Here are several unrelated but fascinating items.

- DAVID ROWAN excitedly called to tell me about himself and Misty Floyd, who are about to be married. Seems they met by dialing a 900 number that allows you to leave messages or receive messages from the opposite sex. He was so enthusiastic about it that he highly recommends the same practice to others.I appreciate his opinion, but I'm a traditionalist who believes that just asking for dates from people you know still seems best, as radical as that sounds.

- SPEAKING OF THE TELEPHONE, is anyone else irritated by numbers that too cleverly use letters, like 1-800-888-DUMB? They take twice as long to find on the dial.

- THE VF FACTORY OUTLET at 12101 South Factory Outlet Drive in Draper, just off I-15, seems far away to people who live in Salt Lake City - but they offer one-half off the lowest ticketed price and have some good stuff of great variety.

Whenever I go, there is practically no one else there - and that seems unfortunate. I think it's worth the drive.

- ANYONE WHO HAS ever suffered from dreaded hemorrhoids will find amusing the bizarre Preparation H commercials that show a man or a woman emerging from a medical exam loudly proclaiming, "Guess what? The doctor says that my hemorrhoids don't need SURGERY!"

And what about the man who talks condescendingly to the woman about taking care of her headache and she is stunned that he even knows she has a headache because she has not told him and he arrogantly announces, "It shows." Then the voice-over rubs it in by screaming, "A headache so bad it shows!"

Who cares how it feels - just whether it shows. That's like saying it doesn't matter how you feel, just the way you look.

- WHEN I COMPLAINED in a column that it was impossible to get through to KSL Radio's contest line to win tickets to see Ol' Blue Eyes, I was invited to appear on Doug Wright's morning show so he could demonstrate to me his use of the scrambler which randomly picks a caller.

The Sinatra tickets were all gone, but he did give something away to a caller who got through in about a minute after he pressed the button.

I'm properly humbled and realize how truly unlucky I am. Some callers do get through, but I was disappointed that Doug didn't actually teach me some fail-safe method of getting through - and that he didn't have any extra Sinatra tickets in his pocket to make me feel better.

Anyhow, there IS no method. It's pure chance.

Actually the button for the scrambler was not nearly as interesting to me as the one you press if you want to cough or clear your throat. I cleared my throat once and forgot to press the button.

- FRANK McENTIRE wrote to me with legendary stories about his 1966 Dodge Dart, which he inherited from Parnell, his grandfather-in-law who bought the car new. That was seven years ago and it had 50,000 miles on it. Today it has about 190,000 miles on it and is "just a pup."

Now Frank's 16-year-old son David wants to take over the Dart, but Frank doesn't want to give up the car - it might have more miles left in it than Frank himself - whose plugs are likely to be pulled before the car.

- PAUL CRACROFT wrote to tell me some of the most interesting paper titles at this year's Utah Academy program. The longest title is "Embolization of Hepatic Arteriovenous Malformations using Radiolabled and Non-radiolabled Polyvinyl Alchohol Sponge in a Patient with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia: A Case Report." According to Paul, it is "worth every word if it reminds you to remove the sponge from the patient."

When I suggested in a column that HMOs seem to be dirty words in Utah, I got a response from Jim McPherson, representing the Utah Health Insurance Association. He said about 17 percent of Utahns belong to HMOs and the number is growing, but he also admits that there is a more negative overall perception of HMOs in Utah than elsewhere, and he can't put his finger on the reasons either - except that "Utahns are more critical of things in general."

That's for sure.