The coming of 'Washimore' a chilling idea

April 11, 1995|By JACQUES KELLY

Bureau of Labor Statistics, tell me it isn't so.

Say that come 1998, Baltimore and Washington won't be smashed into one 7,000-square mile region called Washimore.

I wake up screaming in a nightmare of confusion. Does a single Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area stretching from the Susquehanna River to Culpepper County mean the end of regional differences and pleasant idiosyncrasies.

Will State Department officials, educated at Yale University, start adding the terms "Hon" and "zink" to their active vocabulary?

Surely this means that the rules for summer vacationing will have to change.

Baltimoreans will be forced to go to Rehoboth Beach and Bethany, while residents of Montgomery County and Fairfax, Va., will be ordered into Ocean City and Ocean Pines.

Does this mean that the Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House will have to start adopting Baltimore's reasonable prices. Will the Old Ebbitt's staff have to surrender their smugly superior tone?

And will Baltimore's lake trout be supplanted by Dover Sole?

Will the crab cake fall to the rice cake? Will Pentagon City be confused with Value City?

Does this mean we'll have to shop at Magruder's or Fresh Fields super markets while our Washington cousins push shopping carts through the aisles of the Wise Avenue Mars outlet?

Will Rheb's candies be forced to open an M Street branch?

The leveling of the clothes differential between the two cities would make for some interesting changes.

Will the Washington look for males (J. Press, Britches of Georgetown, top-of-the-line Brooks Brothers) clash with our taste for C-Mart and Shocket's of Broadway?

How will the nation's capital, which always dressed in nothing but natural fibers (wool, cotton, silk and linen) do when confronted by the city that produced a movie called "Polyester?"

What will happen when those bean counters from the Bureau of Labor Statistics drop by a Baltimore summer snowball stand?

Will they deny us of a 75-cent sky blue cooler and order us to start consuming $2.79 a pint Haagen Dazs lemon sorbet on a hot July night?

And will those stylish dinner party hostesses in the rarefied parts of Northwest Washington be told they can no long serve raspberry fruit tarts. No. It's Baltimore peach cake or go hungry.

Will Georgetown matrons adopt the duster and take to the front steps?

There'll be real trouble when the coffee wars break out. The Connecticut Avenue-DuPont Circle Starbucks will be abolished in favor of an all-you-can eat Horn & Horn.

This blurring of the traditional distinctions and rivalries between the two metropolitan areas will bring crucial decisions. Could a faithful Baltimorean ever ask to be put on the Redskins season-ticket waiting list?

Will that nose-in-the-air Capitol Hill and Connecticut Avenue attitude permeate Hamilton and Parkville?

Will lusty and unwashed Baltimoreans gag at the miles of endless banality called Northern Virginia?

Will Baltimore's clear plastic slipcovers be banned in favor of English chintz?

Will Formstone become accepted as working-class folk art in Alexandria?

Will the Jockey Club at the Ritz Carlton fall to the Jockey Club at Pimlico?

Will Baltimoreans be forced to read important (if dull) books, magazines and newspapers on the bus and subway? Will we have to surrender our Walkmen?

Will Washington's Adams-Morgan neighborhood be confused with Baltimore's Adams-Burch restaurant supply house?

Will Baltimore's fondness for plentiful cheap beer be suppressed in favor of Washington's taste for rare Mexican brews.

And finally, what, pray tell, will Washington do when confronted by Baltimore's squeaky clean mayor?

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