NEW YORK -- Quick, what do you think of when you hear these names:
Paul Sarbanes. Ben Cardin. Melvin Steinberg. Agnes Welch. Iris Reeves. Joe Curran. Louis Goldstein. Barbara Hoffman. Tom McMillen. Steny Hoyer.
Here at the Democratic convention, the Maryland delegation has quickly established itself as the Fun delegation.
And by elbowing through the crowds of celebrity watchers and autograph seekers who constantly surround them, I asked leading members of the delegation the same question:
"How are you, zany madcap Maryland delegate, going to have fun in New York this week?"
And here are their zany, madcap answers:
Madcap U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes:
"My idea of fun is to go to the convention every night and concentrate on how we are going to win this election, and we will win this election!"
Nutso Partygoer Attorney General Joe Curran:
"I am going to visit my daughter and my granddaughter. I'll probably do that several times this week."
Wild Man Lt. Gov. Melvin Steinberg:
"I came up here to work. In my off time I will be speaking to people in business about giving me a helping hand in my campaign" for governor.
Fun Monster U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin:
"I am going to see some shows on Friday after the convention is over, but the convention is my fun thing. The excitement is the excitement on the floor of the convention. For a person in elective office, this is one of the most exciting things in the world. I am also hoping not to do too much damage to my diet."
Mirth Maven State Comptroller Louis Goldstein:
"I am going to enjoy the good food and fresh air of New York! I have been coming here since 1933. I come here regularly for the sale of Maryland state bonds, which still enjoy their triple-A credit rating! This is one of the finest delegations in history. It has youth! It has middle age! It has different ethnic groups! It has everything!"
Wild Woman Baltimore Councilwoman Iris Reeves:
"I am going to museums and hunting for bargains in the Garment District. I also hope to see 'Two Trains Running' and 'Jelly's Last Jam' on Broadway. I also want to go to the Jewish Historical Society and see the exhibit about blacks and Jews."
Totally Fun Person Baltimore Councilwoman Agnes Welch:
"I don't think I'm going to have too much fun. I am going to go to the different caucuses for women and try to get more women elected in this country. I will shop. Probably for jewelry. I will also go on a boat ride with the African-American delegation."
Wacky state Sen. Barbara Hoffman:
"Fun? For fun I'm going to soak my feet."
Very Tall Wild Guy U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen:
"Sleep. I have to go back Wednesday to attend the Tawes crab feast in Crisfield. That will be fun."
Loon-oid Rascal U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer:
"The Democrats are going to win big and create a new America and that will be fun! Yeah! Fun!"
You might be thinking just about now that the Maryland delegation had pretty much exhausted all fun possibilities in New York, but, hey, not to worry.
When the Marylanders first hit town, they went to a big party given by AT&T at which there were mimes, magicians and body painters.
And off in one corner I noticed that Social Butterfly Democratic Central Committee member Shirley Pulliam was having paint applied to her, ah, just what shall I call that part of your body, Committeewoman Pulliam?
"My cleavage! I am having my cleavage painted!" Pulliam said.
Finally. Somebody from Maryland who knows how to have real fun.