Pieces of column too short to use . . .
My favorite section of my favorite governor's inaugural addres (delivered Jan. 16 in Annapolis) sounded like a country-western song. I've taken the liberty of entitling it, "Still The Guy." This is how it went, verbatim:
"I'm still the guy who came from West Baltimore four years ago, a little house out in West Baltimore. I'm still the guy who likes his rowhouse out there, who likes his neighbors. I'm still the guy who likes to go down to Ocean City and flounder fish on the bay. Still the guy who goes to the museums and sees the exhibits. Still the guy who goes out to the majestic mountains of Western Maryland. I'm still the guy who likes to shop and compete with the women when there's a sale going on. I'm still the guy who likes to go to McDonald's, because that's the place where many people will come over to this guy and say, 'This is what the problem is.' Still the guy who would rather take a bus than fly. I'm still the guy who is 'up' on Maryland, so that no hat or costume is too silly to wear to promote this state. I'm still the guy who cares about the poor, the hungry, the handicapped. And I hope I'm still a people (guy)."
Touching, eh? I think we should get one of those guys -- Merle or Randy or Waylon or Willie -- to record it.
Desert Storm Quickie Quiz (a test of your knowledge of the stunning weaponry now in use in the liberation of Kuwait): The AH-64 Apache helicopter is armed with what type of precision-guided missile? (a.) TOW missile (b.) Maverick missile (c.) Hellfire missile. (Answer below).
Things I'd like to see: The Ever-Ready Rabbit walking through a Stephen L. Miles TV commercial; young Kuwaiti millionaires exchanging their hand-stitched Italian snakeskins for combat boots; Kurt L. Schmoke giving up those tight-fitting suits for suits of full European styling, with more dramatic shoulders; William Donald Schaefer wearing neckties that actually reach down to ++ his belt; Jane Fonda hosting a "Grunt Workout" morning exercise show for CNN; no-smoking areas designated, by law, in all Baltimore city restaurants.
Things I'd like to know: If Saddam Hussein keeps Smokehouse Almonds in his underground bunker; if Dan Quayle keeps GI Joe in his toy chest; what, if anything, the people in the Springdale section of Cockeysville are doing for those AIDS babies they said they cared so much about last summer when they they rejected the Child's Kingdom foster-care project.
Desert Storm Quickie Quiz II: The Iraq Air Force has, among other key weapons, the MiG-23BN Flogger F, a Soviet-made fighter bomber. What kind of missiles can it fire? (a.) AS-7 Kerry missiles (b.) Silkworm anti-ship missiles (c.) Hawk missiles.
More Love Letters: It seems that our favorite governor's favorite pastime is writing sarcastic, nya-nya letters to people who write letters criticizing him. Some of these were chronicled last week by Evening Sun reporter Marina Sarris. The mail brings another example of the defensive Don Donaldo twitting nay-sayers with his pen. In the latest episode of "Love Letters," a woman named Edith Spann wrote the governor to complain of his taking a 41 percent salary increase while a community service center in Easton had been forced to cut services. Don Donaldo replied with a personal, hand-written epistle: "Dear Mrs. Spann: Always good to hear from people on the Shore. . . . How can you in clear conscience be so unappreciative of our administration's efforts on the beautiful Eastern Shore? Oh yes we helped the watermen, provided beach help in Rock Hall as well as water supply. Did your husband get a raise during the last four years? . . . The state employees got a 4 percent increase the four years I was in office. Never done before!! They have the best health program on the East Coast. Did your husband refuse his wage increase? I did not make the recommendation for the wage increase. If I had lost the election, and many on the Shore would have applauded, your Mr. Shepherd would have received the raise. . . . Always glad to hear from people in Easton. . . . Sincerely, Don Schaefer."
(Answers to quiz: The Apache carries the Hellfire missile, which can lock on to its target after firing, while the helicopter evades enemy fire. Neat, huh? The answer to the second quiz is a, the AS-7 Kerry.)