A tailor-made birthday suit


July 03, 1991|By Dan Rodricks

Pieces of column too short to use . . .

A reader offers a random thought on the Nude Olym-picks: "If God Had Wanted Us To Be Nude We Would Have Been Born That Way." Right. I read this same quotation, said to have been uttered by a Baptist preacher testifying against nudists who were on trial for indecent exposure, on the T-shirt of a man from the Skinny Dippers Club of New York City. He was attending the Nude Olym-picks in Harford County. And the T-shirt, I can assure you, was all that guy was wearing.

More random thoughts from Tommy Shanks, who claims to hail from "Melonville, Merlin." Here's what Baron von Tommy had to say:

"1. Boris Yeltsin is Bob Irsay after two weeks on Ultra Slim-Fast.

"2. Hasn't Eli 'I Want More Time To Read' Jacobs ever heard of Cliff Notes?"

Guilty But Mostly Stupid . . . This one will strike you funny, folks, but when I heard the story, my reaction was a big yawn. I had the same reaction when I first heard that Kevin Costner was starring in a new Robin Hood movie: "IT'S BEEN DONE!!!" I tell you, originality is disappearing in America. Look what happened in Hartford, Conn.

A guy wanted to rob a bank. So he went to the bank. And he handed the teller a note.

Sounds rather ordinary, doesn't it? Standard Operating Procedure. This chap probably didn't even have to consult the manual.

He did everything by the book except for one minor goof. For his stick-up note he used a savings deposit slip on which his name was printed.

Alvin A. Robertson, 28 years old, walked into the Bristol Federal Savings Bank in Terryville last January, wrote his demand on the back of one of his own deposit slips. He passed the note to a teller and he demanded money and claimed to have a gun. State police arrested him that night. The other day, he was sentenced to five years in federal prison and a judge ordered him to pay back $23,779 he stole from Bristol Federal and five Connecticut banks.

A humdinger, huh? But, before you chuckle too much, let me, as a connoisseur of stupid crook stories, just say what I said earlier: "IT'S BEEN DONE!!!" A guy did it in Oregon. A guy did it in Florida. I know of at least one other guy who did it, in Ohio. It's one thing to rob a bank the way it's been done before, it's quite another to MESS UP the way it's been done before. Two-time loser! You're outta here!

After someone pointed out a well-known funeral parlor director aMemorial Stadium, Baseball Billie Jones said: "Oh, yeah, they got a box here."

To which Turkey Joe Trabert replied: "Oh, yeah? Does it have a lid and gold handles?"

Other suggested exhumations: Mozart, to see if Salieri reallslipped him a bad prune; Mencken, to see if he's still in a bad mood; Babe Ruth, to find out what he wants to name the stadium; Mr. Carvel, to find out where he left the Fudgie the Whale mold; Zachary Taylor, again, because one can never be too sure, can one?

Everyone loves a Christmas story, but when was the last timyou heard a good Fourth of July story?

Well, gather 'round friends, as my ole pal, Big Little Joey Peske, shares one of the golden memories of his boyhood in Ferndale: "When I was young, I had young brothers and sisters. We were poor. We didn't have enough money for fireworks. One Fourth of July, we went in the back yard and we had sparklers and that was it. But, we heard a loud boom from across the street. The Batons, which was the family in the neighborhood that had some money, had quite an elaborate fireworks display, most of it purchased out of state while Mr. Baton was on a junket for the sheet metal company he worked for. We all turned our lawn chairs to watch the Mighty Baton's display, which infuriated my father . . . So he felt inadequate that he was unable to entertain his family on the Fourth. He made a homemade bomb. Which was really stupid. He put his foot on it and yelled: 'Hey kids, look at this!' He thought the mighty explosion would wow us and win back our affection. We all turned to look. He lit the fuse. The bomb exploded, sending his penny loafer -- and fortunately, not his left foot -- flying into Mr. Dornbusch's yard, where it hit his pigeon coop, sending about 30 pigeons airborne and raining their devastation on our family. It was an awful. Please, everybody . . . don't try this at home!"

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