When the L.A. Daily News asked readers to suggest a name for a secessionist city in the San Fernando Valley, one-fifth responded, "San Fernando Valley."
I guess it makes more sense than "San Gabriel Valley," but it's not very exciting.
Certainly it's less colorful than some of the names proposed by Times readers a few years ago in a more whimsical poll: "Suburbank," "Beige-Air," "Reseceda," "Homes R Us," "McValley," and "Twenty-Nine Malls," among others.
But I did find it interesting that some Daily News readers couldn't fully break away from L.A., nominating "Angeles Valley," "Valley of the Angels," "New Los Angeles," "Upper Los Angeles." Then there's the more subtle "Nottelay." Rhymes with "Not L.A."
Forget Fernando: Among those opposed to calling a new city "San Fernando Valley" is Jose Hernandez, the mayor pro tem of San Fernando. That's the city of San Fernando. And it's no new kid on the block, having been founded in 1797 (in the Valley's pre-malls era).
"We have our own identity," Hernandez told me. "Using the name 'San Fernando Valley' would rob us of our illustrious history."
And, as far as I'm concerned, the new city can forget about calling itself Valley of the Angels too.
Attention shoppers: Among today's featured venues (see photos) was one that Gavin McCullough of Los Osos, Calif., figured was the setting for "Goldilocks and the Three Bears."
Well-traveled Jackson Sleet of L.A., meanwhile, spotted a shoppers warning on Sunset Boulevard and a tire shop with a curious name in Alexandria, La.
I called the tire dealer to ask if those were the owners' names in the sign. Manager Kevin Roy said no, the wording was meant to be taken literally.
"They [the tires] may pop or they may not pop," he said with a laugh. "We do give a two-week warranty."
Mystery solved: Tuesday's column mentioned a for-sale item described as a "coffin ... hardly used ... 21 inches by 18 inches deep ... with small shelf."
Erik Hayden of Torrance knew it wasn't used for burials. Disc jockeys, he said, call their carrying cases "coffins."
Diva of decaf: Between opera roles, singer Elizabeth Saunders wanted a job with a flexible schedule and medical benefits. So the USC grad took a gig working at Starbucks.
But by "hollering orders over the noise of everything, I was completely trashing my voice," she told USC Trojan Family Magazine. So her store manager consented to having her sing out the orders. "It wasn't about ego; it was about self-preservation," she said.
The trained mezzo-soprano has belted out brews at several Starbucks, the latest being in West Hartford, Conn., where she can be close to auditions in New York City.
Saunders admitted that her reviews have not all been positive. One manager gave her this special request: "For my birthday, can you not sing?"
miscelLAny: In his LALA Land cyber-column, George Mair called the "Kmart and Enron debacles symptomatic of the economy, where some stores holding 'going out of business' sales actually are going out of business." He added: "Restaurants still serve a businessman's lunch but demand payment in advance."
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.