When Dan Quayle came to town this week, it was evidently the media's turn to look like potatoe-heads.
The former vice president visited Brentano's bookstore in Century City to sign autographs and plug his recently released book, "Standing Firm." In the book, Quayle takes potshots at onetime Bush Administration rivals, including former Secretary of State James Baker. Yet, most of his bile is reserved for the nosy press--and that was much in evidence during the swing through Los Angeles.
Quayle signed more than 125 books at Brentano's and made small talk with the mostly adoring crowd. Rick Penn-Kraus, a Los Angeles artist, even drew a caricature of the ex-veep while waiting in line and later persuaded Quayle to sign it. Some fans cheered, "Go get 'em, Dan!"
But Quayle held back when the news media tried to question him. The author's handlers put a lid on reporters' questions, and bookstore personnel barricaded photographers and TV camera operators behind a shelf a good 10 feet from Quayle. When the journalists complained, store managers quickly escorted them outside.
Guess "standing firm" only applies to certain people.
WE SEE 'EM, WE WRITE 'EM: Admirers of its catchy motto mourned when Morrie's body shop, of "U Wreck Em, We Fix Em" fame, shut its gates at the corner of Pico and Crescent Heights boulevards earlier this year. Now the good news: After some body work and a paint job, the joint is back in business under a different name, Westside Auto Body and Paint Center. Same slogan, though.
DROWNING IN POOR TASTE?: Say you're drowning. What's the last thing in the world you want to see?
How about an advertisement for bottled water?
That's exactly what struggling swimmers at Los Angeles County beaches may see this summer, after the County Board of Supervisors' latest beach advertising gimmick takes effect. The supervisors recently gave distributors of Naya bottled water an exclusive contract to put their company logo on county lifeguards' orange rescue floats.
Since the mid-1980s, products have been advertised on beach trash cans, lifeguard towers, benches and phone booths. But putting ads on rescue floats, the two-foot-long orange flotation devices that lifeguards toss to swimmers in peril, is a new facet of beach advertising.
A spokesman for Nora Distributors U.S.A., which distributes the Canadian water, says plastering its logo on rescue floats, as well as on lifeguard towers, will give the company great exposure while helping the financially strapped county.
But many beach-goers might find the latest sales pitch tough to swallow.
Visitors to the county's beaches have long complained of the advertising planes that fly low along the coast pulling ads for beach pubs and brews.
Naya will also install its vending machines near beach restrooms. In return, the county will get $72,000 a year, plus 35% of the vending machine profits.