More about doorbells, deficits and sand pails


September 14, 1992|By ROGER SIMON

Letters, calls and the roar of the crowd:

Arthur Murphy, president, Baltimore branch, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: Where can I buy one of those doorbells you wrote about? The ones that play the different tunes? I believe the idea was taken from an old Bill Cosby album.

When I read your column, I dug out the album. It was from the

late Sixties or early Seventies. Cosby does this routine about making a doorbell that can say "Who is at the door?" or play Beethoven.

I am sure I can program this doorbell you wrote about to say, "Who is at the door?" If this doorbell has computer chips, a tape or a CD-ROM, I am sure I can program it.

Here at the NAACP we have programmed all the Macintoshes to scream when you make a mistake. New users go nuts.

I went to Poly. And Poly grads are infamous for being able to take apart anything and put it together again.

COMMENT: Then there must be a Poly grad in my neighborhood. Because every time somebody changes TV channels, my garage door goes up and down.


Richard Steltzer, No. 400585A, Iowa Men's ReformatoryAnamosa, Iowa: I would like to have an 8x10 color picture of yourself. Can you put your name, address or post office box, town, state, and ZIP code on your return envelope? Thank you.

COMMENT: I could do that, Richard. I could also enclose an old driver's license, my Social Security number, a few blank checks and my last VISA statement. But by the time I get that stuff together, the Democrats will be in the White House and all prisoners will be released anyway, so I think I'll just wait.


Mrs. Alice W. Bennett, Towson: I am 80 years old and a registered Republican, but I don't always vote that way. My first vote was in 1932 for Roosevelt.

I have been listening very carefully to what Mr. Clinton has been saying. My question to you, Mr. Simon (and I especially like Good Roger and Bad Roger) is this: "Where is Bill Clinton going to get the money for all he is promising to do for us when he becomes president in November?"

COMMENT: Good Roger replies: "An excellent question. The bulk of the government's money comes from taxes. No matter what any candidate promises, be he Bill Clinton or George Bush, the bill ultimately comes back to the taxpayer. And thank you for taking an interest in this very important quadrennial event."

Bad Roger replies: "How come you didn't ask Frankie Roosevelt where he was going to get the money for Social Security, unemployment assistance, the WPA, the NRA, agricultural subsidies and the Tennessee Valley Authority? I'll give you a little clue to where Roosevelt got it from, Alice-baby: It was called deficit spending.

And if you liked the deficit in '32, you ought to love it in '92.


Joe Mandell, Baltimore: Regarding your column on George Bush eating chicken with his fingers:

From 1940 to 1955, I owned and operated Mandell's Deli & Restaurant, a 300-plus seat and 100-plus employee operation at the old Emerson Hotel at Baltimore and Calvert streets. We were open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

In the course of events in the early Forties, at a convention in Chicago, I purchased a franchise out of Oklahoma City called "Chicken in the Rough." This consisted of one-half of a disjointed chicken, a leg, thigh, breast and wing, piled high and covered with french fries, a biscuit, a cup of honey, a child's sand pail of warm water and plenty of napkins, but NO SILVERWARE.

You were supposed to eat it the way chicken was meant to be eaten, with YOUR FINGERS.

All this cost 75 cents per platter and the top price eventually went up to $1.25 out of which we had to pay 1.5 cents per portion as a franchise fee. On any given weekend on average we sold over 2,000 chickens, which was 4,000 portions. That is if the chickens were available because of rationing in war time.


COMMENT: Just one question: After eating a leg, a thigh, a breast, a wing, a big portion of french fries, a biscuit and a cup of honey, how did anyone have room left over for that child's sand pail full of warm water?

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