NEIGHBORS : El Typo Loco : The designers of a Camarillo fast-food restaurant's 'Training Guide' didn't mind their p's and dotted their i's.


Has anyone taken a good look at El Pollo Loco's "Training Guide"--a pamphlet that teaches customers how to eat chicken--at its fast-food restaurant in Camarillo? Apparently not the people who designed it.

Check out the photo. What kind of "lover" are they looking for exactly--"pollo" or "polio"? You'd think they could have had better aim with that chicken.

How does a teen-age girl from Simi Valley become a Mafia boss? Through acting.

That's the story of Marcie Leeds, anyway. The 14-year-old will co-star with Eli Wallach, Carol Alt, Eric Roberts and Burt Young in the mini-series "Vendetta: The Secrets of a Mafia Wife," airing locally on KTLA on Monday and Tuesday nights. Leeds plays the title character as a youth, giving way to Alt in the later years.

Coincidentally, this is the second time Leeds has split a character's personality with another actress. She did the same with her role in the film "Beaches," handing the character over to Barbara Hershey.

Speaking of local girls making good, Alicia Johnson of Oxnard once again topped all other Girl Scout cookie sellers in the tri-county area.

If you've forgotten, the 10-year-old Junior Girl Scout of the Tres Condados Girl Scout Council achieved that same distinction last year. But this time she even outdid herself-- increasing her sales to 1,772 boxes, a 40% increase over last year, and nearly double what the No. 2 seller managed this time around.

Her secret? "I worked harder," she said. "I went after school every day to offices and around the neighborhood. My mom and dad sold to people at work, and we went to a lot of new office buildings."

And her best customer? "My biggest order was 18 boxes to one man at one place."

Hoop de jour: Paradise Sports Promotions in Newbury Park is sponsoring the second annual Coup de Hoop 3-on-3 national basketball tournament beginning Saturday and Sunday at locations throughout the country. This playground style of competition has attracted about 100,000 amateur participants.

Anyone who's played a little basketball at the local courts knows that it can get pretty physical out there. The first few games, in fact, will not be very closely refereed.

"You don't want to impede the game with too much officiality," said Andre McCarter, a former UCLA basketball standout who is handling merchandising for the tournament. "When you've got guys playing and the score is real tight, they're thinking, 'We're not giving up no layups.' "

If you want to catch some of the action, there will be plenty of dribbling at the Conejo Valley Recreation Center in Thousand Oaks beginning around 10 a.m. both days.

Remember Kim Loucks, the Ventura artist who made one of her "trash totems" out of junk mail? Well, she discovered that the most immediately identifiable piece of artwork was the envelope from the American Family Publishers sweepstakes with Ed McMahon's picture on it.

So Loucks decided to contact McMahon (by mail) to see if he could do something about eliminating this glossy, multicolored, mostly unrecyclable piece of trash. And he actually responded (by mail). McMahon assured Loucks that over the past few months, he and the folks at American Publishers have been working on using recyclable paper.

"I was shocked," she said. "I mean I'm a compulsive letter writer--trying to get people to clean up their act. It may not have been written by him personally, but it was obvious it was written to me personally. It was on good stationery."

Despite her excitement, Loucks still has her doubts. "Their mail is just as fat a package of garbage as ever."

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