Just Too Many Husbands?

Ilene Abramson of the Central Library was typing information into a computer so she could place a “hold” on a book for a woman. “She was standing near me and I routinely asked her to tell me her last name,” continued Abramson. “Silence filled the room. I looked up to find the lady looking at me in total confusion. I repeated, ‘What is your last name, please?’ She stared for a second and then confided, ‘I don’t remember. There have been so many.’ ”

Abramson, a senior librarian in the Children’s Literature Department, has a postscript to the story: “Sure enough, the name she gave me was not the one that was on her library card.”

SPEAKING OF SPACEY FOLKS: OK, the Air Force claims that the so-called extraterrestrials spotted by Roswell, N.M., folks 50 years ago were nothing more than crash-test dummies landing via parachutes.

Well, Wayne and Mildred Miller of Pasadena sent us a photo of “a small E.T.-type ‘something’ that appeared in our kitchen sink recently as Mildred was removing the husks from an ear of corn. We’ve decided he (she, or it) could be part of a reconnaissance team.”


There seem to be similar warning signs elsewhere--literally--as Judy Faulkner noticed at a Toluca Lake intersection (see photo).

Which brings us to our new theory: The so-called crash-test dummies used by the automobile industry are actually captured E.Ts.

WISH WE’D THOUGHT OF THAT: “Hope for Los Angeles, a City That Needs It,” says the headline in Discover magazine about “an air purifying tower” developed by Melvin Prueitt of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

“At the top of the 650-foot tower, which would be made of metal beams covered with a fiberglass shell, a spray of fine, electrostatically charged mist would humidify the air,” the magazine said.


“It would make the air cooler and cause it to sink, thus creating a downdraft that would suck more air into the tower. Since pollutants would cling to the charged droplets, they would be washed away when the mist condenses.”

And so on. (I seem to remember developing a similar structure in my ninth-grade science class.)

Oh, one other thing: Prueitt figures L.A. would need 190 or so of the towers.

AIRING OUT L.A. II: Prueitt’s proposal also reminded me of an idea advanced by the late Eileen Anderson, L.A.'s singing candidate of the 1970s and 1980s. Anderson saw giant fans as the answer.

Or, as she sang it:

Dig a hole in the mountains / Put a tunnel through / Put some wind behind it / And blow some fresh air through / Blow away the smoggy-og-og / Yeah, yeah, yeah.


The “Looney Lawsuit of the Month Award” goes to a woman who injured her ankle in a recreational accident and was treated in an emergency room. She subsequently suffered frostbite and sued the physicians (unsuccessfully), claiming she was told to “apply the ice directly to the wound 24 hours a day for 10 days,” the Torrance-based Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse reports. The doctors contended that she was told to apply ice “intermittently.”


Steve Harvey can be reached by phone at (213) 237-7083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by e-mail at, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053. His spaceship number is unlisted.