You can always count on your elected representative to supply you with a potholder or a nifty note pad. But a woman showed up the other day at one L.A. City Council member's office, expecting something more. She asked the receptionist if she could obtain some birth control pills or an IUD. "Apparently, she expected full service from our office," an aide said. The woman was directed to the appropriate county agency.
WHICH REMINDS US: A teen counseling center issued a press release about an essay contest on the subject of postponing sex until marriage, then added what inadvertently sounded like an alarming note: "An average of 65% of the students indicated they were planning to wait for sex after the presentation."
GOING PLACES AND GETTING LOST: The joy of driving in Southern California is reflected in today's snapshots, forests of arrows spotted by Phil Proctor of Beverly Hills and Bonnie Callahan of Pasadena and a disoriented bus captured by Pete Kohl of Hermosa Beach (see photos).
UNFORTUNATE TIMING DEPT.: On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published a piece by Disney boss Michael Eisner in which he related how Disney kept TV's "Ellen" on the air last year "despite the fact that its star walked publicly out of the closet. Given all the controversy, it would have been very easy for the Walt Disney Co. to simply walk away from the show."
On the same day Eisner's essay appeared, The Times revealed that "Ellen" had been canceled.
SPACEY SOUVENIRS: Some of the offbeat items listed in the catalog for the Space Memorabilia Auction, May 16-17, at Superior Galleries in Beverly Hills ("estimated value" in parentheses):
* An "unusual white ceramic ashtray," which depicts "a black Gemini capsule" alongside the words "Project Gemini" in red and blue, and the words "Jim (Lovell) and Buzz (Aldrin), Nov. 11-15," in gold script ($100 to $150). While many of the items on the block have traveled into the great beyond with the astronauts, this one did not inasmuch as Gemini was a no-smoking mission.
* An "M. Collins" name tag, "clean and ready to be sewn onto his (astronaut Michael Collins') spacesuit. His name tags are seldom available." ($150 to $250) (I've hawked mine at swap meets with only limited success.)
* An "unused" plastic dehydrated corn chowder pouch "complete with a germicidal tablet attached. . . . Attractive and all ready for your next picnic." ($250 to $350)
* The keys to six cities, including New York City and Ontario, Calif. (Ontario! Ontario/If you can make it there/You can make it anywhere!) ($100 to $150)
* A heavy wool, belted gray West Point robe "with black piping and gold accents" as well as an "Aldrin, E.E., name tag sewn onto the collar." ($250 to $350) Personally, I would hesitate to buy this robe until I was assured that poor Buzz had another one.
On the 210 Freeway, Abe Rasheed of L.A. saw a truck with the sign, "Blue Sky Roofing." A subtle reminder, perhaps, to give that company a call when you can see blue sky through your ceiling.
Steve Harvey, complete with germicidal tablet attached, 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.