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Matt Weinstock

January 17, 2008 |  6:51 pm

Jan. 17, 1958

Matt_weinstockd Add to the file of consternation creators the name of Sterling Ferguson, Redlands real estate man.

He does his diabolic act in crowded restaurants at dinnertime.

While waiting for a table the other night, he listened as the name of the couple ahead of him was called out, then watched as they were escorted to a table.

After he was seated, he went to the couple's table, struck a pose of inexpressible joy and beamed, "Oh, you're the Roneys, aren't you? We did have so much fun that last time." And on and on, but cagily giving no clue. Ferguson used to be an actor.

Meanwhile, the Roneys tried desperately but discreetly to find out who he was and where they'd met him.

They never did, of course, and as Ferguson and his companion, Bill Holzhauser, went out, they looked back and saw the Roneys frantically whispering, trying to identify him. They probably didn't sleep all night.

Which fortifies, in reverse, a policy I've followed for years and which is recommended for all those persons who remember faces but forget names. Cut through the amenities right off when someone recognizes you with, "It's no use, I give up, I can't remember names and I don't know where it was." Eases things immediately.

ONLY IN L.A. -- This is to inform the man who leaves his paper sack lunch on a ledge at 2nd and Olive streets every morning that three fellows who work in a nearby office have been snatching it and splitting the contents. However, one of them asks please, no more butter on the meat sandwiches. He doesn't like them that way.


AS SCHOOL authorities know, there are days when, for no apparent reason, normal school kids become wild, unmanageable devils. They play harder, yell louder and get into more arguments and fights than usual. It is as if they are caught up in a wave of excitement beyond their control.

The other day during the noon playground period at a certain elementary school, this condition obviously prevailed.

When the bell finally rang and the din subsided and the last quarrel was quashed, a teacher shepherding her flock into the building confided to Muriel Barnett, visiting the school, "This was one of those days when I'd like to get them some quicksand to play in."

ACCORDING TO her publicity man, Delala Mur, Lebanese belly dancer appearing in Philharmonic Auditorium tonight with her "belly ballet," has made a thorough study of the art, which goes back to the pharaohs. In fact, she can tell at a glance whether a belly was trained in Damascus or Casablanca, even though each belly dancer improvises as the spirit or whatever it is moves her.

Just thought people would like to know.

AT RANDOM -- A former Boy Scout, now working his way through college, asks that the typographical spotlight be focused on Miss Sally Green, retiring next month after many years with the May Co. handling Boy Scout equipment. Scouts are grateful for her friendship and cooperation ... Jerry Hoffman has a suggestion for the Rolling Hills mother whose daughter, 3, keeps saying, "I'm a mashed potato," causing ma to wonder how to convince her she isn't. Pour gravy over her ... George R. Caterer asked his chess class at Eastmont Elementary School in Montebello to make up a slogan and one 11-year-old came up with, "Teach a boy chess and you make a thinker out of a stinker."