This and that...
No, he wasn't wearing a bow tie. But a young man sent Paul Simon-for-President headquarters into a tizzy the other day . . . . Man in his late teens shows up at Simonland on Fifth Street NE and announces that he's there to empty the trash. Receptionist doesn't know anything about it, but says, sure, go ahead . . . . Guy spends 45 minutes emptying waste baskets into a large heap in the foyer. He takes one armful outside to what everyone assumes is a truck. Then he never comes back . . . . First to catch on was a woman in an inner office. Her briefcase (plus valuable contents) wasn't there any more . . . . Word to the wise in Washington Officeland: Trash is almost never picked up during the day. Anyone who says he's there to do that may be a fourflusher . . . .
Jackie Shively of Northwest is still steaming, and I say she steameth with reason . . . . Jackie was driving north on 18th Street in Adams-Morgan on Oct. 1 when Metropolitan police officer F.V. Simmons pulled her over. Sin: Driving without current stickers on her tags . . . . Jackie told the officer that she had bought the stickers, but just hadn't had a chance to affix them. "They're on my dresser," she said . . . . Officer Simmons not only responded to this with a $100 ticket. He confiscated Jackie's car, forcing her to take a cab home . . . . Asked to comment, police department spokesman Quintin Peterson said he "sympathizes with the plight of the lady." But Peterson added: "The law doesn't make any allowance for circumstance." . . . . True enough. But, fellas, the law does make allowances for an officer's judgment. Jackie clearly wasn't an FBI-Most-Wanted-List criminal. Why dump her onto the street, in a strange neighborhood, after dark, by herself, and possibly induce another more serious crime? It had to be better all the way around to give Jackie a ticket and let her drive herself away . . . .
Great moments in direct mail advertising: Earl J. Owens of Hyattsville received a letter notifying him that he's a "1987 Ford Taurus Finalist." All Earl has to do to see if he has won a free car is to bring his official notification letter to North Fork on the Shenandoah . . . . North Fork is, of course, one of those vacation developments that try to sell you a piece of their turf once you show up . . . . But North Fork is going to have a tough time peddling land to Earl Owens. As his son, James, of Adelphi, points out, Earl died 10 years ago . . . .
Super idea for TV sports fans, courtesy of Bruce E. Lackey of Rockville: Why not a continuous display in one corner of the screen of all the statistics that a fan at the stadium can see? For all sports, the score. For basketball, period and time remaining. For baseball, balls, strikes, outs and inning. For football, down-and-distance, time left, quarter and location of ball . . . .
An honest soul is looking for a rightful owner. Let's see if we can help out . . . . Olivia B. Rivers of Alexandria was visiting Georgetown on Sunday, Oct. 4. When she returned to her car, which was parked near the Four Seasons Hotel, she discovered a set of keys half-stuck into the driver's side lock . . . . Olivia guesses that Honest Soul found them beside Olivia's car and figured her for Rightful Owner. One trouble: She isn't . . . . Rightful Owner may call me at 334-7276 to claim his keys. There are three of them on the ring. One has a very distinctive marking. You'll have to describe that marking before I'll hand the keys over . . . .
Christopher R. Sherrill of Accokeek, I like your style . . . . Christopher is a commuter along 17th Street NW. On Oct. 13, he first noticed a Mercury parked illegally in front of the Pan American Union Building. Surely just a matter of hours, thought Christopher, before the local constabulary cranes the offender away . . . . Next day, the car was still there (although it was now minus license plates). Ditto the rest of the week. Ditto Monday morning (even a whole weekend didn't get the job done) . . . . That finally pushed Christopher's TILT button. He called the police. They told him that only the Abandoned Vehicles Division could tow away a car without tags . . . . In this deep, Christopher got in deeper. He called AVD. They promised to do their duty . . . . Tuesday morning, Christopher approached Pan Am with Great Expectations. But no: The Merc was still there . . . . Another call to AVD, and another promise-to-tow. By the next day, success. All it took was eight days . . . . Good guffaw-getter from Christopher. He says he now knows what to do if he parks someplace in D.C. and overstays the legal limit. Just remove his tags. "That way," says Christopher, "I have only the cost of the parking ticket without the cost and nuisance of being towed away!" . . . .
Ambulance Driver Gotcha, as sighted by Debbie Touart of Alexandria . . . . On Oct. 21, at 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Debbie dutifully pulled aside to let a D.C. Fire Department ambulance go past . . . . As it did, she glanced at the driver. He was nipping coffee from a Garfield mug -- as he barreled through rush-hour traffic at about 45 miles an hour . . . .