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Something for Students to Chew On: The Mystery of the Counterfeit Currency

The police log of the Rancho Santa Margarita News reported that four counterfeit $20 bills were discovered in the cash register of a local high school’s snack bar. Hmmm. Wonder what the students in the school’s print shop have been up to lately?

Catch of the day: A fish tank that was listed as a “sporting good” got Elizabeth Johnston of Chatsworth to thinking (see accompanying).

“Perhaps it’s for the fisherman who doesn’t like too much of a challenge,” she said.

“Or someone whose spouse declared, ‘No more fishing trips.’ ”

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I might have thrown this catch back: Astra Vaits of Calabasas found what sounds like a really tough offering of seafood (see accompanying).

Are freedom fries included? Dick Hulse of Upland was left to wonder about the “benefits” mentioned in one job ad (see accompanying).

“Escargot and wine for lunch?” he asked.

Immune to teenagers: Lisalee Wells of Long Beach spotted a store that evidently offers “furniture protection that will stand up to the kids” (see photo).

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Temporary Trojans: USC doesn’t advertise it for some reason, but the school has a long list of celebrity dropouts, including actor John Wayne, writer Art Buchwald and producer David Wolper.

In his new autobiography, “Producer,” Wolper (whose TV credits include “Roots”) explained how his USC baseball coach indirectly inspired his career.

Wolper was a relief pitcher who, in his own words, “provided no relief.” One day, Coach Rod Dedeaux told him: “Tiger, I’m going to save your life. If you’re planning to take up baseball as a career, you’re going to starve to death. The only way you’re gonna get anybody out is if they bat out of order.”

Wolper eventually dropped out of school to enter show business, somewhat in the manner of Wayne, a USC football player whose career was ended by a body-surfing injury. Duke Wayne evidently was no Duke Kahanamoku.

USC dropouts (cont.): Buchwald, by the way, didn’t play any sports at school but after he quit his studies to write in Paris, he did help break an unofficial sprint record -- inside the Louvre.

Noticing that many tourists make perfunctory visits to the museum, Buchwald timed a friend to see how fast he could gallop through while glancing only at the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

The time: 3 minutes and 56 seconds.

It was believed to be the first time “the 4-minute Louvre” was broken.

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miscelLAny: The police log of the Los Alamitos News-Enterprise said authorities were notified about “a man with a red-and-black plaid shirt and red-and-purple shorts [who] was reportedly measuring the length” of some fencing. He turned out to be a surveyor, the newspaper said, so no action was taken against him. Not even by the fashion police?

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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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