Beware: Keep feet out of aisle, hands off man's Sunday paper


February 14, 1994|By DAN RODRICKS

From now on it will be known as the Tonya Warning. Passengers on a flight from Orlando to Baltimore heard it last week. An attendant gave the standard welcome-aboard speech, then said: "The last name of the attendant standing in the middle of the plane is Harding, so keep your feet out of the aisle!"

Catch of the day

Men seek their space on Sundays. They want room. They want to be left alone. They want their bagel. They want their Sunday paper. They want everything just so. When last November some rascal started stealing Gordy Hall's Sunday Sun, Gordy did that man thing. He became ornery and testy and indignant. And he decided to go fishing.

Gordy, an artist and sign painter in Southwest Baltimore, stepped outside his house Sunday, Jan. 23, to find his paper stolen again.

"That did it!" he says. "I'd had enough! I devised a plan to catch the paper thief. He was not going to get my paper on Super Bowl Sunday. I got up at 7 o'clock Super Bowl Sunday. I switched the Sunday paper for a couple of old papers and put them back inside the plastic bag. I tied a piece of fishing line to the bag [10-pound test Stren clear monofilament] and ran the line inside my house [through a hole in the screen door and an opening between the main door and the frame.] I tied a couple of ink pens to the line so they would rattle when the line was pulled. I rested the line with the pens on the couch right by the front door.

"I sat and I waited. I drank coffee. I read the real Sunday paper and waited for the big fish to sample my bait. Sure enough, at 7:30 the pens started to rattle and I knew I had hooked the big one. I jumped up and pulled the door open. You should have seen the look on the guy's face. It was a wino I knew, a guy I had given money to in the past. He was speechless. I wasn't. I told him . . . well, never mind, you can't print it. Anyway, he will not steal my Sunday paper anymore.

"The point is, you paper thieves better watch out. A guy could get downright mean over his Sunday paper. Especially on Super Bowl Sunday. How 'bout them Cowboys!"

Lights of Abingdon

(Listen, I'm not much for cute. I don't do cute -- not intentionally. When people tell me something I did was cute, well, I feel I just haven't done my job. Still, it's Valentine's Day, so I guess I'll go with this, even though it's cute.)

Are you a Christmas decoration slug? Still have holiday lights on the shrubs? Too lazy to take them down? Lights spotted recently on a large shrub in front of a house in Abingdon suggest a way to get a second bang out of your holiday decorations. It's easy. Use all red lights. Turn them off when Christmas passes. Put them back on for Valentine's Day. As my dear ole Aunt Frances used to say: "Idn't that cute!"

The public interest

Wait a minute. The USAir Arena, which most people still call the Cap Center, needs to be replaced? It's "aging," is it? Lacks "luxurious amenities," does it? And now some of Abe Pollin's pals in the General Assembly, including Governor Don Delirious, are actually talking about spending public money to replace it.

We're told Honest Abe, the multimillionaire, really would like to keep his Caps and Bullets in Maryland, possibly even in Prince George's County. But, tsk, tsk, the USAir Arena . . . well, it's 20 years old! Built when Nixon was president! And most important of all, Abe doesn't like it. Some of his chums around the country have nicer places. And why should he spend the money when the taxpayers could?

Heard this kind of talk before? That's because the M.O. is very

familiar. As familiar as the smell of a skunk.

Canned trees?

Among instructions given to Baltimoreans summoned for jury duty at the Mitchell Courthouse is this request, printed in boldface on the official juror information handout: "Please drop all aluminum cans into the recycling bins. Help save a tree."

That's dedication

Joe DiBlasi, councilman from Baltimore's 6th District, was recognized by his colleagues last week for never missing a City Council meeting in 11 years. That's 425 meetings. Does this guy know how to party, or what?

A lingering memory

This Just In from Idlewylde, a guy named Frankie Sweetbread: "Yo, Danny, if I'd a'known how long it would take the county to pick up Christmas trees this year, I would have left the thing up for another month." Do what I do, Frankie. Mulch.

Short takes

Last Thursday's "Addled Morey Amsterdam" segment on the nationally syndicated Don & Mike Show (1300, WJFK-AM) was one of the funniest bits I've ever heard on radio. . . . Maryland Family Magazine's annual guide to summer camps, now making its fourth appearance on newsstands, is a pleasant way to fast-forward your mind past winter. . . . Regarding the artwork in ++ the "new" New Yorker, let me just say: It's not my cup of Tina. . . . We're thinking about petitioning the state to get "Welcome to Baltimore, Hon!" carved into a wooden sign and installed on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Let me know if you're interested joining the campaign.

This Just In appears each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Write to The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or call 332-6166.

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