A snowball’s chance in El Ay:How long...

A snowball’s chance in El Ay:

How long has it been since Northwestern University came West to play in the Rose Bowl? The last visit of the Wildcats--in 1949--was followed by another rare phenomenon a few days later: the last snowstorm in Downtown L.A. Northwestern, by the way, chilled Cal in the Rose Bowl, 20-14.

POOPER-SCOOPER MAKER TO THE STARS: Jeweler Sydney Mobell, whose solid-gold toilet seat once graced an episode of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” is putting several trinkets on the, uh, block Dec. 13. The Butterfield & Butterfield auction, which will be held simultaneously in Los Angeles and San Francisco, will offer several Mobell household items that you won’t want to pass up, including:

* Diamond and gold pacifier ($15,000 to $20,000).


* Jeweled solid-gold toilet seat ($200,000 to $300,000).

* Diamond and gold mousetrap ($7,000 to $9,000).

* Jeweled and gold garbage can ($100,000 to $150,000).

* Gold and diamond pooper scooper ($4,000 to $6,000).

The pooper scooper gives new meaning to the expression disposable income .

SOLID ALUMINUM TREASURES: On the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Guinness Book of World Records, we bring you this good news/bad news item about a man who collected pull tabs from soda and beer cans.

Robert Harvey, 41, began the habit 20 years ago, while living in Torrance, and kept it up after moving to Eugene, Ore. He would spend hours in parking lots and neighborhood back yards looking for tabs, hoping to win a mention in the Guinness book.

“I just started stringing them together and I couldn’t stop,” explained Harvey, a machinist (who is not related to your columnist).

The other day, he gave up his quest. He’s moving back to Southern California and said he didn’t want to have to lug the load with him. So he donated his treasures to Oregon Dialysis Services in Eugene--32,363 tabs of the old kind that peeled off the can and about 70,000 of the newer ones.

Rather than contact the Butterfield & Butterfield auction house, the hospital will sell them to a recycler. They’re worth about $40.

Harvey, meanwhile, says he has sworn off tabs.

JUST THE SPOT FOR 100,000 PULL TABS: Sandy Gitmed of L.A. writes: “This trash dump and sign are on the side of a trail where I run. It intrigued me that someone would dump the sign, too, making a statement.”

MAYBE THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER HAD THE YELLOW FLAG OUT: Sunday, which marked the end of the turkey day weekend, was one of the worst traffic days of the year at Los Angeles International Airport. One shuttle driver was overheard lamenting that it took him 40 minutes to make one lap around the airport. And do you think he got one cheer along the way?

OOH, DOGGY! The favorite oxymoron of Lee Lavallee of L.A. is rap music .


Our mention of the L.A. Times’ 1927 sale of radio station KHJ to car dealer Don Lee prompted Al Hix of Hollywood to pick up the story from there. “Did you know,” he asks, “that KHJ had canaries warbling along with the station identification spot and that the station’s call letters were said to stand for Kindness, Happiness and Joy?”