Do You Think Halley Would Have Signed Up?

We probably haven’t reached the commercial frenzy that was brought on by the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, what with all those official sponsors, but just so you know, there are official sponsors of Halley’s Comet.

They’re being organized by a tongue-in-cheek Charles Wesley Orton of Carlsbad, who says there’s a need to raise even more interest in the celestial fly-by than now exists.

He has formed the Committee to Combat Comet Apathy (or, Com Com Coma) and is selling, for $5 a shot, official Halley’s Comet Sponsor Kits.

Such a deal. Here’s what you get:


- An official sponsor bumper sticker (with the group’s logo--a comical looking, smiling, winking face not too unlike the caricature of Old Man Moon, with a comet’s tail flying out from his head).

- Comet seals (not unlike Easter Seals, for use on envelopes).

- An official sponsor certificate (honoring the holder for displaying compassion for celestial orphans).

- A pamphlet on Halley’s Comet trivia, noting such facts that the same year Edmond Halley saw his comet, he also got married, and that Mark Twain was born in 1835--a Halley fly-by year, and died in 1910--when Halley next appeared.


Orton is calling on the group’s several hundred members to drum up even more support for Halley’s comet because of the group’s collective belief that, telescope manufacturers notwithstanding, nobody really seems to be paying much attention to it.

“We’re not giving the comet the same kind of respect we did in times past when it was considered the harbinger of the rise and falls of empires, or otherwise good or bad events,” Orton said. “Now it’s not considered anything more than a big, icy, dirty snowball with no bearing on worldly events. That hurts.”

Com Com Coma does not hold meetings or other get-togethers. The only group activity is scheduled for 2 a.m. April 12, when members are supposed to go outdoors, point flashlights at where they think the comet is, and flash “We Care” in Morse code.

School Is a Gas

In our Department of Education, we bring you these items:

- Escondido Adult School has announced its winter classes, including “Pruning of Trees and Ornamentals,” “Silk Flower Making and Arranging,” “Spanish,” “Woodworking” and “Tear Gas Training.”

Tear gas training?

“This is a self-defense class for a group of 15 citizens wishing to receive training and state certification to carry a tear gas canister,” the catalogue explains.


Bring a pencil, notebook and your own Kleenex.

- Palomar Community College in San Marcos has a class in fashion design, but it won’t be held on campus. The two-unit, one-week course will be conducted in March in New York City.

The $820-per-student fee includes such staples as air fare, hotel, a bus tour of the city, brunch at Tavern on the Green, dinner at Mama Leone’s, a Broadway show and, of course, fashion presentations.

Remember the days when a field trip meant a visit to the Wild Animal Park?

Caressing Those Keys

As a society on the prowl, we’ve progressed from blind dates to personality profile screenings to videotaped come-ons. Now comes Miami psychologist Mark Ackerman to La Jolla on Thursday to introduce to California a new computer software program that, we’re told, tests sexual compatibility.

He calls it IntraCourse.

Typewriter Tigress


There are some secretaries out there you just don’t want to tangle with, it seems.

Sharon Dinwiddie may be one of them. She works at the San Diego Zoo’s research department, and her nameplate reads: “Attack Secretary.”

Going for the Big One

The Rev. Jim Rafferty on Sunday announced to his parishioners at the new St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Escondido that the Christmas basket collection included two somewhat unusual donations--from one parishioner, a check for $1,000; from another, a California Lottery ticket already exposed as a $2 winner.

The $1,000 check, he said, would go in the bank. The $2 winning lottery ticket was going back to the store--to be exchanged for two more.

It’s a Traveler’s Life

Don and Mary Alice Tennison of Escondido, and their prized family pet, Cookie the German shepherd, went to Dallas for Christmas.

On the return trip home, Cookie’s portable kennel got stowed on the wrong plane. Master and mistress arrived at Lindbergh Field, but Cookie visited Albuquerque and Salt Lake City before finally arriving, 12 hours late, in San Diego.

Probably with a bad case of jet wag.