With no baseball, City Hall offers one other game

August 21, 1994|By MICHAEL OLESKER

Things to do while waiting out the baseball strike:

Get a life. Go to the nearest Enoch Pratt Library and hope it isn't closed for the day. Cancel HTS. Begin to listen to those intriguing rumors that there's a race going on for governor of Maryland. Find out Mickey Steinberg's running mate is named Jim Simpson, and not O. J. or Bart.

Throw a ball to a little kid. Watch him run off with it. Go to Memorial Stadium for a CFL game. Take out your old "Unitas We Stand" banner and ask the fan sitting next to you if he still remembers directions to a place called Orrsville. If you sit in the upper deck, keep scanning the horizon for Donald Kroner.

Ponder the new career possibilities the strike gives city police. Instead of arresting ticket scalpers, they can go after actual criminals. Attend a political fund-raiser in place of a night game. Applaud enthusiastically when the candidate talks of the need to stop politics-as-usual. Then tell him he's got your support, as long as he's got a job in Public Works for your wife's second cousin.

Drink a toast to every pub owner on Pratt Street who didn't invest $173 million in the Orioles like Peter Angelos, but did open their doors in anticipation of baseball. Watch your cholesterol levels go down from not eating ballpark hot dogs. Enjoy the break from all those Washington yuppies in box seats who react to Oriole rallies by whipping out their Wall Street Journals.

Take an inspiring tour of City Hall. After 10 minutes in their presence, insist that the City Council members take an oath of relevance. In front of a highly respected judge. Afterward, wait for five of the council members to insist they didn't mean anything by it, and two of them to say they weren't even there.

Take the whole family shopping at Towson Town Center. By the time you find a parking space, the strike should be over. Do a job search for Pete Pompey. Find the shortest route to the ballpark in Bowie. Turn on your radio and wait for Fat Daddy to show up. Dead 20 years, he's still got more life than some of today's disc jockeys.

Bump into Stephen L. Miles. But refuse to talk about it. Take a date to Borders Book Store. Tell her, "This is the only place you can find the really serious intellectual journals." Then walk out carrying nothing but People and TV Guide.

Find out where Tom Davis took laugh lessons. Ask Samuel L. Banks if you can borrow his thesaurus. Send a pack of cigarettes to Bruce Bereano and list your return address at the respiratory ward of a local hospital. Think of 12 more buildings to name after William Donald Schaefer.

vTC Hang out at the Mount Washington Tavern. Talk about the good old days when you played lacrosse at Gilman, even though you went to Southern on a gargantuan killer scholarship. Turn on WBAL radio and listen to them boast of being the hometown station as they fill each entire afternoon with Rush Limbaugh.

Grow a garden in your back yard. Memorize the genus and species of every plant, and bore everybody you know by reciting them. Take note of city schools' alleged 90 percent attendance rate. Ask the other 10 percent if they can spell SAT.

Attend a trunk show at Leakin Park. Count the days until Stuart Berger's contract runs out. Wait for Parris Glendening to allow Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to open her mouth in public.

Have dinner in Little Italy. Tell everybody the spaghetti sauce reminds you of the old days in Sicily, even though this is the first time in your life you've been out of Finksburg. Pick up that belated wedding gift for Lisa Marie and Michael. Count political promises in the governor's race. Subtract those that are realistic.

Turn on the radio and listen to disc jockeys try to ingratiate themselves by saying "down the ocean" in the perceived Baltimore dialect. Note that they moved here six weeks ago from Iowa.

Learn how to spell Miedusiewski. Even if you don't vote for him, it could turn up in a spelling bee. Learn how to spell Parris. If the polls hold up, we'll have Parris in the spring, but first in the fall.

Remember your athletic roots. Join a pickup basketball game. Look for an overweight accountant to guard, and make sure all your insurance premiums are paid off. Avoid the sort of guys who dive for loose balls.

Find out if your local Rotisseries League has gone on strike. Light a candle for your lost innocence. The baseball players will return one day, and maybe we'll still be interested when they do.

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