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Exhaustive Method of Routing Backyard Rodent Makes Neighbors Nervous

April 23, 2002|Steve Harvey

Neighbors grew nervous when they spotted a garden hose sticking out of the exhaust pipe of an idling car owned by a 71-year-old Capistrano Beach man. The hose led into his backyard. Fearing someone might be attempting suicide, they summoned authorities, the Dana Point News reported.

The resident answered the door and "explained that he was trying to flush out a gopher that had invaded his property.''

To calm his neighbors, he pulled the hose out of the gopher hole and halted the operation.

But it was only a temporary stay of execution. "I went back out at 3 a.m. and finished it," he told the newspaper.

On the road: Continuing this column's series of travel tips (see photos), I bring a reminder from Jackson Sleet of L.A. to watch out for those drempels in Amsterdam.

And from Nat Read of Pasadena comes a snapshot of a road whose name obviously doesn't mean the same in New Zealand as it would in the United States--unless the road has some real hairpin curves.

And for the less adventurous: Gaye Williams of L.A. came upon a set of Internet tips for reducing car insurance premiums, including one radical suggestion (see accompanying).

Names game: Continuing our transportation theme, I offer these folks who have appropriate occupations (with the aid of reader Doug Thomson):

* Chuck Street, traffic reporter/pilot for KIIS-FM radio

* Jay Carsman, L.A. city parking systems coordinator

* Amie Poole, transportation services compliance coordinator at UCLA.

Got water? This year is the 40th anniversary of the opening of Dodger Stadium, which veteran fans will recall was noteworthy for the number of drinking fountains it housed: two, one in the Dodgers' dugout, one in the visiting team's dugout. And fans were not welcome to walk into either area if they got thirsty.

Over the weekend, KCOP-TV Channel 13 replayed a 25-year-old interview of the late Dodger owner Walter O'Malley by Vin Scully. And O'Malley sounded unapologetic about the oversight when Scully asked him about it.

In fact, he seemed to confirm rumors that he had intended to increase beer and soft drink sales. He recalled being kidded about the controversy by the manager of the old Statler Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. So, O'Malley said, he asked the manager to take him on a tour of the hotel.

"We went past five bars," O'Malley recalled. "I said, 'Show me your drinking fountains.' He didn't have a single one.''

An outraged Dodger fan told Times columnist Sid Ziff that when she asked an usher where she could get a drink of water on opening day, he told her she was welcome to use the restroom taps.

The Health Department thought otherwise: The city ordered O'Malley to install drinking fountains for the fans.

miscelLAny: Winner of the latest stupid criminal tricks competition is a guy who was thirsty, but not for water.

He stole a 12-pack of beer from a Santa Monica store late the other night. But police had only to follow the fumes.

He was captured several minutes later, while quaffing one of the brews in the store's parking lot.


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

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