Auto Gremlins A man drove into the Max Barish agency, 444 S La Brea, last week and complained about a rattle in the trunk of his car.
A mechanic, Virgil Helner, crawled into the big, deep recess to locate it, first pocketing both keys to the trunk as a precautionary measure.
The owner disappeared for a while, returned, slammed the trunk shut and drove off.
A short time later George Kusunoki, in charge of the get-ready department, asked Rudy Resnik of the service department, "Where's Virgil?" Rudy said the last he'd seen him he'd been in the trunk of the car with the rattle. The car, of course, was gone.
Ten minutes later the customer returned and said angrily, "You got the rattle out all right but now there's the darnedest banging noise back there."
They broke it to him that the banging noise was Virgil. Furthermore Virgil had the keys to the trunk and they had the darnedest time getting him out through the seats.
AS THE DOOR of the Sears store in Compton swung open last Saturday morning and George Schlenz entered, he heard the finish of this countdown: "5-4-3-2-1! The store is now officially open for business!" For a moment George thought the place was about to blast off.
We harness rivers, create power,
Play with time to gain an hour.
Split the atom, probe in space,
Yet can't bring peace to the human race.
- G.C. McHOSE
A CUSTOMER in her nursery on W. 3rd Street was asked by Mrs. Thomas D. Pitts, the owner, how his wife had liked the Cymbidium he'd bought a few days before for their 13th wedding anniversary.
The man said she'd been delighted. "It had 13 blossoms," he said, "and when she counted them she said, 'Now wasn't that thoughtful.' "
AFTER HIS SWEEP of nine Emmy awards Fred Astaire received a call from his friend Maynard Smith of SC who said it was too bad he hadn't gotten a 10th.
"What would I do with 10?" Fred asked.
"For the man who has everything," was the reply, "they'd make an elegant set of tenpins in a bowling alley."
THINGS BEING what they are, it was inevitable that I should interview J. Farrington Barrington Arrington, the sage of Bunker Hill, about what the future may hold for him.
When the hill is redeveloped, was he going to be nice about it, I asked, or was he going to have to be carried, kicking and screaming, out of the old place where he lives, as was done over in O'Malleyville?
"I have gone into rehearsal for this big moment," he confided, "and all I can say at this time is that Arrington's last stand will make Custer's last stand at the Little Big Horn June 25, 1876, look like a dance around the maypole."
LAUREL CANYON residents are talking about the perhaps unwittingly gay exit of Dick Sharpe, the gourmet and expert on fine food. Reporting on a medical checkup, he wrote in his Canyon Crier April 30, "I am in no position to tell of the merits of the hospital cuisine. But the service was fine. So were the sedatives." He died last Saturday of cancer.
AROUND TOWN -- Elizabeth Duncan, an inmate of Corona prison, whiles away much of her time with jigsaw puzzles. Her son Frank took her a batch when he visited her Sunday. Incidentally, Sue Lipowitz , Lady Bountiful to the needy, who drove him there, makes this point: In a day when many children have no respect for decent parents it's refreshing to find one who stood by a mother who wasn't ... The single record, "Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb," with Edd Byrnes, has sold 500,000 copies in five weeks. Crazy, man, crazy... Sudden thought: Remember when hot dogs were longer than the buns?