Don't make it a highway to heaven

Old-timers may recall Burma Shave's roadside ditties, which would deliver a bit of philosophy (as well as a commercial) on a series of signs. A typical one went like this:

In this vale

Of toil

And sin

Your head goes bald

But not your chin.

Burma Shave.

Anyway, Catherine Rich of Westwood found a gloomier set of hand-written signs posted along Beverly Glen north of Sunset Boulevard. They recount the reported killings of a buck and an owl by speeding drivers (see photos) and plead for some sanity on the roads. The last sign rhymes the speed limit--35--with "keep them alive."

No telling how many surviving animals--and motorists--on Beverly Glen have had a close shave.


MURDER BY RATINGS: ABC's "Murder One," you may have heard, is being killed in the ratings by its NBC rival, "ER." The makers of "Murder One," in fact, are so desperate that they've been suggesting in their ads that viewers watch their show and simultaneously tape "ER." In fact, ABC has even offered coupons for free videocassettes for that purpose.

"Murder One" is supposed to run for 23 weeks, from the discovery of a 15-year-old murder victim to the climax of the ensuing trial. But the real suspense is what's going to happen to the show. Will it be canceled early? If so, how will the last episode be rewritten?

We see these possible scenarios:

* A mistrial is declared when the judge finds out that all the jurors are planning to write a screenplay about the woes of "Murder One" for NBC.

* A continuance and a change of venue are granted as ABC drops the show, and the new free-wheeling UPN network picks it up.

* The charges are dropped when it's discovered that the Los Angeles Police Department crime lab made a couple of small mistakes and that the victim was not a 15-year-old girl but a 94-year-old man who died of a heart attack.


LAND OF A THOUSAND QUAKES: We mentioned that the San Andreas Brewing Co.'s Earthquake Pale Ale actually is brewed and bottled in New Ulm, Minn., of all places. Perhaps it's retribution for the fact that California lured away the former Minneapolis Lakers and kept the team's nickname. Lakes are as much a part of L.A. as quakes are a part of Minneapolis. Sure, there's a Lake Los Angeles, but it's near Palmdale--and it isn't a lake--it's dry.

Stranger still, the Lakers' new billboard promo says, "The Lake Show," a cry we have never heard uttered at the Great Western Forum.

Sounds like "The Lake Show" publicists could use a little promotional help from those people who run the Pond in Anaheim.


SEVERAL ARE LOOSE ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD: A reader sent us a telephone directory listing for "Reptiles in Hollywood," along with the comment, "Our worst suspicions confirmed."


Sure, the California Angels didn't win the pennant. But at least owner Gene Autry can take comfort in the fact that he has 10 Walk of Fame stars. Yes, 10--five in Hollywood and five duplicates in the parking lot of Anaheim Stadium.

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