Just outrageous, you big bully

Dan Rodricks

March 18, 1991|By Dan Rodricks

Pieces of column too short to use . . .

A sign of the times: Classified advertisement, under "business properties for rent," in major Baltimore newspaper: "Grocery store, fully equip. w/inventory. Bullet Proof."

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In one of the most outrageous court actions ever, Sony Corp., the electronics giant, sued Resurrecion "Sony" Florendo, Baltimore restaurateur and very nice person, for copyright infringement. Remember? Big Sony sued Little Sony for $2.9 VTC million, claiming the use of Madame Florendo's lifelong nickname on her Filipino-Asian restaurants constituted "unfair competition" and diminished the value of the Japanese giant's worldwide trademark. What a bunch of nonsense. But Big Sony threatened to keep Little Sony in court indefinitely, and Madame Florendo didn't have the money to fight. So, in 1987, she agreed to change the name of her food businesses. The change becomes complete tomorrow. "March 19th is the last day for Sony's," Madame Florendo said. "It will be S.R. Florendo's, or Florendo's. I'm very sad." Still, Little Sony will always serve a delicious meal. Big Sony, on the other hand, will always leave a bad taste in the mouth.

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Soliloquy overheard in Hampden convenience store: "So, get this. With my boyfriend down there, he comes over and sits outside my house in his car all night with a baseball bat. Does that make any sense? I mean, like, where's the common sense, you know?"

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Notes from a visit to the shores of the Choptank . . . "All night long, we could hear the distant arias of hundreds and hundreds of birds in, presumedly, the midst of mating. We shut off the lights in the shore house at the point, south of Royal Oak, and, as our eyes adjusted to the night, we could see a million stars and, due east, a few lights flickering along Tilghman Island. By morning, the love calls had stopped. Two swans swam past the house. More ducks than we could count. Saw just one boat all day. The only other sound came from the pines behind the house -- chickadee, sparrow, junco, titmouse and, praise the spring, the first robins of the year."

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Oil was among the many the reasons given for the war against Iraq. The oil resources of the Persian Gulf are vital to the American way of life; we couldn't allow Saddam Hussein to seize more Arab crude. Later, even President Bush declared, however gratuitously, that we have to become less reliant on Arab oil. Yes, indeed, a fitting tribute to the service and sacrifice rendered by our troops: A renewed effort at home toward energy conservation and independence. Answering the charge, the Maryland House of Delegates voted to raise the speed limit to 65 mph on rural interstates. Where do we find such rubes?

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Folks in South Baltimore who are looking to secede are sick of being a dumping ground for the city, and they say the issue that finally galvanized the community was that controversial medical waste incinerator in Hawkins Point. They're bitter that their concerns have been repeatedly ignored in favor of the interests of the well-connected company, Medical Waste Associates, that developed the incinerator. Among those with an interest (8.5 percent) in the company is Harry McGuirk, a $50,000-a-year aide to William Donald Schaefer and formerly a very popular state senator from South Baltimore.

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A group called the International Community for Justice in Ireland held a peaceful vigil down by the World Trade Center yesterday. The group was formed in Northern Ireland, and some active Baltimoreans caught wind of it. Now they coordinate their actions -- demonstrations and fasts -- with groups in Belfast. Here's the local chapter's St. Patrick's Day message: "Irish people again will be portrayed smiling, drinking beer, or prancing about as leprechauns replete with shamrocks. It will be a grim stereotype. . . . This year, we find it even more malicious. Nineteen-ninety-one marks the 75th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. This Rising led to the creation of the Irish Republic, an incomplete revolution because only 26 counties were liberated and six counties in the north of Ireland are still under British occupation."

Note from a reader concerning newest Don Donaldo operaWhere was Brunnhilda Mae threatening to burn the palace furniture before a throng of ungrateful peasants?" To which I reply: Watch this space.

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