Bill Clinton is doing fine, just fine in the approval ratings, and some pundits offer this up as clear indication that the American people believe he's done nothing wrong, so why all the fuss? My response: Larry Young probably had a high approval rating in his senatorial district in Baltimore, but he did plenty wrong, and now he's gone. Clinton shouldn't get a pass just because the economy's strong - and especially if he gave private tutorials to "that woman" on how to testify under oath.
Break from the 'burbs
Here's a tip for people who've been stuck in the suburbs for too many months, who've spent too much time in malls, eating in "food courts" or fast-food joints: Do DiPasquale's.
It's a gourmet market and deli - an old-fashioned Italian deli/neighborhood market that accommodates upscale yuppie tastes - at 3700 E. Gough St. in Highlandtown. Go directly to the deli counter - the contents of which constitute a work of art - and order an Italian sandwich for lunch. Get something with cold cuts and/or a vegetable topping - eggplant or roasted peppers or artichokes dripping with extra-virgin olive oil - on crusty bread. (You might want to try the muffuletta sandwich for $3.95.) Get a drink. Pay at the checkout.
Now, here's where it gets interesting.
At the checkout counter, turn to your left and walk to the back of the store, past the wine section. When you get to the rear wall, make a right and walk past the pasta section. Keep walking and, as you do, watch out for a narrow opening in the wall on your left. You'll come to something about the size of a broom closet. Turn sideways and slide right through.
At this point, you'll be standing in DiPasquale's old wholesale office, transformed about two years ago into a "dining room." There are only about five tables. You'll feel as though you just walked into one of Balti- more's best-kept secrets, as if you've been given special treatment, welcomed like an old friend of the family: "Here's a quiet little place. Sit. Eat."
If you can get out of the store without buying something else - a loaf of Italian bread, some of the prepared dishes in the deli case, some imported cheese - you have more will than I.
About that MCI trip
I want to thank all the guys out there who called in the other day to tell me, in so many words, that I should have paid better attention in Mr. George Oliverio's advanced mathematics class in seventh grade. I got the numbers wrong in Wednesday's size-up of the MCI Center in our nation's capital. I said the outing cost about $140. Here's how the final tally should have looked:
Six tickets to the Caps-Bruins game (purchased at half-price): $120.
Parking (open-air lot, adjoining arena): $15.
Papa John's pizza: $10.
Two soft pretzels, two beers, two soft drinks: $22.
Sorry about the flub.
Carl Frock, TJI reader from Westminster, says he only paid $8 for parking in a garage about two blocks north of the MCI Center when he attended the Wizards game Saturday night. He thought the view from the fourth-floor was terrific, as did I. But Frock, who is 6-foot-2, didn't care much for the seating arrangements. "Worse legroom than the upper reserved seats at Camden Yards," he says. "By halftime, I wasn't sure I would ever get my legs straightened out enough to walk."
The concession prices gave him cramps, too.
"It was the first time I thought movie theater prices were reasonable," he says. "I asked my son, who is 18, if he wanted anything to eat and he said, 'Have you seen these prices!' and declined until we reached a McDonald's after the game. All in all: We enjoyed the game, but wouldn't make it a frequent activity."
Ol' Blue Eyes Light
It continues to be great fun being Mickey Light being Frank Sinatra. The Mick, "Baltimore's Own Blue Eyes," is still hustling zTC from gig to gig with his Sinatra impersonation. He's played the Poconos and some Virginia resorts, and he still has his regular show at Giovanni's Restaurant in Edgewood. He'll soon be singing - Mickey never lip-synchs, OK? - at a birthday party at Caves Valley Country Club. "It's a party for Bolton Banks," says Mickey. "That's either a company or a guy, I dunno."
Mickey also says he has jobs coming up with Howard Stern and his radio sidekick, Robin Quivers.
Imitations, of course.
As a matter of fact, Mickey only performs with the unreal thing.
He's performed with a Jerry Lee Lewis imitator, and more Elvis impersonators than you can shake a tail feather at, hon. He's worked with a counterfeit Dean Martin, Nancy Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in Rat Pack revivals. "They all lip-synch," Mickey says. "Sometimes I'm the only one who really sings."
Booked through a McLean, Va., company called "Cast of Thousands," Mickey has been in the same lineup with a Madonna impersonator, a Beatles ensemble and a Rod Stewart wannabe. Even the Spice Girls have knockoffs now. But you should hear Mickey talk about the Marilyn Monroe imitator who sang to him on a recent job. She excited him as a man.
"I'm 62 and havin' fun, babe."
Contact Dan Rodricks by e-mail at TJIDAN aol.com, or by voice mail at 410-332-6166. Letters may be sent to This Just In, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.