Gear is no high-tone pedigreed dog, but right now he's worth about a thousand bucks.
That's the sum of the fines--two $500 tickets--slapped on the guys who went to his rescue when the small black poodle-mix got in over his head Wednesday in a flood control channel in Irwindale.
Gear, who belongs to a secretary at Keril Manufacturing, sometimes scampers into the wash that runs near the firm. "He's a goofy little dog," says company co-owner Jeff Kirst. This time, employees Pete Merez and Robert Leyva took off down an access road in a pickup truck to retrieve Gear.
The water had already reached the floorboards when they hauled the soggy dog into the truck's cab, and as they tried to turn around, the engine died.
An employee on the bank saw what was happening and called for help. The two men and the dog "got out of the cab, jumped to the (truck) bed and waited for help," said Kirst. County fire crews lowered a ladder and rescued the soggy threesome--Leyva, Merez and Gear.
Each man faces a fine for trespassing. The dog faces a scolding. If it happens again, says Kirst, in a voice that sounds like he really doesn't mean it, Gear floats all the way to Long Beach.
\o7 In hoc signo vinces. \f7 In English: the neon piggies will stay put.
For 40 years, the sign has hung above the door to Gus's Bar-B-Q on Fair Oaks Avenue, a flickering marquee the precise color of nicely browned back ribs, and as sure a signpost of South Pasadena as the sign at the city limits. "Everyone grew up knowing Gus's barbecue," says City Manager John Bernardi.
Of late, South Pas has acquired a rather glossy chic, and an ordinance about to take effect would outlaw about 100 signs--including Gus's, which under the new regulations is too big, too high, and too animated, what with all those little chickens and pigs marching down the side.
A campaign was launched: "Save Gus's Sign," the leaflets read. And in a town-hall gesture Wednesday night, the mayor asked for a show of hands: Who wanted to give Gus's sign a variance? "The majority of, in fact everyone in the audience, (was) in favor of the sign," said Bernardi. And so, to cheers and a standing ovation, the council exempted Gus's sign 5 to 0.
Thus, you can still see the sign--but not eat the ribs.
Gus's place has been closed for repairs since the October, 1987, earthquake. "It's ironic," said Bernardi. "The tremendous amount of damage the building suffered, and yet the sign's still there."
If only they were \o7 all\f7 that easy.
An alert citizen, mindful of the rash of armored car robberies of late, telephoned police Thursday. They might like to know that one such vehicle was sitting, just sitting, at 39th and Vermont.
Police cars hustling to the spot found it, all right, says Sgt. Ron Hanson of the bank robbery section. And there in the back, "probably lying on the money," Hanson surmised wryly, police also found the driver and passenger--eating lunch.
Call it folderol. Call it twaddle. Call it humbug and jiggery-pokery.
Then call the Griffith Observatory. From now until Taurus--woops, make that spring--a new multimedia planetarium show will be trying to debunk the bunkum of our credulous world, says program director John Mosley.
"This is something we're always concerned about--how people sort the sense from the nonsense," says Mosley, who will use polls of observatory audiences to show that when it comes to "astrology, the Bermuda Triangle, that sort of stuff, there's a lot of believers."
It's not just 20th Century \o7 angst\f7 . Mosley cites the 1835 New York Sun and its circulation-building hoax stories that people had been discovered on the moon. Amazing what some people will believe just because it appears in a newspa--say, look up there . . . isn't that a . . . a \o7 flying saucer?\f7
Television is not the only medium affected by the long-running "Bozo Show," which on Thursday celebrated the 30th anniversary of its debut on KTLA in Los Angeles.
There are literary aspects as well. In its lower-case incarnation, the word has entered the dictionary: "bozo . . . \o7 n.\f7 (slang?) a fellow; man, esp. one who is rough, burly, uncouth etc."
And--to show what can happen when you add a hundred years and a vowel--"Boz" was the nickname of Charles Dickens.