Best detergent, and a turbanite

Dan Rodricks DHC [ w

September 25, 1991|By Dan Rodricks

Pieces of column too short to use

What a waste of time. . . . Why did the Postal Service even bother? I mean, give me a break. A practicing Sikh wears a turban on the job and the ole USPS wants to bust him? Where do we find such fools? Arvinder Singh showed up for work at the Aspen Hill post office Monday morning, and his boss told him to peg his turban on the nearest hat rack. Turbans, Singh was told, are not "approved headgear." (I suppose he could wear a pith helmet, or one of those official USPS baseball caps. But not the turban required by his religion.) Well, you can imagine what happened: Rather than compromise his faith, Singh went home. Yesterday, the USPS reinstated him. What a waste of time. Just think of all the junk mail Singh could have been sorting.

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Speaking of wastes of time: How about the Maryland Stadium Authority going after Roy Becker for selling Camden Yards T-shirts when we know full well that the new stadium will probably be called Oriole Park.

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Separated at birth: Sam Donaldson and Neil Diamond.

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That's what he gets for being a slob. . . . A 21-year-old guy from Landover tried to buy a truck with $12,000 stuffed in shoe boxes at a car dealership in Frederick and wound up being charged with possession of cocaine after police found drug dust on the cash.

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Here's hoping Dr. Neil Solomon doesn't come into his new role as chairman of the Governor's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission with guns blazing. The last thing we need is another drug czar putting more emphasis on the supply-side of the drug problem than on the demand-side. Being a physician, Solomon should know what's really needed: More money and manpower for counseling addicts and alcoholics -- that's the long, hard sweat of curtailing the drug epidemic. I mean, drug raids look swell on the 11 o'clock news; they present a dramatic image that goes a long way toward fooling the public that a big bust now and then really makes a difference. As long as there's a demand, there will be a supply. Solomon's opening statements made it sound like he was ready to don a flak jacket and grab a shotgun. Chill, doc. We've got enough yappy politicians talking a big game about getting tough on dealers.

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I'd like to say something to the pleasant woman at the Washington Boulevard Royal Farm Store who touted, then enthusiastically prepared, a chicken-salad-on-Kaiser for me yesterday shortly before noon: Hey, Hon, the chicken salad might have been wonderful, but next time, if there is a next time, PUT MORE THAN A SMALL BLOP OF IT ON MY ROLL!!

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I just coined an expression -- a rare event -- and want to share it with you. It's sort of a literary-type expression, something that people who deal with the printed word might appreciate more than others. Anyway, feel free to use it at no extra charge whenever a friend or relative overreacts to something, when they lose perspective, or when, for instance, they start screaming because the nice lady at Royal Farm didn't put enough chicken salad on the roll. Remember: "Fifty-percent of life is deciding what to boldface."

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Here's looking at you, kid. . . . I meet a 21-year-old Loyola College senior at the Swallow at the Hollow. He says: "You won't believe this, but years ago you spoke to my fourth-grade class at Prettyboy Elementary School." Great. Just great.

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Separated at birth: Eli Jacobs and Chuck Bernstein.

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Bawlmerisms . . . Malapropisms occur everywhere, every day. However, there's something about an innocent twist-of-the-tongue, when combined with a Bawlmer accent, that is particularly charming. For instance, an East Baltimore man recently described the practice of putting a down payment on a consumer item and paying the balance later as "the put-away plan." I heard someone else describe the attendants at a funeral as "pall-bearings." And City Councilman John Schaefer, commenting on national defense, once said: "Preparedness is the best detergent against aggression."

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