From the desert to the sea, to the desert again.
Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker have packed up lock, stock and mascara and left their $7,000-a-month rented Malibu house to return to Palm Springs.
A spokeswoman says the itinerant evangelical duo moved back to the desert to finish a joint autobiography. The Bakkers just came out of the desert last June, selling their Palm Springs-area home three months later for $600,000. Real estate salesmen said the Bakkers had also been looking for a new home in Malibu and Beverly Hills. But apparently they found the desert most appealing.
A friend is picking up the undisclosed rent on their new two-bedroom digs, said Tammy Faye, who plans to spend a quiet Christmas by the fireplace. "My Christmas wish is, first of all, peace for our world," she said. "That's always the first thing."
And farther down the list: "I need Estee Lauder perfume, so I hope he (Jim) got me some of that, the spray stuff, the $32 bottle. And girls can always use clothes, and costume jewelry is always lots of fun."
Police said "no no no" to a pseudo-Santa's "ho ho ho."
The man strolling down a Reseda street with a large red bag full of gifts over his shoulder was not what he seemed.
And Los Angeles Police burglary detective Stan Miller knew in a moment it was not Saint Nick. It was, police say, Ricardo Gonzalez, 22, toting some wrapped Christmas gifts and an unwrapped VCR he allegedly had just swiped from under someone else's Christmas tree.
The keen-eyed detective arrested Gonzalez, who was too burdened with loot to run, and helped return the gifts to the family. In spite of what had been taken, said Miller, Gonzalez had left other gifts behind; after unwrapping them, he "decided not to take them after he saw they were sweaters he probably didn't like."
Call it a blast from the past.
Workers digging at a construction site just southeast of downtown Los Angeles unearthed two hefty World War II-vintage 90-mm artillery rounds, which might have been anti-aircraft weaponry.
By late afternoon, it was bombs away, courtesy of the LAPD bomb squad, who safely detonated the two pieces of olde ordnance.
"Those old things turn up occasionally," says Cmdr. William Booth. "How they got there we'll probably never know."
Music hath charms to soothe . . . a pacemaker.
More than 30 patients at the Hospital of the Good Samaritan's Heart Institute were serenaded Wednesday by renowned concert pianist Mona Golabek, who soloed on Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Debussy, and then was joined in Christmas duets by writer-philosopher Norman Cousins, a former Good Sam patient.
The hour-long concert left some of the patients in happy tears.
"I thought it was beautiful, magnificent, uplifting--just the thing these patients needed," said Rosaline Raines, whose husband, Jack, underwent open heart surgery a week ago after being helicoptered up from Anaheim.
"I feel a thousand percent better," Raines declared from his bed.
After hearing Golabek, "my husband," added Mrs. Raines, "has a new heroine."
Part of Santa's starting lineup will be taking up temporary residence at the Los Angeles Zoo, courtesy of rent-a-reindeer.
The zoo's "Winter Wildland" exhibit--beginning the day after Christmas, lest kids think the reindeer were shirking their Santa delivery duties--will feature the five hired reindeer and several reindeer-related activities for children, until Jan. 3. The exhibit offers antler craft, face-painting (doubtless with Rudolph's red nose) and entertainment.
In spite of the zoo's range of exotic fauna, reindeer are not regulars. Said a spokeswoman, "They wouldn't be happy here in the summertime."
And she offered a Christmas caveat: these five reindeer "are not responsible for kids who haven't gotten their presents."