Career tip for Young: Move on, cash in

This Just In . . .

December 05, 1997|By Dan Rodricks

Note to Larry Young: What was that about John the Baptist? "I am just, if you will, biblically speaking, I'm John the Baptist on a bigger agenda." That's what you said at the news conference Wednesday. Would the senator care to elaborate?

Meanwhile, would the senator care to leave office? I know that probably strikes you as white-boy racism, but hear me out. Consider the benefits. You could become a full-time (rather than practically full-time) lobbyist-consultant for the medical industry and make some big paper, not this nickel-and-dime stuff. You get to treat politicians to lunches that start with shrimp cocktail and end with death-by-chocolate, and you get to write it off. You get to host big schmooze parties and fund-raisers, some of them with themes. (Toga! Toga! Toga!) You get to hand out floor passes to the Wizards, luxury box seats at Camden Yards, tickets to "Cats." You can stage junkets to Las Vegas. You can fly first-class and make speeches and get paid. And you can do all this without the burdens of public office.

After more than two decades in politics, it's time, sir.

It's called cashing in.

Note to the senator: Most pols decide to leave public office before they cash in on their stature and influence. At least that has been the post-Agnew trend in Maryland. When you do it while in office, it's unethical, maybe even illegal, and people get wrinkled noses, subpoenas go out, and your mother has to read bad things about you in The Sun, even in the City Paper at times.

Just a little advice, sir. A little FYI to LY from TJI.

I know I'm a little late with it, but better late than never, right?

Poor judgment

Note to Judge Dudley, Howard County: Check out "Slingblade" this weekend at the video store. Note the relationship in the film between the boy's mother and her pit-bull boyfriend, played with frightening effectiveness by country-western star Dwight Yoakam. Why the boy's mother puts up with, stays with, sleeps with this creep is one of the clanging questions of the story. A family counselor in Baltimore found the film jarring in its reality. She says she frequently encounters women who make this "choice," though it's not always a choice. Some women are just too scared to break off an abusive relationship. When they threaten to leave, their boyfriends threaten them with further physical harm. There are other reasons, too.

But here I am, trying to help this muddle-headed jurist in Ellicott City understand why such a thing can happen, as if it matters. When a man rapes a woman, the circumstances don't matter. Would you question a convenience-store clerk's career choice if she happened to have been robbed while behind the cash register, even if it happened more than once? A rape victim is a victim, simple and real; she's not an invention of the "cult of victim." Like it or not, questioning why a rape victim happened to be at the scene of the crime constitutes blaming a victim for the crime. It's damn close to saying she asked for it.

Boyish prank

Here's a still-tasty leftover from Thanksgiving weekend.

Seems close to 30 all-growed-up Boy Scouts gathered at Ruby Tuesday's in Towson on Friday night for a 30-year reunion. It was also a testimonial, of sorts, for one of their troop who is seriously ill. Over a few beers, the honoree mentioned a regret: He'd never been in a barroom fight. (He'd been such a Boy Scout his whole life.)

Upon hearing that, one of the old scouts excused himself, tipped bartender Josh Harrold, and the stage was set.

Harrold, doing his best Keanu Reeves, came to the scouts' table complaining they were too raucous and threatening to cut them off. He accused the honoree of hitting on a waitress and, worst of all, bending a fork. He challenged him to step outside. The entire party got involved in the loud and faux-angry repartee. No one had alerted the other patrons to the prank, and there were gasps everywhere. Things never got physical, however. In fact, the drama was cut short when an off-duty police officer, who just happened to be seated nearby, pulled out handcuffs and threatened arrests. A good time was had by all. Scout's honor.

Cap Centre revisited

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