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Bottoms Up, No Money Down

November 16, 1987

Where did that team of Himalayan mountaineers get the support they needed to scale 24,688-foot-high Annapurna IV last month? Why from their underwear, of course.

Celanese Fibers provided the team $15,000 for the expedition and 14 pairs of blue long underwear made with a new material called Comfort Fiber. "It's very soft, and if you're wearing it for three weeks at a time, that's pretty important," said team leader Steve Brimmer of Malibu, who is also manager of the sound department at Walt Disney Pictures.

Singapore Airlines also pitched in round-trip air fare to Katmandu for the $30,000 expedition. Still, the team was $2,000 over budget and is currently autographing posters to sell in outdoor stores. In the search for money, said Brimmer, "you get resourceful."

No Returns or Exchanges

At last, the holiday gift for that special someone who has everything--including a bald head, wrinkles and saggy eyelids.

Drs. Toby Mayer and Richard Fleming, plastic surgeons with offices in Beverly Hills, are offering gift certificates for nose jobs, lid lifts, liposuction and hair replacement surgery as the perfect way to spread holiday cheer.

A new nose for the New Year runs $3,500 to $4,500, say the doctors, who head the facial plastic and reconstructive surgery division at USC. A rechiseled chin for Christmas is about $1,500. A new head of hair for Hanukkah can cost as much as $10,000. Expensive, perhaps. But after all, Mayer and Fleming ask in a press release, "What is more lasting?"

For Immediate Release

State Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp's publicity mill was running overtime recently when his office announced that it had settled a consumer protection lawsuit against Enterprise Rent-a-Car of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Enterprise had been including an illegal surcharge in its rental contracts and engaging in false advertising, according to a press release.

It turns out there was no settlement, not even a lawsuit. Enterprise had no comment, and the Attorney General's office said it regrets the error.

"I have egg all over my face," Herschel Elkins, senior assistant attorney general for the Consumer Law Section, said last week. "The problem was, we were talking to the company about problems we thought they had with their advertising. We hadn't filed a case or reached a conclusion and we were just playing with a format press release so we would have it ready in case we did file. For some crazy reason, someone released it."

Tobacco, but No Fire Sales

Richard Dunhill, chairman of Alfred Dunhill Ltd. and grandson of its tobacconist founder, figures the way for his men's luxury goods company to survive the current economic upheaval is to maintain its exacting standards. There will be no cutting corners, he says.

"Back in 1929, a shareholder asked my uncle, then chairman, 'Why don't you make cheaper products?' My uncle was stunned," Dunhill said on a recent visit to Beverly Hills, where the company was opening new quarters at 1 Rodeo Drive, down the street from its former spot. "Maintaining standards has made this company successful."

Dunhill viewed it as a good omen that the first customer at the elegant new location ordered 30 custom-made suits. So there, bears. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Joke's on Shakey Ground

Whole lotta shakin' going on. And the temptation seems to be just too great.

Speaker after speaker at the last Thursday's Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce business outlook conference couldn't resist likening the Oct. 19 stock market shakedown to the Oct. 1 earthquake. The juxtaposition of moving events seemed to particularly bother BankAmerica Chairman A. W. (Tom) Clausen.

"Permit me to register just the slightest complaint about the order of events here in Los Angeles," Clausen said in his speech. "I hope it was just coincidence that you organized a major earthquake, then a stock market crash, and then luncheon remarks by Tom Clausen. Those are two very tough acts to follow." Clausen predicted no earthshaking changes in the economy.

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