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August 09, 1992|M. H.

It's Friday at 6:30 p.m., and we're taking you to the Culver Ice Arena, 4545 Sepulveda Blvd., for an exclusive interview with the most e lusive, the most re clusive, celebrity in Southern California. Somebody so hard to find in these parts in August that it makes the searches for Patty Hearst and D. B. Cooper look like Easter egg hunts. Yes, I'm referring to the King of Cool himself . . . Old Man Winter!

Answer: Will you shut that door? You're letting the heat in.

Question: Now, while the "Jubilee on Ice" skating exhibition gets under way on the rink above, let me ask O.W.--you mind if I call you O.W.?--why he's scrunched down here among the refrigeration pipes in the basement of the arena like an Abominable Snowman in his cave. . . .

A: I'd rather be in Philadelphia. Better yet, Minneapolis. Or Buffalo. . . .

Q: . . .Instead of watching Scott Williams, 1991 world pro champion, skate with the likes of Doug Williams, Tracey Damigella, Keri-Anne Thomas, Michelle Kwan and Trifun Zivanovic? Proceeds will help train amateur skaters and fund the ERAS Center. Admission is $7.50 for adults--I guess that's you, O.W.--and $5 for children 12 and under.

A: . . .or Nome. Or Oymyakon, Siberia, coldest place on Earth. Now that's my kind of town.

Q: Still, why aren't you upstairs?

A: With artificial ice? With air so mild they can wear tutus? No, thank you. It's like listening to Bing Crosby sing "White Christmas"--you don't hear the snow; you hear the cozy crackling of that fire where they've hung the stockings.

Q: I hate to mention this, O.W., but it's 104 outside.

A: I know. When those Santa Anas blow in, plus the greenhouse effect, you can't imagine how much work it is just to maintain a presence here.

Q: "Tote dat barge, lift dat bale"?

A: That's "Old Man River, " you idiot.

Q: Oh, right. Anyway, O.W., if it's all that tough, why even bother hanging around?

A: Because I'm still the great subliminal fear, the threat to your lifestyle, the ultimate L.A. subversive. Rap musicians are hip to this. Why do they call themselves Ice-T and Ice Cube, and not Hot Toddy?

Q: I dunno.

A: Because the heat is all part of a plot to soften you up for the next ice age. You have to admit, it's working. When it's 60 degrees--when folks in International Falls are sweating buckets--you feel that twitch of fear and wear socks to bed. What'll happen when Jack Frost really nips at your nose, eh?

Q: Ow!

A: You finally pronounced it right.

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