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Matt Weinstock, June 19, 1959

June 19, 2009 |  4:00 pm


Los dos Refritos

Matt Weinstock When I read the AP story stating people who eat a lot of tortillas apparently absorb less strontium 90 from nuclear explosions than other persons, I knew right off here was a matter crying out for immediate attention.

After all, Los Angeleans possibly consume as many tortillas in one form or another as Mexico City, where Dr. Carlos Graef Fernandez, nuclear scientist, made the statement.

Fortunately, I happen to have friends behind the tortilla curtain.

I checked Alberto Diaz, self-appointed mayor of Belvedere, who has been campaigning vigorously for a National Tortilla Week.

"I have suspected all along that what Dr. Fernandez said was true," he said. "The only fallout we get in Belvedere is when the chili colorado drips out of our tacos." After a reminicent moment he added irrelevantly, ""And after all, what is an enchilada but a bloodshot blintz?"

NEXT I alerted Paul Fierro, fresh from a role in "Never So Few" with Sinatra and Lollobridida. Paul, known as El Bandido because he has played so many gad guys in TV westerns, was an Indian Indian in this one: that is, a Hindu with turban. He is also a connoisseur of Mexican cookery and was not surprised at Senor Fernandez's statement either.

Recognizing the need for action we jumped into his Volkswagen and made a run for the Nayarit restaurant on North Spring Street, barely ahead of a lynch mob. There we prevailed upon the waitress to hustle us a double order of tortillas, along with somelengua en mole, our favorite, and refritos con queso.

Not only was our concern over radioactivity gone but when we got outside we noticed that even the smog had disappeared. Of course, it could have been the beer.

AT ONE TIME or another, coincidence catches up with all of us. Thus, as LaVonne Wood slowed because of an accident at Rosemead and Beverly Blvds., she noticed that one of the damaged cars had inscribed on its rear fender, as is the fad among young drivers, the succinct phrase, "I've Had It."



They picked out the man to send to the moon,
Then wined him and dined him as one honored alone
Till he took on the shape of a banquet balloon
And floated up to the moon on his own.



THE WAY Bill Larkin tells it a parent became concerned about his young son, an undersize problem child, and when the boy failed to gain any stature for about a year, a series of stretching treatments was recommended. The boy was stretched out on a table and his arms and legs pulled. Some weeks later a friend inquired if the treatments were doing any good.

"He hasn't grown any," the father said sadly, "but he has confessed to more than 100 crimes."


A HOLLYWOOD hillside couple named George and Marian left yesterday for a tour of Europe, particularly Italy. In anticipation they took a course in Italian at UCLA. At departure time, however, it was a moot question whether they could deal with the natives. What Marian and even the prof don't know is that George, a sneaky one, has been taking intense  private instruction and can speak fluently. At departure time he could hardly wait to get to Rome to confound his wife with hissavoir faire.

AT RANDOM -- Between innings at the Dodger game the other night a girl of about 10, sitting with her father, did her school homework ... The VanNuys egg ranch with the driveway signs "Entrance and "Eggsit" missed a bet, argues Tom Cameron. Why not. "Hentrance" ... The credit card frenzy has reached the point that when Martin Ragaway tried to pay cash for a purchase the other day the man wouldn't take it until he identified himself. Martin is a comedy writer ... From AdamTruty: "Horse players at least don't die in the gutter like drunkards -- they die clean."