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Panhandler Reaches Out, Puts Touch on Someone for a High-Tech Handout

April 20, 2002|Steve Harvey

Now for a new type of phone solicitation. KNX radio anchor Dick Helton writes that he was waiting in his Jeep at a stoplight on Sunset Boulevard when "an obviously homeless man came up to my window and asked, 'Could you spare some cell minutes?'"

Speaking of high-tech panhandlers: In Santa Monica, Bob Patterson spotted a guy with a sign that said: "www.anysparechange.com."

Service, whether you want it or not: The corner of 4th and Los Angeles streets seems to be the workplace of several human window-washers--the street people who spray your window with some unknown substance, rub a dirty cloth on it and then ask for money.

I was stopped at a light when one of these characters approached, and I noticed a couple of other drivers in line--obviously veterans of this route--who went into an anti-beggar mode.

They pulled up to within a few inches of the cars in front so that the window-washer couldn't squeeze in.

Markings of a past civilization? Ed Stalcup of Malibu noticed a not-too-ancient pictograph while driving up north near Monterey (see photo). An adjacent sign said: "Kayak Crossing."

Weird world of animals: Eve Tusler of Pasadena saw an advertisement for some pigs that must have jumped out of fat bottles and another one for an exercise program for mollusks (see accompanying).

Annals of strange crime: The Huntington Beach Wave's police log said a man complained "that a customer came into his store and threw a banana on the floor."

Stealing a base is one thing ... : The Long Beach Press-Telegram's police log included this item: "Grand theft; baseball pitching machine valued at $1,500; from a field at Cypress College." May the thieves be thrown out at home by the cops.

Technicalities, technicalities: Gov. Gray Davis delights in dismissing Pacific Palisades businessman Bill Simon, his Republican rival, as someone who has never been elected to public office and has never voted in a Republican primary.

Of course, the nonvoting issue hasn't hurt a couple of past candidates.

The late Sonny Bono acknowledged he had never voted until he ran for mayor of Palm Springs at the age of 53. He won easily (helped by his own vote, presumably).

And Vice President Dick Cheney admitted during the 2000 presidential campaign that while he was registered to vote in Texas, he had failed to vote in 14 of the previous 16 elections in that state--including that year's presidential primary.

miscelLAny: Reporter Joe Shea wrote a large check to the IRS Monday morning, then drove to the L.A. County Courthouse to cover a trial.

At the metal detector, he told an officer: "You know this is the second time I've emptied my pockets this morning."

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Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083; by fax at (213) 237-4712; by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012; and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.

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