How about postal customers going postal? You couldn't blame Ken Neubeiser of Burbank if he felt tempted.
A letter he mailed to a United Way charity in November 1995 was returned, undelivered, recently. And it was accompanied by no apology from the post office. Far from it.
The charred, crumbling envelope contained a charitable contribution Neubeiser had written on his Great Western Bank checking account (Great Western was purchased by another company in 1997).
There was no hint as to where the letter had sat for the last four-plus years. But the reason for its return was made very clear. "Additional Postage Required .01," said the stamped notation on the letter.
After all, Neubeiser had used a 32-cent stamp.
But Neubeiser (who shared the letter with me) pointed out that 32 cents was the correct postage in 1995.
Not to mention 1996, 1997 and 1998, when the letter was in postal custody.
THANKS FOR THE WARNING: Steve Durgin of Woodland Hills found an interesting sign in the men's room of a church auditorium near Los Angeles International Airport (see photo). No holy water jokes, please.
TRUE L.A. MOMENT: My colleague Geoff Boucher visited the tony Cafe Montana in Santa Monica, whose walls are adorned with posters of Oscar-nominated movies. And there, having breakfast underneath a poster showing Anthony Hopkins in "Titus," was . . .
It wasn't quite a double image, though--the flesh-and-blood Hopkins was not wearing the helmet he dons in the movie.
Boucher didn't ask the management but wondered if it was the policy of the cafe to seat actors as close to their posters as possible (i.e. "Mr. Hanks, your booth by 'The Green Mile' is ready.")
EVERYONE'S A REVIEWER: When he received a credit card bill, Doug Stokes of Duarte at first thought he came across a nasty comment about one television network (see accompanying).
L.A.--YOU CAN'T ESCAPE IT (CONT.): Regarding the discussion here of L.A. names abroad, Adar Belinkoff of Claremont wrote: "There is a Los Angeles Street in Eilat, Israel." She added that "while searching for an address there a few years ago, I was unable to find anyone living on Los Angeles Street who could speak Hebrew."
I'M SURPRISED THEY CAN EVEN SMILE: Charlene Bieschke of Laguna Niguel noticed a reference in a business publication to poultry and livestock "laughter-houses."
WHIFF OF ROYALTY: Prince Philip's sojourn here this month reminded me of an amusing story told by Sgt. Richard Longshore of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Longshore was assigned to provide protection for Prince Charles here some years ago.
The British visitor "was interested in the methane gas production process, since energy and garbage are concerns in Britain," Longshore said. They met at a landfill in the Palos Verdes Peninsula area.
"When I was introduced to him, I addressed him as 'Your Highness,' " Longshore recalled. "He sniffed the air and replied, 'Under the circumstances, Charles will do.' "
Brian Burd of Santa Barbara contributed this week's "Duh!" award winner.
It is a drugstore ad for a photo storage box that warned that the photos shown in the box were "not included" (see accompanying).
"Oh drat!" Burd reacted. "We actually have to take our own photos?"
Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053 and by e-mail at email@example.com.