Rita Ractliffe of Van Nuys thinks she may have found the source for some of the ridiculous story lines on TV and in the movies. A company placed an ad in a weekly newspaper for software aimed at those writers who want to concoct “seemless” plots (see accompanying).
TURNING TO GOOD WRITING: The 16th edition of “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” includes these bits of movie dialogue:
* “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” (“Psycho,” screenwriter Joseph Stefano)
* “Ben, I want to say one word to you, just one word--plastics.” (“The Graduate,” screenwriters Buck Henry and Calder Willingham.)
* “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.” (“Klondike Annie,” screenwriter Mae West.)
* “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” (“All About Eve,” screenwriter Joesph Mankiewicz.)
* “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.” (“Animal Crackers,” screenwriter Morrie Ryskind.)
* “Maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.” (“To Have and Have Not,” screenwriters Jules Furthman and William Faulkner.)
I don’t know why exactly, but that last line, uttered by Lauren Bacall, has always been my favorite.
OF ALL THE INSULTED CITIES . . .: While the Bartlett’s index lists quotations about such cities as New York, Chicago and San Francisco, there are none for L.A. Guess this is still a minor league city.
But the book does contain comic Fred Allen’s wisecrack, “California’s a wonderful place to live--if you happen to be an orange.”
A SEAMY PLOT? On a whale watching cruise out of Marina del Rey, Evelyn DePoister of Santa Monica noticed a sign that I find disturbing (see photo). I mean, whatever happened to the old sailors’ dictum that in the event of an emergency, it’s women, children and humor columnists into the lifeboats first?
CATCH OF THE DAY: In a story on offbeat local occupations, the L.A. Downtown News discussed the career possibilities of being a dead-fish plucker.
Mike Weiss of the Westwood-based Job Factory told the newspaper that after a shipment of fish arrives in this country, someone is needed to wade into an industrial tank and remove the critters that have perished. Without a plucker, Weiss noted, “the other fishes will eat the dead fish until their bellies burst.”
Pay: About $50 per day. Don’t even ask about lunch.
WHAT TURKEY CHOSE THAT ONE? On Monday, Tom Bratter, this column’s radio expert, was listening to KGIL-AM (1260)--"Your Station for Memories"--when it aired a commercial that said, “Bloomingdale’s after-Thanksgiving sale--going on now, ends Sunday, Nov. 29.”
Noted Bratter: “It’s only 4 months old but I guess that would qualify as a memory.”
As for the “don’t kiss your reptile” warning to pet owners printed here, Jerry Parsons wrote: “I, too, would think such a warning would be unnecessary, but that is not the most superfluous sign dealing with reptiles I have seen.
“In a public park in Florida, I came across a sign next to a pond that said, ‘Do not feed the alligators.’ Right next to this sign was another that said, ‘No Swimming.’ I think the first sign pretty well covers both situations.”