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You Know L.A.--It’s Always Something!

Dear friends, family and folks:

Sorry our holiday newsletter is late this year. What with the flu, and then trying to get to see all the year-end Oscar releases, we’ve been swamped!

We dodged riots and bad earthquakes in ’99, thankfully. But that hasn’t stopped the family from getting up to some interesting doings--and even into a few scrapes, truth be told. But, hey, if we took that City of Angels stuff seriously, what a boring place this would be!

This will be Dick’s last full year as mayor. We don’t know what he’ll do with himself then--maybe reread all his Proust novels! He and his best friend, Bill, are on the outs over who the next mayor should be, but we hope they’ll patch it up.

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Speaking of feuding friends, we don’t think Michael and Jeffrey will be making up, ever. When Jeffrey left Disney, there was this spat over his bonus, and Michael tells some writer, “I think I hate that little midget,” meaning Jeffrey, who’s 5-foot-4--oh, it was nasty. Jeffrey finally got a check--he won’t say for how much--but I don’t think they’ll be going to D-land any time soon together.

Remember when Sheriff Lee was elected last year? Jay Leno should put him on his payroll, Lee’s been giving him so much material. Lee’s got some bright ideas, but a “celebrity reserve unit” wasn’t one of them. First, one of them runs out of his house in shorts, waving his gun and supposedly hollering, “Stop! Police!” at a couple who were trying to fix their car window. And then the feds bust another “celebrity reserve” for alleged money laundering! And if that wasn’t enough for one calendar year, the Lennox sheriff’s station has a buck-a-chance raffle to win a 9-millimeter handgun, or win the bucks to go down to the local gun shop and buy it. Way to go, Lennox bullets-

for-brains!

Attention Southerner friends: You can stop bragging. As of 1999, we too have Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Maybe the company heard Bill Clinton might be moving here after he leaves the White House.

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Naturally, we couldn’t let the year go by without our movie moments. That joke about how everybody in L.A. is writing a screenplay? It’s practically true! Remember that woman they arrested in Minnesota for supposedly planting pipe bombs under two LAPD cars 24 years ago? Well, two detectives got transferred off the case because some producer had approached them about--you guessed it--a movie.

Then there’s our Oliver. We’re so proud of that big football movie he has out now, “Any Given Sunday.” Maybe you’ve seen it. In June he was tooling up Benedict Canyon in his Mustang and got arrested for DUI and drugs. He’s in rehab, and we’re sure he’ll come through with flying colors. (We were teasing him that they should have sentenced him to make a real documentary. That would have been cruel and unusual punishment!)

We had our share of crimes, I’m sorry to say. Thieves got into some warehouses and stole--don’t you dare laugh--2 million bucks’ worth of spandex. Talk about a California catastrophe! And O.J. is still here. Someone tried to rob him at the golf course. (Don’t criminals listen? O.J. says he hasn’t got any money!) The funny part is that a few months later the cops find this naked dead guy in a Lexus in Brentwood, and they’ve got the yellow tape and the helicopter--and who shows up to rubberneck? O.J.! Mr. Bad Penny himself.

You know how you get busy and things slip your mind? Like this newsletter, ha ha. Turns out we were so late mailing the city phone bills that the phone company stuck us for $800,000 in late fees! And it never rains but it pours: The brilliant minds who built the Century Freeway didn’t listen to the experts and put some of the freeway below ground level. Now the thing’s sinking. Maybe by the time you visit us, we can go fishing there.

Sportswise, 1999 wasn’t so great. We didn’t get a pro football team (but the good news is that we didn’t get that awful Taco Bell stadium in Carson, either). We’re not going to the Rose Bowl--but we were so embarrassed by the UCLA football players lying to get handicapped parking stickers that if UCLA was going to a bowl game, we’d cheer for the other team.

Did you feel as bad as we did for Charlton? He gets elected NRA president and then this horrible thing happens at Columbine and he says on TV, “If there had been even one armed guard in the school, he could have saved a lot of lives. . . .” Talk about “ready, fire, aim"--there was an armed guard, and it happened anyway.

Ditto our poor shopping-mall Santa. He got miffed at a woman who brought her bawling 19-month-old baby for a Santa photo and yelled at her and ripped off his beard and his wig and his coat and fled. After a year like this, can you blame him?

Hope anno 1-triple-9 was as memorable for you and yours as it was for us and ours. Until next year, love from here, L.A.

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Patt Morrison’s e-mail address: patt.morrison@latimes.com.


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