Giving thanks (maybe) for EAI, Hayden etiquette

November 24, 1994|By MICHAEL OLESKER

With gratitude for all our blessings on this Thanksgiving Day. . . .

And with, let's face it, our customary measure of holiday sarcasm . . . .

This column hereby presents its 19th annual collection of things for which Baltimoreans should give thanks.

For example:

Be thankful you never took graciousness lessons from Roger Hayden.

Be thankful if they settle the baseball strike soon. That way, ballclubs won't raise ticket prices to finance their losses again so that we're paying more money for more games that were never even played.

Be thankful you're not the one who told Helen Bentley, "Ellen Sauerbrey? Piece of cake. Lay low during the primaries, and save all your energy for the general election."

Be thankful for the city public schools' Education Alternatives Inc., which is working so well now that some of the high school kids can actually spell EAI.

Be thankful Parris Glendening picked his wife, Frances Anne, to head his transition team into the State House. A wife as political first mate, what a neat idea! It's working for the Clintons, isn't it?

Be thankful if University of Maryland basketball hotshot Joe Smith has at least one or two bad games. Maybe it'll keep him from turning pro for another year.

Be thankful for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's triumphant Asian tour. Wouldn't it be nice if their music could get a little play on some radio stations back in their own hometown?

Be thankful you're not the Sun copy editor who has to find creative ways to fit "Ruppersberger" into one-column headlines.

Be thankful you don't have to go to Rome to see the elevation of Archbishop Keeler to cardinal. Who needs all that warm weather, the fabulous Italian food, the breathtaking Sistine Chapel, when you can stay in Baltimore for drumsticks and sauerkraut?

Be thankful the Baltimore CFLs never got the rights to call themselves Colts. It gave the ballclub a rallying point around which fans could gather and snub their noses at the National Football League. Also, after this year's performance, the Baltimore team has a right to call itself anything it chooses.

Be thankful you're not Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who must be wondering if Parris Glendening only loved her for her money.

Be thankful, if you're Bruce Bereano, that you had a former bookkeeper with a bad memory. Bereano, the state's biggest lobbyist, currently facing federal charges that he overbilled his clients through a scheme involving illegal campaign contributions, got a break when the former bookkeeper testified that she couldn't remember information she gave a grand jury last year. Amnesia, it's wonderful.

Be thankful that all of Jack Kent Cooke's money hasn't yet been able to buy him love in Laurel.

Be thankful if you hear WBAL radio play its "We're the spirit of Baltimore" jingle during a Rush Limbaugh broadcast. It's good for a laugh. Limbaugh wouldn't know a Baltimore issue if it hit him between the eyes, and the state's biggest radio station should be sorry it abandons local programming for three hours every afternoon.

Be thankful if you're looking for a job and you're related to school Superintendent Walter Amprey. Boys and girls, can you spell nepotism?

Be thankful you weren't a nursing home resident who went to all the trouble of getting an absentee ballot, only to find your signature's been challenged by lawyers looking to cancel your vote, and some state policeman's muscling in with a badge in your face, all in the name of democracy.

Be thankful for William Donald Schaefer. Even if you had your problems with the departing governor, you always knew what he was thinking. Just check the steam coming out of his ears.

Be thankful, if you're Jesse Helms, that you're a U.S. senator. If an ordinary citizen made the kind of threatening remarks Helms has made about a sitting president, he'd be questioned by the Secret Service. As it is, Helms should be questioned by a shrink.

Be thankful for cable television coverage of Baltimore City Council meetings. It gives council members a wonderful chance to posture for voters watching at home. Of course, not all the voters are watching City Council meetings. Some have chosen to have an actual life, instead.

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