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Pop Goes the Housing Bubble

Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, and by e-mail at steve.harvey @latimes.com.

You knew it would happen, you homeowners. But, as Mike Hickey of Monrovia wrote after receiving an “appraisal” in one real estate flier: “I always thought the end of the housing boom would be more gradual” (see accompanying).

Name game: They got the right guy to deliver a lecture titled “Romancing the Sea,” about “the myriad mating rituals of marine animals,” at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The speaker is Dr. Milton Love.

But there are shy fish, too: Elizabeth Johnston of Granada Hills spotted an ocean creature that’s too self-conscious to disrobe (see accompanying).

No romance here: I know the state bureaucracy requires all types of licenses, but until Babs Williams of Thousand Oaks pointed it out to me, I didn’t realize that spouse-selling was regulated (see accompanying).

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This must really be the champagne of bottled beers: Terry Cobb of Sun City found a brew that ain’t cheap to buy by the ounce (see photo).

Smell the coffee: The state of Washington has unveiled a new marketing slogan, “SayWA,” which has a lot of people up north saying, “Say what?”

I feel partially responsible for the state’s fiasco. Washington officials obviously felt the need to come up with some sort of trademark phrase after an “Only in L.A.” column asked readers to devise a slogan for California.

The suggestions included “Land of Shake and Bake,” “Omigod! Omigod!,” “Where Anyone Can Get Elected Governor” and my favorite, from Betty Cooney, “Whatever.”

Ironically, those worthy candidates seem to have been shoved aside by this state, which is currently running commercials with the catchphrase, “California: Find Yourself Here.” Just what we need: a campaign to induce more people to move here!

Figured it would be blonds: Former Variety columnist Army Archerd has been following the controversy involving a gossip writer at the New York Post who allegedly tried to extort money from billionaire businessman Ron Burkle.

“I helped write a portion of a gossip column when I was columnist Harrison Carroll’s legman at the L.A. Herald-Express,” Archerd wrote. “The final paragraph of the column was ‘Today’s Puzzle.’ When we ran out of ‘puzzles’ one day, I just made up this one: ‘What producer should know that his wife knows about a certain blonde starlet?’ The night that column appeared, Harrison and I were sitting at his regular booth at Ciro’s on the Sunset Strip. During the evening, no fewer than a half dozen starlets stopped at our table and said, ‘Harrison, how could you do that to me?’ ”

miscelLAny: As for the panhandler spotted in downtown L.A. with a sign that said, “Homeless, Broke & Ugly,” Eric Chan commented: “In L.A., the most tragic of the three circumstances is the last one.”

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