Bandit with cramps, acne, cold sores and hot flashes

THIS JUST IN...

February 05, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

Baltimore County police are investigating a holdup at a nutrition store in Woodlawn committed by a guy who, I'm guessing, suffers from nighttime cramps, cold sores, acne or hot flashes. The bandit took $350 cash and large bottle of Vitamin E. . . .

This oughta be special: A senior citizens' version of "The Dating Game" on closed-circuit TV at Oak Crest Village, the Parkville retirement community, this Friday, Valentine's Day. ("Bachelor No. 1: I like mature men. But exactly how mature are you?" "Bachelorette No. 2: Of regular and orange, which flavor of Metamucil do you prefer?") Wish we could get it on cable. . .

High fives to Michael Johnson and friends for reopening the old Playhouse on 25th Street. I have a sentimental attachment to that theater; it's where I was Wertmuellered. . . . Men think Keith Booth has a great eye. Women think both his eyes are great. . . . Overheard at Rheb's candy store: "Mom, do you want any of these nonperennials?" (Who knew Rheb's was selling flowers?) And a TJI reader in Ellicott City swears that, over Christmas, his sister-in-law asked where to buy "Lithuanian batteries" for a new camera. (She must have meant "lithium-ion" batteries. Lithuanian batteries haven't been seen or heard since the Bolsheviks attacked.)

I thought the Greaseman (WJFK, 1300 AM) had lost his touch, but I've been tuning in weeknights and I gotta say: Nino is back! Still, you haven't tasted refried brains til you've heard the sports guy who follows the Grease -- Scott Ferall. Whoa. A mind-altering experience that. . . . City Hall buzz: An unpaid water bill by one of our elected leaders? Say it ain't so. . . . With all the deer around, I can't say I'm surprised at the sight of a bowhunter in full camo heading into woods near Suburban Country Club and Druid Ridge Cemetery. Yonder he goes. . . I'm working on a recipe for a sandwich for Chick & Ruth's in Annapolis. Quite a challenge: Something that honors not only the Jewish deli I've long adored, but my Italian-Portuguese ancestry. Watch this space.

Smash-and-grab trap

If you're downtown near the Aquarium and see a midsize Chevy with a smashed window, The Club on the steering wheel, a cellular phone and cash on the front seat, beware. It's a trap set by police to attract smash-and-grab boys. Interesting, but it begs some questions: Will cops get the guys they're after? Given the opportunity, will the smash-and-grab guys merely grab? Or will cops end up nabbing guys who only grab what someone else leaves for them? You hear what I'm sayin'?

Defining a cynic

I hear the hissing sound of spit as it hits the fire that's been lighted in this city by the gun buy-back effort. It's coming from the usual cynics. You know a cynic when you hear one, but here's my definition: Someone who trashes idealists and those who devote themselves to public service because he himself is emotionally and intellectually incapable of idealism and good works. The cynic refuses to believe anyone does anything selflessly, or for the common good. As a child, he destroyed what other boys built. He has no authentic passions. He is only superficially engaged in his community. He does not have a mind; he has a bunker.

A hug from a panhandler

A recent item about the highly visible panhandler at Roland Avenue and Cold Spring Lane provoked a heavy response, mostly from chagrined readers who asserted that the fellow is not what his cardboard sign indicates. But a woman in Carroll County mailed me two bucks and asked that I deliver them to the man on the median strip. And there was this story from a reader named Joe, in Lutherville:

"My daughters go to Roland Park Country School and we have occasion to frequently pass through that intersection. My daughters know I will never give cash to a panhandler so one night we went home and packed two bags of groceries from our pantry.

"The next time we passed the intersection, my 13-year-old daughter yelled, 'Hey, dad, he's there today!' I pulled off to a safe area and my daughter and her eighth-grade friends boldly took the bags of food over to him. I anxiously watched from the car as the three girls in their clean white polos and neatly pressed blue skirts chatted with him. When the man in the soiled and tattered fatigue jacket embraced all three of them together and they hugged him back, my eyes began to well up in knowing that some kind of wrong had just been righted.

For a brief moment those sad eyes seemed to turn bright and reflected the depth of a soul that likely has been tarnished by the harsh realities of life. 'His name is Dave and he's a very nice guy!' my daughter said, and we drove off to our safe suburban confines in absolute quiet. Life offers all of us significant moments that change who we are, and this was one. I can assure you that these three girls (and the dad of one of them) never will look at all panhandlers the same way."

Hey Beulah

There was another successful meeting Sunday at St. Benedict's Church on behalf of Beulah Wilbur, the burned-out-of-her-rowhouse sweetie from southwest Baltimore. Volunteers, including middies from Annapolis, are being coordinated for the renovation job on Beulah's house. Geez, even two TV stations were there this time! Beulah's bubbling.

Pub Date: 2/05/97

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