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The Perfect Diet Book to Always Keep on Tap

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Just when you think American ingenuity has gone flat.

* Why not “The Beer Drinker’s Dream Diet”?

“You can have your beer and drink it, too,” said La Jolla real estate agent Elwin Law. Speak to me.

“I am turned off by diet books per se,” said Law, 53. “I don’t want a lot of do’s and don’ts.”

And he doesn’t want to give up beer. So he wrote and self-published “The Beer Drinker’s Dream Diet.” For which he says he is a walking advertisement after losing 27 pounds in 10 weeks without forsaking suds.

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It’s a slim paperback ($7.95). With a history of beer (did you know the first brewmasters of Babylon were women?) and line drawings, too.

Not so much recipes as small, mind-preparing tips on losing weight (cut your food in small bites, do five minutes of exercise every morning).

“It’s the perfect thing for the wife or girlfriend of a beer drinker who wants to make a soft suggestion that he’s got to lose weight.”

The Beer Drinkers of America, based in Costa Mesa, is said to be interested in the book. As a kind of hymnal to their devotion, doubtless.

* Burning with ambition.

A man in San Diego has invented a kind of fireplace log that he calls “Grandma Keenan’s Flaming Fruitcake.”

Jim Keenan, 44, takes logs of compressed sawdust, lets them soften in the sun, punches them with holes and plugs in hickory chips of different colors to simulate the fruit in fruitcakes.

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He swears that from a distance, the burning log looks just like a burning 3-pound fruitcake, although there is a small-print disclaimer: “This is not a food product.”

Keenan, who has taught golf and sold real estate, and more recently has installed custom tile and marble, says he got the idea for the flaming fruitcake after reading his horoscope.

He figures the fruitcake is the ultimate symbol of hearth and home at Christmastime. After all, what family doesn’t have a distant relative who sends one every year, wanted or not?

Keenan is trying to interest Duraflame in his innovation. But that idea has yet to come to “fruition.”

He said it. I didn’t.

‘Parliament of Whores’ Here?

Yes and no.

* Read and heed.

La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid told a Friday meeting of the San Diego Assn. of Governments that P.J. O’Rourke’s scalding look at the U.S. government, “Parliament of Whores,” should be mandatory reading for all elected officials in San Diego County.

Washington-style government--ineffectual, bloated and worried only about the next election--is coming to San Diego County, the frustrated Madrid warned.

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He was not kidding. His comment came during yet another Sandag meeting about a new airport.

* After scolding the press for referring only to Southeast San Diego (as in “shooting in Southeast San Diego, film at 11”), Councilman George Stevens has given each City Hall reporter a map showing the names and boundaries of the 4th District’s 14 neighborhoods.

Lumping all 14 under the name Southeast leads to misconception and stigmatism, Stevens insists.

* The Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive is running far behind last year’s level, with today the last day to donate. The drop-spot hot line is 537-8100.

Escapee Wasn’t Fast Enough

A prisoner from the County Jail in downtown San Diego decided he’d had a bellyful of incarceration, so he broke away from two sheriff’s deputies who were transporting him in a van.

Fleet of foot and highly motivated, he was opening up a nice lead on his two keepers as the chase went down B Street.

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What he hadn’t figured on was a third deputy, who just happened to be entering the jail building when the escape attempt went down.

Deputy Gilbert Roldan, 28, said he heard chains rattling, turned around and saw the chase. Although starting from a disadvantage, Roldan joined the pursuit, passing his two fellow deputies and finally catching the escapee on Columbia Street.

“He was fairly fast,” Roldan said. “I guess his adrenaline was pumping.”

Prisoners may want to reconsider escape plans when Roldan is around: He runs three times a week, pumps iron and played rugby in the military.

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