Matt Weinstock, Feb. 10, 1960
February 10, 2010 | 4:00 pm
Reading the testimony in the Finch trial, I am again filled with awe and admiration for those who can remember exactly where they were standing and what they were thinking when they heard the fatal shot or what they said at 2:46 p.m. last March 27 in a bar. Obviously more people than is generally realized have what is known as total recall.
With me it's the opposite. I have total lack of recall, even about what happened last Thursday. If a merciless prosecutor or barrister cracked down on me in the witness chair I'm afraid I could only say weakly, "I don't know" or "I don't remember." And frankly I'd feel better if more witnesses admitted lack of knowledge or memory once in a while. I feel all alone in my blankness of recollection.
Of course, a witness is liable to get into trouble if he keeps saying he doesn't know or doesn't remember. No one, including the judge and jury, will believe that either.
Clearly it is not the era of absent-minded but rather the epoch of the confessors.
BRIDGE, the card game, is having a revival, and John J. Anthony, the noted marital problem solver, recalls the time in New York he used to play with a sharp group that included playwright George S. Kaufman.
One night Kaufman drew as a partner a wealthy newcomer who immediately revealed a shocking lack of knowledge of the game. He bid recklessly, then made silly mistakes. Kaufman bore up bravely for a while but during a hand when he was dummy he said to his partner, "Tell me, when did you learn this game -- and if you say today I want to know what time!"
Though for my past I've
nothing but praise.
I was an unremarkable
boy in many ways.
A LADY NAMED Julia confides that the trading stamp madness gets stickier all the time.
Needing toothpaste the other day, she couldn't decide which of three stores in the same block to go to -- the market that gives blue ones, the market that gives light green ones or the drugstore that gives dark green ones. It was suggested that one way to conquer this indecision was to go to a store that didn't give any. "Are you crazy?" Julia said. "If you don't collect stamps people look at you as if you've lost your mind!"
The lunacy has also broken out on a couple of other fronts. A chain letter offering blue stamps is reported making the rounds. And a group of Beverly Hills ladies are using them instead of chips in their regular poker games.
A HERMOSA Beach man, Lou Capek, has been going along with MVD director Robert McCarthy's ukase suspending licenses of drunk drivers, but since hearing a judge on TV he is troubled.
The judge agreed that inebriated motorists must be kept off the highways and streets but he pointed out that the drunks caused only 6% of accidents whereas speeding drivers were responsible for 30%. His conclusion was that speeders should be treated at least as harshly.
Lou, who claims he got an A in his university logic course, reasons, "If 6% of accidents are caused by drunk drivers and 30% by speeders, obviously the greatest percentage of accidents, 64%, is caused by sober, non-speeding drivers. Therefore, If we are to reduce accidents, sober, non-speeding drivers should have their licenses suspended first. I am mailing mine to Sacramento right now."
AT RANDOM -- Even more vexing than L.A. freeways, says Walter Tuesley, visiting from Seattle, are the pavement notices, "Ped Xing" . . . It seems to Louis Luk that TV's extended moment of truth has spilled over into the movies. A trailer for a film about spacemen proclaims it to be "UNBELIEVABLE!" . . . Oops, a torn shade on a Pasadena store makes a sign seem to state, "hotography" . . . And the sports boys are having a field day in their reports on Squaw Valley. One headline states, "Europeans OK Squaw." Usually there's no space for "Valley."