Customer plays it safe after Tripp run-in

This Just In ...

August 02, 1999|By Dan Rodricks

A WOMAN dropped a bottle of salad dressing in a Giant in Columbia one evening last week. The bottle broke, creating a mess and releasing the distinct aroma of raspberry vinaigrette. The woman turned to another customer, thinking him a supermarket employee, and asked, "Would you find someone to clean this up?" Then, recognizing her mistake, the woman said: "Oh, I'm sorry. I apologize."

The man, recognizing the woman as Monica Lewinsky's former friend Linda Tripp, said: "Yeah, you apologize. You'll be apologizing for the rest of your life."

I'd like to identify the scold who, in a moment of visceral sarcasm, made that crack, but the fellow works for a Democratic politician and he thinks some people -- however few -- will regard his comments to the since-indicted Trippster as mean-spirited partisanship.

Maybe so. I suspect the guy's worried about Tripp getting his name and finding out where he lives. But there it is.

Family pubs together

I asked Carp Zimmerman whether he'd owned a bar before. "Nope," he said. "But I've sat in a lot of 'em."

Lack of experience at the tap isn't what keeps him out of Hook, Line & Ax, his 5-month-old pub (formerly Tapestry) on Aliceanna Street in Fells Point. On Feb. 17, a few weeks before he was to open the business, Karl "Carp" Zimmerman fell 20 feet off a ladder while fighting a rowhouse fire on West Fayette Street.

Zimmerman, a nine-year Baltimore Fire Department veteran assigned to Rescue 1 downtown, had been trying to reach an elderly man through a second-floor window. Zimmerman grabbed the window frame and stepped onto a sill. The frame snapped off in his hand. He fell. He landed on his back. He lost all feeling below his waist, couldn't move his legs or feet.

Two vertebrae were fractured, a third crushed.

The first surgery at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center lasted eight hours. Zimmerman got a titanium brace for his spine and a three-week stay in the hospital.

The bar opened. Zimmerman's family and friends got Hook, Line & Ax going in March. "They really jumped in for me," he says. His wife, Kelly, tends bar. His mother, Cathy, helps out. So does his sister Susan Campion. And his father, Karl H. (Carp is Karl J.), handles maintenance. His buddy David Bycoffe, a Baltimore County firefighter, is general manager.

The place serves 12 draft beers -- I think it's time to tap a new keg of Rolling Rock, gang -- and pub grub with firefighter themes. (There's a "back draft burger," and the range of sauces for the chicken wings is from "false alarm" to "smoke showing" to "fully involved.")

Zimmerman had more surgery in May, then 30 days on his back at Kernan Hospital, followed by 30 days at a 30-degree angle. He'll have the brace in his back the rest of his life. "The doctors think I have a very good chance of going back to work," he says. "I'm hoping to return to light duty in November."

Carpe diem, Carp.

Able to leap tall lawsuits

Baltimore lawyer Ron Drescher gets crowing rights for a recent victory in a star-studded case in Los Angeles. Drescher's New York-based client, a celebrity autograph and memorabilia house, recently won a legal battle with "X-Files" star David Duchovny and one-time TV Superman Dean Cain (the stud from ABC's "Lois and Clark"), over use of the actors' photographs and names in fan magazines. Duchovny's and Cain's suit accused Truly Unique Collectibles of unauthorized use of their photographs in advertisements and of falsely suggesting that the stars had endorsed the mail-order company's sales of their autographed 8-by-10's. A judge granted Drescher's motion to dismiss the case. Duchovny and Cain intend to appeal.

Driving while black, part 2

TJI reader Dani Rice, noting the recent column about state Del. Talmadge Branch's driving-while-black experiences, related a story about a man who attended her church in Joppatowne a few years ago:

"Tony was an Army officer and drove a pretty nifty red sports car. He was also black. I asked him one Sunday why he wore his uniform so much, as most military personnel are only too glad to get into civvies when they are off duty. He told me that he had been pulled over by police so many times that he found that being in uniform got him a bit more civil treatment than if he had on blue jeans and a T-shirt. He said once police checked his credentials, they acted as if all they wanted to do was check his car and ask where he got it."

Cheesecake central

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