Yards attendant stops to smell the grass


April 03, 1996|By DAN RODRICKS

Overheard at The Yard: What longtime Orioles field attendant Ernie Tyler said when a well-wisher expressed concern about Ernie's recent surgery (to remove a malignant tumor from his liver): "To tell the truth, I just walked out onto the field, smelled the grass and forgot all about it." By himself, he's funny

The other night on C-Span, during a generally lame discussion of political humor, someone asked the panelists to name the funniest people in Washington. "Sarbanes," snapped Al Franken, referring to our senator. "Get Sarbanes alone and, man, is he funny." Surfing the pits

Channel-surfing on a Saturday night -- it's not something I like to do, and now I remember why. During a recent run through the Saturday prime cable offerings, I found: A movie about a coke-nosed actress, a movie about divorce and child custody, a comedian telling toilet jokes, another comedian referring bitterly to "fags" who evaluate Hollywood fashions during the Oscars, a stand-up comic going on and on about his personal sex habits, a speech by Oliver North, William Shatner discussing "serious acting" with Roger Ailes, four different infomercials for exercise machines that give you "rock-hard, washboard abs," and a has-been actress hawking jewelry. This must be depravity.

Crude wins out

Whaddaya' know? That new commercial for Towson Town Center -- in which a fat guy appears to soil himself after a near-death experience with a huge truck ("21 Places To Buy New Underwear") -- must be a hit. That's judging from phone calls received by TJI after we asked if anyone thought the spot was funny. "Hilarious," said several readers. But others found, as I did, the implication of sphincter failure offensive -- another push against the boundaries of taste. Too bad. Some of the commercials in this new campaign are, indeed, hilarious. (The cookbook spot featuring a dog getting under-the-table eats from his master.) But this one is just crude.

The right contacts

A North Baltimore optometrist tells his patient: "Your contact lenses have some sticky buildup in spots."

Says the patient: "So? Helps keep them in my eyes."

Something's eating him

Overheard at the Friendly's in Bel Air:

"If I opened a restaurant, I'd call it Grouchy's."

"Suits you."

"Wanna hear my slogan?"

"Sure. Tell me the slogan."

"Service with a snarl."

Wedding wisdom

About two years ago, James Eustace of Timonium wrote TJI with a couple of malaprops off the lips of a young co-worker who was preparing for matrimony. "My father is paying for everything," Eustace quoted her. "All I have to provide is the torso." This was the same woman who announced her honeymoon would be in the "Pinocchio Mountains" of Pennsylvania. So, how was the honeymoon? "The weather wasn't great," she told Eustace. "We had intimate showers every day."

A hunk of talent

Robert Cuccioli, who plays the title roles in the Broadway-bound "Jekyll and Hyde," is a big handsome hunk with a fine voice. A woman who saw his performance Sunday at the Mechanic agrees. "Oh," she says. "He just eludes sexuality."

More burning humor

Dennis the Firefighter is back with more malaprops heard in city firehouses:

"After the president was assassinated, Jackie Kennedy married that Greek shipping maggot."

"My daughter's acting teacher thinks she ought to take electrocution lessons."

"While we were on vacation in Las Vegas, we went to see a few shows. This hypnotist took my wife on stage with him and put her in a transom."

Drink at your own risk

The wording of a recent community calendar listing caught our ** attention:

"The Hemlock Society of Maryland invites the public to an open meeting in the Miller branch of the Howard County Library. ... Please bring a dish to share for the potluck lunch [setups and drinks provided]."

A redeeming finale

The Renaissance Institute's annual class project -- to collect cash register tapes from Giant, Safeway and Metro and redeem them for classroom computers for a Baltimore public school with the greatest need and the best student attendance -- is finished, and here's the final tally: $1,186,000. That'll buy more computers and software for the kids at Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Cherry Hill. High-fives all around.

Pub Date: 4/03/96

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