Diner Dashes Off to Retrieve His Truck, and Sushi Joint Gets Left in the Lurch

The raw side of life -- you can find it even in Laguna Beach these days. That city's News-Post reported that a man eating sushi leaped from his chair when he observed his truck being towed down the street.

Police soon received a call from the tow truck driver, who said the man had jumped into the seized vehicle and wouldn't leave.

After a chat with arriving police, the owner agreed to pay a fee to the towing company in exchange for the return of his truck. Then the owner drove off.

About an hour later, police heard from the sushi joint, which reported that the customer never returned to pay his bill.

Pulled a sort of California roll-away, in other words.

No one puts the bite on this place: Some raw-fish eateries are more watchful over their customers, as my teenage nephew Nick Gannon found out. He and a pal dined in another Orange County sushi joint and, finding themselves $20 short on the bill, volunteered to go to an ATM.

The no-nonsense waitress told Nick's friend that she could go, but added, "Your friend stays here for ransom."

My nephew, the sushi hostage.

Seized vehicles (part tow: I mean, two): Jim Morey noticed that a liquor store owner has posted a sign in his portion of a parking lot that offers a challenge to patrons of a neighboring restaurant (see photo). No, the latter doesn't serve sushi.

"Duh!" Award winner: Former Angeleno Tony Armenta of Hammond, La., who reads The Times on the Web, e-mailed a sign he saw at a local alligator/snake farm.

He pointed out that it "provides some very useful advice for parents unless, of course, the child is not being cooperative that day" (see photo).

Such a deal: A San Diego-area schoolteacher sent along an offer from bighearted Wells Fargo (see accompanying), which did not charge me for mentioning its name, by the way.

Annals of strange crimes: The Long Beach Press-Telegram's police log said that someone entered a Lakewood resident's garage "and apparently used the washing machine to do laundry."

And the Los Angeles Independent carried this item: "Two Hare Krishnas were arguing about money when one became irate and pushed the other twice."

miscelLAny: I heard best-selling mystery writer James Patterson brag on KNX-AM (1070) radio that "I have people reading my books at red lights." Big deal. I saw a driver reading The Times sports section during the morning crawl on the Santa Ana Freeway the other day. Couldn't tell which writer he was reading, but I don't think it was columnist T.J. Simers because he didn't appear to be angry.


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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