Gentle Ribbing Over Barbecue Sauce Spill

Life came to a halt on the Santa Ana Freeway on Wednesday morning after a truck spilled a load of barbecue sauce. Who says the SigAlerts of summer are over?

HOT PROPERTY: Don Chapman of Camarillo found what appears to be an unjustly critical furniture appraisal in a regional newspaper (see excerpt).

NUDE MILESTONES: Nudity has long been a form of expression here. But a Whittier woman may have accomplished a first on Monday when she shed her clothes and chained herself to an animal shelter to win freedom for her dog.

She deserves a place in the book I've long been planning, "A Modern History of L.A. Nudity (Ages 18 and Over)."

Some other memorable events I'll include:

* 1972: Santa Monica College's yearbook features a nude male centerfold.

* 1974: A naked artist sneaks on to the stage during the Academy Award ceremonies; Oscar presenter David Niven declares the streaker has revealed "his shortcomings."

* 1974: Elizabeth Keathley, the Peace and Freedom Party's candidate for governor, campaigns in the buff at Venice's (short-lived) Nude Beach.

* 1980: An Irvine company introduces Nude Beer, adorned by images of women with peel-off bikinis.

* 1981: The Elysium Institute's clothing-optional camp in Topanga holds what is billed as the world's first nude blood drive.

* 1992: Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich reveals he likes to surf while naked.

* 1992: The Oddball Cabaret, a Van Nuys strip joint, stages a Miss Help Rebuild L.A. contest for charity to raise funds for riot victims.

* 1996: A Palm Springs minor league team cancels plans for a "Nude Night" for 180 fans in a tented section of the park after the team receives 10,000 inquiries--a case of demand outstripping capacity.

* 1996: Billboards announce a Topless Traffic School--an advertising ploy, it turns out, by Buzz magazine. Motorists later learn that "a clean record" isn't really "a lap dance away."

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: On the eve of USC's football opener last week, the menu at one campus dining room had a distinctly macho touch (see accompanying). It was supposed to say "mesclun," the trendy lettuce for the health-conscious sometimes known as "designer greens."

Whatever, USC was beaten by Florida State, 14-7. So much for the school's new billboards that promised Trojan fans that, after last year's disappointing season, the opener would be "your reward."

Maybe the USC players forgot to eat their spinach.


Swedenborg Information of L.A., a group that studies angels, will hold its fourth annual Angel Festival Sept. 27-28 in La Crescenta, offering "angel collectibles . . . near-death lectures . . . angel talks . . . heavenly revelations." Admission is free and a press release noted that the first 1,000 people to attend would receive "a complimentary ticket to the Laugh Factory in Hollywood." Now, that's funny.

Steve Harvey can be reached on Earth by phone at (213) 237-7083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by e-mail at and by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053.

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