Sorry for being tardy — I've been a bit sick — but I couldn't let 2017 go without saluting some of its most off-beat moments.
• High on my list was the downtown bar that bragged about a new feature that provided proof — as if any was needed — that Long Beach has everything (see photo).
• One of the best balancing acts was staged on the Blue Line by a woman who brought along a non-paying companion (see photo).
• Anonymous Prophet of the Year: Long before California legalized marijuana, a merchant's curb warning implied it would happen. (Photo by reader Marcel Viens.)
• Dueling Signs: If you were puzzled by all the roadblocks re-routing traffic, you weren't alone. Reader Steve Carson shot a pic of two nearby city signs that said, "Road Work Ahead" and "End Road Work" (see photo).
• Hottest item for the local fashion police — if not the regular gendarmes — was a piece of clothing that said, "I Got My (Bicycle) Stolen in Long Beach" (see photo).
• Elsewhere, a puzzled nextdoor.com follower, apparently new to Belmont Shore, asked if anyone could identify the repetitious, after-dark noise that "sounds like a boat." Answered another reader: "It's a fog horn."
• When a woman in an outdoor section of a restaurant pointed out there was a dead fly in her wine, the waiter said the cause was the rose she had ordered. The creatures are "committing suicide by diving into it," unable to resist the fragrance, he explained.
• Daughter Sarah Harvey noticed this touching plea from a Fourth Street bar: "Please don't drop cigarettes on the ground. The raccoons crawl out at night to smoke them and we are trying to get them to quit."
• Question of the year to a Long Beach barista: "Will you tie my shoes?" The customer said her back hurt. The barista complied.
• Toughest negotiator at a coffee shop: A mom, waiting in line, phoned her son to tell him that the shop was out of his favorite cookie. Mom suggested a chocolate chunk flavor, instead. "Send me a photo," the kid said. Mom followed instructions. The kid gave his okay. Life resumed.
• Happy 2018.
Steve Harvey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Twitter address is @sharvey9.