It seemed a nasty thing to do to an affable, if monster-like, character. But it appears someone stole the MasterCard number of Herman Munster, the dad on TV's "The Munsters."
No, the victim wasn't Fred Gwynne, the (late) actor who played Herman. The victim, if you can call it that, was the fictional Munster.
CardCops Inc., a Malibu Internet security company, said some clueless online thieves offered to sell Munster's personal data, which included his address on the show (1313 Mockingbird Lane) and his birth date (Aug. 15, 1964, suspiciously close to the date the series went on the air).
CardCops President Dan Clements, whose company monitors underground chat rooms for identity thefts, suspects that a practical joker posted the worthless data and it was snapped up by the crooks, who are based overseas.
"The [U.S.] culture really tripped them up," he said. "These guys don't watch TV Land."
Herman, by the way, isn't the only fictional victim in this area. Clements said his company also came across a posting of personal information of Elly May Clampett of "The Beverly Hillbillies" (see accompanying).
The data are less than reliable. They give the impression that Elly was Granny on the show, but she was actually Jed's daughter. Interestingly enough, the Clampetts (or "Clampettes") also live at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. As I recall, the Clampetts could afford their own house.
Speaking of miscreants: On the Paradise Cove Pier, a defiant bird was spotted by Judith Haun of Pacific Palisades (see photo).
The Munsters would have been delighted: Wayne J. Stuart's cousin in Kansas sent him a newspaper announcement about a wedding that seemed to have a macabre touch (see accompanying). Unless it was supposed to say "ceremony" instead of "cemetery."
Unclear on the concept: "My 5-year-old son, Augie, took me to the L.A. Zoo," said Lee Watters of L.A. "We showed up at 10:10 (10 minutes after opening time). It was still closed. Big line at the ticket counter, and no movement.
"Turns out a renegade deer escaped from Griffith Park INTO the zoo, and zoo officials had to wrangle it and move it out so the zoo could open, which it did about 10:30."
Judging from the animal's destination, Watters said: "That's one dumb deer."
The long march: The Goleta Valley Voice reports that Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies observed a young man stumbling along while dangerously close to a roadway. They asked him his destination and he said, "Over there." Asked to be more specific, he said, "The Bay Area." He was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication by the deputies, who decided he was in no condition for the 200-mile-or-so walk.
miscelLAny: Some eateries never go out of style. The other day, I listened to a 1952 rerun of "Dragnet" on Sirius satellite radio in which L.A. cop Joe Friday suggests to his partner that they break for lunch at Philippe's. "Good French dip sandwiches," his partner agrees. Philippe's is, of course, still around, now in its 99th year in downtown L.A. The two cops, by the way, were willing to drive a bit to get there. They had just interrogated a man at a chicken ranch in the Valley.
Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at steve.harvey.latimes.com.