The gags about coming in from the cold have died down by now. The Humane Society operatives have come and taken the family to what a spokesman called "wider opportunities." All that remains now in the inner courtyard of the Central Intelligence Agency is the memory -- of eight ducks.
The flying fowl (a mom and seven babies) settled smack in the center of Langley, Va.'s, most famous piece of real estate a few weeks ago. The courtyard where they took up residence is as austere as anything John Le Carre ever imagined. Seven-story concrete buildings surround it on three sides. There are windows, but only a few. There are Growing Green Things, but only a few. Worst of all, there's only one door into the courtyard, and only the maintenance staff has the key.
But where there's a will . . . .
Within a few days, word of the ducks had spread throughout the corridors of spy-dom. No one in Langley will say how, but a little pond suddenly sprung up, and food began to be left at regular intervals. "They were well cared for," promised CIA spokesman Dale Peterson.
But after almost three weeks, the CIA asked the Humane Society to step in. The ducks were taken to a field in western Fairfax County and released. What happened to them after that? Only the duck intelligence network knows.
The troops at CIA are taking it "pretty hard," said an employe who called the other day. "They were really adorable. And that's not a word we use around here very much."
It's not a win, not a loss and not exactly a draw. It's more like a giant push of the hold button.
As you regular readers know, I've spent the last several weeks charting the progress (or lack of it) of the D.C. Voting Rights Amendment, as supporters tried to push it through the Delaware House and Senate.
The measure passed the Delaware House a couple of weeks ago, and headed across the hall. There, however, it ran into a giant roadblock in the form of Tom Sharp, a senator from Wilmington. He pronounced himself "violently opposed" to the measure, which would grant the city voting representation in the U.S. House and Senate for the first time.
Sharp's opposition wasn't anything to sneeze at. He is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the body which would report DCVRA to the floor -- or kill it by sitting on it. After several days of intensive lobbying, Sharp agreed to bring the bill before the entire Senate -- but only if supporters could show him that they had enough votes to pass it.
They didn't, so last week, they decided to let sleeping dogs lie. The bill remains in the Judiciary Committee. It will be reconsidered in 1984. By then, DCVRA lobbyists hope to have rounded up enough "ayes" to bring three quarters of a million disenfranchised people a little closer to what they deserve.
Yes, Virginia (and Maryland and D.C., too), there are more reunions:
* The class of '78 from Wootton High is holding its fifth. Further information from Lori Sadugov (279-8813 or 340-8524).
* Montgomery Blair's class of 1973 will hold Number Ten a month from today. Call 460-8324 for details.
* It's the same ten years for the class of '73 from DuVal High in Lanham -- and the same July 23 reunion date. Tickets and information: Kellie Maykrantz or Cathy O'Connell (731-4247).
* Not much time left if you graduated from James Madison High School in 1963. Your 20th reunion is this Saturday, June 25. Details: Sue Chadwick Gerig (435-0674) or Doug Mills (978-7670).
* This coming weekend is also reunion time for graduates of Frederick College, a Portsmouth, Va., school which opened in 1958 and closed in 1968. All grads from all years are welcome, as is anyone else who had anything to do with the school. Further information: Pat Elkey O'Neill (698-5184).
A 25th reunion for Northwestern High's class of 1958 is in the planning stages. Chief planner: Martha Frey Stone (721-9276). And they're plotting a fifth reunion for the class of 1978 from Magruder High School. Susan Gregory (253-2311) and Pamela Von Nessen (948-5171) have more information.