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It was the year when Los Angeles...

It was the year when Los Angeles inaugurated a Canine Court for pooch suspects, Santa Monica residents woke up en masse to a 5:30 a.m. fireworks show on July 4 and Lawndale ripped out the Astroturf along Hawthorne Boulevard so people would stop joking that the city should be renamed Astrodale.

Some of the strange behavior could perhaps be attributed to the fact that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America found that 40% of the weed pollen floating past its office in Brentwood came from marijuana. Whatever, there was more than enough evidence to support Frank Lloyd Wright’s theory that “if you ever tilted the map of the U.S.A. very sharply, Los Angeles is the spot where everything would spill out.”

For instance:

Two Rolling Hills Estates men were arrested after guards caught them fully clothed, and in neckties and penny loafers, riding killer whales in the middle of the night at Marineland, a few weeks before it closed.

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“I was leaning back on the dorsal fin,” Dave Mulligan, 24, recalled later. “Then we were standing on the whales and surfing. I don’t think we would have gotten caught, but my buddy was getting pretty loud. It was so much fun it was hard not to laugh out loud.”

The intruders were fortunate, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Reedy. “I think the whales were probably a little disappointed that they swam around the tank with them and then didn’t get their mackerel,” Reedy explained.

Some fans of Lawrence Welk who thought they were buying his “Polka Party” compact disc instead ended up with the sound track of “Sid and Nancy,” a punk-rock movie about singer Sid Vicious’ death from a heroin overdose.

As many as 10,000 of the CDs apparently were mislabeled at a factory in Japan.

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“We got several telephone calls . . . from ladies who said they were shocked by the language on the record,” said a spokesman for Welk Enterprises here. “We wonder if any Sid Vicious fans got Lawrence Welk and were equally shocked.”

A study by Security Pacific Bank found that one of every 10 Southern Californians belongs to a health club, one of eight owns a wok and one of every 39 adults owns a pleasure boat. But just 10% of the adult males here purchased new bathing trunks last year. Also: 548,000 local residents purchased backpacking equipment last year, but just 320,000 actually got out on the trail.

Police arrested a motorist in Los Angeles after his car plowed through two doors and a wall and entered . . . the Total Experience Nightclub.

When the 5.3 aftershock of the Whittier earthquake struck in the early hours of Oct. 4, the Los Angeles Raiders strike-replacement team was staying in a local hotel. Fourteen players spent the rest of the night in the lobby.

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When some telephone wires crossed, folks phoning a California Lottery information line here instead heard steamy talk from a sultry-voiced woman on a commercial “dial-a-porn” service.

Burbank police, searching for an escapee from Municipal Court, chanced upon a swimmer in a nearby motel pool on a cold winter morning. The man helpfully pointed out the direction the suspect had taken. Upon closer inspection, police noticed the swimmer was clad only in boxer shorts. He was transferred from the pool back to the cooler.

Two men were arrested after they allegedly (a) robbed a Silver Lake resident at knifepoint in his apartment and (b) stripped down to their underwear and donned bathrobes in an attempt to convince police that they lived at the victim’s residence.

Performance artist Bonnie Barnett led a tunnel hum-in of about 50 people below Wilshire Boulevard in March. The hour-long hum was for “people who want to participate in art,” said Barnett, who had previously conducted group hums in a shopping mall, on a jet airliner flight and over the radio waves. “Everyone’s qualified--we’re all built to breathe and make sounds,” she pointed out.

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Radio station KLOS was running a contest that offered $1,000 for the best joke told over the air when the Whittier earthquake struck. In the succeeding minutes, said spokesman Steve Smith, “people were still calling up with jokes as though nothing had happened. We told them, ‘Excuse us, but were trying to cope with an emergency.’ ”

A December storm that brought .33 of an inch of rain caused so many traffic accidents that, in Palmdale, the California Highway Patrol asked people to come into its office and fill out their own reports for minor collisions.

A group celebrating the so-called harmonic convergence of the planets in August declared the corner of Hollywood and Vine “a sacred site.”


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