Skateboarder’s wild ride was diminished by his bad form

Here’s a maneuver you won’t even see at the X Games.

While being chased by a Claremont police car, a skateboarder suspected of drunk riding grabbed the back end of a moving truck for a little extra speed. Alas, his connection with the truck was brief. The Claremont Courier said the rider was arrested on a variety of charges.

I’d give him a score of 85.5 for degree of difficulty but just a 39 for good form. (During the pursuit, he made an obscene gesture at the officers.)

Harvey’s Hall of Wonders: Today’s exhibits include (see accompanying):

* An automobile, converted into a piece of assemblage art, that was snapped by my colleague Ken Hively -- in Venice, of course.

* A type of muffin that big eaters avoid (from Travis Bower of Santa Barbara).


Who knows? It may also be gluten-free.

* A business where customers pay a high price for parking their cars (photo by Ted Shireman of El Monte).

* A house that comes with its own mess (intended for college students?), from A. McManus of San Pedro.

Freeway obstacle du jour: You couldn’t blame commuters on the San Diego Freeway for being in an especially sour mood the other day. A truck turned over during the morning rush hour in Irvine, dropping 30,000 pounds of lemons.

For your reading displeasure: Congratulations to Michael L. VanBlaricum, a runner-up in the Fantasy Fiction division of the Bulwer-Lytton bad-writing contest, sponsored by San Jose State. (E. G. Bulwer-Lytton was the writer who began a novel with the words: “It was a dark and stormy night ...”)

Anyway, VanBlaricum started his would-be classic this way: “Hiram had been a three-toed dragon, well on his way to a promotion to imperial five-toed dragon, when he accidentally choked on the pink chiffon scarf of Princess Chloe’s hat, and his coughing set the new oaken parapet, on the old stone bulwark, ablaze, thereby earning a demotion to Troll 3 -- now his only responsibility was to keep billy goats off the bridge.” And so on.

To stay or not to stay: In need of some culture this summer, I took my family to the Hollywood Forever cemetery to see a (live) production of “Hamlet.” It’s part of the “Shakespeare in the Cemetery” program there.

We enjoyed the outdoor production, even though the actors had to compete against police helicopters overhead and a loud concert down the street. (The dead truly get no rest in Hollywood.) Alas, intermission didn’t arrive until 10:30 p.m. The next day being a workday, we decided to leave then, feeling guiltily like Dodger fans slinking out of the stadium early. Needless to say, we missed much of the action in the play. I sure hope Hamlet and Ophelia worked out their problems.

miscelLAny: After the death of Tom Snyder, the colorful newscaster and late-night TV host, the website recalled that Snyder “readily admitted that one of the most embarrassing moments of his career was while interviewing Meat Loaf. For the first 10 minutes he kept calling the rocker ‘Meatball.’ ”


Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, 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