ATM adventures, top picks, eggs -- fuel for this day

DAN RODRICKS

April 01, 1993|By DAN RODRICKS

Dan Rodricks is on vacation. His column will resume when he returns.

April Fool!

Man goes to the automatic teller machine in a Giant. He asks for $60 from his checking account. Eighty dollars drops out of the machine. The printed receipt indicates the man's account has been debited only the $60 he requested. He reports this at the courtesy booth. He's told to "Check with your bank."

Right. The bank. The bank that charges $25 each time the man's checking account is overdrawn by a buck-fifty. The bank that charges 50 cents for a telephone transfer from savings to checking. Right. "Check with your bank." Of course. Absolutely. Consider it done.

Recommended . . . For eating: the roast chicken at Rotisseria, 219 S. Broadway . . . For reading: Jonathan Yardley's "States of Mind," especially the chapter on Memorial Stadium. And "Great Beginnings," edited by Georgianna Ensign, a collection of openings to great novels. Great fun . . . For listening: Book on tape: "The Comedian Dies," by Simon Brett, read by the author . . . For viewing: "Tune In Tomorrow," on video, starring Peter Falk and Barbara Hershey . . . For visiting: the dam at Prettyboy Reservoir. The water flows in great white sheets over the top and down to the Gunpowder. Exquisite sight. (But that dam looks like it could use a couple of bags of Sakrete. Know what I mean?)

I say phooey (make that "fewey") to the suggestion that Bawlmerese is dying out. It probably never thrived everywhere in the city; not everyone spoke it.

The native tongue was always concentrated in a few happy pockets of the old palatinate, where "iggle" was "eagle" and "paramour" was something used to cut grass.

Each month in these "pieces of column too short to use," we celebrate the grand union of Bawlmerese and the malaprop, or the Baltimalaprop. Here's the latest:

From a man known among his close friends as Lawrence of Moravia: "Lady up on the sixth floor is pregnant. She's gonna

take a six-month fraternity leave."

Dan Rodricks is on assignment in Zaire. His column will resume when he returns.

April Fool!

Concerned that it had been promoting unhealthy behavior, the Guinness Book of World Records stopped listing gluttony records. In its last three editions, you won't find the world records for the most eels eaten in one sitting, the most oysters (held by a Marylander), the most tortillas, the most eggs. Those ++ categories were last listed in the 1990 Guinness. The publishers announced that record-setting eating was "outmoded in the light of the growing concern about health issues worldwide."

Hey, whatever happened to fun, right?

But the Guinness Book's policy has considerable merit. It came up -- no pun intended -- yesterday after we received news that Mr. Walter McCormick had established a record for the most eggs eaten at one sitting at the Lakewood "All The Eggs You Can Eat For A Buck-Fifty-Plus-Tax" Grill in East Baltimore. He doubled the previous record of 26.

I hesitated to mention this, for fear that it would promote unhealthy behavior. As a matter of fact, I'm going to stop telling you the story right now . . .

April Fool!

Eating 52 eggs at one sitting was probably stupid and, as of today, I have no way of knowing the status of Mr. McCormick's health. But when I spoke with him last Friday he sounded fine. Like it was no big deal.

Still, 52 eggs! The man's stomach is a Super Fund site.

"Up" is what the grill's owner, John Kontorousis, said when I asked how Mr. McCormick ordered his eggs. See, business at the Lakewood had been kind of slow when Mr. Kontorousis made his offer to the public. He didn't have many takers, but those who went for the deal ate big, ordering a dozen or two -- up, over or scrambled -- at a sitting. Please, don't try this at home.

By the way, the world record for most oysters consumed at one sitting belongs to Tommy "Muskrat" Greene of Deale. In 1985, he polished off 288 oysters -- 6 pounds of delicious slime -- in 1

minute and 33 seconds at Annapolis.

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