A lady I know received two warning calls in quick succession the other day from neighbors. Their breathlessness message: "Don't answer the door -- the tax assessor's on the way to your house!" The second neighbor confided, "I haven't let her in for four years, ever since we had only two rooms furnished."
When the doorbell rang, the lady I know welcomed the tax assessor and offered her coffee, which was gratefully accepted. It was cold outside.
She also showed the assessor through the house, explaining about the furnishings and appliances. She felt she had nothing to hide.
In the course of a friendly conversation the tax lady admitted her task had certain problems.
"You know, it's a strange thing," she said with a wicked smile, "but hardly anyone is ever home!"
These are the conditions which prevail.
INFORMATION on the outside world comes hard to some youngsters, wrapped up in their own little realm.
Singer David Allen was in a record shop when a youth in a black leather jacket asked the clerk, "You ever hear of Rodgers and Hammerstein?" The clerk said he certainly had, they were famous.
"What are they," the youth pursued irritably, "old or something?"
A CUSTOMER in Al and Bess DeMar's lunchroom in San Gabriel said the reason he hadn't been around a for a while was that his wife had died and he'd been overwhelmed with funeral arrangements and other details.
"Don't ever die," he sighed wearily, "it's a headache!"
I've never taken payola,
And quiz probers haven't
I have a clean,
That is to say-
no one has asked me.
SEISMOLOGISTS say earthquakes cannot be forecast, but Mort Dank, CBS radio news editor in New York, pays no attention. His avocation is predicting violent acts of nature and he has an amazing record. He called the recent Yellowstone Park quake, the volcanic eruption in Hawaii and last week's quakes in Tokyo and Peru. Monday he alerted station KNX here that he anticipates an earthquake, "A good jolt with minor damage," in Southern California within two weeks or "perhaps sooner."
All we can do is wait and see. But remember, sonic booms don't count.
IT IS publicist Gene Schwam's theory that the flu virus is spread by the telephone, which is no more fantastic than any other. Invariably, he points out, a person who comes down with a headache, stomach ache, or whatnot, promptly phones his friends to tell them about it and they get it. Meanwhile, back in the February Esquire, there's a cartoon showing a doctor saying jubilantly to a patient in bed, "It's a pleasure to see an old-fashioned case of the grippe again!"
ONLY IN ANAHEIM -- Mrs. Berta P. Chenoweth recently drove a group of junior high school girls to Disneyland. En route they broke into song and she heard these new words to an old favorite: "Row, row, row your boat underneath the stream! Hah, hah, we fooled you -- we're in a submarine!"
SPEAKING OF parodies, I keep remembering Art Carney's haunting portrayal of a lonely man in Saturday's TV play "Call Me Back," and the whimsical, alcohol-inspired tune he sang in between phone calls, "World War Two, eyes of blue, so are you."
MISCELLANY -- Big uproar in sedate Brentwood. When an oil company was given a permit to drill on the Brentwood Country Club grounds, nearby residents were assured there would be no mess. Now poles supplying power for the drilling have been placed in front of homes ACROSS the street from the club. The Brentwood Spectator states, "Once the permit was granted, all promises were cast aside" . . . G.B. sees only logical final step to the trading stamp frenzy, a sign, "We give blue stamps for green and vice versa."