Class, you'll recall that when last we met, I lectured on unusual requests that baristas receive in coffee shops. Requests such as, "Can you hold my phone? I'll be back in two hours." Or: "Could you tie my shoes?"

Anyway, a couple of days later I found myself in another jam at a Second Street shop.

Turned out one customer was holding every thing up because he was conducting a separate conversation on his cell phone. He was trying to sell some tire rims. And, the guy on the other end of the line did not speak English. So a barista stepped in and completed the deal.

I hope she got it right and didn't sell the guy a tea latte instead of a tire rim.

• On the road: Long Beachite Jeff Bliss forwarded a photo by Terry Ison of an unusual offer by a hotel (see photo). The place, she learned, was giving away mattresses because it was being renovated. (Note to takers: Don't let the bed bugs, bite!).

On the road (2): Reader Ron Yukelson snapped a pic of a San Luis Obispo vet's memorable motto (see photo).

*And, finally, I trust it's only a coincidence that a scary, bridge-crossing game for kids came out during work on the 515-feet-tall Gerald Desmond Replacement Bridge (see photo).

• Until now, I never noticed the "Atheists United" sign on a shoulder of the 405 freeway in Carson. (I think that's because when I'm on that stretch of road I'm usually too busy banging my hands on the steering wheel in frustration.)

Anyway, as part of Caltran's "Adopt-a-Highway" program, the group's members pick up litter on the freeway a couple of days a month_religiously, you might say.

I'm reminded of the question Times columnist Steve Lopez asked when the group adopted an earlier stretch of freeway in Glendale. "If I die on atheist asphalt," he wrote, "can I still go to heaven?"

*Don't know if you've seen it but Domino's Pizza has come out with a commercial that pays tribute to the 1986 cult film, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." I tell you this because the ad shows the same house on LB's Country Club Drive that appeared as Matthew Broderick's residence in the movie. The funny thing is that the story is set in Chicago. Director John Hughes said he "really wanted to capture as much of Chicago as I could." Instead, he got to capture Long Beach. The so-called Second City was second to Long Beach in this case.

*Steve Harvey can be reached at and @sharvey9.

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