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Why Some Jurors Are So Inattentive?

We’ve all heard tales of jurors who seemed dead to the world. Maybe there’s an explanation. William Van Vorst noticed on his juror summons a line that said, “No other person may sign for potential juror, unless they are deceased.” (See accompanying.)

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HE MUST BE NO GENTLEMAN: Evelyn Hill of Malibu saw a listing for a house that had an “illegal bachelor over garage.” (See accompanying.) Does the neighborhood have to be notified about this sort of thing?

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SMASH ‘EM, POETS! In a recent issue of Smithsonian magazine, writer Bil Gilbert decried the many terrible names of school athletic teams “that cannot possibly improve the moral character of young men and women.” Teams named after vicious animals, teams named after warriors, teams named after Satanic figures. . . . As one who always takes the positive view, I think it’s a shame that Gilbert neglected to mention such harmless Southland teams as Whittier College’s Poets, UC Irvine’s Anteaters, Laguna Beach High’s Artists, the Mighty Ducks and the Anaheim Angels.

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: On Dec. 3, 1986, Ben Garcia completed a 3,000-plus-mile journey from Orchard Beach, Maine, to downtown L.A. to protest the nuclear arms race--riding in a lawn mower all the way. Hitting speeds of up to 35 mph, Garcia wore out one engine as well as five pulleys, was ticketed for driving too slowly near Austin, Texas, and had a minor fender-bender with a Jeep outside Twentynine Palms.

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NOT A MOMENT TO LOSE! Remember the general election of 1998? How long ago was that? Three, maybe four weeks ago? Well, that’s enough rest for Peter Mathews, a loser in a Long Beach congressional race. He’s hosting a fund-raising spaghetti dinner Friday to start his 2000 campaign for the same office. Talk about a hungry candidate.

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STAYING DOT CALM: Mall dropout Jayne Fink sent along this Christmas carol for the late 1990s:

‘Tis the week before Christmas,

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I’m alone in the house,

Not a sound to be heard

‘cept the click of my mouse.

As I sit at my PC, I’m exploring the Net,

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Trying to erase the horror that I just can’t forget.

The malls, the freeways, the shoppers galore,

Long lines, traffic, rudeness--all things I abhor.

Was at a galleria intending to Christmas shop,

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When all of the chaos forced me to stop.

Before panic set in, I had a rational thought,

So I fled the mall without a single present bought.

Now I’m at my ‘puter navigating cyberspace,

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I’m shopping online with a smile on my face.

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SPEAKING OF GIFTS: A catalog description of a camera as “infamous” caught the eye of Philip Weiner of L.A. (see accompanying). I wouldn’t be surprised if one was owned by an illegal bachelor.

miscelLAny:

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Here’s further proof of how people in L.A. overreact every time there’s a bit of rain. No sooner had a few drops fallen this week than USC’s football team announced it was going to the Sun Bowl.

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


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