MAILBAG MONDAY: "Tim Grobarty has First Amendment rights, but why print the political railing of someone whose claim to fame is his favorite music of the week?" wonders longtime reader Vance Frederick, spelling our name like he gets paid by the R.

"If guns kill people, Mr. Grobarty, then should we blame your spoon for making you fat or marijuana for your munchies?"

To the contrary. The spoon is the bolt-action, single-shot rifle of food-delivery systems. We don't have a problem with people keeping spoons in their house for such essentials as soup and pudding. What we have a problem with is people shooting food into their mouth with a cannon or using a skip loader to shovel in vast amounts of stew and spaghetti.

And we haven't used marijuana since the late 1970s when people kept their $10 bags of weed in a shoebox lid they could slide under the couch so the cops wouldn't find it. We're into more sophisticated drugs now.

JOE JOST'S IS GOOD AND OLD: Our recent attempt to discover the oldest restaurant in Long Beach for reader Doug Haigh drew a couple of letters suggesting that we should have thought of Joe Jost's - one from our beloved cousin Ed from Peoria, Ill., who was quite polite about it, and another from a dimwitted anonymous guy who sounded like a Lakewood High dropout.

We usually don't toss the "dimwit" comment around, but Anonymous draws our wrath and ire by accusing us of having attended Millikan High School.


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This is the second time this has happened in the last few months.

We neglected to mention, in our original quest for old restaurants, that Haigh, too, thought of Jost's, but his search is limited to places whose main business is food.

Anonymous, in the same message, also took issue with our column in which we asked readers to help us come up with a New Year's resolution: "Again, your Millikan High School education came through loud and clear, showing you are neither able to plan or logically understand what it is to have a resolution and must depend on others to do that for you."

OK, listen, Lancer: We went to Wilson. Class of '73.

HOW OLD ARE YOU NOW: In our annual Birthday Column (thanks, all, for the spontaneous outpouring of love on that occasion), we said we were 42 and that we graduated from Wilson in 1973. Three readers called to tell us that we're wrong; we're older than 42. No one called to tell us we're wrong and that we must've graduated in a later class.

EXTRA WONDERS: An old-timer responded to our Tuesday column about the Seven Ancient Wonders of Long Beach, which included the Pike and the Cyclone Racer. Our man wondered if, since the coaster was in the Pike, if we couldn't just make that one item, leaving room for another, such as, he suggested, the Pacific Electric Red Cars. According to the voters, the No. 8 most wondrous Long Beach feature was the old Pacific Coast Club that used to be to the east of the Villa Riviera on Ocean Boulevard. No one voted for the Red Cars. Sorry.

THE LAST WORD: We received several notes from readers who actually appreciated the column, but, unless you're like us, you're more interested in irate responses. Can do! Actually, this is more of the more cordial ones:

"Your one sided biased progressive agenda against the Second amendment is disgusting," quips reader Josh Forsythe. "You call yourself a reporter? You are nothing more than an ideologue who knows nothing about our founding and what the Second is about. I will make it simple for you, to protect against tyranny from an oppressive government. Heck the Founding Fathers even made notion of having the same weapons as the military and police. Look that one up, but I know you will ignore facts and history. You are living in ignorant bliss and arrogant denial and the tomfoolery you spew makes me sick. Continue to live in your utopia and gun free zones and I will protect my family lawfully like the rest of the law abiding citizens by exercising our right to keep and bear arms, which shall not be infringed. Good day!"

tgrobaty@yahoo.com, 562-714-2116 or twitter.com/grobaty