Saloon Offers a Way to Lighten Up a Blackout: Dark Beer at Half-Price

The 49ers Tavern in Long Beach wants customers to know it will try to make the next local electricity crisis more bearable. A sign outside says: "Rolling Blackout Special. 50% Off DARK Beer. One hour maximum. This grid only."

The saloon, by the way, is the only one I know of with a slogan declaring it's the ideal place for people who've "got no class."

But that might be because it's a few blocks from a school: Cal State Long Beach.

Guide to daring dining: Today's specials (see accompanying) include:

* Apricots that seem to have come directly from a gym workout (submitted by Merrill Finnerty)

* Some peas served in an unusual manner (Richard Rains)

* An alcoholic beverage sold by the pound (James Carlson and several other readers).

And, finally, a warning snapped in England that will be welcomed by diners who think that the price of meals is high enough without having to fork over additional money to waiters and valets (photo by Bob Carr).

Translation, please: Oh, I just noticed that Carr said "tipping" in England means littering.

Plate movements: Some winners in the http://knx1070.com Web site's monthly search for offbeat vanity licenses:

* ARUCA, Kate Nicholson of Rosemead, who says: "My plate spells 'Acura' backward and people read it correctly in their rear-view mirrors. I got the plate because I'm dyslexic."

* I (Heart) BN2ET, Joe Alaskey, Van Nuys: "For many years now I have been the voice of Tweety in the Warner Bros. cartoons and commercials."

(Alaskey obviously loves being the voice of wise-cracking 2ET.)

* NOTMOB, Don Genova, Pasadena: "I look like a gangster, talk like a gangster and I even drive a big Cadillac. Also, I'm Italian but I'm not 'connected' or 'made' and never will be. I'm tired of being pointed out as a mobster so I put this on my plate."

* RU1099, Lee Dove, Winnemucca, Nev.: "I am a patrol deputy in Nevada. '1099' is the code for a 'wanted' suspect. Other police officers usually give me a laugh when they see my car."

I wonder what RU1099 would think of NOTMOB.

The kindest cut: Inventing a critic, as Sony did for some recent movie ads, is a fairly crude stratagem. Studios more often slyly feature actual reviewers' blurbs that are taken out of context.

Some months ago, reader Gary Schwartz wrote here about a Paramount ad for "Sleepy Hollow" that quoted a Newsweek critic as saying " 'Sleepy Hollow' has got to be the most gorgeous, sumptuous, painterly movie ever made."

Fine, except the full quote actually ended with the words, "the most gorgeous, sumptuous, painterly movie ever made about multiple decapitations."

Now you see why Paramount chopped it off.

miscelLAny:

A few days ago I mentioned the time that announcer Durward Kirby introduced a new sponsor, the Bond Bread Bakers this way: "The Blond Bed Breakers are on the air."

Bond also seems to have inspired another boo-boo.

Bill Sharpe and Haskell Barkin each wrote to say that they also recall a story of an announcer saying: "For the breast in bed, get Bond."

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