Butts in Seats

An American Airlines spokeswoman said Monday that an internal investigation found that the preflight checks had been made, and she alleged that Desir initially refused treatment. But the 'Pipe's source contends that flight crews often deal differently with Haitians. The source says that flight staffs wear rubber gloves only for those flights. It is also standard practice for commercial flights that land at Port-au-Prince Airport to spray the passenger area with insecticide as a plane departs.

Although Haitians may get inferior service, Port-au-Prince flights still require premium rates, more than $700 roundtrip. Since there are so few U.S.-bound flights from the Haitian capital, American Airlines has no competition and offers almost no discounts. High demand for seats on the flight makes it one of the company's three most profitable flight paths, the source told Tailpipe. "Lots of times, it's cheaper to fly roundtrip to Tokyo than to fly from Port-au-Prince." The 'Pipe is still waiting for further comment from the airline.

Blah Blah Blah

From the Miami Herald sports section, February 21, under a picture of National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell addressing a news conference:

XXXX: Xadf asdf asdf asdf asdf asf asfasf asf asf asdf asdf asdddd.

People have been telling Goodell for years to drop the Klingon bit and find a new speechwriter.

He lost the 'Pipe at asfasf.

Muglix

In Hollywood, it's affectionately known as PLR, the Publix of Last Resort. As in, when your preferred Publix is plagued with locusts or maybe it has one of those termite tents draped over it, you might consider going to the PLR for nonperishables. But never for sushi. Or at night.

The supermarket sits on Young Circle, a last vestige of the era when Hollywood's Arts Park was more like Little Red Riding Hood's forest and the now-shuttered Greyhound Bus terminal around the bend doubled as prime real estate for sex workers. The parking lot is difficult to navigate. Tight squeeze for cars. With the occasional presence of troubled men hurling angry taunts at passersby, a sometimes tighter squeeze for pedestrians.

Sarai Vasquez, who lives in the neighborhood, says she and her husband now drive up to a Publix on Sheridan Street before she'll hit the poorly stocked shelves on Young Circle. You see, she has a year-old son now. "With the baby, I feel I'm at a disadvantage," says Vasquez, who's from Brooklyn and has little fear of ordinary street rowdies. "I can't move so fast with him."

Have no fear, but be ready to duck and dodge.

Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober, brand new to office, told the Hollywood Lake Civic Association last week that he'll make a Publix cleanup a priority, though those who attended the meeting say he was short on specifics. Nearby residents say the presence of panhandlers, drunks, and disturbed people has only gotten worse since Young Circle became an entertainment focus, with its trapezes, dancing fountains, and a soundstage.

The 'Pipe sent a young woman to check the place out last week, and she reported:

"After I loitered for ten or 20 seconds between the entrances of Publix and the Walgreens next door, a security guard rushed to my side. 'Can I help you? Are you OK?' he asked, his voice quivering with concern. After being assured of my safety, he sighed with relief, 'Whew, I just had to check. There are all of these pedophiles hanging out around here.'

"When I told my white knight about the mayor's proposed crusade to clean up his daily stomping grounds, his eyes lit up behind his reflective sunglasses. 'Good! With all the money they're making out of those condo buildings over there,' he said, gesturing to Radius 200, the newest condominium project to open on the Circle, 'they need to spend some of it fixing up this place.'

"But if locals avoid the place, shouldn't the laws of supply and demand put this wilted Publix out of its misery? 'No,' the security guard (who asked that his name not be used) said, 'it's the tourists. They wander over here looking for groceries and tourist information, and all they get is this place and these pedophiles. I get worried sometimes, and I have a gun.'

"Even with a firearm on his hip, he assured me, he wouldn't visit his day job after dark. 'You won't catch me here at night,' he said firmly."

Sounds like it's time for Mayor Bober to jump into his Superman outfit.

Voice of the Populace

Tailpipe loves to see newly elected officials coming into office, ready to dispose of waste and corruption. So it was with great interest that he checked out Hollywood's new commissioner, Patty Asseff, who was recently asked by some constituents to talk about her priorities in her new position.

Asseff said forthrightly: "I'm going to clean up City Hall!"

Before the 'Pipe could swoon with admiration, Asseff added: "Not the inside but the outside!"

Priority Number One, it seems, is mulching.

In Asseff's view, Priority Number Two is to keep the Hollywood dog beach. Number Three is to get another charter school, and Number Four is to do something about the disturbingly mismatched architecture: "We've got an art deco downtown, and now a Mediterranean bridge, and the Ramada wants to go Mediterranean Renaissance! Somewhere along the line, we need consistency!"

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