Neighbors Fly To Rescue Of Stuck Bird

This Just In. . .

April 23, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

My favorite comic strip involves the big, cigar-puffing newspaper bird from Jeff MacNelly's "Shoe." He's up on a crooked tree limb with his typewriter, as usual, and he's composing the lead paragraph of his next newspaper column. "People often ask me, 'What do you do when you have nothing whatsoever to write about?'" types the big bird. "Well, my dear readers, today we'll explore that subject at length."

Speaking of birds I

Baltimore is a city of them - Orioles, Ravens, Turkey Joe Trabert - so I guess I can get away with a lead item about one.

This story involves a crow - an intelligent creature, one of the brightest in the avian kingdom - who got himself in a little trouble Sunday evening while attempting to rob the nest of a house finch. (I know what you're thinking: That'll teach him.) It took a captain of the Baltimore County Fire Department to save his neck.

Actually, the crow's neck and head were trapped in a half-inch crevice in the stone chimney of a house on Taylor Avenue. It had been plundering a nest built by much smaller birds (probably finches) in a spot where a stone had dislodged. The crow was stuck there for an hour, maybe two, according to Connie Betts, who discovered the pitiful circumstance during a stroll through her neighborhood.

Betts prevailed upon Capt. Robin Forster, of the Parkville fire station, to come to the scene. Forster decided to make what's known as a "good neighbor run." She climbed a ladder, knocked a little mortar out of the chimney and freed the bird. "I couldn't believe the crow just flew away," Forster says. "It had been bleeding. It was just hanging [See Rodricks, 9b] there by its neck, with nothing to put its feet on. I expected it to fall to the ground with a thud. Instead, people started clapping because the crow just flew away."

And lived to plunder another day.

Cool star in hot film

I see 20th Century Fox is giving us another disaster film: "Volcano." (Sneak screening tonight at Valley Center; opens nationwide Friday.) It's Tommy Lee Jones against a monster natural disaster. I can't wait to hear how the world's coolest, always-in-control good ole boy rallies his volcano-fighting troops: "Lemme hay-uv your attention please, gen'lmen. Our villain this tahm is a vahlently explosive force, fueled by superheated gases that, unless stopped, will dump millions of tons of lava on the entahr city of Los Angeles. We don't know where the eruption will occur, but we need to locate that aperture and keep it plugged. I want a hard-target search of every chicken house, doghouse, outhouse and dim sum cafe in the City of Angels. Let's locate it, gen'lmen. Or the coast is toast." Tommy Lee, we love you, man!

Pedal to the metal

Another near-death experience on Interstate 83 the other day: This time, a red BMW bearing down on a car that was already moving at the legal 65 mph. "The Beamer whipped by me like I wasn't even moving," the rattled driver says. "But before it disappeared over the horizon, I couldn't help but notice that there was one of those magnetized dealer plates stuck on the back. Man, talk about your test drives!" (I'm thinking "Fargo" here. I'm thinking maybe Jerry Lundegaarde made parole, relocated to the East and is back in business, dealing cars to felons. You're darn tootin'. Yah.)

Eyes not on the road

Observed, by TJI reader Shirley Schleunes, at Bellona and Seminary avenues, Lutherville: "I was in my car behind a Baltimore County school bus with a female driver. When the light changed, another county school bus, driven by a man, came through the intersection toward us. As the male driver approached, he doffed his cap and blew the woman a kiss. I couldn't tell the reaction, but it surely put a smile on my day."

Nice story, Shirl - except that if I'm a parent of a county school kid, maybe I'm thinking: "Hey, pal, keep your hands on the wheel!"

Jon Miller revisited

What I heard the other night from a lifelong Oriole fan, a guy who still has a copy of "Pennant Fever" (circa 1965) in his record library: "Look, I liked Jon Miller all right as an announcer. But to me, I just wanna hear the game, OK? At times Miller got in the way of the game. I know I'm in the loco minority on this one. But hey, lump it or take it down the road and dump it!"

Grocery fodder

Overheard in Fresh Fields:

Little girl asks dad: "What are those?"

Dad says, "Those are brussels sprouts, something I will never make you eat in your entire life."

If not to make such extravagant promises to his little girl, what are dads for?

Sightings

Spotted on Russell Street: Car heading south with this vanity license tag: "WET RN" ... And in Fells Point, in front of the Horse You Came In On Saloon: "I 10BAR."... After a long hiatus, the Hon Man is back. Over the weekend, we spotted his "HON" addendum stapled to the welcome sign on Baltimore-Washington Parkway. (Look fast, folks, the "Hon" placards never stay up very long.) Attempts to reach Hon Man yesterday were unsuccessful. Looks like he's attempting to quietly revive his role as good-natured vandal.

Pub Date: 4/23/97

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