Label this shirt complaint as a big pain in the neck

November 29, 1993|By ROGER SIMON

Letters, calls and the roar of the crowd:

Ruth Gleitsman, Forest Hill: Laugh if you wish, but I didn't appreciate your comment to David L. Michel's complaint about labels on shirts, which cause soreness on men's necks.

Not only have I experienced this on women's blouses, since no matter how I tried to press them down from the neckline, most will still ride up, but also some labels are stitched with gold metallic thread and make one's neck itch or sore.

Why don't manufacturers get with it and sew labels on shirt tails or side seams of blouses and shirts?

COMMENT: We have a whole bunch of editors at this paper who get paid huge salaries to sit around and decide what kind of stories our readers really want.

"NAFTA!" one will shout.

"The Bombers!" another will shout.

"Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson," a third will insist.

But none, I bet, has ever jumped up and said: "Itchy shirt labels!"

Yet, you, the people, have written and called me for weeks about this.

So here's my suggestion: Do what I do. Wear your shirts inside out.

*

Freddye Silverman, Baltimore: We just returned from vacation to a pile of mail which I was rummaging through the other evening. The enclosed envelope caught my eye because of its size, the stamps and the return address in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Keeping in mind the tragedy that's been occurring in Bosnia and not being terrific on European geography, I thought perhaps this was someone's cry for help via friends in other countries.

Filled with visions of making some grand humanitarian gesture, I tore open the envelope. So much for good intentions.

It looks like someone in Bulgaria got our name from a mailing list and earned a few drachmas/rubles/doubloons -- foreign currency is another nonspecialty area of mine -- by trying to convince me of the financial potential in mail order "from the comfort of your own living room."

COMMENT: The Bulgarian unit of currency is the lev, and while I am sure you could complain to the postal authorities, I think you should just lev well enough alone.

Sorry.

*

Merle Ullman, Baltimore: I've been meaning to write you regarding delicatessens for quite a while.

You say you have eaten pastrami all over the world and found the best at the Delancey Street Deli in Baltimore.

I'm a Baltimorean born and bred, but you are wrong. You obviously have never eaten pastrami at Caplan's Deli in New York City.

COMMENT: Pastrami is another subject that probably doesn't get brought up a lot in story conferences at The Sun. But the public cares, so let me set the record straight:

I did not say the pastrami at the Delancey Street Deli on Reisterstown Road was the best I have ever eaten. I said it was the best I have ever eaten in the Baltimore area, and mainly because they have the good sense not to fry it.

But what am I supposed to do? Take a train up to New York every time I want a pastrami sandwich or fly to Chicago every time I want deep dish pizza?

Sometimes you take what you can get locally. And I just thank God that every time I have a hankering for a good mackerel, I've got the Cross Street Market handy.

*

Christopher Batio, Iola, Wis.: Have you ever smelled a smell or heard a sound that took you back to a specific place and time -- a place you hadn't thought about in a long time?

That happened to me the other day when I came across your book, Simon Says: The Best of Roger Simon. I found it in a used book store in a small Wisconsin town.

I spotted one item you had in one of your Simon Says columns: "People who clip their fingernails in public should be thrown down wells."

And I was magically transported back many years to my best friend's porch when we would read those columns and howl with laughter.

COMMENT: Thank you very much, but I no longer write that kind of stuff now that I have matured as a journalist.

Though people who clean their ears with paper clips should be stuffed into meat grinders.

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