Take That, You Shakespeare-Loving, Proust-Reading, Poetry-Writing Jerk

Beachcomber columnist Steve Propes of Long Beach notes that a resident contacted police about "what appeared to be a serious brawl involving males in the parking lot of the Ruth Bach Branch Library." A literary feud? Who says people don't take books seriously out here?

Actually, the young men were at a practice session for kickboxers.


More good news: I'm feeling a slight letdown after the holidays, so I sought out some reassuring items sent in by readers (see accompanying).

They included:

* A company's jubilant announcement about its status (snapped by Richard Miller of L.A.).

* A sale of happy furniture (Jack Preston of Templeton).

* And, additional evidence that today's seniors are a frolicsome group (Joyce Godier of Cathedral City).


Food for thought: Phil Proctor of Beverly Hills found a diner's spot that was also reassuring, in a way (see photo).


You thought you had problems: While vacationing in Big Bear City last week, I noticed this item in the Grizzly newspaper's review of 2002: "March 27: Construction at The Club halts due to no place to dump the dirt."


Digging elsewhere: In his year-end review, columnist David Allen of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin wrote: "Whoopi Goldberg's Academy Award statue for 'Ghost' was shipped via UPS for cleaning but never arrived at its destination."

The Oscar was found in February in an Ontario International Airport trash bin. (Obviously, there was no room to dump it in Big Bear.)

Incidentally, when Goldberg was host at the Oscars a month later, she didn't joke about the incident in her monologue.


Talk about a gas guzzler: Allen also reported that one of the most daring local crimes of the year was committed by a thief who pretended to fill the underground storage tanks at a Rancho Cucamonga service station. Instead, he drained more than 3,000 gallons of gas. I assume he was driving an SUV at the time.


miscelLAny: As you might have noticed from some of the far-flung items today, I'm still in a vacation frame of mind and I couldn't pass up a vicarious trip to Barstow. Vicki Bicket saw a police log entry in that town's Desert Dispatch concerning a woman's complaint about "her boyfriend of two weeks, whose name she doesn't know."

Commented Bicket: "I guess she just called him Sweetie."


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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