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Overheard in a medical building: Employees laughing about a screwup in which birthday greetings allegedly were sent to doctors all on the same day. The culprit: a new computer system, of course.

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It isn't easy being a humor writer when there's a global virus, a collapsing economy and rioting in the streets. But let's plod on, anyway, and maybe we can find some things to smile about.

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Like bookstores themselves, bookstore cats are disappearing. The last one in Long Beach may be Ruby, who hangs out at Gatsby Books.

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It seems as though there's a T-shirt for every occasion. But I just heard of a new one on me — a shirt celebrating Mother's Day 2020, with illustrations of toilet paper rolls (see photo). (Remember, revenge-seeking wives, Father's Day is just around the corner.)

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 It's weird coming across an instance where the current situation seems to have been foreshadowed by a sign of years ago (see photo). Let's hope it doesn't come literally true.

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Remember the days when banks and pawn shops posted no-mask signs (see photo)? Guess the rest of society has caught up, temporarily.

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Just celebrated my 74th birthday (celebrated — hah), which has to rank as the most unusual for me since No. 30. On that occasion, I checked into a hospital and was put into traction for my painful back. I was not allowed to get off my back for a week.

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Odd isn't it — just a few weeks ago I wrote about some pranksters who had t.p.'d (toilet-papered) a front lawn in Los Alamitos Heights (see photo). Who knew that toilet paper would soon become such a valuable commodity?

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That was no typographical error that Nick Lombardo of Long Beach spotted on the 405 Freeway. I'm referring to the message board that asks folks not to drive while "intexicated" (see photo). It's part of a new campaign by Caltrans to cut down on driving while distracted.

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Ultra-spicy is the in-vogue flavor in local restaurants these days. If you're feeling brave, you can try the Death Taco at Genkiyaki of Lakewood, which asks customers to sign a waiver before digging into the hottest variety.

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One measure of a ship's fame, I think, public interest in its restrooms. On that count, the Queen Mary can sit proudly. The other day I found a headline on one YouTube article that said:

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Is Santa Claus feeling threatened by Amazon's delivery record? Well, how else do you account for the bearded old gent hiring elves as a pit crew on Santiago Avenue? (see photo).

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Love those "search" keys. A reader of the nextdoor.com web site, looking for crime items,had this pop up: "Chili verde to die for..." Must be murderous salsa.

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While away on vacation I was pleased to read that the Dodgers had retained Dave Roberts as manager despite the team's disastrous post-season collapse. Some fans have not been as patient in the past (see photo).

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Waiter, there’s a warning in my soup! The fine print in the menu of a Long Beach restaurant requests that diners who have an issue with the food or service to “ask to see a manager before talking to social media.”

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In my frantic search for column items, I came across a lawn sign in Belmont Heights that said, "Hoarder Sale." This perhaps-over-modest announcement (see photo) reminded me of one of my favorite sign pics, “Tons o' Crap” (see photo — let's not even get into the suspect grammar).

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For you residents bedeviled by littering dogs (you know what I mean) or noisy parrots, skunks or peacocks, I may have found a solution: A neighbor on Mia Mar displays a sign that says “Beware Attack Squirrel.”

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In the program for “Silent Sky," which played at the Long Beach Playhouse, actress Amber Hill thanked her cast and crew “for making each long drive from Anaheim in rush hour.”

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Here’s what passes for a cheerful note these days. A Belmont Heights bakery called Scratch posted a sign that said, “The more you weigh, the harder you are to kidnap. Stay safe. Eat cake.”

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As the co-proprietor of Ma ‘n’ Pa market, Zac Henderson has witnessed some curious scenes. But it wasn’t until the other day that he saw a customer waving a piece of beef jerky at a dog locked in a car outside the Belmont Shore grocery.

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A portion of the Blue Line is out of service for repairs, but Long Beach travelers who gripe about service should have been around in the 19th Century. Then they had to depend on a steam-engine line that frequently broke down and was nicknamed the Get Out & Push Railroad (see photo).

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Who says Long Beach doesn’t have everything? A business that sells “fat” food on Seventh Street is next door to another that advertises the body beautiful (see photo).

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Turns out that Long Beach isn’t the only local city invaded by peacocks. In fact, the blue-green coated creatures are such a feature of life in Rolling Hills Estates that city warns readers about them in the FAQ (frequently asked questions) section of its website.

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Before 2018 sneaks out of here, let's recall some of the moments from last year that proved that Southern California still has a flair for the unusual.

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Just when I thought I’d gotten over the Dodgers’ miserable performance in the World Series, I came across a book, “Night-Night California,” that had to rub it in anew. The book shows an empty Dodger Stadium with the text, “The crowds have gone away. Turn out the lights, close up the gates un…