In the coming movie "The Muse," Albert Brooks plays a screenwriter in desperate need of inspiration. So where does he go? Paris? London? New York?
Long Beach, Calif.
Brooks finds a muse (Sharon Stone) and they visit the city's Aquarium of the Pacific. Brooks imagines writing a movie in which Jim Carrey becomes the owner of the big fish house. I should end this item with a funny tag line, but my muse is off today.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Some leftover dining specials from my vacation (see accompanying):
* An "ear" of cauliflower (submitted by Chuck Christ of West Hollywood, who wondered if this is "another indication of genetic engineering").
* A brand-moo delicacy at a Chinese restaurant (Bill Donnelly of L.A.).
* A burned-out "Copies" sign at a South Bay Kinko's that seemed to indicate the company was now into the latest low-calorie fad, photocopied pies (Tom Donnelly).
* And, finally, a $5.39 "all-you-can-eat" meal from a restaurant that advertised "free delivery" (Sylvia Lamont of Gardena). But how does the eatery know you'll eat it all yourself? Said Lamont: "I'm ordering a truckload!"
THE BIG STINKY: I see where Susan Lutz has a photo exhibition at George's gallery in L.A., showing the recent blossoming of the stinky Amorphophallus titanum. It is, perhaps, a more pleasant way to experience the phenomenon. Radio reporter Ron Fineman of KNX-AM (1070), who covered the opening of the so-called "corpse flower" at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, said: "It was like nature's version of the traffic accident that you have to look at."
TEN YEARS AGO: USC graduate student Greg Spring, named winner of the Art Buchwald Scholarship, said he would spend the $2,000 grant by following the Grateful Dead from concert to concert.
Much to ex-Trojan Buchwald's approval.
The author and columnist had stipulated that only a certain type of scholar would qualify: "The student would be anti-establishment, contemptuous of the scholarship and willing to bite the hand that feeds him."
CASTING SPELLS: Parents, as you drive around the state, prepare to shield the eyes of your impressionable children from the following personalized license plates, which I found on the DMV's Web site: (www.plates.ca.gov).
Not sure whether they were meant as jokes or as subtle pleas for more funds for, uh, education.
TOO LATE FOR ONE GRADUATE? I also came across this plate: EDUKATD.
An argumentative caller to Phil Hendrie's wacky radio show on KFI-AM (640) was told that she needed to buy a thesaurus. Her answer:
"I already have a better car than that."
Wonder what its license plate says.
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, L.A. 90053.