'Oooh, there's Bach in the loo!'

Dan Rodricks

May 20, 1991|By Dan Rodricks

Bits of column too short to use . . .

In all the highly detailed reporting of Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Memorial Stadium last week -- what color gloves she wore, how she took them off, where she put them after she took them off, how many times she "appeared to frown," how many times she had to pass the Grey Poupon to Eli Jacobs -- nowhere did I see mention of what Her Royal Majesty had to drink. I have it from reliable sources that the queen ordered one gin-and-tonic (from freshly cracked bottles of Schweppes and Beefeater, of course) in the Designated Hitter Lounge before the game. On the house, too. Just remember, you heard it here first.

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Something else about the queen's visit you didn't read in the newspaper: Maryland Man Provides Royal Throne. . . . I'm talking here about Tim Haszard of Lite Equipment Leasing in Jessup. Tim and kin do executive restrooms -- deluxe air-conditioned trailers (the biggest is 26 feet long) with private toilets, hot and cold running water, plush paper towels and stereo. Tim has provided these luxurious johns to presidents (Reagan and Carter) and celebrities (Malcolm Forbes and the Beach Boys), and last week he got the call to cover the queen's lawn party at the British Embassy in Washington. The last time Tim provided a posh potty for the English, he piped some classical music into the women's trailer. This caused giggles. "Oooh," said one British lady, "there's Bach in the loo!"

*

Just read Tony Hiss's piece on Baltimore in the New Yorker -- adoring, and boring, I'm SNORING!! Somebody get a knife and cut the glaze off my eyes. . . . As for Rick Dees and "Into the Night" -- take away Billy Vera and the Beaters, and you have the new black hole of TV, a video vacuum that seems to suck up all that is lame, all that is mediocre; and the Rickster himself is utterly unbearable, an ooze in a Boss-shouldered jacket, a phony baloney with one eye in the mirror. A carp is more sincere, and probably more talented. . . . As for young Joe De Francis' post-Preakness performance on national TV -- was that genuine gushing over William Donald Schaefer, or early lobbying for next year's off-track betting bill?

*

And another thing: If Oriole fans still insist on doing the Wave, could they at least hold off until the other team's pitcher is on the mound? I understand boredom as a cause for the Wave, but last Friday night the infection spread while Ben McDonald, pitching a terrific game against the Angels, faced the heart of the California order with two runners in scoring position. It made me want to hose down the entire stadium.

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Shortly after the fast-food joint at Baltimore and Holliday streets closed and was boarded up, someone, undoubtedly a religious crusader, scrawled a phrase on the facade, an exclamation that sums up the hopes and fears of millions of people: "Holy Bibble!"

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Don White III, fish artist of Cross Street Market, has a new show of his photos and illustrations at Turner's, right near the market. He calls this show "Noble Flesh." When he's not taking photos or drawing, White makes a mean mural with squid. You can catch his act at the west end of the market any Friday or Saturday. White lays out the most artful fish bin in Baltimore. You won't believe what the man can do with a dozen porgies! Look for the guy with the ponytail, T-shirt with rolled sleeves, and the dorky black steel-toed boots.

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Martin Zimmerman joined me recently in mourning the passing of old steel bridges over Maryland reservoirs -- one at Loch Raven, the other at Prettyboy. They have been replaced with sturdy but decidedly boring concrete structures that look more like exit ramps than bridges. Mr. Zimmerman writes about one such bridge in Carroll County, torn down about three years ago:

"The old bridge held many secrets among its rods and cables [and oaken planks]. Many times, children playing on it were unpleasantly surprised by the sting of the paper wasps which had built their nests under the broad iron plates. Birds found the rods under the top iron plates a safe haven for their nests. . . . Many times, boys trying to impress their girlfriends would boldly walk along the top of the narrow sides of the bridge to show their fearlessness. School picnics, held in the adjacent meadow, provided many such opportunities. So the old bridge is gone, missed only by the few with long memories."

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