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July 15, 1988|JACK JONES | From staff and wire reports

A pizza chain is looking for the 20-foot inflatable "Noid" that someone swiped from atop its new outlet in Woodland Hills.

The blow-up was a rooftop version of the claymation (or animated clay) character that Domino's Pizza uses in its TV commercials. It disappeared sometime between 4 and 10 p.m. July 3 from 22643 Ventura Blvd.

"It's only a $5,000 promotional tool," said Domino's spokesman Ron Hingst, "but we'd like to get it back." He said the disappearance was an apparent prank and not the work of a competitor. He added the obvious: "I don't think Bob's Big Boy is going to put it up."

Ruth Glendinning, of the chain's regional office, said Domino's is offering a reward on a "no-questions-asked basis."

The reward: 10 pizzas.

Things didn't work out exactly as planned for a burglary suspect, Los Angeles police reported.

Wilshire Division officers said the young man went through the attic to break into a camera store in the 4500 block of Beverly Boulevard early Thursday. He apparently planned to simply walk out the front door once the alarm went off.

To his regret, he discovered there were bars on the door.

He was sitting inside quietly when the cops arrived.

A Studio City real estate office held its second annual dog party, during which the ugliest dog was chosen.

"We actually call it 'the dog with the most character,' " said Mikie DiMatteo, a Fred Sands broker who organized the affair at Studio City Park. "We don't want to hurt the dog's feelings."

The winner was an English bulldog named Annie, who belongs to DiMatteo's secretary, Mo Bryant. Lest one think the fix was in, DiMatteo is quick to assure you that almost all the two dozen dogs won something.

Fifi (a French poodle, as you might suspect) took the prize for looking the most like her owner, broker Kay Dickey.

A dog named Freddie was Miss Congeniality. She didn't snap at anybody.

A couple of dozen can-can dancers showed up Thursday to try out for a French-theme revue planned for the Moulin Rouge set of the Universal Studios Tour's new "Streets of the World" section.

One of them was a man.

Mario Burrell, 23, of Woodland Hills, attended the auditions with his own sheet music and his own interpretation of the can-can. He said he never expected to perform it in front of an audience, "but the dance business is rough these days. . . ."

No decision yet on whether he got the job.

A part-time aide to Los Angeles City Councilman John Ferraro is not one to fritter away his time. The councilman says Joel Greenberg made a casual observation that could save millions of gallons of water a year here.

Greenberg, a 66-year-old retired chain-store executive, was watching a waiter dip ice cream and then place the scoop into a dipper well where water runs constantly to keep the dipper free of bacteria.

In view of the current water shortage and the city's efforts to cut back usage, Greenberg wondered how much water was going down the drain. He found out that the dipper well pumps an average of 60 gallons of water an hour. A restaurant or ice cream parlor open 12 hours a day must use 720 gallons of water a day, he figured. That would mean one establishment could use more than 260,000 gallons a year.

"Multiply that by the number of restaurants and ice cream parlors operating in Los Angeles city alone," Greenberg concluded, "and you've got a flood."

That led to a call to a county health official, who said establishments could comply with state law in other ways--by providing a separate scoop for each container and storing it with that container in the freezer, or by turning on the water to wash each scoop after every use.

Ferraro said the city Department of Water and Power has agreed to urge ice cream merchants to try one of those alternatives or at least to cut down the flow of water in the dipper wells.

"It's just one of those things," said Greenberg in explaining how he happened to think about it. "If people are observant, they can see things other people don't see." Being in Ferraro's office, he said, "I've been conditioned" to think about water.

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