Matt Weinstock, Dec. 19, 1959
December 19, 2009 | 4:00 pm
On Eucalyptus Trees
On a distinct hill, eucalyptus trees are things of beauty, particularly to roving artists, who depict them standing as graceful sentinels against the sky. Up close as in your backyard, phooey! In a strong wind the branches, the twigs, the leaves and the buds come crashing down, cluttering everything and impregnating whatever they touch with their pungent Vick's Vapo-Rub odor. Tree men refer to them as "Australia's revenge." They were originally imported from there as windbreaks but, turned loose on their own, got away from everybody.
And so it is that after every breeze I am there with my bamboo rake and aching back, cleaning up the mess. This is also to report that those who adore them esthetically, including the departed Joyce Kilmer, can have them, and that the windstorm last Sunday and Monday was the worst of all time, eucalyptuswise.
There, I knew I could work in that horrible word somehow.
A POSTCARD addressed to Dr. Frank C. Baxter, "c/o UCLA" somehow came to the UCLA library. There some bookworm who has a friend with a TV set knew right off that Dr. Baxter is the erudite gentleman who talks about literature on KNXT and also teaches English at SC and forwarded the card across town. Unavoidably, the bookworm read the message on the postcard: "Please to where I could find the Bengerman Franklin book which Mr. Baxter is reving."
Dr. Baxter, thanking the librarian for sending the card, wrote, "I am proud of the literate and articulate quality of the audience that is moved to such response by my efforts in educational television. I will also send our friendly inquirer important information about Georg Walsington and his wife, Marta, and about Tomas Jefferstein."
TOO MUCH, TOO LATE
No late TV for me tonight,
My nerves are all ajar.
I've been livin' the life
And I'm not up to Paar.
--JUNE R. DRUMMOND
BEING OLDER, Gretchen Geisler, 4 1/2, felt it her duty to instruct sister Heidi, 3 1/2, on the meaning of Christmas. As overheard by their father, Bill, it went like this: "There was this man Joseph and his wife Mary was going to have a baby. Well, they were on their way to Jerusalem and they kept on going along the road but all the motels were filled up. So finally Joseph stopped at this motel that had its lights on and he knocked on the door and asked the man if he had any vacancies and the man said, 'No, but come on in, and have a drink anyway,' and so."
The rest, Bill reports, stuck pretty well to the script.
A YOUNG MAN, his wife, his sister and his sister-in-law came into the wholesale Christmas tree terminal at 8th and Alameda and bought for different-seized trees from Harold Woolley. Then the young man said, "Now I want a real ugly little one." Harold showed him one and he said no, it wasn't ugly enough. Harold showed him another, which he had considered throwing away, and the young man nodded. "It's for my mother-in-law," he confided.
ANYONE WHO has listened to a stethoscope knows the sound of a heartbeat is similar to that of a horse pounding down the stretch. The other day a doctor went to see a patient at his home and forgot his stethoscope. After he had arrived back at his office the patient phoned and said, "Hey, doc, you forgot your race result getter!"
FOOTNOTES -- The Hollywood chapter of the national Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy has this postscript on its stationery: "Contributions, always welcome, are not deductible. Neither are human beings" . . . A group of welfare workers were discussing the case of a man of 70 whose family is disturbed because he runs around with younger women. His answer to them: "Well, I'd rather smell perfume than liniment!"