A little bit of this and that

Dan Rodricks

September 26, 1990|By Dan Rodricks

Pieces of column too short to use . . .

Baltimore: Where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average duckpin bowlers.

* Sad but true: A Baltimore high school teacher told me the other day there were 60 kids in one of his math classes. "And 68 in another one," he added. "My department chairman has three classes with over 55 kids in each."

* Two signs of recessionary trouble ahead: The increase in the number of law firms advertising for attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy, and the increase in the number of brown bag lunches in the office refrigerator.

* Baltimore: Where three out of five men over the age of 40 claim to be close, personal friends of Barry Levinson.

* Worst idea of the new school year: "Drug Free School Zones" signs all over. Favorite target of graffiti artists who black out "free school" to make the signs read, "Drug Zones." Great. Just great.

* From comic Bob Somerby, getting ready to tape a Comedy Club Network show at Slapstix for Showtime: "One thing the government's doing better -- it's definitely producing more colorful postage stamps." We agree on this. I dare say we are living through a time of postage renaissance. The recent "historic lighthouse" series was particularly sharp, though the stamps themselves could have been smaller. (If you're not careful, they slip over the edge of your phone bill, sticking your C&P to your BG&E. I hate when that happens.)

* Hilda Mae Snoops is redecorating the governor's yacht, bringing whole new meaning to the initials H.M.S. (I wonder whose likeness will appear on the new hand-carved bowsprit? It's traditionally a female figure. Guess we'll have to take a wait-and-see attitude on this one.)

* Only in Baltimore (actually Towson): A Chinese restaurant tucked between an animal hospital and a pet store. (Makes you leery of ordering the special, doesn't it?)

* Baltimore Circuit Court Judge David B. Mitchell likened the Guardian Angels to the Ku Klux Klan. Swell. Somebody give this guy an anti-hyperbole pill. (Between Mitchell and the babbling Tom Ward, one must wonder if there isn't something going around the courthouse. Maybe these gentlemen need to take up stress-reducing hobbies. Can some pears. Cane some chairs.)

* Baltimore: Leading the nation in Johnny Cash look-alikes.

* I keep getting letters from unhappy government employees. I recently received staff bulletin No. 90-21, from the director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Here is a department with notoriously bad morale and an overworked staff or underpaid and unappreciated social workers. And the director wants everyone to "Paddle for People," to benefit the Fuel Fund of Central Maryland. Memos the director: "I know that [BCDSS] employees will join other city and state agencies in this year's Paddle for People to help meet the challenge. It is my expectation that each center and unit will recruit a team to represent them and obtain sponsorship from their co-workers." My secret correspondent inside BCDSS says reaction to the memo was mixed: Some employees wanted to burn it, others wanted to merely tear it up.

* Baltimore: We take our flash-flood warnings seriously.

* Go figure: The clock in the Tower Building stopped working, so they tore the whole building down.

* Letter from Don Brizendine, loyal reader: "In your column of September 10, you refer twice to 'Zamfir, master of the pan flute.' Please. Give the man his due. Any TV addict worth his Cheetos knows his rightful title is, 'Zamfir, the undispute

master of the pan flute.' Don't let it happen again." Yo, Don, Th Evening Sun regrets the error.

* When the new Levinson film "Avalon" premieres here Oct. 5, Billy Lippman's eyes will be on his vacuum cleaners. He collects them. Levinson used them in the movie. These are heady days in the Lippman household.

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