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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023

The LABJ’s L.A. stories

Comic Relief

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Super Slugger?

That’s right. An L.A. company is putting out a series of comic books portraying popular baseball and basketball players as super heroes saving the world from alien invaders.

Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Chris Webber and Karl Malone are among those featured in the books, with titles like “Shortstop Squad,” “Cosmic Slam,” and “Super Slugger.”

The comics are the brainchild of L.A. lawyer Rick Licht, president and CEO of Ultimate Sports Entertainment Inc.

In “Shortstop Squad,” Baltimore Orioles’ iron man Cal Ripken Jr. teams up with Alex Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners, N.Y. Yankees star Derek Jeter, and Barry Larkin of the Cincinnati Reds to form a special Army squad that battles a monster that looks an awful lot like Godzilla.

One aspect of the story is at odds with reality, however: Ripken moved from short stop to third base a couple years ago.

On the Road Again

The next time someone smashes into your Mercedes, remember that tort law requires the other driver’s insurance to cover the rental of a comparable car while your own is in the shop.

And John Lappen is touting that law to drum up business for his recently opened Baron’s Exotic Auto Rental in West Los Angeles. He figures accident victims will be more willing to plunk down the $275 to $550 daily rate for one of his Mercedes, Porches or Vipers if they realize the other driver’s insurer is picking up the tab.

Lappen is no stranger to the law; he used to be a trial attorney before veering into the auto rental biz. He says he dealt with few insurance claims during his time in court, but hopes to deal with plenty of them now.

“I love cars,” said Lappen. “After 31 years of hassling with people and their legal problems, this is what I want to do.”

Mystery Date

Some media-types might have been a little shocked last week by a racy invitation that came via messenger.

The anonymous and suggestive packets included a condom and a hand-written note reading, “Hey Tiger, Meet me by the basketball court on Thursday at 4:30. Don’t be late. D.”

Turns out it was an invitation for an event at TWBA/Chiat/Day to help unveil the agency’s ad campaign for dr.drew.com, the Web site offering teen advice, chat rooms and lots of free condoms.

Were any media people around town offended by the racy come-on?

“Nah, I know my people pretty well,” said Jeremy Miller, director of public relations at the ad agency who answered the phone at the RSVP number. “They’re all intrigued, though.”


Take a look at that scribble of a prescription your doctor wrote and try to read it. Just try.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is doing something about it. Next week, Dr. Paul Hackmeyer, chief of the medical staff, will hold an in-house clinic to help signature-impaired doctors.

Among the 50 physicians who signed up for the workshop is kidney specialist Dr. Marshal Fichman, who colleagues say is legendary for his illegible scrawl.

“I do have terrible handwriting. What can I say?” Fichman admitted. “I got straight As in the third grade and a B-plus in penmanship. It has been downhill ever since.”

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