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Matt Weinstock

February 25, 2008 |  7:32 pm

Feb. 25, 1958

Matt_weinstockd Everyone, it seems, is trying to write television scripts, but Al Blake hadn't given it a thought until a friend called him one day and said, "Al, I'm in an awful fix. I've got a job as a writer and I don't know what to do."

Al, whose only claim to writing fame was his unpublished book titled "How to Become a Successful Thief," dealing with crime and punishment, of which he has a firsthand knowledge, offered to help.

The friend gave him the rundown, and Al batted out a script, which the friend submitted and which was accepted. Under his friend's goading, Al ghosted four more which were also accepted.

THEN ONE DAY the friend said, "Al, I've got some news for you. You just quit. That is, I quit. I got another job. But I told them you'd been writing the scripts and recommended you."

To Al's surprise the producer called him and he continued writing them for more than a year.

1958_0225_ladyThat's all over now but it gave Al a foothold in the business. He now writes for "Preliminary Hearing" on Sunday, Channel 9.

A MIMEOGRAPHED interoffice letter from the big boss at Rocketdyne, subject: "Letter of Congratulations," went out to all employees. It began, "The historic launching of the first American satellite by our Redstone engine reemphasizes the vital role our division is playing in the nation's security and progress...."

Remarked one horse-playing employee: "What have we got to crow about? We only got show. The Russians still have win and place."

VIA DOVE, sent out by a flood-marooned wife in Rolling Hills, comes a dramatic tale of the elements.

During last week's storm, it came time for her very shaggy collie dog to go outside. The pooch was reluctant but she finally shooed him out the door. Whereupon a gust of wind from the howling gale struck him broadside, where his wind resistance was greatest, and knocked him down, with great loss of dignity.

A LADY GARDENER named Hilda has lost another bout with a very smart gopher--but with a strange denouement. It had eluded her traps and the water cure so she placed poisoned wheat in its burrow. Old gopher wouldn't go for it but she had a wonderful crop of wheat growing out of the burrow.

THEN THERE'S the green-thumbed lady named Carol who found  a bag of strange-looking stuff in the garage. She took a sample of it to a nursery and was told it looked like bone meal. So she worked a lot of it in among her rosebushes and they're doing better than ever before.

But a few days ago her handyman was building a planter and after fussing around in the garage asked what had happened to the bag of fire clay he'd left in the garage.

You can't beat that Laurel Canyon soil, insists Carol.

Merle Zee would have us believe that on the first day of the recent bus strike a driver of Irish descent put a sign on his bus, "Flaherty will get you nowhere" ... Sam Dodd of Glendale has had tiny tabs printed stating "I object to this kind of advertising. Please don't send me any more" --which he puts on junk mail with prepaid return postcards ... A TV pitchman said that his firm was overstocked with fine used cars because new car sales "have been skyrocketing upward." If they ever started redundancying downward he'd really be in trouble ... There were so many boat trailers on the highway to and from Palm Springs Sunday that Harold Mallon wondered if he ought to get a mariner's license ... When his companion declined his offer to buy a drink, a man in a downtown bar remarked, "The trouble with you is you're vitamin happy!"