You could say that, as mayor of L.A., Richard Riordan made a name for himself. Or several names.
Doug Thomson of L.A. noticed one variation in an Orange County newspaper (see accompanying), and it's just the latest in a series of confused references to the charismatically challenged Riordan over the years.
* A sign at a Beverly Wilshire Hotel gala for the ex-mayor spells his name "Riordian" (June 2001).
* A radio newscaster identifies him as "L.A. Raider, uh, Mayor Richard Riordan" (March 2001).
* A weekly newspaper reports that "Mayor Bob Holbrook and Richard Riordan" are vying for a City Council spot in Santa Monica (November 1998).
* The Star tabloid identifies a photo of Riordan as "astronaut Alan Shepard" (April 1998).
* Time magazine calls him "Robert Riordan" (August 1997).
Good luck if you decide to run for governor, Bob.
Not so fast. . . : Clyde Malone of Torrance noticed that the painter of one pavement warning didn't stop long enough to check his spelling (see photo).
Speaking of stopping: I came across a scooter ad that might give some people the wrong idea about its reliability (see accompanying).
Orange County Confidential: My colleague Ann Conway attended a matinee of "Saturday Night Fever--the Broadway Musical"--followed by an unexpected exhibition outside the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
As Conway was heading back to her car, she saw "a woman take off her blouse as she walked and slip on a commemorative sweatshirt from the event. There were hundreds of people streaming out, and she was very nonchalant about taking off her blouse."
Conway's son Rick said, "Guess it was a good thing they weren't selling bell bottoms."
A job for the upwardly immobile: Joan Brubaker of Oceanside, meanwhile, came upon a choice opportunity for couch potatoes who want to stay supine while navigating between the TV room and the kitchen (see accompanying).
Plate selections: Some of the latest additions to the collection of intriguing personalized license plates at http://www.knx1070.com:
* OIDUNNO, owned by Scott Irwin of San Diego, who explains: "This plate was on my 1970 Toyota Crown sedan. At that time Toyota didn't even put any markings on the car, so no one knew what brand it was. I would occasionally get parking tickets and the police would always put '???' for the type of car. So I came up with this plate idea."
* Y ALIVE, Erik Berall, Tehachapi: "I'm sure many people wonder why we were born and don't understand what life is all about. In order to better understand, I became a Buddhist monk and am building a retreat in Tehachapi."
* THRAPST, Steve Hirsch of Venice: "I may be changing my plate soon because too many people read this as 'The Rapist.' I am a therapist."
Put your dukes up, me! The police log in the Los Alamitos News Enterprise recounted this incident: "A man, who may have been under the influence, was reportedly fighting with himself."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.