I'm ashamed to say I initially felt some relief when I read that an occupational safety group is going to publish research suggesting that bicycle riding may cause sexual problems for some men. You see, I haven't ridden since my bike was stolen outside Doheny Library while I was attending USC. (Now I can thank the thief.)
Then again, some of the complaints about erectile dysfunction and numbness were made a few years ago by members of Long Beach's Marine Patrol bicycle unit (more details on www.cdc.gov/niosh/bikeofficer. html). I think we can all agree that numb officers are not good for a community.
I contacted the Long Beach Police Department and was told that it had replaced the old-fashioned seats that put pressure on the crotch; new designs have wedges cut out to relieve the pressure on sensitive areas. I asked one former Long Beach bicycle officer something I never envisioned asking a policeman back when I was in journalism school: whether he'd had any sexual problems. Keeping it on a scientific plane, he answered that he hadn't, adding the new seats had been in place when he started cycling.
Have it your way: Tom Willard of L.A. sent along a sales receipt from McDonald's that showed the wide range of toppings available for one ice cream selection (see accompanying).
Unclear on the concept: Visiting the L.A. Zoo, Elizabeth Johnston of Chatsworth saw a sign warning against the transporting of a hard-to-grasp item (see photo).
Speaking of removals: I wasn't aware that some people apparently require devices to help them take off their footwear until Mark Zeavin of Altadena showed me one ad.
On the road: Bob Patterson of Alta Loma found evidence of a movement in Michigan to make death and tax cuts inevitable (see photo).
What in tarnation? Stan Spero of Westlake Village, sales manager of the Angels when the team was formed in 1961, recalls how President Nixon often sat in owner Gene Autry's luxury box at Anaheim Stadium. "One day, Mr. Autry gets a letter from the president," Spero told the Ventura County Star, "and it says, 'Dear Gene, I enjoy watching the baseball games with you. Thank you for being so hospitable. Please give my best to Trigger and Dale -- President Nixon.' "
Oops. Wrong cowboy. Trigger was Roy Rogers' horse and Dale Evans was Rogers' wife.
Spero added that Autry was so amused by the letter that he framed it and hung it in his luxury box.
miscelLAny: Weird-song historian Dr. Dimento will lead a hearse procession through the streets of Costa Mesa on Sunday, then conduct two live shows at the Costa Mesa Fairgrounds. You can be sure he'll play such favorites as Oingo Boingo's "Dead Man's Party," Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," The Who's "Boris the Spider," and "Werecow" by Flippy T. Fishhead and the Mighty Ground Beeve.
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 email@example.com.