Reprinted from yesterday's later editions.
Fritz, don't tell Sam (from the song of the same name) but somebody got your pants too short.
That fashion postscript kept a few onlookers entranced at German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt's dinner for Vice President Walter Mondale Thursday night at the embassy.
Eleanor Mondale, standing in for her mother who was visiting a friend in Maine, was aghast at the news "Dad's pants are too short?" she asked. "I'm embarrassed."
A few minutes later, when no one was looking, the Vice President's only daughter slipped away to the head table to talk to her dad about it.
"I told Dad they said his pants were too short," she reported back later. "And Mr. Schmidt said, "Did they think my pants were too short, too." I said "No, your pants are all right."
"Dad's pants," explained Eleanor, 17, a senior at Georgetown Day School, "depend on the day. He has three tuxedos," apparently with pants of varying lenghts.
This little insight into Walter Mondale's sartorial splendor emerged after Ina Ginsburg, Washington socialite and one of 10 guests at the dinner table with Eleanor, noted the respective lengths of Mondale's and Schmidt's pants while they stood at a microphone delivering after-dinner toasts.
Ginsburg announced her findings to tablemates who included the Kennedy Center's Roger Stevens, Mayor Walter Washington television commentator Martin Agronsky. Kit Dobelle whose husband is U.S. Chief of Protocol, and German news correspondent Jan Reifenberg.
Schmidt's pants broke long over the tops of his shoes, said Ginsburg and Mondale's ended somewhere in the vicinity of his ankles.
"The sure sign of an American in Europe," noted Reifemberg as the discussion mounted," is when the pants are short."
Eleanor is an usher at the Kennedy Center, whose leaking roof was under serious, if heated, discussion by Stevens and Mayor Washington, a member of the board of trustees. Stevens said the General Services Administration approved the center's construction, including its roof and that "it makes me mad when they jump on the trustees."
Eleanor thought the toasts were good. "Dad usually comes up with some pretty funny lines," she said, "and Mr. Schmidt was good too."
Mondale's "lines" last night included one about a visit Schmidt made to Minnesota last week to visit some American relatives. "In Duluth they urged him to come here 30 years ago and it was a fatal decision. We lost a President schmidt, the Germans got a great chancellor."
Schmidt's lines were somewhat more serious, emphasizing Germany's beliefs in "basic human values - in our belief in the dignity of human beings."
To some veteran ears of foreign policy statements, it represented a compatibility of position with Jimmy Carter's stand on human rights.
The 160 dinner guests dined on jellied consomme (Eleanor didn't touch hers), artichokes filled with lobster ("Can you have seconds" she asked), roast pheasant ("There isn't much meat on it"), timbales of summer squash ("Is that what it is?"), salad and cheese on a bed of grapes ("Can you eat the grapes?"), and crepes flambe ("Does that mean they light it?").
Eleanor wore a long blue dress, which she changed into quickly at thelast minute. "I was going to wear my tuxedo because I wore this dress to the White house last night," she said. "I was going to wear a tie at my neck and no blouse, but Dad said I had to change. I thought it looked great, but I guess he didn't think it was appropriate."
In some respects, she said, the German embassy was "almost" better than the White House. "They've got people here who pull out your chair for you." Not that she's been to that many White House parties and the next time when the Prime Minister of Italy comes. July 26-27, her little brother gets to go instead of her.
"He's getting fitted for a tuxedo. Mom didn't want me to buy another dress."
She stood in the receiving line with the Schmidts, her father, Secretary of State and Mrs. Vance, Ambassador Von Staden and Foreign Minister and Mrs. Hans-Dietrich Genscher. She said people didn't have much to say to her, but then they rarely do because they're more interested in talking to her father.
The guests represented a cross-section of Washington, the administration, the Hill, labor, culture, industry, the media and the academic community.
"This is one country," said former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger "in which I can become head of government." While at the German embassy be technically was on the sovereign soil of the nation of his birth.
"Where's that?" asked wife Nancy Kissinger.
When they brought in the dessert it was the piece de resistance for the tall, blonde daughter of the Vice President. As the crepes blazed on the platter and were being carried through the aisles around the table it made her think of someplace else.
"This is just like when you're in church," she said. "When they pass the collection plate."