News note: The emir of Annapolis, also known as Gov. William Donald ''Mohammed is my other middle name'' Schaefer, embarked last night for Kuwait.
Newspaper reports say this is part of a diplomatic mission to the Persian Gulf.
The reports are untrue.
It has been learned from highly placed sources that the governor actually decided to go to the war-ravaged region because a guy in Kuwait once wrote him a nasty letter.
''Good sir, you spend millions to develop the beach at Ocean City,'' the guy in Kuwait wrote, ''but we have all this undeveloped beach over here. Have you spent even one miserable drachma to develop it? What about all those sand dunes I had named for you?''
The governor declared, ''I'm going to that s---house of a Middle Eastern shore and give that guy a piece of my diplomacy.''
There is precedent for this kind of Schaeferian gesture, of course.
Recently, the governor was upset when a woman in a car expressed herself digitally to him, and Schaefer responded by taking down her license number, looking up her address through the Motor Vehicle Administration, and sending her a note saying, ''The ugliness of your action is exceeded only by the ugliness of your face.''
When this roused a desert storm of public outrage, the governor said he would turn in his poison pen pal credentials and write no more letters.
True to his word, the governor has gone forth and penned no more.
Instead, he makes house calls.
He unexpectedly showed up in Catonsville last Saturday, at the home of Cornelius J. Hourihan, who'd written some angry letters about Schaefer's comparison of the Eastern Shore to a bleephouse.
By Hourihan's account of the surprise meeting:
A.) The governor frightened Hourihan's dog.
B.) The governor carefully honed his Middle East diplomatic skills by complimenting Hourihan for not being ''like those other yellow-bellied cowards who are not man enough to sign their names'' to letters.
All of this was mere ambassadorial appetizer for the governor's trip to Kuwait. Among those accompanying Schaefer on his diplomatic (you should pardon the expression) mission is Representative Helen Delich Bentley, graduate of the famous Pit Bull School of Diplomacy.
As many know, Mrs. Bentley developed her ambassadorial skills by covering the port of Baltimore for many years for this newspaper. She communicates in the ancient dialect of the dockworker. Recently, she further refined her delicate skills with a Baltimore County process server.
Naturally, she was selected as the perfect one to accompany Schaefer for his confrontation with the letter writer in Kuwait.
It has now been learned that when Schaefer's plane landed in the Persian Gulf region early today, Schaefer and Bentley tracked down the letter writer's address through the Kuwaiti DDV (Department of Dromedary Vehicles) and immediately knocked on this man's tent.
There, highly placed sources report, the following dialogue took place:
Kuwaiti: ''Who is at the door of my tent?''
Schaefer: ''It ain't the Avon Lady, Mustafa.''
Kuwaiti (opening door and looking around): ''Good sir, you have frightened my goat.''
Schaefer: ''Oh, yeah, Rashid? Well, your ugliness is exceeded onlyby the ugliness of your fourteenth wife.''
Kuwaiti: ''What is that, veiled criticism?''
Schaefer (skipping right past clever pun): ''Not only that, Abdul, but the stupidity of your letter is exceeded only by the ugliness of your camel.''
Bentley: ''He looks like a process server to me, Don. Why don't I fire a couple of warning shots into his robe?''
Schaefer: ''Relax, Helen, he's not serving you with anything yet. Anyway, this is my fight.''
Kuwaiti: ''A thousand pardons, your governorship. I know the letter of which you speak, but it was not I who wrote it. It was my wife, the cranky Yasmin, also known as the Hilda Mae of the Holy Land. Youknow how these women are, your lordship.''
Schaefer: ''Hey, say no more, buddy. You want to talk lady troubles, I . . . ''
Kuwaiti: ''This woman of mine, she wishes constantly to redecorate the family tent. Always, with the new furniture, the new fixtures, the new rugs. If I utter a single syllable of complaint, right away she is talking to the decorators. Now she even wants a new fountain.''
Schaefer: ''Fountain? I could get a fountain for you wholesale.''
Kuwaiti: ''But, your governorship, this is the desert. We have no water to spare for a fountain.''
Schaefer: ''Water, shmater. I got an Eastern Shore back home, I'll be happy to drain every drop of water that bleephouse has and give it to the good people of Kuwait. You could have fountains to make a thousand deserts blossom. You could have developed beachfront. I can see it all now: Hilda Mae and I could bring our matching trailers here. I wouldn't have to deal with those morons in the legislature any more.''
Kuwaiti: ''Excuse me, lord, but what means 'bleephouse?'''
Schaefer: ''Never mind, friend. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.''