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There's Smoke, but No Fire, in Magazine Story

February 20, 1998|Steve Harvey

A City Council aide was interviewed by Smoke magazine a while back for an investigative piece about massage parlors in L.A. The aide spoke of the city's recent toughening of licensing requirements for masseuses. Anyway, the spring issue of the cigar puffer's magazine recently came out and, sure enough, a headline on the impressive-looking cover blared, "Massage Parlors Exposed."

But the aide couldn't find the story. He called Smoke and was told that the cover had been printed ahead of time, unfortunately--too late to be changed. The story itself had been deemed too "risque" for publication. And disappeared into thin air.

DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT GEOGRAPHY: A Chevrolet ad in a magazine features a postcard that a young lady sent from Hollywood to her parents in Grosse Pointe, Mich. "L.A. is AWESOME!!!" she rhapsodizes. "I met a guy!!! He plays bass in a band! We stayed up all night on the beach and watched the sun rise!"

Comments Dr. Michael Somero of L.A., "I have been trying to locate on which beach exactly does the sun rise in Los Angeles? Perhaps someone back at GM headquarters in Detroit (or one of the CEOs living in Detroit's posh suburb of Grosse Pointe) is confused about sunrises and sunsets?"

Or perhaps the couple were smoking something strange.

DAY OF THE DEMONS: Feb. 22 has become a grim anniversary for Angelenos, calling to mind the Weekly World News exclusive of that day in 1994 (see accompanying). Yes, the article about creatures escaping from a crack in an L.A. freeway. What made the situation so frustrating for law enforcement was how easily the devils were able to blend into the pedestrian traffic on Hollywood Boulevard.

UNHYGIENIC OFFER: B. Dietrich of L.A. sent along an ad for free firewood that seems generous until you read about the bizarre rite required of the recipient (see accompanying).

ATTENTION--RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Try to follow this now: Robert Pettler of L.A. bought a Price Pfister Washerless faucet. After a while, his faucet started dripping. He took it apart "and discovered what looked an awful lot like washers." So off to the store he went where he found, yes, a package of Price Pfister Washerless Twin Handle Washers (see accompanying).

Pettler adds that "contrary to what logic would tell you, the package was not empty but contained two washers for my washerless faucet."

INTERNATIONAL STEW: Writer Jeff Yip reports that the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California will hold a benefit dinner at Carmine's Italian restaurant in South Pasadena on March 17. That's St. Patrick's Day, naturally.

SOUNDS LIKE . . . : Phil Bruce of Santa Barbara often receives mail misaddressed to Bruce Philip. But the all-time topper was the bill that arrived the other day . . . for Fil Brusf. How could anyone think a name was spelled that way? Could be one of those freeway demons got a job in billing.


Now that the county health department gives L.A. restaurants letter grades, it seems only a matter of time before an arriving diner remarks to her companion: "I thought you meant a place that served fish when you said you were taking me to a C-food restaurant."

Steve Harvey can be reached by phone at (213) 237-7083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by e-mail at and by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053.

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