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Matt Weinstock, Aug. 7, 1959

August 7, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Disturbed Jalopy

Matt Weinstock A tired old car died suddenly Tuesday while stopped for the signal on Olympic Blvd. at Georgia St. It was first in line in the center lane with the blinkers flashing for a left turn. The driver tried to start it but the engine wouldn't catch.

Meanwhile, those backed up behind were becoming impatient. Of course, the driver immediately behind made no offer of a shove. This simply isn't done, except by drivers of other old cars. And so the disgusted driver got out and pushed the weary old bus to the curb, miraculously avoiding being clobbered by cars approaching in the other lanes.

He let it get its breath and after a while, with considerable wear and tear on the battery, it started. It has been running since.

CURIOUS, he took it to his mechanic, who, after a quick going over, said there was nothing organically wrong with it that a complete overhaul or a new car wouldn't cure.

Then the driver remembered that six months before the car had died at the same intersection and he'd had to call for help to get it going. It is clear to him that the crotchety old bus has developed a complex about this particular corner, some sort of mechanical block about going past it.

He submits all this to call attention to the first case on record of the psychosomatic automobile.


ONLY IN L.A. -- An actor named in the recent horse race fixing probe wrote a note to a newspaper stating, "Please use enclosed pictures in any future reference to me. It would be greatly appreciated." First things first.


You can't afford repose
In the orbit of race,
You must cut off your doze
To fight your space.
    -- ED LYTLE


KID STUFF -- Jan Leuin, 5 1/2, usually arises at 8 a.m. but didn't get out of bed the other day until 9:30. When her mother asked why she'd slept so late she replied, "I had to wait for the late, late dream" . . . Apropos of nothing, Laura Skalak, 4 1/2 returning to L.A. from the East on the El Capitan, announced, "I've decided not to like green beans any more" -- then returned to her coloring book.


CHINESE JUNKS are being shipped here from Hong Kong -- several have appeared in the Newport Beach area -- and a part-time beachcomber I know was being shilled by friends the other day to buy one. The impromptu salesmen pointed out that they're extremely seaworthy and no trouble to maintain, being made of teak, with no brass to polish or gadgets to keep in order.

He took the ear beating like a gentleman and pretended to be keenly interested. When his turn came he said brightly, "Hey, and when I go for a sail I could put a note on the door, 'On the junk.' " That ended that.


QUOTE & UNQUOTE -- Martin Ragaway: "The trouble with no-calorie foods is that you can usually taste the no calories" . . . Pete the waiter approves of the exchange visits between Ike and K. He says, "If enough Russians visit the United States and enough Americans visit Russia no one is likely to start anything" . . . John J. Anthony, whom people come to on Channel 9 with their agonizing problems, was talking with a doctor who said wistfully, "If I could write more checks and fewer prescriptions I could help people more."


AT RANDOM -- The Let's Have Better Mottoes Assn.'s election for August is "Please don't laugh on company time," but an accompanying note raises the mirthful question. "If oysters have no elbows, how do they drink?" Never thought of it quite that way . . . There really is an outfit named the Glomail General Strapping Underwrap & Topwrap Machines, which if you say fast, sounds like double talk. The machines are for handling bundles of newspapers . . . A house-for-rent ad in a Van Nuys paper stated, "Air conditioned children O.K."