Matt Weinstock

Oct. 21, 1957

Last Friday, a Hollywood hillsider named George was unable to start his car–the battery was dead.

A neighbor obligingly drove him down the hill to a gas station, where
George asked if he could get a rental battery for a couple of days.

"Rental battery?" echoed the attendant. "There’s no such thing any more."

However, he said he would be glad to install a new one.

George declined. He explained he needed rental battery only for a
couple of days to run some errands preparatory to leaving today for New
York for a couple of months. He didn’t want to buy a new battery
because it would go dead during his absence.

The attendant was sorry. He didn’t know where George might rent a battery.

George phoned the auto club of which he is a member and got the same
answer. He asked what had happened to the rental battery service that
used to be commonplace. There was no profit in it, he was told. Oh, he
might find a small station somewhere that handled rental batteries but
none of the big stations bothered with them any more.

George didn’t buy a new battery. His neighbor came to his rescue to run
his errands. And he is leaving for New York gloomily impressed anew by
our economy of extravagance.

1957_1021_elvisONLY IN L.A.–A South Westwood lady answered the doorbell recently and a strange couple stood there. The woman said:

"We’ve passed your house many times and we love it–we’d like to buy it."

The owner said it was not for sale.

Last week the couple reappeared and the woman said:

"I know you said your house was not for sale but in case you should change your mind we’d like to make a bid."

The owner said it was no use, but they insisted and bid $35,000.

"This is very strange," said the owner. "We paid $24,000 for this house
and at the time we thought it was too much. About a year ago we were
offered $42,000, which was ridiculous. Now you offer $35,000, which is
also too much. This is the most overrated house I ever saw but we like
it and we’re going to keep it."

But because the strangers were so nice she gave them the house plans, free.

financial aid to college athletes, the profs remained reticent. Now
apparently they’re speaking out. In any event, this letter is making
the rounds of university faculties, eliciting wry smiles:

"Dear Coach: Remembering our discussion of your football men who were
having trouble in English, I have decided to ask you, in turn, for help.

"We feel that Paul Spindleshanks, one of our most promising students,
has a chance for a graduate scholarship, which would be a great thing
for him and our college.

"Paul is qualified academically but must also have a good record in
athletics. He tries but he has trouble because he is so weak.

"We propose that you give special consideration to Paul, putting him in
the backfield of the varsity football team. In this way, we can make a
showing to the committee deciding on scholarships.

"We realize Paul will be a problem on the field but, as you have often
said, cooperation between our department and yours is highly desirable.

"Chairman, English Dept."

large ad for a used car dealer in the San Fernando Valley was headed,
"Experienced Automobiles." And after all, who can afford an
inexperienced automobile? … Akira Hasegawa of the Regional Planning
Commission, on assignment as liaison man with the APCD, tells people
his name is as common in Japanese as Jones is in English. So when
people want to speak to him but can’t remember his name they ask for
Mr. Jones–and get him… Paul Fierro, the actor, suggests the Dodgers
be named the Esquinadores, which is what they’re called in the Mexican
papers now. It’s from the verb esquinar, meaning to dodge or cut around
a corner.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Columnists, Matt Weinstock and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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