Loch Ness monster on their side. God was sending down these dreams to help the little Piddocks and make the big Piddocks turn good. They did turn good and they signed a peace treaty and all lived happily ever after."

when youngsters used to bedevil passing motorists by calling out, "Hey, mister, your wheels are turning!"

The other day two teenage boys trying to hitch a ride at Wilshire and Western were rebuffed by a Cadillac driver. As the signal changed and he took off, one boy climbed onto his rear bumper, out of sight, and crouched there. The other yelled, "Stop! He'll get killed!" When the terrified driver stopped, the boy nonchalantly got off.

AT RANDOM -- Confused world note: White's Electronics Co. of Sweethome, Ore., gets out an item called Sputnik I -- a Geiger counter and radiation detector ... Gene Coughlin, my former playmate on the L.A. Daily News, hits the $2,500 "First Person Award" jackpot in the February Reader's Digest ... Jesse Daniels, chief elevator operator at The Broadway, retires Saturday after 34 years, during which he was never absent or late ... Mark Scott, who broadcast the Hollywood Stars' baseball games for six years during which they finished no worse than third, got a new car and drew license plate PCL 123.