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Only in L.A.

July 19, 1996|Steve Harvey

British tradition suffers another jolt:

First, the royal divorce. Now, wait until Britons find out what has happened to their once-majestic symbol of empire, the Queen Mary. In the movie "Multiplicity," a Michael Keaton clone jumps off the QM's latest attraction--a bungee tower.

YOU CAN BE A MALL MEDALIST: Patti Garrity of Manhattan Beach says she's heard of "walking shoes, jogging and running shoes, golf and biking shoes, hiking and riding shoes, aerobic and shower shoes, even horseshoes and gumshoes." But she had never heard of "shopping shoes"--at least not until she saw the enclosed Robinsons-May special (They're reduced to $58.99). Could shopping be the next Olympic sport?

NOTHING TO STEW OVER: "I heard a noise around the house and came outside to see a couple with a long clipping tool reaching up to the top of my yucca," writes Hank Rosenfeld of Santa Monica. "Huh? I'm thinking trespassing, legal action, etc."

But the couple turned out to be friendly Guatemalans named Sonya and Martin who were "snipping off and collecting the white flower that sticks out of the top of the tree," he continued. "'Whaddya want with that ol' hard-to-reach thing?' I ask. They tell me they take it home, boil it, cut it up, add some oil, tomatoes and onions, and mmmm . . . yucca stew!"

Rosenfeld was impressed that the couple was living off the land, even if it was his land. "They're not consuming from a supermarket like I am, consume, consume, which used to mean 'destroy' until Webster's Dictionary changed its definition," Rosenfeld added. "And Sonya and Martin did leave me a couple of flowers, which I ate with oil and lots of salt--who knows if it's good or not. It didn't kill me."

LIST OF THE DAY: The Juicy Parts, a new book by Jack Mingo, asks the question: "Why read a full-length biography of someone famous when you only care about the juicy parts?" Yet, we thought we detected a tendency for Mingo to pad a bit. Consider these somewhat-less-than shocking revelations:

* Director Alfred Hitchcock "drank large quantities of tea on the set. When he finished a cup, he would hurl the cup behind him to let it shatter where it would."

* "[W.C.] Fields was an excellent golfer but he loved to cheat."

* Rudolph Valentino "was a bad driver, once spinning off an Alpine road, and coming to rest with one wheel hanging off the cliff."

* "When he was 10, Groucho [Marx] was caught stealing a $1.98 toy printing press from Bloomingdale's."

* "[Michael] Jackson prefers to talk to even his best friends over the phone rather than in person because 'I'm much deeper in conversation on the phone than I am in person.' "

* "[Howard] Hughes refused to touch doorknobs. Instead, he would kick the door as a sign and his staff would open it."

* Marilyn Monroe "had a succession of dogs given to her by lovers."

And, finally:

* Gen. George Patton's "maternal grandfather, Benjamin D. Wilson, had been the first mayor of Los Angeles."

As for that last item, many people might think the Patton disclosure was damaging. Imagine having a relative who was an L.A. politician.

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The good news for Thomas Bros. Maps, the Irvine-based business that grew up in L.A., is that it receives national exposure in the Eddie Murphy movie "The Nutty Professor." The not-so-good news is that it's mentioned as part of an off-color joke about the need to use the guide to navigate around an obese person.

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