Roger "Peanut Man" Owens, the Dodger Stadium vendor famous for his behind-the-back tosses, is on special assignment today. He's demonstrating his talents at an Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America fund-raiser in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
But he's not bringing his usual ammo because some of the attendees are allergic to peanuts.
"I'll be pitching six-ounce bags of Gummi Bears," he said.
Owens added: "I hope I don't hurt my arm with the switch."
TEST OF NERVES: Jim Ryerson of Long Beach wondered whether the "Hot Furniture" folks were nervous about the arrival of a billboard for "The Informant" (see photo).
CREATURE WITH A SCARY HAIRCUT: Entertainment Weekly magazine describes "Godzilla" as a film about "a huge hideous monster that destroys everything in its path. It's the Japanese word for Microsoft."
RADIO WACKY: These days, it would be redundant to refer to a radio billboard as "outrageous." The latest eye-opener for sleepy commuters, spotted on the San Diego Freeway, shows a gun being held to a Chihuahua with the words, "Que paso?" An apparent takeoff on Taco Bell commercials, the billboard is the work of Spanish talk station KTNQ-AM (1020).
Some other attention-getters in recent years:
* "Less Music by Dead Guys"--KQLZ-FM, 100.3 "Pirate Radio" (now KCMG).
* "Screw the Rules"--also KQLZ.
* "Flip Off L.A."--KCAQ-FM (104.7), an Oxnard station.
* "2 Fat Mexicanz. Baka Boyz. Morningz"--KPWR-FM (105.9), a hip-hop station.
* "Fake Left and Fake Right"--All-sports XTRA-AM (690), alongside the chest of female swimsuit model.
* "Guilty"--KFI-AM (640), during O.J. Simpson criminal trial. KFI also pasted "Not Guilty" messages on some billboards during the trial.
* "One Size Fits All"--KMPC-AM (710), now KDIS, alongside a giant athletic supporter.
* "Who Would You Rather Follow?"--KIIS-FM (102.7), which pictured disc jockey Rick Dees alongside the dead Heaven's Gate cult leader, Marshall Applewhite. I'm still not sure how I'd answer the question.
GO AHEAD, BROADCAST THE NEWS: Considering the category in which it appeared, Paul Friedman of L.A. thought a for sale item (see accompanying) was ideal "for the bride who wants to tell the world."
STRANGE THING TO CALL A CUSTOMER: Sandra Gerbing of L.A. says, "My husband, Tom, laughed his socks off when he read the address portion of this bill" from a pesticide company (see accompanying). Gerbing added: "I wondered if the title they gave me had anything to do with my 25 years of employment with L.A. County."
HIS SPELL-CHECK WAS DOWN, TOO: On a recent stop at a gas station in West Hills, Grace Weinstein said she found a "piece of paper taped across the slot where a credit card would go in. The handwriting on the paper said, 'Settlelight down, sorry for the inconv.' This was during the beeper blackout, which also affected some credit card checks. Weinstein added: "It took me a few minutes to decipher what 'settlelight' meant--satellite."
What's all this talk about shaking up the local team that was just eliminated from the playoffs? Hey, I think we fans owe the coaches as well as the Long Beach Ice Dog players a vote of confidence. Sure, the Dogs were knocked out of the International Hockey League semifinals. But they did win two games. It's not like they were swept four games to zero or something.
Steve Harvey can be reached by phone at (213) 237-7083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles CA 90053.