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Matt Weinstock, Aug. 3, 1959

August 3, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Free Enterprise

Matt Weinstock The 30-cent bite for a pack of cigarettes in vending machines is still outraging the addicts and, free enterprise being what it is, two regulars in a downtown saloon have set up an unusual business operation.

They take turns watching for customers heading for the cigarette machine. This is not always easy to do, if you know this saloon.

When one appears he is intercepted and given a fast hustle. As long as he is about to invest 30 cents in cigarettes, how about skipping the machine and letting a pal buy them for him around the corner?

The profit-minded pair haven't been refused yet. Smokers are irked by the big markup in the machines. And so the hustlers make 5 or 6 cents on each deal, enough to keep them in muscatel.


FOR THOSE WHO rarely venture there, a trip downtown to see all the pretty new buildings can be quite an adventure. Biggest eyeful at the moment is the steel girder framework of the Signal Gas and Oil building at Wilshire and Beaudry. Viewed from the freeways it's an eerie landmark against the sky, somewhat like an abstract painting in which a person can visualize all sorts of things. Gives me a world-of-tomorrow feeling.


Every time I tackle spaghetti,
It falls upon me like confetti.
Though I twirl the fork before each bite,
I end up looking like New Year's night.


AS ONE contemplating an upcoming vacation and still not knowing where I'm going, an old family trait, I was fascinated by an ad in the Wall St. Journal. That is, until I read the fine print.

"For Sale, Lighthouse & Island," it stated alluringly, "Approximately 1 mile west of Tillamook Head, Oregon, in Pacific Ocean." There, I thought, was a place to go -- even for a look.

Then the blow: "Access to property is extremely hazardous. U.S. government assumes no responsibility or liability for the safety of anyone inspecting or purchasing this property."

So when Uncle Sam, that spoilsport, opens the sealed bids, he won't find any from me.


IT IS A pleasure to report 100% support of this corner's derogatory comments about the slice of tomato in hamburgers.

Even those who like tomatoes agree they don't belong in this classic sandwich. It is the unanimous sentiment that they add nothing to its taste. Not only that, as Kay Cataldi puts it, "They slurp out at the most inopportune moments."

But tomato haters will find resistance. Jeanne Weston says, "When I order a hamburger with catsup only you'd almost think I was unpatriotic."

Mrs. A.R. Hornbeck of Santa Maria has a daughter who goes only for mayonnaise, a son who takes only mustard and sweet pickles, another son who wants only dill pickles, another who can't stand anything except the plain burger.

Leslie S. Cornfield of Inglewood urges that disapproval also be directed at "that high praised but tasteless vegetable, the string bean." He goes on, "This is perhaps the only vegetable that can detract from the taste of a steak or prime rib." His proposition: "I shall accede to your disdain for the tomato if you'll join me in a mutual contempt pact against the string bean."

Sorry, no deals. Anyway, I hate peas worse than string beans.


AT RANDOM -- A man behind Ken Tichenor at the performance of "Who Was That Lady?" had a radio to his ear, listening to the Dodger game . . . Take a milestone. Ernest Lehman's screenplay of John O'Hara's book "From the Terrace" has been submitted to a psychiatrist to determine if the naughtiness is authentic . . . Harvey Kauffman of Prudential Life knows a bowling enthusiast so rich he insists on tipping the automatic pin setter . . . Bill McGrath reports on a Mrs. Malaprop who calls the big boat that housed the animals during the biblical flood "Norah's Ark."