An eclectic stew of Irsay, Marge and collectics

DAN RODRICKS

December 29, 1992|By DAN RODRICKS

Pieces of column too short to use:

Two thoughts . . . from a reader named Tommy Shanks: "You know you're getting old when you start wearing the same kind of socks you used to razz your father for wearing."

And, "Separated at birth: Bob Irsay and Marge Schott. Don't believe me? Look at her face. Look at Bob's."

More Baltimalaprops . . .

A Parkville guy's reply to a New Year's Eve party invitation: "Sorry, but I will be in Pennsylvania, sliding down the mountainside on cafeteria trays with my pal. We're staying in a combo."

A Baltimore hairstylist, describing her diverse taste in interior decorating: "I've got lots of different things in my apartment. It's very collectic."

A Harford County cop, getting philosophical: "Life has problems for everyone. We all have trials and trivia that we go through."

That's all I can stands an' I can't stands na'more . . . A Baltimore man, faced with the long-standing nuisance of kids tearing up Wyman Park with their dirt bikes, took matters into his own hands: He commandeered one of the bikes. This happened last month, while the man walked his dog in the park. He confronted two boys on bikes and held one of the bikes until cops arrived. Cops impounded the bike. The boy's dad was not pleased. He filed an assault charge against the man. The case is scheduled on the New Year's Eve docket in District Court. Watch this space.

About panhandlers . . . Men and women holding signs saying Will Work For Food" have become more abundant and more visible in downtown Baltimore, a lot of them copycats of this increasingly popular but pathetic begging form.

One of them, a 23-year-old woman, regularly works the traffic light at the downtown entrance to Interstate 395, by Camden Yards. She says she's homeless because she doesn't get along with her mother and because there's no room for her in her sister's house. She says that, after about four hours of begging commuters for donations, she gets enough money for a sandwich and cigarettes. The vast majority of drivers give nothing. Despite the plea she makes with her sign, she has never been offered a job. She says she has regular contributors, a handful of commuters who've dropped coins in her foam cup several times.

At the end of the day, she catches a bus to a shelter on Park Heights Avenue and sleeps there. By noon the next day, she's back at the entrance to 395, trying to hit up commuters before they get away again. She denies that the panhandlers work together in any formal way.

Guilty But Mostly Stupid . . . One of the best True Crime Comedies of the year came from the California town of Lompoc -- home, incidentally, of W.C. Fields' bumbling ne'er-do-well character, Egbert Souse, in "The Bank Dick." This sounds like something that could have happened to Souse (pronounced Sue-say). A woman walking her dog and carrying a brown paper bag was accosted by a guy who jumped out of a passing car

and grabbed the bag. Before the bandit could jump back in the hTC car, the woman's 50-pound Rhodesian ridgeback took a bite out of his thigh. He got in the car and escaped. The bag contained nothing but dog droppings.

Dear old Dad, what a guy! . . . We asked readers to share their fondest Christmas memories. Here's one -- too short to use, maybe too strange and too depressing to use -- that arrived too late to use:

"Remembrance of Christmas 1937. . . . Mother and Dad had not lived together for a long time. The child know she was with her father because a judge said so. The tree looked awful. It was thin, bare, but the 8-year-old was glad she make so many paper chains. She came home from school and the tree was dressed [in] paper chains.

"Tomorrow was Christmas Day. . . . It was hard to sleep that night on the sofa in the kitchen. The girl wondered about the new-to-be stepmother who was spending the night in the front room with Dad. (Her name was Christine.) Would she leave like all the rest? . . . When the 8-year-old's eyes opened, she saw a large white box under the tree, the only box there. She reached down, lifted the lid. Her heart skipped a beat.

"Inside was a birthday cake. It said, 'Happy Birthday, Christine.' "

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