REPORT, from Never-Never Land, of the Maryland Commission...


January 12, 1995

REPORT, from Never-Never Land, of the Maryland Commission for Singling Out and Making a Fuss Over the 5,000,000th Marylander.:

"Dear Governor and General Assembly:

"The commission, established last summer in response to the Census Bureau's prediction of a population increase putting Maryland over the 5,000,000 mark, has met monthly (see below). Our work was hampered throughout by your failure to budget $5,000,000 for us, or even five million measly cents.

"July: We proposed staking out principal airports, railroad stations, interstate bus depots. On arrival and identification, No. 5,000,000 would be presented five pounds of backfin lump crabmeat.

"August: We proposed covering the main bridges and tunnels, too. By way of further gift to Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. Five Full, five free gallons of reformulated gasoline.

"September: Our obstetrical task force recommended covering all hospitals. As an award to the Five Millionee, an Oriole Park pass, good for five games (invalid if Maryland reaches 6,000,000 before play resumes).

"October: We remembered to deduct for death notices. For the lucky designee: a five-course meal in the Census Bureau cafeteria, in Suitland.

"November: Trying to keep politics out of it, we voted to name twins (one a Democrat, the other a Republican). And for trophy? A five-second appearance at the microphone, during the Governor's inauguration.

"December: Disaster. Our vigilance, our spreadsheets and flowcharts -- all gone for, well, 0. A new Census Bureau bulletin says that more than 5,000,000 persons have by now squeezed into Maryland. We resign.

"P.S. We did come up with a new emblem for the Great Seal of Maryland: a high five."

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