Query Made His Royal Blood Boil

Al Greenwood, Long Beach’s self-described “Bedspread King,” had a bout with pneumonia and, when he returned home from the hospital, his doctor recommended a wheelchair for his recovery. Greenwood, age 90, had one delivered. When he no longer needed it, he phoned the hospital supply company to have it picked up.

“Why are you returning it?” a company rep asked.

“Because I just dropped dead!” roared Greenwood.

The rep recorded that answer and dispatched a van.


HIS AND HERS: Edward Cushing encountered two fire hydrants in Monrovia Canyon Park that carried male and female markings (see photo). It’s thoughtful of the authorities to enable dogs of both sexes to know which ones to use.

HE DIDN’T EVEN NEED A WHEELCHAIR: Norman Schneider found a message on his answering machine from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. When he phoned back, he was asked how he was doing after his surgery in September.

Schneider, the media relations director of Loyola Marymount University, said: “I told the lady the surgery must have been wonderful since I had no pain at all and no recollection about it whatsoever.”

In fact, Schneider had undergone no surgery at Cedars-Sinai.

No problem, the researcher told him. The hospital was looking for a Norman Schneider and had simply called the wrong one. She explained that Cedars tries to check up on former patients, and as a last resort in the case of missing individuals, dials directory assistance.

Schneider was left wondering how since-deceased patients would phone back.

REAL STICK-TO-IT-NESS: Bill Marmion of Long Beach contacted a missionary society in New Jersey, asking for three brochures. Someone there promptly put a Post-it note on the return envelope, recording his request. The brochures were sent, but no one ever removed the note--which survived a postmark machine and 3,000 miles of travel (see accompanying).

HOLY SHUTDOWN! No one, regardless of stature, is safe in the county Health Services Department’s stepped-up scrutiny of restaurants, points out Art Vinsel of San Pedro. He found this name on the list of eateries shut down in December:


Lord’s Kitchen.

DAZE OF THE MONTH (CONT.): On Friday, this column published an auto dealer’s calendar that had two Jan. 16s and no Jan. 18. I didn’t explore any further, since I’m just trying to get through this month. But eagle-eyed readers Ivan Siegman and Howard Helman noticed that something was amiss in the tiny February box at the top of that page--there was no Feb. 8.

Siegman thinks it’s an effort to make Feb. 13 fall on Thursday, instead of its scheduled Friday arrival.

Sodden thought (as the late Herb Caen used to say): Wonder what El Nino will be on the coming Friday the 13th?



A survey by United Shuttle found that, when flying, “59% of East Coast travelers preferred their seatmate to be silent versus only 47% of West Coast travelers.” What does it mean? I don’t know and I don’t want to discuss it.

Steve Harvey can be reached 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.