Only in LA: Back to school, topless and homeless issue

What's the latest at Venice Beach? A homeless guy selling homeless-guy signs.

sh-attila-the-bum.jpgThe proprietor, J. Scott Smith, peddles such down-and-out messages as "Need $ To Get Mom Out of Jail," "Bums R Us," and "Harley Stolen by a Gang of Yuppies."

The autographed signs go for $2 a pop, though Smith will also accept alcoholic beverages as payment. You could view the following as a good or bad sign for the economy but Smith says he's sold about 100 placards to apprentice bums over the last three months.

More unofficial economic indicators


Some people are even feeling the pinch in Bel Air where a different class of pizza-delivery car was spotted---a Mercedes. Yes, posh pepperoni.

The mantra of every true Angeleno

sh-livingston-drive.jpgAn address sign in Belmont Shore that originally said "Livingston Drive" has been edited by a possibly car-crazy prankster.

School daze

In honor of the resumption of classes — ever notice it's always during a heat wave? — I bring you a couple of signs that deserve bad spelling grades as well as a plea from a cafe owner near UC Irvine for students to lay off the studying.


More writhing and 'rithmetic:

sh-show-pilot.jpgDavid Batterson chanced upon a job listing for a production that, he figures, will get a "sneaker preview."

Unclear on the concept

sh-secret-garden.jpgJoe Devinny reports that in England his wife Betty Bluml found a place with a contradictory name.

Old school

sh-topless-driving-school.jpgIt sounded like an innovative approach to traffic education. Billboards around L.A. in the mid-1990s trumpeted a topless traffic school whose slogan was: "A Clean Record Is Only a Lap Dance Away." It caught the attention of the DMV, which investigated and found that it was just a promotional joke of Buzz magazine, now deceased. Sorry, speeders.

Not everyone detected the humor, apparently

sh-bbb-topless.jpgThe Better Business Bureau not only listed the school but, for reasons that aren't clear, gave it an A- rating. (You can find BBB's findings at:

Maybe the school would have received a full A if it had offered pole dances, too.

Like the traffic, time stands still

Older Angelenos may recall that the clock on the east face of the County Courthouse was knocked senseless in the 1987 Whittier quake and stopped telling time for more than a decade. Lately, it's been on the blink again, frozen at about 11:55. Good excuse to explain a long lunch.

For that special_or unspecial_someone


Frosted Cupcakery in Long Beach has toothpick salutations for just about every occasion.

NFL football's back!

sh-raiders.jpgBut, not in LA. of course. Still, we can harken back to the days of the LA Raiders, and the inspiration they supplied, such as on this billboard (photographed by Michael Martinez.)

But let's not go out on a negative note...

smiling trash can.jpgBetter to emulate the receptacle that Phil Proctor found in Beverly Hills — a smiling trash can.

Steve Harvey may be reached at His Twitter handle is @sharvey9.

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