Funny, the cats don't look Jewish


June 11, 2008|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Male kindergarten teacher? Jewish biker?

Ken Shapiro of Parkville, a Y-chromosomed early-childhood educator and founder of Semites on Bikes, has met with his share of raised eyebrows.

Maybe it's my old Free to Be You and Me album talking, but it takes more than that to shock me. It takes seeing Shapiro straddle his Harley in the nude, with nothing but a strategically placed cat to protect his modesty.

Shapiro appears in "Kitty Porn," a calendar that, according to the promotional materials, features "12 nude, middle aged, mostly out of shape, jewish men, discreetly covered by cats!"

Yes, that's the promotional material.

The calendar - available for $20 plus shipping at - is a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Baltimore County's new cat shelter, or "cat house," as Semites on Bikes delight in calling it.

Looking for a charity project, the group settled on that because one of its members, Tom Dudley, is president of the Humane Society board. Dudley didn't pose. ("Too mature," Shapiro said.)

Shapiro retired from Owings Mills' Deer Park Elementary School in February, but said teaching wouldn't have kept him from posing, even though the cat didn't quite cover his keister. Despite the "out of shape" disclaimer, Shapiro, 55, looks pretty fit.

"One of the guys actually spent six months working out, tanning," Shapiro said. "When he took his shot, he went out in the woods or something. He had his girlfriend him spray him with PAM. It's the only shot that looks like it doesn't belong there. It looks like the cover of Blueboy magazine or Playgirl."

But that guy, Mr. July, and Shapiro, Mr. January, seem to be exceptions.

"Wait till you see August," Shapiro said. "We have one guy who's 389 pounds."

The commish enjoys a busman's holiday

Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld III was in Israel recently, where he was supposed to be soaking up history, gaining religious and cultural understanding, learning the latest anti-terrorism strategies, yada, yada, yada.

While he was at all that, he helped crack a burglary case.

Bealefeld went on a ride along with several Jerusalem police officers, The Sun's Annie Linskey reports. They encountered a man who reported a burglary at his German Quarter apartment.

The man couldn't keep his story straight, but that was clearer to Bealefeld than to the Hebrew-speaking police because he was British and spoke in English.

The man first said that someone broke into his apartment, but it was obvious to Bealefeld that the burglar had a key.

"There was no forced entry. He was talking in circles," Bealefeld said.

The man also said that a check was stolen, a detail Bealefeld found hard to believe.

" 'Wait a minute,' " Bealefeld thought, " 'nobody robs you of a check. Why didn't you cancel the check?' It was those kinds of inconsistencies."

Turned out the man was covering for the suspect, who happened to be his lover and a Palestinian.

Bealefeld said police were "very grateful" for his help.

Connect the dots

If naked bikers don't do it for you, you can shell out for animals in higher style. The Duchess of Windsor's 112th birthday party, a benefit for Animal Rescue Inc., takes place Sunday at 206 E. Biddle St. Info: The invite specifies casual attire but "outrageous jewelry required." ... Zellweger-watchers needn't lurk around swanky shopping districts. After I reported Renee Zellweger sightings in Harbor East, not one, but two readers reported spotting her at the Towson Target. Zellweger, who began filming My One and Only in Upperco on Monday, bought liquid hand soap, according to one of my spies. ... Seems the guys from MTV's Making the Band 4 aren't always lousy tippers. I reported recently that the reality show musicians, in town to appear at Pier Six, stiffed the waitress at Baltimore's James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant. They made a better impression at Obrycki's Crab House, where they picked up a carryout order and left the bartender a $50 tip. Said owner Rob Cernak: "We found them to be very gracious and generous." They also tipped at Roy's, says the manager there. ... So I try to get away from Maryland politicos for a few days and whom do I meet at my 20th reunion at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.? Erin Clarke Gorden, a classmate I never knew. Her mom is Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.

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