Just can't get your fill of holiday shopping this year?

Well, a worker for a Long Beach candy shop handed a member of the Harvey family a $5 discount coupon along with these comforting words:

"It's never too soon to start thinking about Valentine's Day."

• Wacky weather news: "On Dec. 5, the wind blew (our) small white plastic folding chair into Naples canal," a nextdoor.com reader reported. "It broke up a set of 4. If anyone found it floating by, please call us..."

• I was thrilled to see that a member of my Suburban Book of the Month Club, "The Tribes of Palos Verdes" (by Joy Nicholson), has been made into a movie.

Perhaps similar honors will be conferred on such other local novels as "Last Dance in Redondo Beach” (by Michael Katz), "Swimming to Catalina" ( by Stuart Woods), "The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena” (by R.L. Stine), "Death by Zamboni" (by David D. Katzman), and, of course, "Death in Venice" (by Thomas Mann).

Oh, wait, I'm told Thomas Mann wrote about a different Venice. There's more than one?

• The Big Z: I’ve included "Death by Zamboni" in my book club because the famous ice-resurfacing machine, used at hockey games around the world, was created by Frank Zamboni, an inventor who lived in the city of Paramount. And I've always felt that the city should have been named Zamboni in his honor, especially since it's a catchier name and people wouldn't constantly confuse it with the film studio.

On the other hand, the novel never mentions the machine.

• Yes, I know what you're thinking. I, too, believe that someone out there is writing the Great Signal Hill Novel.

• Caffeine chronicles (cont.): A customer entered a Second Street coffee shop, looked around anxiously, then asked for her favorite barista. Told that the latter was off that day, she said: "But how will I know what to order?" (Seems the coffee fan and the barista hold a daily conference over what blends are available.

• Which reminds me: At a Market Place coffee shop, I was once in line behind a young woman who, when asked what she wanted, responded: "The usual — only I can't remember what it is."

She explained she was a bit flustered, having just broken up with her boyfriend. Luckily, the server was able to tell her what her regular order was.

Steve Harvey, wide awake from all the caffeine he ingests, can be reached at steveharvey9@gmail com and @sharvey9.

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