Reader Margo Kline tipped me to a recent article headlined "Rescue Workers Extricate Dudes" in UC Santa Barbara's Daily Nexus newspaper. It seems that two adventurous surfers crashed into the rocks below some cliffs near the campus and were stranded there. The dudes were eventually rescued by firefighters who pulled them up by rope.
What made the event more unusual was that the woebegone wave-riders received moral support during the rescue from some UCSB students who live in ocean-side housing. "The whole thing seemed kind of comical because the surfers were pretty calm, so we brought two of our biggest speakers outside facing the water and blasted 'Eye of the Tiger' from 'Rocky' and 'Don't Worry, Be Happy,' " said Marty Machado, a senior art studio major.
"After everything was over, one of the guys came up and thanked our building for calling the Fire Department and for playing the music."
Not exactly a stocking stuffer: Audrey Richards of Long Beach noticed that one business has a gift suggestion that can only be termed down to earth (see accompanying).
Still digging around: "You better wear your hip boots when you order this salad," wrote John Shaboo of L.A., who enclosed an unusual menu item (see accompanying).
Always read the small print: That's right. Susan Salazar of La Verne points out that not until you read the parking regulations at the bottom of one hotel sign that you find out that the rates apply only to cars less than two feet long (see accompanying).
Visalia, I'll tell ya: Ray Estrada saw an episode of the TV show "24" that committed the crime of mispronouncing the town of Visalia. "It's vie-sail-ya, not vuh-sal-ya," said Estrada, who grew up in Fresno.
Of course, few cities have been pronounced in more ways than Los Angeles. The Chamber of Commerce issued a ditty in the 1880s that said, "The Lady would remind you, please/Her name is not Lost Angie Lees" -- which was just how President Theodore Roosevelt pronounced it on a later visit here.
In the early 1900s, The Times printed a daily endorsement of the Spanish version: loss AHNG-hay-less.
But an anglicized version, Loss AN-juh-less, won out, though one L.A. mayor, Sam Yorty, opted for loss ANG-uh-lus. Fortunately, most everyone gets L.A. right.
miscelLAny: Ever since I mentioned "Don't Worry, Be Happy" in the first item, I can't stop humming that darn song.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.