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Eatery’s Slogan Goes Into Reverse

Robert Paul Cole of Bellflower wondered if the wording on one L.A. eatery’s matchbook was “part of a truth in advertising requirement.”

It proclaims, “Skidrow Food at Biltmore Prices.”

(I’ll give you a moment to think that one over.)

Anyway, I phoned the Alameda Restaurant, where a spokeswoman admitted that a mistake had been made--the items were supposed to say, “Biltmore Food at Skid Row Prices.”

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She hastened to point out that the matchbooks had been the work of the restaurant’s previous owner and that the place planned to have new ones printed.

In the meantime, she added, the Alameda was still giving away the originals. “We have so many,” she explained.

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NEARLY UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE: The “Titanic” movie is such a smash--perhaps success would be a more sensitive term in this case--that Federico’s bakery in Pasadena is even offering a cake in the shape of the big ship.

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As it goes down, down, down.

Price: $24.50, plus $10 in “decoration costs.” Well, the movie wasn’t so inexpensive to make, either, you’ll recall.

The cake looks tasty but I have to admit I’d feel squeamish eating the passengers on deck.

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REMEMBER THAT POP SINGING GROUP--THE FIVE SEASONS? When librarian Laurel Daly asked some children at Gompers Elementary School in Lakewood what season it was, one boy raised his hand and said authoritatively, “El Nino.”

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INCISORS OR INFINITIS? Miriam $Sherman of L.A. and other readers found an ad in a telephone directory that made it sound as though a rental car company was actually renting teeth (see accompanying).

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WITH A CAST OF DOZENS! The book “Incredibly Strange Films,” published by Re/Search, celebrates an often forgotten side of Hollywood--the eccentric makers of low-budget horror movies. Take Ray Dennis Steckler. No James Cameron when it comes to budgets, Steckler made “Rat Pfink a Boo Boo” in 1965 for $8,000, refusing to fork out an additional $50 to correct the titles on the movie print (the film was supposed to be called “Rat Pfink and Boo Boo”).

Some other tales about the gimmick-loving Steckler:

* At showings of his “Thrill Killers,” ushers were equipped with rubber daggers to wave at the audience. Alas, several ushers were attacked by patrons who fought back.

* Steckler, who played a killer in “The Maniacs Are Loose,” would sometimes leap through the screen and into the audience at that film’s showings and, as he put it, “just run ‘em (the patrons) out of the theaters.” He stopped this practice after an incident in Sacramento where “someone shot me with a pellet gun.”

* While living in a Nash Rambler off Santa Monica Boulevard, he used the car in his movie “Incredibly Strange Creatures.” The Rambler played a junk heap--which wasn’t a stretch. Once filming stopped, Steckler recalled, “we left the car there.”

miscelLAny:

Santa Clarita City Councilman Carl Boyer saw this message on the side of a contractor’s truck: “Roofing, Air Conditioning, Heating and Addictions.” Yes, “Addictions.” Well, it makes sense to me. During this El Nino siege, I think I’ve developed a dependency on the fumes of Henry’s Wet Patch Roof Cement.

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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. Except, of course, when he’s on the roof.


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