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At This College, Being a Freshman Can Be a Very Slippery Business Indeed

Anne McAndrews of Long Beach saw a reference in this space to the movie “Legally Blonde,” and pointed out that the Southern California university attended by the film’s Bel-Air-head Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) was portrayed by . . .

Caltech, of all places.

McAndrews knows because her son David Hedley, who attends Caltech, appears briefly in a background crowd scene.

Hedley is wearing a bathing suit and his body is covered with shortening and oil.

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And it had nothing to do with the movie.

By coincidence, Hedley’s residence, Page House, was partaking in an initiation rite known as Grease Frosh on the day of the filming.

In this exercise, two teams line up at opposite ends of a field, each in possession of a freshman. The object is to see which team can carry back the other’s underclassman first.

Hence the greasing of the two would-be captives’ bodies--makes it more difficult to grab them.

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Caltech spokeswoman Jill Perry said that the winning team in that competition was one in which the body-transporters wore children’s pirate and clown costumes.

“The costumes apparently soaked up the [freshman’s] grease,” Perry said.

Leave it to those scholars to come up with a scientific solution.

No open and shut cases here: As if life isn’t complicated enough, I’ve noticed that a store’s sign doesn’t always make clear whether a customer is welcome inside (see photos).

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Some shops are vague on the hours they’re open, some seem to post the hours they’re closed, some seem open only for the minute, and some apologize for unlocking their doors.

Dodger confidential: The scuttlebutt is that the Dodgers do not intend to re-sign free-agent pitcher Chan Ho Park, who they believe is asking for too much money.

Dodger fan Michael Horowicz thinks he found verification of this rumor in an unlikely place.

“I had to pick up something at the gift shop at Dodger Stadium last week,” Horowicz said.

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“You can stop speculating about Chan Ho Park. His T-shirt [regularly $25 each] is now on sale for five bucks.”

Sorry for the interruption: The Seal Beach Sun’s police log reported that Los Alamitos officers “were attempting to locate a burglary suspect.”

“A subject found in the dumpster at McAuliffe turned out to be just a dumpster diver and not the suspect.”

No nail clippers, either: Awaiting a flight out of Newark Airport, Bob Elliott of Newport Beach wasn’t sure whether the sign over the souvenir shop would reassure already nervous passengers. The sign, missing a letter, read:

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“DUTY AND AX FREE.”

miscelLAny:

A Long Beach landmark, Kitano’s Nursery, shut down four years ago and the property has remained vacant--until now. The Grunion Gazette revealed that a 45-foot “monopalm” is being planted there. And what’s a “monopalm”? Well, it’s not the kind of tree you water. It’s a cellular telephone tower disguised as a palm tree.

Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LA-TIMES, ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., 90012 and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.

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