A precious commodityA SIGN spotted in a west Annapolis...

Scene and heard in Anne Arundel

January 10, 1999

A precious commodity

A SIGN spotted in a west Annapolis neighborhood: "Please drive with care. We have no children to spare."

Cheryl Tan

Talent scouts, aisle 5

MY FRIEND was shopping in the Pasadena K mart when a woman approached him.

"Excuse me," she said.

"I don't work here, ma'am," my friend, a very polite Iowan, responded.

"No, no," she said. "I was just wondering if you've ever been a model?"

"Yeah, right," said my friend, slipping into his East Coast persona and attempting to walk away.

"Seriously," she said, following him through the housewares section. "I'm a talent scout, and I think you've got the look."

The woman handed him directions to a Virginia modeling agency and told him to be there at noon the next day.

"Dress professionally," she told him.

That night, my friend was worrying about what he should wear.

"Don't worry about it," I told him. "What do they expect, for God's sake? They picked you up at K mart."

In the end, his trip to Tyson's Corner turned out to be a waste of time. They told him he needed more experience -- in addition to having the look -- to be a model.

"You'd think she could have pointed that out before I drove all the way to Virginia," my friend said.

Kirsten Scharnberg

Distinguished guests

IN A $100,000 act of morale boosting, the Naval Academy on Wednesday served 4,500 lobsters to midshipmen who had returned (grudgingly) to Annapolis from winter vacation.

The supplier of the feast was Glenn Higgins, proprietor of Higgins Crab House in St. Michaels. He said it was by far the biggest order he had ever filled.

So, as a bonus, Higgins threw in two extras -- a monstrous pair of 11-pound crustaceans that were displayed on a table near the cavernous cafeteria's entrance, waiting to be raffled off.

Each was nearly a yard long, and midshipmen jokingly asked if all 4,500 lobsters were that big. The kitchen staff got into the fun, naming them Bert and Ernie (of "Sesame Street").

But one observer didn't see the humor. She stood near the table looking sadly at Bert and Ernie. When asked what was wrong, the academy employee said she had learned the lobsters' age.

"They can tell how old they are by their size. They were probably 45 years old. That's a long time to live and then end up dead on a table at the Naval Academy."

Neal Thompson

Getting the brushoff

STANDING OUTSIDE an Annapolis building Friday afternoon, a man chuckled when he spotted an unprepared driver trying to brush snow off her car with a travel coffee mug.

"Well, hon, if I had my car here I would take my squeegee out and help you," he said. "But too bad."

Cheryl Tan

Her ticket to the movies

A WOMAN asked about a traffic ticket in the clerk's office of District Court in Glen Burnie, then stood in line for the cashier. A young girl ran up to her:

"Does this mean you won't get your license suspended?" she asked.

The woman spoke in hushed tones, but the girl was obviously delighted.

"Yes!" she cried, thrusting her fist in the air. "Now we can go get a VCR!"

TaNoah Morgan

Pub Date: 1/10/99

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