It might have been nearly impossible for any actor to pull off


Budgets must be getting really tight in Hollywood.

Here’s what happened to Leighton Shields after he was hired as an extra in a studio movie.

Shields, a student in a senior citizens acting class sponsored by the city of Los Angeles, was asked to grow sideburns for his role. When he reported to the set two weeks later, a makeup person darkened his new growth.

At the end of the day, as Shields was leaving, “the guy at the door asked if the prescription glasses I was wearing were my own,” he recounted. “I said yes. And were the shoes I was wearing mine? I said yes.”


That wasn’t the end of the interrogations, though.

“When I got home I got a call from the assistant director saying that I had their prosthetic sideburns and they cost them $250,” he said. “I told him I had grown my own. The next day, I got a call from the production office saying that if I didn’t return them they would keep my check.”

Again he explained that the hair was home-grown. Finally the studio relented and sent him a check for his one day of work. At least the assistant director didn’t try to pull the sideburns off.

Speaking of hair: David Yarbrough of West L.A. read about a beef dish that could use a trim (see accompanying).

Unclear on the concept: In a community newsletter, Richard Dolnick of Placentia found an oddly cheery description of a program (see accompanying).

Oh, doctor! In a community college handbook, Thomas Chambers of Huntington Beach noticed a poorly worded paragraph that sounded as though it was intended for patients who have had extremely unlucky experiences with surgeons (see accompanying).

A no-brainer? Adding to our collection of unique tourist sights from readers, Cheryl Jones spotted a sign in France that seemingly invited motorists to drive like idiots. (I wonder if there are others like it on Southern California’s freeways?) Anyway, it’s actually the name of a town and the diagonal line means you’re leaving it (see photo).

No brains (Part II): The police log of the Beach Reporter newspaper reported that a drunken man entered a building early in the morning, stole a small table and fled on foot. He didn’t get very far. The building was the Manhattan Beach police headquarters.

The pen is mightier than the spray can: Columnist David Allen of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin wrote a piece about an unknown youth who scaled the Fox Theater tower in Pomona and scrawled on the sign.

Investigators obtained the name of a suspect and when they visited his high school, they observed he was carrying a binder. “On the binder he had your Fox Theater article displayed under the plastic,” Officer Jon Edson told Allen.

The youth, who was cited for vandalism, denied all but Edson said the teen was part of a major tagging crew.

“While the arrest of one of my fans is, naturally, a blow,” wrote Allen, “I’m delighted to hear that my work is reaching the coveted young-criminal demographic.”

miscelLAny: A marquee for a Long Beach youth facility carried this announcement: “Now Hiring Dependable Drivers.” As opposed to the kind of drivers they used to hire?


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