Gideon Brower's Spike Report column for America Online ruffled some feathers by revealing that a chain of chicken restaurants would pay $30 million in renovation costs for this city's most famous landmark in return for having it renamed Koo Koo Roo Los Angeles City Hall.
It was supposedly the first big move of Lee Iacocca, L.A.-based Koo Koo Roo's new boss, who wanted to put the company "on the map"--literally. Of course, it was an April Fool's joke.
One unhappy reader messaged Brower: "Why City Hall? Why not the L.A. Zoo? The Koo Koo Roo Zoo. It's where a lot of our local politicos belong in the first place. Will this lead to more name changes? How many more L.A. institutions will Lee Iacocca add to his new nest? Will the LAPD become the Koo Koo Roo Blue, the La Brea Tar Pits the Koo Koo Roo Goo, and when our waste treatment plants overflow, will we call it . . . "
Well, you get the idea.
GIANT INSULT: You'd think San Francisco would want to give noted baseball fan Rupert Murdoch, the Dodgers' new owner, a grace period. No such luck. On a visit to the City by the Bay, Jack Kendrick of Lake Arrowhead noticed a particularly insulting offer from the San Francisco Giants in a local newspaper (see accompanying). If you buy tickets to five Giants games at 3Com Park, the team will throw in a sixth game--against the "worthless" Dodgers--for free.
The Giants, of course, have one of the worst attendance records in baseball mainly because of the windy, bone-chilling temperatures in their stadium, formerly Candlestick Park. Fans there must roo the day it was built.
BASEBALL SEASONS PAST: Earlier this century, the late columnist Matt Weinstock once recalled, "a jovial fellow in a baseball uniform rode a horse slowly through the downtown streets of Main, Spring and Broadway, waving at friends and occasionally blowing a bugle call by way of announcing the baseball game at 2 p.m. at Washington Park, Washington and Hill Streets."
No such criers announce ballgames these days--unless you count the scalpers on sidewalks near Dodger Stadium hollering, "Tickets!"
EAU DE KID? Southern Californians may be obsessed with youth, but I refuse to purchase a product that sounds like a cologne that I saw advertised in Long Beach (see photo).
BUT THE BILLING GOES ON . . . : Two weeks after the Evening Outlook folded, Clancy Imislund of Santa Monica received a notice from the Outlook, asking him how many more weeks he wished to subscribe.
THE JERRY RUBINS OF THE WORLD: About a dozen readers accused me of attempting to raise the dead when I mentioned that veteran war protester Jerry Rubin would appear at a shop selling pretzels in the shape of the peace sign.
But I didn't mean the one-time Chicago 7 radical who was hit by a car and killed in 1994. I was referring to Venice activist Jerry Rubin, age 53, who--in the spirit of the '60s--continues to lead protests against war toys and often fasts on behalf of peace.
The other Rubin, before he died, donned a suit and established Jerry Rubin Inc., a Westside networking firm that still sells health products.
Confusion, of course, was rampant when both men were alive. General Telephone, in fact, instructed its information operators to ask this question of those seeking Jerry Rubin:
"Do you want Jerry Rubin, in network marketing, or Jerry Rubin, the peace activist?"
The 28th place finisher in Sunday's Long Beach Grand Prix averaged 74.87 mph--demonstrating that he's capable of driving fast enough to take on L.A.'s freeways next.
Steve Harvey can be reached by phone at (213) 237-7083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by e-mail at email@example.com and by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053.