Unlocking the Answer to Mysterious Disappearance

The key to your future. Or: Greenbacks and Yellow Pages.

All is not happy in San Diego’s locksmith community.

Somebody is ripping out the 17 pages of locksmith ads in the Pacific Bell Smart Yellow Pages in phone booths and replacing them with stickers advertising a new firm, A-AAAbaca.

PacBell reports the rip-outs in books in Hillcrest, near beachfront hotels, Rosecrans Street and along El Cajon Boulevard, all areas thick with key-losing tourists.


Using deductive reasoning like a passkey, locksmiths suspect skulduggery on the part of A-AAAbaca’s owner-operator, Douglas Heywood, who is in his early 20s.

The smiths are peeved at a loss of business, and a loss of value for their Yellow Page ads (which run upward of $1,000 a month).

“We don’t need an outlaw in our industry,” said locksmith Alan Cancryn. “Several of us have lost business because of this.”

The Southern California Locksmiths Assn. wants action. There are mutterings of vigilantism, of luring A-AAAbaca to a service call and having a “talk” with Heywood.

“A lot of the fellas out here want to take this guy’s neck off,” said locksmith Robert Scott. “We think it’s a pretty rotten thing to do to your fellow locksmiths.”

Pac Bell spokesman Mike Runzler says Heywood, after being contacted, blamed the rip-outs on zealous teen-agers he had asked to spread his advertising stickers. Pac Bell is replacing the books.

I called Heywood. He said I should write instead about a crack house down the block. He said he doesn’t know anything about zealous teen-agers.

He said other locksmiths may have ripped the books to make him look bad and scuttle his business.

“It would be dumb,” he said. “I wouldn’t do it. I don’t need the bad karma.”

Conclusion: It’s a tough world. Unlocking your potential isn’t easy.

Not Up to Par

Details, details.

* It is said that people expect government to solve all their problems.

Maybe that explains the guy who wrote to the San Diego City Council to complain that the south course of Torrey Pines Golf Course is too tough.

He’ll get a polite letter from the Park and Recreation Department suggesting that he try the north course at Torrey Pines or one of the Balboa Park courses.

There is no city Department of Backswing Improvement. Alas.

* The hospital bill for Juan Francisco Camacho, who lay undiscovered for four days after being hit crossing Interstate 5, may reach $100,000 or more.

Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla hopes some of the bill will be paid through Medi-Cal or the state’s crime victims fund. The rest will be absorbed by Scripps.

* No, the new show at the Wild Animal Park is not being renamed in President Bush’s honor, The Read-my-Lipizzaner Stallion Show. I checked.

* Cherokee medicine man Rolling Thunder, a headliner at the Whole Life Expo at the San Diego Convention Center, has his own publicist: Apache Bob.

Whale of a Name

Old and new.

* A new genus of whale has been named for Dr. George A. Llano, longtime board member of the Sea World Research Institute: Llanocetus .

Don’t look for a Llanocetus off Point Loma.

It’s a fossil, found under the rocks of Antarctica, probably extinct since the Late Eocene period. That’s 20 million years ago.

* The stealth attack fighter that organizers had hoped would come to the Air/Space America show will instead make its air show debut in July in Dayton, Ohio.

* Oceanside just sold 11 worn-out police cars to the Tijuana police department for $200 each.

* Court reporter Neal Putnam says a courthouse regular last week was sure he had just seen Michael Jackson.

Wrong. It was Sagon Penn, with longer hair and a new look.