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Here’s the Dirt on Perfume Biz

“Tomato,” “Grass” and “Dirt” are the names of perfumes that make up a “Virtual Garden Fragrance Set” in a Bloomingdale’s catalog. “Tomato” recalls “grandfather’s garden in all its glory,” while “Grass” is “the fresh elixir of newly mown lawn” and “Dirt” brings back “the carefree spirit of childhood days,” the publication says. Cost: $37.50 for three 1-ounce bottles. My question: Do you shower before or after slapping on “Dirt”?

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DOG DAZE: In the inaugural of our misspelled animals competition, (see accompanying), Connie Quickle found a combination dog-musician, Helen Oxley and R. Alvin Gravelle came across some “hands” that lay eggs, and Carole Miller noticed a reference to “dear” hunting. Miller added: “I prefer to hunt for dear with a well-seasoned tri-tip roast, garlic mashed potatoes and a nice salad.”

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THE $10,000 QUESTION: After showing a sales receipt that mistakenly indicated a $10,000 bill had been used to pay a bill, I wondered whose photo graces that piece of currency. (I didn’t have one in my wallet that day.) John Schiermeier and several others informed me that it’s Salmon P. Chase, secretary of the Treasury under Abraham Lincoln. Although the Treasury stopped making the bill in 1934, Schiermeier says that you can see a picture of one on the Internet at https://www.bep.treas.gov/currency/largedenom.cfm

Maybe I’ll download one to improve my credit rating.

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DEAD MAN DELIBERATING: You may have heard that the jury obligations of the residents of California are being reduced because so many are never chosen for a trial but, instead, sit lifeless in the jury assignment room for two weeks. The state is making it easier for the lifeless to serve, by the way. Joe Valazquez saw this notation on a Superior Court juror form:

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“If the addressee is deceased, do not complete this form.”

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BURB INSULTS: I’m giving the L.A. Insult of the Week category a rest out of fear that I’ve been ignoring the surrounding areas. Here are some novels that slam areas outside downtown L.A. (and Hollywood):

* “The Palos Verdes mothers drive their children to [musical and sports] lessons between their facials and analysis,” writes Joy Nicholson in “The Tribes of Palos Verdes. “Or if they have housekeepers who drive, the maids do the chauffeuring. In return, the housekeepers get $200 a week and first pick of the Goodwill piles.”

* Long Beach’s Belmont Shore is “a jumble of ambition, filled with salesgirls who took acting classes at night and bartenders who wrote screenplays during the day, part-time waitresses and substitute teachers, single and anonymous and overextended” (Robert Ferrigno, “Horse Latitudes”).

* A teenager, whose wealthy father has left the family in “The Tribes of Palos Verdes,” tells him that her mother fears “you’ll kick us out and we’ll have to move to San Pedro and go on welfare.”

* In Kem Nunn’s novel, “The Dogs of Winter,” a formerly big-time photographer finds himself “beset by leering in-laws and moon-faced brides, shooting weddings as far inland as the Pomona Valley, the land of the power blue tuxedo.”

* “I was going to say you’d make a fine wife for somebody,” a character says in James Cain’s “Mildred Pierce,” “if you didn’t live in Glendale.”

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miscelLAny:

In its “College Special” edition, Rolling Stone magazine calls Santa Monica College one of the 10 best community colleges in the nation (and not just because of its music program). The publication listed its “notable alums” as Microsoft exec Nathan Myhrvold, singer Rickie Lee Jones and actors Dustin Hoffman and James Dean. No mention of another alum--Monica Lewinsky.

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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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