Today is Eastern Shore Pride Day, and in celebration a group of Eastern Shore residents plans to dump two outhouses on the steps of the State House.
For those unfamiliar with this tradition, it draws from 10-day-old Maryland folklore involving Eastern Shore legislators, Gov. William Donald Schaefer and the phrase, "How's that s - - - house of an Eastern Shore."
It seems a lot of Shore residents are still upset about the governor's comment. They have declared today Eastern Shore Pride Day and will present the outhouses (provided by some Shore farmers) this morning.
"The response has been incredible, absolutely incredible," said Mary E. Coffey, news director of Salisbury-based radio station WLVW/WQHQ, which organized the caravan of 25 cars to Annapolis.
The march on the State House "will be peaceful," she said. "We're encouraging people to be peaceful."
Of course, the governor does not plan to be at the State House when the paraders show up.
WHO YA' GONNA CALL?
Who says art doesn't imitate life.
On the day Sen. Arthur Dorman, D-Prince George's, had his so-called "haunted house-ghost busters" bill read on the Senate floor, the television show "L.A. Law" broadcast an episode seemingly lifted from the text of his Senate Bill 131.
The episode centered around a couple who were suing because they had been sold a house without being told a murder had occurred there. The plaintiffs said that the house was haunted and that they heard a woman screaming. That's art.
Nothing like that has happened in Maryland and, with Mr. Dorman's bill approved, nothing like the television show's episode ever would.
The legislation would protect licensed real estate brokers or salespeople from being sued or criminally charged for not telling a buyer that the previous owner or occupant had or was suspected of being infected with the AIDS virus, or that a homicide, suicide, natural death or felony had occurred on the property.
Mr. Dorman said there was a California case in which the plaintiffs sued and won because they were not told a murder had occurred in the house they bought. But that house was not haunted.
When a group of politicians from Mongolia stopped by the Senate last week, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., D-Prince George's, couldn't help pointing out what he thought were similarities between Maryland and that faraway land.
"We have something very much in common," he said. "They at one time had someone named Genghis Khan. We have someone very similar."
Senator Miller didn't say to whom he was referring.
Financial health is relative.
At a briefing before the House Appropriations Committee last week, legislative fiscal adviser William S. Ratchford II was detailing the state's various budgetary problems when he was interrupted by Delegate Peter Franchot, D-Montgomery.
The state, Mr. Franchot said, was in relatively good shape compared with his home county, which faces a deficit of more than $100 million.
"The state has the flu," he said. "But at the local level we've got the bubonic plague."
Delegate John L. Douglass, who represents financially strapped Baltimore City, responded: "If you've got the plague, we've got rigor mortis."