Hon, it's time for 'World Serious' talk

This Just In. . .

October 13, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

Joey Amalfitano reports: "Baltimore yet lives, Danny boy! I saw a man sitting on his white marble stoop on Fleet Street in Highlandtown the other day, and he was actually drinking a National Boh. And then a few minutes later, I heard a guy on the No. 10 bus talking about Davey Johnson's strategy in the 'World Serious.' I swear ta gaahd!" . . . Jackie Watts, editor of the East Baltimore Guide, passed along a news release from the Maryland Army National Guard that refers to Oldham Street as "Oldhon" Street. Oldhon. That could be the name of just about any street east of Haussner's. . . . And speaking of that Hon business and whether it's a distinctly Baltimore thing, again we hear from Amalfitano: "I was on the telephone, trying to reach somebody in the city government of Kansas City, Kan. -- don't ask me why, it's a long story -- when a very friendly operator nearly knocked me out my chair. 'Wait a minute, hon,' she said. After recovering, I asked her if she was from Baltimore. 'No,' she says, 'we just like to be nice to people out here.' " . . . A friend reports a dreadful meal and awful service at Hacienda Restaurant (4840 Belair Road), just a few days after TJI commented on how good it was. Ah, well. What can I tell ya? They need to work on their consistency. So does Jimmy Key. . . . Guy I know, calls himself Mayfield Mack for the purposes of this column, tells TJI about an FDE (that's Full Dundalk Experience): "The missis and I split a whole cheese steak sub at Captain Harvey's, then went shopping at Ollie's Bargain Outlet. It don't get much better than that." . . . Turkey Joe Trabert reports: "I know this family in Glen Burnie. One of the kids had a problem with a book from the Point Pleasant Elementary School library. His new puppy, about 8 months old, chewed it to ribbons. Title of the book? 'How To Teach Old Dogs New Tricks.' " . . . Sign to southbound commuters on Falls Road, north of Maryvale Prep: "Like the traffic? Stop the building!" (Little late for that, wouldn't you say?)

I smell a rat

Did you hear the one about the 8-inch (not counting its tail) rat that terrorized downtown commuters and Orioles fans near Camden Yards last week?

Well, perhaps I overstate the story. Apparently the rat was dead. was on a Howard Street sidewalk near the Light Rail stop by the Baltimore Arena. It was there for at least two days, that we know of. It had been squashed. In last week's summerlike heat wave, the dead rat gave the heavily traveled sidewalk an unpleasant ambience. So, if this sight did not exactly terrorize people, it certainly grossed them out. (For more engrossing facts on rats in Mobtown, check out Sono Motoyama's "Pearls & Swine" column in last week's City Paper. )

With the nation's attention focused on Baltimore for the American League playoffs, someone had to step forward and, well, do something.

So a certain official of the University of Maryland downtown decided to call City Hall. "I looked in the city government listings and found it under D, for 'Dead Animals,' " the diligent citizen tells TJI. "I called. They told me they pick up dead cats and dogs, maybe dead iguanas, but not rats. So I called Animal Control. 'We bait for live rats. We don't pick up dead ones,' the person there told me. Apparently, they'll help you kill rats, but once they're dead, they're your problem."

Nonetheless, the diligent citizen prevailed upon the Animal Controller to send out a truck. A dead rat, she argued, was not only a health hazard but an entirely inappropriate way to decorate the streets of Baltimore for the baseball playoffs -- especially since the Yankees had been eliminated and their fans weren't expected here.

Losing more than $1

TJI reader Gertrude Bartlett bought a lottery scratch-off and won small. She won $1. The fun started when she went to cash in. "The store said they couldn't pay me the dollar because the computer rejected my ticket," Gert -- if I may call her that -- tells TJI. "I asked the people at the store for the lottery telephone number. They didn't know it.

"I called the lottery. A man told me to send the ticket, with my name and address, and they would send me a dollar. I did that. I got the ticket back with a form to fill out. I filled the form out, signed the ticket and mailed it back. I got the ticket back with a note saying the ticket had expired Aug. 31. On the ticket there is no expiration date, so how do they know when the game is over? I called the agency again and somebody said the expiration date is supposed to be posted in the store where you buy your tickets!

"So this is what I've gone through to not get my dollar!"

Gert, I hope you feel better now.

Receipts for Renaissance

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 up and running again. This year if you want to contribute, send your receipts to: Save the Tape, Renaissance Institute, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210-2476.

This Just In appears each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dan Rodricks gets e-mail at TJIDAol.com, voice mail at (410) 332-6166 and letters at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

Pub Date: 10/13/97

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