Rain ends -- other irritations continue

October 28, 2007|By DAN RODRICKS

Rain has been falling on our area since early last week, and that's a good thing. God be praised. We certainly needed rain. My basement floor has been bone-dry for months.

Last week, while waiting for a flight at BWI, I got pulled into a quarrel. Not mine, somebody else's. There was a young woman sitting in the next row of seats, gabbing on a cell phone and her part of the conversation - delivered loudly and clearly - went something like this: "What do you mean? What? How could you take it that way? I never said that. That is just so wrong. What? What? Listen ... No, that is so mean. I never said that. Do you think I would have said that? Johnny ... Johnny, listen!" I was just one of three or four people who got up and moved out of earshot as this went on for some time. What I've just described should be a violation of the Homeland Security Act - annoying and inciting domestic-flight passengers with obnoxious cell phone conversations.

Giant Food is going to give most of its stores a makeover over the next three years, an investment of millions upon millions of dollars that could be going into reducing prices, hiring more help and putting fresh pizza dough back in the display cases. (Why they dropped fresh pizza dough, I'll never understand.)

Here are a couple of other suggestions for Giant: Cut back on the number of self-serve checkout lanes and hire more human cashiers. Also, sell Baltimore-made Roma Italian sausage instead of that store-brand and Johnsonville stuff.

The supermarket industry is crazy. Too many stores. Too many choices. And too many ridiculously spoiled and fickle customers who get wider and wider all the time, requiring wider and wider aisles, requiring the stores to invest millions of dollars that could be going into reducing prices, hiring more help and putting fresh pizza dough back in the display cases.

---- Blob's Park is going to become a housing development. Now, there's something we haven't seen before! Yippee! Thank you, Blob-Eggerl family. That's quite a legacy you're leaving us.

---- A referendum on slots? Let the voters decide? What a wimpy way out of a phony political deadlock. Personally, I don't care anymore. The whole business has worn me out. Bobby Slots, Martin O'Slots - doesn't matter who the governor is. All due respect to the ministers and rabbis who object on moral-spiritual grounds, but the politicians in this middling state are just going to do what they've wanted to do all along anyway. So approve slots and get it over with.

---- Leave Kevin Millar alone. I seem to recall he hit a walk-off, three-run homer at Camden Yards to beat the Red Sox in the 10th inning of a Sunday game back in August, and that was one of the few bright moments of the Orioles' 2007 season. Now you wanna burn the guy for showing up at Fenway? Go pound tar.

---- I stopped at the Filling Station, a neat little coffee shop on York Road in Sparks that you can only get to during rush-hour from the southbound lane because the traffic coming from northern Baltimore County and southern Pennsylvania is ridiculous and you could never begin to make a left-hand turn into the parking lot from the northbound lane. So I stopped at the Filling Station at midday and, to my delight and surprise, found none of those silly flavored coffees - you know, Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Creme Brulee and Dalmatian Hazelnut. "No, we don't have flavored coffee," the friendly lass at the counter said. "We have coffee-flavored coffee." Just my cup of tea.

---- Speaking of southbound traffic from northern Baltimore County and southern Pennsylvania, I must admit: It has been years since I've been out there - in the Hereford Zone - on a weekday morning to see this spectacle. It looks like a hurricane evacuation route every day, between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Bumper to bumper to bumper in two lanes. It's nuts. You'd think there had been another meltdown at Three Mile Island, or that the sulfuric-sauerkraut stench from the paper mill in Spring Grove had finally sent everyone from around there packing. Amazing.

---- Squirrels attacked the jack-o-lantern on my front steps, turning it into a faceless, pulpy monstrosity, and not a word about the attack - until now - in The Sun.

---- I love the Ravens, but they are boring. I need 40 points a game - OK, 30; I'll settle for 30 - in at least one game before Christmas. If that happens, I'll send Brian Billick and the starting offense a basket of homemade Italian subs, with the good soppressato and fresh mozzarella.

---- I'm going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner tonight. He and his wife have never hosted T-Day dinner, so this is practice. "Yes, it does have the potential to be a catastrophe," the invitation says. "But at least we'll all be together."


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