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Matt Weinstock, Nov. 28, 1959

November 28, 2009 |  4:00 pm

  Nov. 28, 1959, Steve Roper“Don’t Want Police”

Nature Study

Matt Weinstock

    More than two years ago a certain teen-ager trapped me into attending a school carnival.  She permitted me to buy her a hot dog, a soft drink, ice cream and cotton candy.  She induced me into playing some silly fishing-pole and hoop-throwing games of chance in an effort to win gimcracks I didn't want.  It was all for a good cause, the PTA.

    But this wasn't the real reason she'd lured me to the carnival.  She'd heard baby alligators would be on sale and for reasons which are obscure she wanted one.
Fortunately, by the time she steered me circuitously to the booth, the alligators had all been sold.  We settled for a two-inch salamander, which we took home in a water-filled polyethylene bag.

image    PROBABLY NOTHING in the world is as useless as a live salamander.  It just lies there on a water-covered rock in a bowl, meditating.  It also wriggles when touched or picked up.  This makes little girls scream.

    At first she fed it and changed the water regularly, but as months passed it became apparent she wasn't interested in the salamander's problems, which can be lumped into one big one -- survival.

    But Sal, a friendly if impassive little devil, thrived on starvation and neglect or at least refused to die.

    Now Sal has a new home.  I sneaked it into a fishpond where I'm sure life will be easier.  And I wish to point out that scientists who put mice and monkeys into space missiles may be missing a bet.  They should never underestimate the power of a salamander.  Come what may, it's my candidate to survive.


    THEME OF the new Cole swimsuit line, disclosed at a recent fashion showing, is Tahiti.   Reporting on the event, which featured Tahitian music, dancing and cocktails, Paige Thomas, who is a girl, says, "It was a great success-the sword dancers didn't decapitate a single editor!"


Did Francesca pay Paola
    Or was it the other way
There's little doubt that
        neither, though,
    Were by conventions
    --G.L. ERTZ


   A MARKET IN Monterey Park recently advertised a soap powder at a reduced price and the supply was quickly depleted.  But thwarted women shoppers saw a large stock of the stuff through the open doors of the storeroom and prevailed upon employees to replenish the supply.  Meanwhile, glaring fiercely,  the women poised their carts at vantage points to swoop in on the bargain.

    Reminded Ken Williams of what his folks had told him about the opening of the Cherokee Strip.

    He also recalled how he used to help stir a cauldron of boiling soap made from cracklings and lye.

    "There was the danger of getting burned," he said, "but not of getting maimed in a stampede."


    FOOTNOTES -- Had your confusion quota for today?  The Wisconsin Badgers, who will play the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl, will work out at the stadium of the East L.A. College Huskies on Brooklyn Ave. . . .