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Enough to Drive You to Distraction

Connie Kerrigan of Canoga Park saw an ad for a “car phone holder” that boasted “a special space for a pencil--so you can take notes as you chat.”

“Just what we need,” groaned Kerrigan.

What next? A device to enable car phone users to steer with their knees?

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NO WAY TO END A RELATIONSHIP: A decidedly unromantic recycle bin caught the eye of Eve Williams of Woodland Hills. “It appeared in my Ralphs parking lot on Valentine’s Day,” Williams said. “Coincidence? I think not.”

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RECYCLE OR TRASH? I’m still getting questions about the provocative black-and-white “April 9th” billboards that seem to be popping up everywhere in Southern California (see photo).

For those of you who are unaware, they were put up to advertise the Arena League opener of L.A.'s newest football team, the Avengers, at Staples Center.

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Alas, Arena League officials announced last week that the 2000 season has been canceled due to a labor dispute with the players. But at least you now know why some guy was going to put his hands between another man’s legs and bark like a dog. He wanted a salary hike.

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BILLBOARD ALLEYS: Even if the Loungers, excuse me, the Avengers, never play a game, the team will be remembered for its eye-catching ads.

Other memorable billboards that have decorated (or littered) L.A. roadways over the years:

* “Less Music by Dead Guys” --Former KQLZ-FM, 100.3 “Pirate Radio” station.

* “Flip Off L.A.” --KCAQ-FM (104.7), an Oxnard station.

* “We All Arrived in Los Angeles as Transplants. How About Leaving as One?” --An organ donor campaign.

* “The Best Breasts in L.A. Without Plastic Surgery” --Popeye’s Chicken.

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* “More Hair-Raising Rides than the RTD” --Hollywood Park racetrack.

* “Who Would You Rather Follow?” --KIIS-FM (102.7), which pictured disc jockey Rick Dees alongside the dead Heaven’s Gate cult leader, Marshall Applewhite. Results of the survey were not released.

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ON THE ROAD: On a visit to Ontario, Canada, Tony LaHood of Irvine noticed that a casket store that promised “dignity” placed one ad in a not-so-dignified location (see photo).

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SWEAT CHARITY: Bill Hill of Lakewood thought back to his college days after reading an item here about the South Orange County Community College District’s restrictive policy regarding events involving sledgehammers.

“When I was at Cal State Long Beach back in the late ‘60s, my fraternity wanted to raise money for a charity,” Hill said. “We thought we would charge people to smash a vending machine with a sledgehammer.

“We had to get permission from the college first and then convince the [college’s] vending machine company to give us an old machine to demolish. They made sure to give us a type of machine not found on campus, because they were afraid that college students wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the machine to be destroyed and their regular machines in use.

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“Who knows, in the ‘60s, they were probably right!”

miscelLAny:

If there are any errors in today’s column, blame them on the Leap Year computer bug.

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Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053 and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.


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