You may recall my story about a colleague who bought a device for taping phone conversations on the basis of this testimonial from the store clerk:
"I can guarantee it. This is the very model Linda Tripp used to tape Monica Lewinsky."
By coincidence, I heard from a couple of readers who have received letters asking them to donate money to the Linda Tripp Legal Defense Fund. No, really. Tripp says the legal battles over her taping case have left her busted. Sure enough, I found her Web site, which displayed a mug shot of the new, slimmed-down Linda (see photo).
And then it occurred to me: The solution for her money problems is obvious. She should become a celebrity spokesperson for Radio Shack!
I'm pleased I was able to contribute my two cents' worth to the defense fund.
What kind of bait was used, anyway? In his hometown newspaper, James Moore of Long Beach read about a fisherman's catch that must have been difficult to reel in (see accompanying). A Ford--can you believe it? Now, a Plymouth Barracuda I could understand.
Aging, Hollywood style (cont).: Grace Hampton of Burbank points out that Nina Foch played the mother of Moses (Charlton Heston) in "The Ten Commandments," though she was less than six months older than him. (What about thou shalt not fib about your age?)
And Hampton adds that in "Taras Bulba," Yul Brynner (b. 1915) played the father of that famous Brooklyn Cossack warrior Tony Curtis (b. 1925).
The pressure's really on now: When I misstated UCLA's football record the other day, I pointed out that the late Times columnist Jack Smith used to allow himself three mistakes a year.
To which David Johannsen of Torrance writes: "Surely you're kidding. I recall it was only two. And if I'm right, you've now used up your quota for the year!"
Milestones in pest control: I mentioned that the Burgundy Room in Hollywood was named on Stuff Magazine's prestigious list of the "20 Best Dives in America," largely due to the barmaids' willingness to "douse the bar rail with lighter fluid and set it ablaze."
Which prompted David Echt to recall "a visit of some 25 years ago to the Formosa Cafe (seen in 'L.A. Confidential'). When I pointed out a cockroach scooting across the bar, the bartender trapped it in an upside-down glass, poured 151 rum all around it, released the bug and simultaneously ignited the rum with a lighter. We switched to beer."
Only in L.A.--lighting up your life!
The day after Miami crushed Nebraska in the Rose Bowl, Lori Golden of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce encountered two tourists in T-shirts that showed Florida beach scenes.
"Oh, you're the champions," Golden said.
"Actually, we're from Nebraska," one replied. "We decided to go incognito."
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.