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Sharp enough to know that the knives did look threatening

April 03, 2007|Steve Harvey | Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, 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 steve.harvey@latimes.com.

Sometimes it must be frustrating to be a robber. Here were these two young men, armed with knives, leaping from a car and yelling demands at a 28-year-old Claremont resident who was walking his dog. And wouldn't you just know it? The would-be victim was wearing earphones and couldn't hear what they were saying, creating a certain amount of confusion.

Of course, when the would-be victim saw the knives, he figured that whatever the two guys were saying wasn't friendly, so he and the dog fled, the Claremont Courier reported. And then? The discouraged assailants got back into their car and drove away in the opposite direction.

Speaking of breathy dogs: Janet and Bill Goff of Cardiff saw an ad placed by the owner of a hound that no doubt chews Altoids (the hound, I mean) (see accompanying).

Such a deal: No matter how excited you are about the Masters tournament this week, Jack Herron of Laguna Niguel doubts that you'll take up one golf magazine's offer for 12 issues (see accompanying).

Unclear on the concept? Perhaps. But I suspect it was a mischievous student who gave one company's marquee a less-than-learned look. It was snapped by Joan Simon of Sherman Oaks (see photo).

Overseas destination: Confused visitors to Catalina have been known to utter such things as, "Do you accept dollars?" and "Tomorrow we're going back to America." They'd be surprised to hear that the island is only now becoming the independent nation of Catalinaland, a development reported exclusively in the newsletter of the Reef Seeker Dive Co. of Beverly Hills (see accompanying).

Actually, I think that Catalina merchants will still accept dollars. The date of the publication was April 1.

Just kidding (cont.): Jeff Bliss introduced me to San Diego's Museum of Hoaxes, which lists its Top 10 April Fool's Day pranks, based on "their notoriety, absurdity and number of people duped." They included:

* A 1957 BBC show about Swiss farmers enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop (following the elimination of the spaghetti weevil).

* A 1985 Sports Illustrated cover story about a rookie baseball pitcher who learned to throw the ball 168 mph while living in a Tibetan monastery.

* Taco Bell's 1996 announcement that it had purchased the Liberty Bell.

* A 1998 Burger King ad introducing the "Left-Handed Whopper," with the condiments rotated 180 degrees.

miscelLAny: The book "1,000 Places to See Before You Die" has been made into a series on the Travel Channel. Don't expect to see many local sights in the show, however. While L.A.'s Disney Concert Hall and Getty Center were cited by the book, the author found nothing worth visiting in Orange County. Nor for that matter in Catalinaland.

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