Nobody asked me, but ...
It probably wasn't the greatest idea — opening an Asian buffet in Little Italy. Somebody tried that this summer at the corner of Albemarle and Pratt, in what used to be Velleggia's restaurant. They put up a sign and a dragon statue and opened the doors for lunch and dinner. That was in June. Next thing I knew, the place was dark. Just goes to show: One should never try to sell wontons where people are looking for ravioli. Ravioli always wins.
Now that a federal judge's ruling will make it possible for more Marylanders to carry handguns, we should require them to display their licenses on their outer garments or hats. We require registration tags to be visible on motor vehicles and boats; many states require hunters to display their licenses on their jackets. We should tag all people with firearms. Keep it simple: Just the gun owner's name and the words "I'm packing" will suffice.
That stench you're smelling is not a midsummer fish kill on the Potomac. It's the odoriferous deal — as foul as Mencken's "10,000 polecats" — for a sixth Maryland casino at National Harbor. The ambivalent-about-gambling governor suddenly is giving the issue his urgent attention and calling a special summer session of the General Assembly, and the CEO of MGM Resorts suddenly is backing off demands for tax breaks to build the thing. I discern at least two motives in all the noxious fumes:
1. Payback of the most petty kind directed at David Cordish for having the audacity to build a casino at Arundel Mills, sticking it to the bankrupt racetrack interests with which the governor sided in 2010.
2. The ambitious governor lining up his big-money duckies to help finance his political future. By now, he must have gained so much quid for this quo in the Natty Harbor deal that a run for the presidency four years from now might actually be feasible.
The work group established to look into the "resiliency" of Maryland's electrical grid ought to be able to come to a quick consensus — that BGE and Pepco need to bury power lines in the areas that experienced the longest and most frequent outages in the last four major storms. Maybe the governor should call a special session to support that initiative instead of more gambling.
People who complain about taxes should keep their traps shut about sinkholes and busted water mains, and the time it takes to repair them. And global-warming doubters have no right to complain about traffic backups when highways buckle from the heat.
Guys write and phone me all the time looking for work. Some of them are fresh out of prison, some have been out of prison a year or more. They're all struggling, either unemployed or not making enough to meet expenses, including child support. So, when I hear about a job lead, I share. Guys: A Baskin-Robbins franchisee with two locations — one on East Joppa Road in Parkville, one on York Road in Lutherville — needs a part-time cake decorator, assistant manager and shift leader. Apply at the stores. Good luck, and may this get you off the rocky road.
Somebody asked me, so ...
A contractor contacted me to say someone had stolen two tools from the rear seat of his pickup truck — a DeWalt 3/8-inch variable speed drill (serial no. 751238) and a DeWalt DC 730 cordless 1/2-inch drill (serial no. 857502).
The theft occurred, he said, in a Baltimore shopping center the morning of July 20. He said the drills were on the rear seat when he went into a store to survey a job. They were not there when he returned, and he found the rear door of the truck ajar. There was no sign of forced entry; none of the truck's windows had been smashed.
He reported all this to a city police officer.
But the officer said he could not file a report of a break-in because there was no damage to the truck. Nor could he file a report of any crime, or of missing items, because, the officer said, "I have no proof they were ever there."
The contractor says he felt like "a stranger in a strange land" when he heard this, but I told him I understood the officer's position. If he could not verify the existence of the drills, he could not report their theft, especially with no damage to the truck. The cop was right.
Somebody asked me how I prefer to eat a fresh, juicy tomato in summer. I like a thick, cold slab on white bread, with salt, pepper and a little olive oil — and inhaled over the sink.