Boogie, Boog and Orioles -- vision grows limitless

DAN RODRICKS

December 15, 1992|By DAN RODRICKS

Pieces of column too short to use . . .

If Boogie gets the Orioles, any chance we can get the Camden Club converted to a Boogie's Diner? Any chance we can have a Pony Tail Give-Away Night, with 47,000 fans doing the Boogie Look? Any chance we can finally have that massive game of Twister on the tarpaulin? Any chance we can hire Paul Schaffer to be stadium organist? And I'd pay to see Boog feeding Boogie barbecue, wouldn't you?

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One of Kweisi Mfume's first assignments as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus took him to the Virgin Islands last Friday for the dedication of an airport runway. I guess that's called "perking up."

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I wanna party with Mr. Haney! And I'm not talkin' about that scam artist with the poker-hollow drawl from "Green Acres." I'm talking Diann (no "e") Haney and her husband, Raymond Haney. They live in Mount Vernon, Va. They recently won a record $5.6 million Virginia lottery jackpot. And what was the first thing the Haneys decided to do with their moolah? Did they sail off to the Virgin Islands? Did they purchase a baronial manse near Middleburg? Nah. The Haneys went for his-and-her Hyundais! (I bet they pump their own gas, too. Regular unleaded.)

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Holiday giving: Don't forget Boots for Baltimore, an effort, through the Church of the Redeemer, to put good boots and work shoes on the feet of homeless men in Baltimore before the winter sets in hard and cold.

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Bad news for Cal: No more sending Billy out for milk.

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Check it out: If Barry Levinson is part of the Boogie deal and the Orioles play poorly, he can always fill the stands with the cardboard spectators he used in "The Natural" to feign sellouts.

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People just don't get together like they used to, do they? Whatever happened to the Great Good Place, the informal gathering place away from work and home, where neighbors and friends kept in touch? Ann Miller used to have a Great Good Place -- the corner of Maryland Avenue and Biddle Street, about 2 o'clock in the morning. "It was a notorious intersection for accidents," she says. "We used to have at least one every two weeks. One time, a car smashed into the liquor store on the corner. And everyone would come out of their houses to see what was happening, see if anything was needed. Then, we'd get to talking about the neighborhood. That's how we kept up." But the city made an adjustment in the traffic light -- "Delayed red," Ann says -- and that went a long way toward curtailing the frequency of accidents. They rarely happen now. And there goes the neighborhood.

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Disney's "Aladdin" is terrific and, as you might have heard, Robin Williams' Genie of the Lamp is astounding. Great moment: Williams, as the Genie, is playing chess with the Magic Carpet when, after he makes a particularly bad move, his face suddenly turns into a Hirschfeld-style caricature of Rodney Dangerfield. "I can't believe I'm losing to a rug," he says.

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Every Marylander who buys a handgun -- and sales are booming -- is a Marylander who has lost faith in the police and the criminal justice system. They have turned to gun shops for help, and the gun shops are eager to oblige.

The men who own these shops never worry much about the consequences of their commerce; they simply supply a demand. And so what if part of the demand is criminal? A year ago this month, a robbery at a Lansdowne gun shop -- the 60th such robbery in Maryland and Virginia in the previous 16 months -- netted bandits 17 expensive, high-powered handguns. Did the owner of the shop have any sudden qualms about his guns getting into the hands of criminals? Nah. But he did say this: "I feel very fortunate. It could have been a lot worse. You can replace merchandise, but you can't replace a life." Touching, isn't it? I guess the sentiment would be lost on the two cops, one from Baltimore County and one from the city, who dodged a dozen shots in two separate car chases last week. The guns used in the shootings were stolen Nov. 29 from a shop in Parkville.

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