As I watched the Daytona 500 this past weekend I was sure I recognized the driver of the pace car. I never actually saw the driver's facebut something about the driving style was hauntingly familiar. Puzzled, I searched my brain trying to recall where I could had met this person. An interview? Tom Cruise's latest movie? The parking lot of Pep Boys?
And then it hit me. Ritchie Highway. The driver of the pace car, the one with all the other cars trailing behind, was actually the dreaded "Ritchie Highway Traffic Regulator." The one with the motto: "Don't give me that look, I'm driving defensively."
You remember. You're driving south on Ritchie Highway, just past La Fountaine Bleu. Traffic is moving at the normal Glen Burnie rate -- 7 mph over the speed limit. Suddenly, from the parking lot of yet another Hardees, there it is. The gray minivan with tinted windows anda roof rack, a "Children on Board" sign suctioned to the rear windowand a bumper sticker that reads: "Warning, I brake for animals." As if we didn't know.
The driver signals and proceeds to pull into your lane. At this time you should just accept that the turn signal will continue to blink for 3.7 miles or until just before the driver is ready to make a turn, when it will go off for three blinks, then comeback on.
Now everyone behind you was paying attention and has already switched lanes. Don't bother trying because NO ONE WILL LET YOU INTO THE OTHER LANE. It's your turn to follow this paragon of drivingvirtue through Glen Burnie at a speed of exactly 7 mph below the posted speed limit.
Other driving characteristics include:
* Changing the rate of speed to guarantee that each traffic signal you reachis red.
* Allowing anyone (with a particular kindness toward large trucks with lots of gears) to break into traffic in front of your private convoy.
* Honking at other cars with bumper stickers that read "Honk if you love chicken nuggets."
Beep, beep, Glen Burnie.
Glen Burnie, as well as the rest of this country, has embraced the American forces in the gulf with a renewed sense of patriotism. Thedisplays of this support are everywhere: the yellow ribbons worn by school children; the signs outside restaurants, car dealers and banks; the sudden popularity of the national anthem on B-104.
But nowhere is it more apparent than in the proliferation of American flags displayed in front of houses, businesses and from the antennas of cars and trucks.
John McNeese, vice commander of the Sixth District of the Veterans of Foreign War, has offered some helpful information concerning proper etiquette of the stars and stripes.
"There is a Federal Flag Code that offers a guide for the proper display of the flag," he explained. "It covers where and when a flag should be displayed, decoration with the flag and the disposal of an old flag."
The VFW offers a free package of information that explains the history of the flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. Some of the guidelines include:
It is the custom to display the flag from sunrise to sunset. However, the flag may be displayed 24 hours if properly illuminated.
The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is bad unless it is an all-weather flag.
Only one U.S. flag should be flown from a building.
Flags may be repaired, washed or dry cleaned. Oncea flag is no longer in good condition it should be disposed of in a dignified way, preferably burning in a private ceremony or by a patriotic organization such as the VFW or the American Legion.
For moreinformation or for copies of the VFW's flag facts, call McNeese, 761-6718.
If you think that the Girl Scouts are getting together once a week to learn how to cook or sew or make clever craft items, youmay want to drop by the Girl Scout Jamboree from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Glen Burnie Mall.
More than 2,000 Girl Scouts from four North County communities will be there demonstrating how the girlscouting has moved into the '90s.
Each Scouting group will be represented -- Daisys, Brownies, Juniors, Cadets and Seniors.
The jamboree has been in the production stage for almost a year. Lynn Kampe and Linda Taltavull have organized the event based on similar jamborees around the nation.
"Because the world has changed so much and the role of women has changed too, it is important that Girl Scouting changes with that. We have to adjust and modify the programs," said Taltavull. "This is the first generation of girls that just assumes they will be part of the work force. We want to shown them all the possibilities available."
Throughout the day there will be a variety of demonstrations of traditional scouting skills by the girls including camping skills, lashing (or rope knotting ) and first aid. Booths will be set up so that visitors can make crafts such as friendship necklaces and Victorian fans.
But in addition there will be differentareas where girls can learn about the Packs and Tracks hiking program, the Water Rats canoe and white water rafting program and Wider Ops, which offer girls the opportunity to participate in scouting projects throughout the country.
A fashion show is scheduled for 11:15. Fashions from Mariannes and Rave will be modeled by several of the cadets. During the preparations for the fashion show the girls were able to do some career exploration into the retail market as well.