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Matt Weinstock -- February 9, 1959

February 9, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Squirrely Linguist

Matt_weinstockd_2 Nobody's going to believe this but I find I can speak squirrel language.

For months a wild squirrel with a beautiful brown coat has been visiting the back yard, swinging from branch to branch of the eucalyptus trees, nibbling at the buds and scrounging on the ground. When I came close it would scamper up a tree.

The other day as it was perched on the fence I approached slowly, making a cricket-like noise with my tongue, the one I use on the parakeet, which answers back.

Well, darned if old Sciuridae didn't answer me, too, then came over, stood on its hind legs like a dog and examined my outstretched hand to see if I had anything to eat. I didn't but it waited while I went in the house and got it someunshelled nuts, which it ate.

Prefers almonds and hazelnuts to Brazil nuts, by the way.

* *

1959_0209_westerns_02 DURING AN extremely busy spell at the Manhattan Beach police station in which Sgt. Bob Heathcliff was handling an assault case and booking a drunk, a woman phoned and asked sweetly, "Can you tell me where the yo-yo contest is being held?"

Did Robert tear his hair? Did he jerk the phone out by the roots? No, ma'am, he said he didn't know, took her number, found out and later called her back.

How do I know? The man being booked for inebriation told me.

* *

The wheels of progress creak and groan,
Ofttimes the tires are flat;
Some, contentious, chew the bone,
While others chew the fat.

* *

IT TURNS OUT that quite a few people create mental images of the backs of cars, fancying them as owls, pagodas, lighthouses, manta rays, rockets, big-eared rabbits and in the case of some 1959 models, a satiric smile.

This is an obvious avocation, of course, for Southland motorists, who spend so much time looking at the car ahead.
Anyway, Dr. Frank Baxter of SC has been haunted by the back of Volkswagens. Reading Thor Heyerdahl's "Aku-Aku" the other night, the message came through. They resemble the great stone faces on Easter Island. Look for yourself.

* *

1959_0209_westerns_ro TRAFFIC DETAIL-- Betcha not half the motorists know it's against the law to drive with parking lights on -- Section 618.5 of the vehicle code. The LAPD doesn't enforce it but a local man got a ticket upstate for the offense . . . Another motorist is angry at the parking meters onHilgard Avenue at UCLA. At a glance they seem to state five hours for $.05. He put in two nickels but had a ticket when he returned to his car. It's $.05 for each hour with a five-hour limit. He calls them "Las Vegas meters" . . . And while others complain of too much enforcement, an insurance man says there isn't enough. His car was hopelessly wedged in by a car parked in the red zone near 8th and Alvarado. When he called a passing policeman's attention to his plight the officer said, "You really have a problem" and went on.

* *

ENVIRONMENT is everything, some sociologists say. Which may explain this printed note an astonished Bel-Air resident found in his mailbox: "Exceptionally clean cut young man . . . who is now preparing the greatest film phenomenon ever . . . desires to live in serene surroundings, guest house or other accommodations on beautiful estate. Your consideration is gratefully appreciated." He didn't find a home there.