It's Not Hollywood, but It's a Living

Beatrice Lily is a La Jolla talent agent who has found a few ways to keep local actors busy while waiting for work in Hollywood.

If you want to throw a birthday party for a young child, an actress will come in appropriate costume--Mary and her little lamb or Snow White, for instance--to read storybook favorites.

Do you want to throw a press party to introduce the media to your new business--and you want to impress the press by who else attends the affair? "We can make sure you've got lots of interesting people there to make your party look good," she said.

Or, are you feeling lonely, you've got no friends and you want to throw a party for yourself?

"For a thousand (dollars) we'll provide you with an open bar and up to 25 people," she said. "You won't even need entertainment because these people are pretty entertaining on their own."

High-Tech Shopping

A middle-aged woman who returned to the work force as a sales clerk at The Broadway at North County Faire was bemoaning how the computerized sales register, with all those numbers to enter, was more complicated than the cash register she had used years earlier.

As if to drive home her point about how times have changed, she forgot to remove a plastic-and-metal security tag from a piece of merchandise. The buyer discovered the dangling device when she got home and called the store.

"Oh, I'd hate to tell you how many times that's happened," a phone operator at the store said. "A lot of our new people are still learning the system." The store sent a security man to the woman's house to remove the tag with a special gadget.

Store manager Tom Beale said the problem of sales clerks forgetting to remove anti-shoplifting devices from merchandise isn't nearly as bad as the switchboard operator intimated.

But he conceded: "There's a lot more technology than there was even five years ago."

Never mind the fact that the security gizmo did not set off any buzzers or lights when the customer walked out the door. Apparently, technology has its Mondays.

Right to the Point

For those who seek logic and order in their lives, chew on these:

- A Jaguar being driven through downtown sported a license plate holder that read: "No Matter Where I Go, There I Am."

- On Channel 39, "Love Connection" is followed by "Divorce Court."

- But not all things are as they seem. In Escondido, a local political activist on David Drive posted some signs on his front lawn in support of City Council candidates Niel Lynch and Kris Murphy. But from a distance, the side-by-side signs give a different message: "Lynch Murphy."

It's in the Bag

In our Employee Recognition Department, we bring you these items:

- Kaiser Permanente honors employees by presenting them with Oscar-like statuettes for outstanding achievement in a variety of categories.

Among the winners being honored today are Florence Bea in housekeeping for the "Best Performance in Makeup and Wardrobe" by assisting a patient in getting clean street clothes; Jim Hodgins in engineering for "Technical Support" by helping a man whose motorized wheelchair broke down in the neighboring Safeway's parking lot; nurse Don Lodise for "Special Effects" by relaxing patients during painful changes of wound dressings by playing classical music on his tape recorder, and nurse Barbara Payne, who works in the labor and delivery room, for "Best Performance in a New Production."

- Vons Grocery today will hold the West Coast finals in its "Paper Grocery Sack Pack-Off" competition. (Given that the Twinkies were squashed between two cartons of milk, our bagger didn't qualify.)

Among the 15 finalists are two from San Diego--John Matias, a 23-year-old accounting student who works at the Vons in Point Loma, and Jessica Reed, 19, a nursing student who bags groceries at the Vons at Scripps Ranch.

Each contestant will be given the same 38 items to bag, ranging from bread and eggs to heavy boxes and canned goods. They'll be judged on two main criteria--item arrangement and speed--and three lesser criteria--the number of bags used, weight distribution and personal style.

While we appreciate the knack to sack, what we can't hack are those checkers who don't lack for yack.

Adding Insult to Injury

In La Mesa last week, Little League baseball action saw the Padres beat the Cardinals, 10-2. Undoubtedly, the big play came in the second inning when, with the bases loaded, Padre Johnny Verdin, 12, launched a towering drive that cleared the center field fence for a grand slam home run.

The ball landed on the front seat of the opposing team manager's car. Via his windshield.

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