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September 04, 1993|Steve Harvey

We knew she'd come slithering back: During a rehearsal for the Academy Awards telecast earlier this year, belly-dancer Veena Bidasha noticed that her partner, Saapa, was missing.

The python apparently took a powder after someone opened her cage at the Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood. Bidasha searched for Saapa for days, even spending a night at the studio.

Bidasha had almost given up hope when she received a call from the studio five months later. Saapa had been spotted near the stage for the "Empty Nest" TV show.

"She (Saapa) looks great," said Nancy Douglas, the belly-dancer's agent. "We think she may have been hibernating."

Either that or Saapa had been sulking because Aladdin, her stand-in during the Oscars dance number, received sparkling reviews.


A sportswriters' strike?We wonder if the local scribes will go the way of the Department of Water and Power workers. The reason? This announcement from UCLA:

"As you know, the University of California and UCLA have been experiencing severe budget problems over the past few years. . . . One of the many consequences is that UCLA will no longer provide complimentary food to the media during the football season. We are arranging for a caterer to have food for sale in the press box."

What's UCLA trying to do--change the image of newspaper people as freeloaders?


A bus bench named Desire: We've heard of would-be stars advertising on billboards, on sandwich boards, even on the sides of their automobiles (one actor has plastered his car with resumes and photos of himself). But now comes an all-around performer who took out space on a bench outside Mann's Chinese Theatre. It's sure to catch the eye of any moguls waiting for a bus.


List of the Day: The county coroner's gift shop isn't the only government goodies emporium in town. City Hall recently opened a small shop, with a few predictable trinkets. We think that just as the coroner sells personalized toe tags, etc., City Hall should opt for more imaginative gifts, such as:

* Maps to the council members' homes

* "I Hate Marvin Braude" ashtrays

* "Mike Woo for Mayor" potholders

* "Zev Yaroslavsky-Might-Be-Running-for-Mayor" potholders

* Do-it-yourself City Hall scrolls and proclamations

* A Deputy Mayor Barbie doll

* A "Tom Bradley Official Sticker"--put it on anything, your favorite kitchen appliance, for instance, and presto! You have the Official Tom Bradley Refrigerator.

It should be noted that another commodity for sale at City Hall is votes--but they're usually sold under more private circumstances.


Did he have the meter running all the way?The cabby who picked up George Kiseda in West Los Angeles was bragging about how fast he got there.

Cabby: "Six minutes from the time I got the call."

Kiseda: "Where did you come from?"

Cabby: "Armenia."

Kiseda: "Boy, you really did make good time."


Mad magazine polled readers: "If you could perform unnecessary root canal surgery on any celebrity, who would you choose?" The winner: Conservative talk jock Rush Limbaugh, who's heard on KFI-AM radio.

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