They have everything but the capes


December 14, 2005|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Team up a muscly mayor and a Bronze Star medalist, and sooner or later somebody's gonna call them the "dynamic duo." Former Gov. Harry Hughes did it the very day Martin O'Malley and Anthony Brown officially teamed up in the race for governor.

But do these two really have anything in common with Batman and Robin?

Well, the Caped Crusader relies on his utility belt to foil rivals, just as the gadget-guy mayor has roiled his nemesis, Robert Ehrlich, by typing on his BlackBerry during the governor's State of the State address.

A bit older than O'Malley and deeper of voice, Brown can pull off the Boy Wonder role because he is quite a bit shorter than the mayor. And like Robin, Brown has an exotic background, as the son of a Cuban-born physician raised in Jamaica and a Swiss mother. Maybe that doesn't quite measure up to Robin, orphan of ill-fated circus performers. But it's colorful.

Of course, Batman and Robin were all about crime-fighting. That was O'Malley's signature issue when he first ran for mayor. Yet so far, except for passing references to lower crime rates in Baltimore, the candidates have steered clear of that topic.

But the show has just started. Stay tuned.

He can carry his own weight

With two buff guys on the ticket, the question had to be asked the other day on the campaign bus: "Who benches more?"

Maybe Anthony Brown was just being diplomatic. Or maybe neither one has the muscle power of Baltimore's first deputy mayor. Either way, Brown's answer was: "Michael Enright."

Not just another pretty face

And you thought O'Malley-Brown was the pretty-boy ticket.

No less a source than GQ magazine - in a story about Sinclair Broadcast Group and its ties to Robert Ehrlich - calls the Gov "almost ridiculously handsome."

Guess sideburns are out.

Set up your own puppet government

For sale on eBay - a 12-foot tall papier-mache puppet of Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens.

Created by Nadine Bloch, a Takoma Park activist and artist who has turned out similar pieces in Seattle and Washington for protests against the World Trade Organization and World Bank, the puppet was first used by foes of a proposed Safeway in 2000. It wears a sash that reads "Queen of Sprawl."

The auction ends in three days. As of yesterday, the price had been bid up to $285.

One catch, understandable considering that giant papier-mache puppets probably don't travel well: The buyer has to pick it up.

The birthday boy has his hand out

Antonio Hayes, an aide to City Council President Sheila Dixon, is throwing himself a 28th birthday party at 7 tonight at Gordon's, a bar at 1818 Maryland Ave. You're invited, even if you don't know him, because the event is doubling as a fundraiser for Hayes, who plans to run for delegate in the 40th District.

Hayes lives in Reservoir Hill and grew up in the district, which is currently represented by Salima Marriott, Marshall Goodwin and Catherine Pugh. He intends to keep his job as Dixon's director of legislative affairs while running, something he says the Hatch Act doesn't bar him from doing because Dixon's office doesn't receive federal funds.

Getting a leg up

Chris Jensen, the Charles Villager who upsets a few and amazes many others by tucking a space alien inside his Christmas Nativity scene at Howard and 28th streets, has added something new to his holiday display this year:

A 20-foot illuminated Leg Lamp.

Made of copper tubing - "I'm a plumber," Jensen explains - it is Jensen's two-dimensional tribute to A Christmas Story.

In the movie, the boy who craves a Red Ryder BB gun has a father with his own longings, which are satisfied ever so briefly by a sexy-but-breakable leg lamp.

"I call it `fragile,'" Jensen said. As lovers of the movie surely know, that's pronounced "fra-GEE-le."

A kiss is still a kiss -- but with gum?

Thanks to Studio One, the curriculum that teaches reading and writing with the likes of CosmoGirl!, Baltimore middle-schoolers are hip to "Five hot new kisses."

Good taste - no, to be honest, my editors - prevents me from quoting most of the explicit instructions for where to place lips and adjacent body parts. But here's a sample from one of the five, "The bubble-delicious kiss."

It begins with "Put a piece of fruity gum into your mouth." It ends with "Quickly blow a small bubble into his mouth! Let it burst on his tongue and watch him burst into laughter!"

For some reason, critics of the curriculum are not so amused.

All's well that ends kvell

Martin O'Malley was smiling so big the day Anthony Brown made his debut that he sometimes looked a little goofy. "In my part of the world," said Del. Sandy Rosenberg, "it's called kvelling."

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