Return of Sam, and looking for exotic dressing

DAN RODRICKS

February 09, 1993|By DAN RODRICKS

Pieces of column too short to use:

Sam: The Sequel . . . Last week in this space you read about Sam, the odd man who showed up in several Baltimore churches to loudly demand money. Sam interrupted services in Bolton Hill and Hampden, and churchgoers, though suspicious of Sam's assertions of need, apparently made contributions. Now the Rev. Jeffrey L. Tomlinson, pastor of Church of God at Dundalk, reports that apparently the same Sam paid his parishioners a visit last summer.

"He marched in just about at the close of my sermon, sat down on the second pew and, just as I was making my closing remarks, he stood and asked to speak," Rev. Tomlinson says, adding that Sam asked for exactly $80. "The reaction of people in my congregation was varied. Some thought we should have called the police. Others were naturally frightened. But overall, the people felt compassion for him and responded generously. . . . Whether Sam was legitimate or just another con, we don't know. If he was legitimate, we helped someone in need. If he was not, he will answer to a higher power one day. I was reminded of the passage of scripture that talks about helping strangers, and that by doing so some [of us] have entertained angels unaware. Was Sam an angel? I seriously doubt it! But stranger things have happened."

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Back off . . . The Maryland State Teachers Association ought to drop its opposition to the community service requirement for high school students. This is an important idea, cutting edge stuff in Bill Clinton's "season of service," and teachers ought to be embracing it rather than fighting it.

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Is dis a system? . . . In the brewing furor over public housing in Baltimore, one footnote kicks me in the head. Get this: In an attempt to finagle money out of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city had to hire a Washington attorney who specializes in fighting to get HUD to give up funds. Get out your barf-bags, folks. So far the city has spent $375,000 on this guy, and guess where the money came from? Federal block grant funds.

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A loyal reader suggests the following idea for a television series . . . Mayberry barber moves to South Central L.A. Catch the hilarious high jinks on "Floydz 'N The Hood."

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Overheard . . . A friend of a friend was in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco when a couple sat down at a nearby table. The waitress proceeded to ask what they wanted: "Oolong, jasmine, Formosa . . .?" when one of the customers cut her off: "Oh no, we'll just have tea, thank you." . . . A woman who had dinner in Little Italy later asked around for a recipe: "I'm looking for a recipe for a salad dressing. It's called House. Had it at Sabatino's."

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Who says there is no justice? . . . A German court has ordered a cruise company to refund one-third of a couple's $4,478 fare after they spent their entire Caribbean jaunt cooped up on a ship filled with 500 Swiss yodelers. Beautiful. Now we can sue for the hours spent in elevators with Muzak.

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Grammy For Best Album Title . . . Mike Surratt and the Continentals, hot Baltimore-Washington polka band with a driving rock beat, have come out with their sixth album on compact disc. The Continentals have been doing a lot of traveling, taking their sound to 13 states in the past year, according to trumpeter John Babcock. "We're doing South Dakota next," he says. The new CD is entitled: "APOLKALYPSE." I love it!

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Mustache update . . . So far, no self-improvement had been undertaken by that still unidentified Baltimore County official -- you know who you are -- who suffers from an SSD (Scraggly Subnasal Distraction).The particularly homely mustache is still beneath his nose, and we have received no indication that he intends to shave it off, or let it grow into a full beard. We're still watching. The clock is ticking.

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Apologies to Hampdentonians, er, Hampdeners, er,Hampdenites . . . In this same space exactly one week ago, Hampden was spelled without the "p." Though "Hamden" is how almost everyone pronounces it, that's not how it's spelled. You'd think that a columnist for the Balmer Sun could get it straight. Sorry.

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