You Just Never Know When a Travel Journal Might Trip Up Your Accusers

No murder, they wrote? The latest issue of Westways magazine offers several travel tips, including a Carlsbad resident’s suggestion to keep a journal.

“In addition to providing a nice record of each trip, this kind of journal can be a protection,” she said. “I read about a traveling couple who were arrested for murder; the log they’d kept of their trip helped to clear them.”

And that’s not all. Even if you beat the murder rap, the journal might also come in handy if you’re slapped with a tax evasion charge.

Back on land: Ronald Black of La Crescenta noticed a sign with a couple of letters unlighted, giving the impression that “auto parts were available for the temper-challenged drivers who frequent our byways” (see photo).


I wonder if I should start keeping a journal on the freeway, too.

Some nerve: A reader sent along the instructions in a software offer from AOL that raises this question: Is there no limit to how brazenly these communications giants will treat their customers? (see accompanying).

I’m surprised that AOL’s lawyers didn’t take note of the fact that, with all that high-voltage juice running through the monitor, applying one’s tongue could be dangerous.

Assaults on the English language: Flo Selfman shared a notice that a niece received for what sounded like quite a highfalutin position (see accompanying). Translation: salesclerk.

May I recommend the deconstructionism tonight? Joe Morgenstern, the Wall Street Journal’s witty movie critic, wrote that he was discussing a documentary about French philosopher Jacques Derrida in a Santa Monica restaurant when the waitress broke in.

“There’s a movie about Jacques Derrida?” she asked.

Yes, Morgenstern told her, and asked how she knew the name.

“I’m a philosopher!” she explained.


“I’m working on my doctorate at UCLA.”

Luckily for the folks at Morgenstern’s table, she was not a brooding philosopher; he reported that she was attentive and pleasant.

Like everyone else in Southern California, I’ve encountered plenty of waiters who are really actors. I wouldn’t mind this trend, except it seems I’m always running into actors who seem to be playing the part of bad waiters.

miscelLAny: Bruce Rothschild noticed that an ad for the Bolshoi Ballet’s performances at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa said: “Due to improvements on the 405 and 55 freeways, patrons are encouraged to allow additional time or use alternative routes when traveling to this area ...”


Commented Rothschild: “What would it be like if they were not improved?!”


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