Woman Campaigns for Another Term of Endearment for a Former Spouse

"Has anyone seen her wasband?" said the headline in the Irvine World News. It wasn't a typo. The story referred to librarian Cindy Mirallegro's campaign to win acceptance for "wasband" as a word meaning ex-husband. " 'Ex' just sounds so harsh," said Mirallegro, who has a wasband herself.

She sent the Irvine article to Merriam-Webster, which said the word could find "its way into our dictionaries" if "you and other proponents of the word continue to use it in speech and correspondence." Mirallegro said she and her friends are keeping an eye out for "wasband" mentions -- it dates back at least as far as a 1990 Herb Caen column.

Mirallegro's is a noble cause, but what about a term for ex-wife? "Waswife" doesn't do it, I think we can all agree. I say dump wasband and use a term that would be suitable to describe both sexes: "waspouse." Anyone else have suggestions?

Instant carpool: Erv Nichols and Robert Hollis spotted an ad in a Big Bear newspaper for a vehicle whose extras include a female passenger (see accompanying). Hollis said he didn't realize "those older jeeps were so well equipped for serious off-road activities."

This feature, I think, would be of interest to many wasbands.

From sex to drugs: Gina Franco of Santa Monica snapped a shot of a malfunctioning sign that seemed to deliver a provocative message (see photo).

Such a deal: Gary Fisher of Lake Forest zoomed in on a camera rebate offer that really wasn't very tempting (see accompanying).

Weird Christmas decoration? The Dana Point News' police log contained a complaint from a man who said "his neighbor had a tripod in his frontyard with an alien mask over the top of it. The informant thought that the mask was possibly hiding a camera."

Back in the principal's office: "You referred to some school spankings you received during your mischievous youth," writes William Hullinger Jr. "Also, you mentioned that you attended Palms Junior High School. I was vice principal there from 1965-1979 and had the 'honor' of being the sole administering person of corporal punishment. Was it possible your education was enhanced by a visit to my office?"

No, Mr. Hullinger, I never had any, uh, contact with you, because I graduated from Palms in 1960. During your tenure, I came to work at The Times. I want you to know I've been fairly well behaved at the newspaper -- no running in the halls (except during extreme deadline situations), no throwing food in the cafeteria, a minimum of tardies, no sleeping at my desk (except a couple of times on the night shift) and not a shot of booze since the Christmas parties went nonalcoholic several years ago.

miscelLAny: The police log of the Canyon Life newspaper reported that a resident in Rancho Santa Margarita "complained that his neighbor was singing karaoke loudly for three hours." I hope, for the victim's sanity, that there weren't too many Christmas songs.


Steve Harvey can be reached at steve.harvey@latimes.com.

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