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November 04, 1995|Steve Harvey

Going off the deep end:

When David Gershwin visited the West Wilshire pool, he was told his appearance was inappropriate.

Now, you ask, what had he done? Had he shown up nude at the city-operated facility? Had he worn gang colors? A gorilla costume?

No, Gershwin's violation was the wearing of a white T-shirt.

Sure, white T-shirts may not be fashionable. But banning them? Gershwin took the matter to Councilman John Ferraro, who elicited this masterpiece of bureaucratese from the Recreation and Parks Department.

The ban on white T-shirts "involves the pool emergency drill procedure," wrote general manager Jackie Tatum. This exercise "is designed to test the visual scanning skills of the lifesaving staff.

"A white T-shirt denotes that an emergency drill is taking place. If patrons are allowed to wear white T-shirts, the staff would be confused as to whether a drill was being conducted."

We'd go on, but we have to come up for air.

THE NAME DOESN'T FIT: Greg Franklin says he knows why he lost his lawsuit against a water district in the Bay Area.

Franklin, who is black, said it was because the judge mistakenly called him "Mr. Simpson" at one point.

"I feel the jury may have associated me with the famous O.J. Simpson case," said Franklin, who had sought $900,000 after falling over a metal sidewalk cover.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Taber, who apologized after making the error, denied Franklin's request for a retrial.

"I honestly don't know why I called him Mr. Simpson," the judge later told the Daily Ledger in Antioch. "I'm one of the few people who didn't watch the O.J. Simpson case."

BOOKS YOU CAN PUT DOWN: Santa Monica College appreciates an unconventional approach, such as the recent presidential inauguration of Piedad Robertson, who performed birdcalls during the ceremonies.

But the school has abandoned a couple of interesting experiments.

One was a private half-hour reading break every Wednesday morning for non-teaching employees. The school said that because of staffing problems, the "noble idea no longer is practical."

The other discontinued practice was the playing of taped French, Spanish and Japanese lessons in the campus restrooms. Many of the exercises were aimed at travelers, creating some amusing situations. For example, one restroom visitor who was unaware of the tapes was surprised to hear a voice suddenly blare, "I have diarrhea."

miscelLAny In the category of macabre license plates, we've mentioned W8N4BG1 (Waitin' for Big One). The other day, we saw CAQUAKE. Both messages serve as reminders to be prepared for Mother Nature's next assault. By the way, in that case you would be permitted to wear white T-shirts.

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