Just too many big decisions

Dan Rodricks

November 19, 1990|By Dan Rodricks

Pieces of column too short to use:

` Through the years, Marylanders have learned to adapt to change. We learned to accept right-on-red. We faced up to emissions testing with courage. We stepped boldly into the Age of Call-Waiting. We elected William Donald Schafer twice to the highest office in the state. But now, the people of Maryland are facing a much larger choice, one that could profoundly affect the lives of each and every citizen. It is a question we must face with intelligence and confidence, a question we must answer before the arrival of the 21st Century: Are we going to be a one area code state or a two area code state? It's that simple, friends.

*

Just about everyone has a brush with greatness or celebrity. My 12-year-old niece bubbles when she tells of meeting Alex "Oh, Sorry, Herb, Cambria Was The Medieval Name For Wales, A Everyone Knows" Trebek in a restaurant last year. Sportswriters are bored by it all, but I have numerous friends who still gush when they speak of encounters with Willie Mays, Wilt Chamberlain or Johnny Unitas. Two of my most memorable celebrity encounters were with great race horses in retirement -- Kelso, on his pasture near the Bohemia River, and Northern Dancer, at Windfields Farm in Chesapeake City. I met the latter in 1986, when he was still a potent stud. Northern Dancer, who died the other day at the age of 29 after an incredible career as a sire, allowed me to pet his nose and feed him some grass. Then he turned toward a pasture, stared into the distance and perked his ears. There were a bunch of mares grazing out there. "What's he doing?" I asked a farm hand. "Romanticizing," was the answer. At the age of 25, Northern Dancer was still "romanticizing" with 35 mares a year, and his owners were charging $1 million per encounter. As far as humans are able to discern these things, I'd say he was a right happy old horse.

*

A limerick:

There once was a man named Schaefer,

( Whose patience was thin as a wafer.

' In a moment of pique,

That lasted a week,

He gave a performance you'd pay fer.

( Last Thursday, while caught in a snit,

* He asked his cabinet to quit.

! 'Twas just an example,

How with anger so ample,

This guy to be tied is most fit!

$ *

Things we'd like to see:

Saddam Hussein addressing the world on television when ZTC suddenly his mother walks in, grabs him by the ear, spanks him and takes him back to Baghdad.

Concert promoters being forced to warn potential ticket buyers when performers -- such as Madonna or Milli Vanilli -- are lip-synching to recorded music.

Green sawdust (because it has many decorative uses during the holiday season and because, well, because you used to be able to get green sawdust when you needed it!)

Barbara Bush making a guest appearance on "Golden Girls."

Julia Child doing a program called, "Wonders of Spam."

*

Things we'd like to know:

Why the Denver Boot hasn't been renamed the Baltimore Boot.

Where the C&P Telephone Co. gets off.

Who scores higher on an aptitude test, given tomorrow -- Dan Quayle or Donald Trump.

If, now that the cigar has been removed from Manny's mouth -- in case you haven't heard, Pep Boys' new logo makes the little guy on the left tobacco-free -- Murry will be giving up steaks.

How one gets to Sam Smith Park.

*

Things we'd like to hear:

A guy with a trombone, two guys with trumpets and a guy with a clarinet playing "When The Saints Go Marching In" in the back of an open convertible on a sunny day on Baltimore Street.

Howard Rollins recording "Lincoln Portrait" with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra when he's in town for the Dec. 10 premier of "On The Block."

A recording, if available, of a mound conference between Yogi Berra and Casey Stengel.

A Ricky Ricardo album.

A woman in a trench coat and big Garbo hat, running up to us in the rain and the fog and whispering, "Queek, pretend you are vith me."

More of Hassan Sabree on the sax.

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