It's me--Beverly Hills Sports Writer. I have come to California from Detroit, which is a culture shock on the order of going to Ma Maison from Fatburger. But let's get something straight, right off the bat. I like Detroit. I have friends in Detroit. Anybody knocks Detroit to me, I knock their blocks off. The Tigers are in Anaheim tonight. I can have Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish here in half an hour to help me beat up anybody who insults Detroit.
That aside, let me tell you that I am pretty nervous about living in California. I am not sure I will fit in. I'm the sort of guy who likes sushi better when it's cooked. I'm the sort of guy who wears a white shirt with Hawaiian pants. I'm the sort of guy who thinks Malibu is an old Chevrolet.
Maybe I had better tell you what I do know and what I don't know about California:
1. I do know that I would like to be a guest on the Carson show. But I want to do more than just sit in the chair and talk to Johnny. Maybe he will bring me out and ask me to type something.
2. I do not know who plays for the L.A. Lazers. I do know not know what league the L.A. Lazers play in. I do not know what sport the L.A. Lazers play.
3. I do know Los Angeles did a swell job on the Olympics. I think the city should host the Olympics again. And next time, I think they should have an event where they see how far you can throw Mary Lou Retton.
4. I do not know Tom Lasorda. I do, however, know Frank Sinatra, and I can honestly tell you that Sinatra does not have a single photograph of Lasorda.
5. I do know Jack Nicholson. Well, not really. I interviewed him once. I also wrote him last autumn and offered to bet him 50 bucks that the Pistons would win more games than the Lakers. He did not so much as send me one term of endearment.
6. I do not know Jerry Buss. The only time I met him, he wore jeans with holes in the back pockets. I remember thinking that a guy that rich ought to be able to afford to buy some new pockets.
7. I do know Magic Johnson. Isiah Thomas told me to buy a house next door to Magic's. I told Isiah that if I saved my money carefully for the next 25 years, I could afford to visit the house next door to Magic's.
8. I do not know Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I do know he is worried about his bald spot, but the thing is, you have to be Ralph Sampson to be able to see it.
9. I do know movies. I was in one once, written by Neil Simon and directed by Hal Ashby. It was "The Slugger's Wife," and my best scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor. As a matter of fact, that cutting room must have been full of best scenes.
10. I do not know Vin Scully. Somebody once told me that if you live in Los Angeles, you can say something bad about the Dodgers, you can say something bad about the Rams, you can say something bad about the smog, you can even call Mother Teresa a busybody, but if you say something bad about Vin Scully, you will be strapped to the rear bumper of a stretch limo and dragged down the Santa Monica Freeway until dead.
11. I do know Nobe Kowano. He is the Dodgers' equipment manager, and I met him last week for the first time. Up until then, I thought Nobe Kowano was the character Alec Guinness played in "Star Wars."
12. I do not know Gene Autry. I used to watch him in cowboy movies. I used to listen to him sing about reindeer. Now I hope to meet him, possibly when the Angels play the Tigers for the pennant.
13. I do know Pasadena. That's the place where Big Ten football teams go to make fools of themselves.
14. I do not know USC and UCLA. I mean, I know what the initials stand for, but that's about it. I'm more of a Pepperdine kind of guy.
15. I do know Tom Bradley. I met him in the Turkish marketplace of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, during the Winter Olympics. I kept trying to tell him he was at the wrong Olympics, but he kept asking me if I'd seen Peter Ueberroth anywhere.
16. I do not know Peter Ueberroth, but I do know that he had better pass his drug test.
17. I do know the USFL. Michigan used to have a team in it. I believe Los Angeles still does have a team in it, but they tell me that demand for Express tickets is only slightly larger than the demand for "Slugger's Wife" sound track albums.
18. I do not know Al Davis or Georgia Frontiere. I do know that they have rather large employees, so I promise to say nothing but nice things about them.
19. I do know Los Angeles, and even my Detroit friends tell me I will like it here.
20. But I do not know where Mike, Calif., is, even though I keep hearing there's a town out here that's named after me.