Some of this, a little of that

Dan Rodricks

April 26, 1991|By Dan Rodricks

Pieces of column too short to use . . .

I'm glad to hear the Orioles are having Beth Cline, the singing plumber, handle the National Anthem before tonight's game. But, really: Yoko Watanabe is in town doing the meanest Madama Butterfly we ever heard, and I'd pay a premium to hear her sing the Star-Spangled Banner. (And there's still time to ask!)

*

Frank DeFilippo might have delivered the greatest line ever on a recent "Square Off," Channel 13's weekly growl. During a "discussion" on -- abortion? gay rights? criminal violence? does it matter? -- St. George I.B. Crosse kept interrupting Elane Stein, who persisted bravely in trying to make a point about -- abortion? gay rights? criminal violence? does it matter? But so rude was St. George that even host Richard Sher took offense. "I'm asking you once more not to interrupt," Sher chastised St. George. "Please show a little respect."

And instantly a sharp DeFilippo snapped: "What're you talking about? This show is all about disrespect."

*

For some reason -- I don't know how or why it came up -- Ken Williams recalled attending a wake in Highlandtown for the mother of a guy with whom he worked. As he approached the open casket, he overheard two elderly women speaking of the deceased. Curious to know more about his co-worker's dear departed mother, Williams leaned in. Hovering over the casket, one of the women shook her head gently and remarked, in the thickest downhome Bawlmer accent possible: "She sure could make a good sandwich."

*

I go into the Hollow for a swallow -- great place, nice people, good meatloaf -- and the guy sitting next to me starts talking about his shoes: "These are great shoes. Comfortable as hell. Got 'em for $18. Look at 'em. They're barely worn. I wear 'em out to the track. I go to the track. I like to go on Sunday. What're you got in the bag? Fish? I went shopping on my way home from work once. Just once. Wife had a fit. Went to Cross Street Market and a supermarket down there. I spent $56 on groceries. Fifty-six! That was a lot of dough in those days. This was back in the '60s. So I stop for a beer on my way home and -- guess what? -- I left all the groceries in the damn bar. I walked home without 'em. Wife gimme holy hell."

*

My pal, Bush Hog James, gourmet-gourmand and bon vivant, suggests dinner at a new place in Reisterstown, the not-yet-a-year-old China Moon restaurant in the Chartley Shopping Center. "One of those delights you don't expect to find in a suburban shopping center," he says. "Wonderful service and great presentation, totally an unexpected pleasure." . . . Sign scene in Woodlawn: "Adults Only Bowling." What a concept.

*

I love Eddie the Chicken Man in Cross Street. Nice man, funny man. He's been selling poultry parts for 54 years. He's in his 70s now, still spry, still congenial. And his chicken is still "fresh killed." I was sorry to hear, however, that one of Eddie's old pals, Charlie the Lamp Man, is no longer on the Cross Street scene. His shop, on the other side of the market from Eddie's poultry store, has been closed. Charlie, wonderfully grumbly and extremely serious about his business, repaired and sold lamps. Charlie was way up in years -- he used to call Eddie the Chicken Man "kid" -- but he could still wire a brass lamp faster than anyone I've ever seen.

*

I hear from readers in southwest Baltimore that I was mistaken the other day when I referred to the 400 block of Yale Avenue, scene of a triple teen murder over the weekend, as being in the neighborhood of Yale Heights. As a matter of fact, it's not. It's near Yale Heights, but not in it. Sorry about that.

*

The Lancers Boys Club, which last year hosted, of all people, Ollie North as its featured speaker, has a better role model coming to town. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun will address the boys next week. . . . Speaking of speakers: Sinai Hospital recently had Barbara Walters in town to speak at the hospital's 125th anniversary celebration. Did Babs do this gig for free? Not likely. Last time she was in Baltimore to speak, she took Loyola College for $13,000. That was 10 years ago! Now we hear Lady Wa-Wa is pulling in a "huge" sum for the Sinai gig. And here's a hospital that has been forced to lay off more than 120 employees since last November. Good to go.

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