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Matt Weinstock, Dec. 28, 1959

December 28, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Dec. 28, 1959, Films

The Pigeon Problem

Matt Weinstock           A woman on the telephone a few days ago asked excitedly, “What should I do about these crazy pigeons?  They’ve moved into our neighborhood (3rd and La Cienega) and they’re all over the place.  One of them flew down and bumped into my boy.  It could have blinded him.  They’re a menace.  And when I call the City Hall all I get is the run-around.”

          I could give the lady no solace then and I can give her no hope of relief now, after talking to Dick Bonner of the animal regulation department.  The blunt truth is that there’s nothing anyone can do about pigeons.

          THERE’S A CITY ordinance against feeding them in certain downtown areas but it’s not enforced.  In fact, it’s considered unenforceable.  Besides, feeding friendly pigeons is one of the few pleasures left to many apartment-dwelling oldsters in the midtown section, particularly in the parks.

          Meanwhile, roving bands of pigeons, some beautifully colored, have taken over some areas.  They go where the food is likely to be.  Some are so bold they dare you to step on them as you walk. 

          Some cities have tried exterminating them by electrocution -- juicing up a wire they stand on -- and putting a sleeping potion in grain they eat and trapping them in sticky stuff, but none of these has proved satisfactory.

          As Dick Bonner puts it, “We’re groping for solutions.”


VAGRANT THOUGHT on seeing a house on Beverly Blvd. at Westlake Ave. being dismantled:  There’s nothing so naked looking as a bathtub out of context, that is, left in the open amidst rubble.



Riddle check horn ersatz

Unicorn err

Eton ace wrist muss pi;

Hypotenuse sum ampule

                doubt aplomb

Unsaid water good buoy

                am eye.

          --MUTTER GUSE


THE JAPANESE gardener who has taken care of Jack Waxman’s home on Beverly Glen Blvd. for several years is a cheerful, polite, hard-working little man of about 55.  He has only one fault.  He never cashes his monthly paychecks.

Dec. 28, 1959, Road Rage

When Jack discovered this he asked about it.  “Got no time to go to bank,” the gardener replied.  However, he promised he would.

But he didn’t and months later Jack appealed to him again.  “You’re messing up my account,” he said.  “Besides, what if I went broke -- you’d be out all that money.”

“Oh no, you got plenty money,” was the reply, “no afraid.”  Again he promised to cash his back checks and again he didn’t.

So Jack, unknown to the gardener, has opened an account in his name with a savings and loan firm and deposits an equivalent amount to the check he gives him each month.  The inscrutable one, who still hasn’t cashed check, now has more than $2,000 on deposit drawing 4½% interest.


IN ONE OF those unpredictable quirks of fate which occasionally upset the averages, George, a pool hall racker, and Ed, a lunchroom chef, parlayed an initial ante of $200 into around $15,000, playing the market.

They began living high on the hog -- new cars, new clothes, Las Vegas.

One day their paper wealth disappeared as fast as it had come, due to a drop in the market, and the cars were repossessed, their new-found friends slunk away and life became grim and normal.

One day newsman Mike Molony found George back at his old job, brushing the green felt on a pool table, and asked him how things were with him.

“Fine,” George said.  “It was nice while it lasted but I don’t mind much.  After all, people will always be playing pool.”

It’s a comforting thought in a world of change.


WOULDN’T YOU KNOW -- W. Wilson’s wife bought him a used radio for the store he manages in Burbank.  After plugging it in he turned it on and got a rebroadcast of a 1954 football game.  The refrain from the customers: “Man, you really got an old radio there!”