Matt Weinstock -- January 8, 1959
January 8, 2009 | 4:00 pm
Dogs, Diapers, Taxes
Comes now that hiatus between cries, when the feverish race begins to clear away Christmas bets in time to pay for auto license renewals by Feb. 4 and then face up to income taxes in April.
"Any changes in the rules?" I asked a tax consultant.
"No important ones," he said, "but you might remind people that they may not claim deductions for dog licenses, traffic fines, baby-sitters, campaign contributions, diaper service, dues for social clubs or life insurance."
He went on, "Best rule of thumb to follow is that almost anything has to do with creating income is a legitimate business expense. If you go to San Francisco on business it's deductible, but if you go there to see the bridges it isn't. Not even Alcatraz."
FUN-LOVING Bob Crane of KNX has totaled his mileage for 1958 on what he calls the Greasy Spoon Circuit and comes up with a few pertinent observations about food.
He did 270 personal appearances, traveling about 20,000 miles, mostly in this area.
Most popular meal, he supposes, was chicken with gravy, then roast beef with gravy. At a breakfast club in the San Fernando Valley, he swears he had corn flakes with gravy. At one place in San Diego he had Yankee pot roast, Southern style.
The reason he isn't sure the most popular meal was chicken with gravy is that he frequently encountered an imponderable he calls only-the-cook-knows with gravy.
LADY IN THE RAIN
The rain falls ever softly there
And glistens in her shining hair
How sad she seems: how cold, aloof
Perhaps I should repair the roof.
- GUY MULLEN
A HOLLYWOODIAN I know takes no sides in the dispute between the retail clerks and the owners of the 1,000 closed food markets, but he admits he feels pretty good about it.
"I was a sneaky snacker," he said. "I would thoughtlessly load up on hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and doughnuts."
He has lost 8 pounds since his favorite market closed.
IN RESPONSE TO an inquiry, this is to report that the author of the basic prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous members is unknown. The classic prayer is, "God, grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
It was published in the 1950 Farmers Almanac and a similar version is credited to Reinhold Niebuhr, but the actual origin is unrecorded.
DATA, the Better Business Bureau weekly report, takes note of a formula devised by a San Francisco newspaperman to confuse and outwit phone-pitch pests.
The intended victim deliberately misses the simple question put by the caller but is told he has won the consolation prize, "Just think -- $35 worth of free dancing lessons!"
The sucker says he can't accept it, he doesn't deserve it. The pitchman insists and tells him how lucky he is.
"Tell you what," the chump says, "just send me the money instead."
ONLY IN L.A.- Joe Cordero will agree that Tuesday was the day he should have stayed in bed. En route to his job downtown, his car stalled in a mud puddle on Vermont Avenue. He got a push. On the Harbor Freeway, it went dead -- out of gas. He walked half a mile for some but the car still would not start. He went after more but still no go. A tow truck came along and he got another push. Tow bill for the day, $12.