Matt Weinstock, Jan. 4, 1960
January 4, 2010 | 4:00 pm
Contest With Clam
A friend of a friend who had gone clamming near Pismo Beach asked Viola Swisher, "Would you like a clam?" Viola, who covers ballet for the drama department and loves steamed clams and clam chowder, said yes.
She realized instantly this was a mistake. The clam handed her was a fearsome six inches across and alive.
From that moment a desperate contest ensued. She wanted to be friends with the clam, which she named Charley, but she knew it would be unwise to coddle it lest it get the upper hand, or even the lower hand, when it snapped its shells together.
She put it in the refrigerator, then wondered if it would be too cold. She started to take it out, then decided the change of temperature might be harmful.
SHE BECAME AWARE also that Charley had a personality. When she tentatively tried to pry it apart it stuck out its tongue at her, or maybe it was part of his whole body, then withdrew it.
The next time she took it out of the refrigerator she swears Charley purred, but with bubbles.
Mustering her courage and closing her eyes, she opened it and dropped it in boiling water. Later she tasted it but that's all. Too rubbery.
Charley is gone now and Viola's glad. She never envisioned the day she'd be a clam sitter for two days.
A WOMAN inspecting an exhibit of violently abstract paintings in an L.A. art gallery found them repugnant and remarked, "I suppose I'm wrong to dislike them but I think this is self-expression at its most undisciplined." Her companion, a man who is an art authority, soothed, "Why not regard them simply as studies in color and composition?"
The lady took another look and said, "Let's call them studies in decomposition!"
I lie on this side, then
My mind whirls 'round on
a mem'ry spree.
The arm I lie on goes
Oh Morpheus: Why not
take all of me!
KID STUFF -- When James Bell's daughter, 6, tried to find room for her Christmas toys she said she wanted to give her old but still good toys to poor children. "I think we better call the Celebration Army," she said . . . En route to Arrowhead, Katy, 6, described a sudden mountain hailstorm: "Look, Molly, it's raining little ice cubes!"
SAM PONTON, fish and game writer for the Antelope Leger-Gazette, is surprised I never heard of his solution to the surplus pigeon problem, as follows: After catching, pluck and clean, then refrigerate for two or three days and bake in a 325-deg. oven, breast side up. Baste occasionally with wine, preferably white. Serve with fried hominy and cranberry jelly.
THE MYSTERY of the scaffolding -- unused for six months -- on the County Engineering Building, 108 W 2nd St., deepens. A spy reports the new scaffolding put up last Tuesday was not the same as that taken down, for reasons that are inscrutable, the day before. It appears we may have a first-class boondoggle here.
TWO TV EXECUTIVES were discussing what to do with a performer with a reputation as an adult delinquent and one said, "If we could only find a spot for him that we could be sure no one ever listened to!" Without realizing it, he may have voiced the solution to one of the great problems of the day.
MISCELLANY -- Part of the E on the "Eat Here" neon sign on a Sepulveda Blvd. hamburger place is blacked out, Jerry Custis reports, and it seems to state, "Fat Here" . . . And Scotty Rosenberg saw a motorist trying to nudge onto Hollywood Freeway from the Gower St. ramp furiously biting his finger nails . . . Incidentally, the worried look on the faces of out-of-state drivers is genuine. They're terrified of L.A. traffic. Even those who come here every year say it's the worst they ever saw.