The Kottkamps of Claremont won the Family Scarecrow Building Contest at the L.A. County Fair with a creature that resembled an IRS agent. The scarecrow, named Will Hogitall, was armed with a briefcase, 1040 forms and wore a suit.
Said Dad Shawn Kottkamp, "I couldn't think of anything scarier."
TALK ABOUT A SPENDING CURB: After studying the unusual prohibition on his paycheck receipt, UCLA professor G. C. Pomraning wonders, "Can I pay my state taxes by writing a check, and then saying, 'Don't cash'?"
I'm afraid Will Hogitall wouldn't like that.
WHEN IN TORRANCE. . . . "The clowns who paint curb numbers got mine wrong," wrote Duane Sherwood of Torrance. "They painted 17205 on my curb. When they came to collect, I declined payment. They called me a jerk."
To ensure that such artisans stay away, Sherwood erased the 5 and made a complicated substitution, using a Roman numeral (see photo).
Delivery truck drivers, Sherwood added, have expressed "some concern."
WELCOME TO I.A., CALIF.: Joe Hernandez sent along a Reuters article, datelined Tehran, Iran, which said, "In Vali-Asr Street, a main Tehran thoroughfare, young men on the sidewalk whisper to passersby, 'I have new tapes, I have new films'--mainly contraband music from an Iranian expatriate community in Los Angeles that is so big and influential it is known here as 'Irangeles.' "
MALL MILESTONES (CONT.): Adding to our list of shopping centers that had roles in movies, Patricia Lammerts writes: "Puente Hills Mall is featured very prominently in 'Back to the Future.' It is from the parking lot there that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is sent back to the past. In the beginning of the film, the mall is called Twin Pines Mall. But at the end of the movie it is called Lone Pine Mall because McFly, in the past, runs over one of the newly planted pine saplings with his time machine and, therefore, changes the future."
FROM A GENERAL TO A TALK SHOW QUEEN: An item here on Gen. Thaddeus Kosciusko Way--the downtown street named after a Polish Revolutionary War hero--brought a note from Irene Szewiola of the Polish American Historical Assn. She pointed out that across the United States there are "numerous locations named after Kosciusko, including the town in Mississippi in which Oprah was born."
BROTHERS WILL BE BROTHERS: Not sure you heard about the family tiff at the House of Blues the other night when guitarist William Reid of the group the Jesus and Mary Chain ceased playing after 15 minutes. He was apparently angered because his brother, Jim Reid, seemed distracted and was singing lyrics to a song the band wasn't performing.
Coincidentally, this spat came just a bit more than a quarter-century after another famous local blow-up--when singer Phil Everly smashed his guitar and stalked off the stage at Knott's Berry Farm as an artistic comment on brother Don's performance.
It would seem to defy logic but while it is easy to purchase "large" drinks these days, several outlets offer none in the "small" category. (A suspicious person might think that someone was trying to fool the consumer.) Anyway, some examples of drink sizes (going from tiniest to biggest):
* El Pollo Loco: Regular, Large, Extra Large.
* L.A. Coliseum: Regular, Large.
* Jack in the Box: Regular, Large, Super Quencher
* East Coast Bagel: Tall, Grande
* Starbucks: Tall, Grande, Venti.
I guess the moral of the story is it's not enough to stand tall anymore. You've got to stand venti, or at least grande.
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.