Last week, Bill Herman of Falls Church told me that his friend Liz Sergeant was describing the advent of warm weather with the well-turned phrase, "In our trees, the buds are crouching, ready to spring." This week, the cold winds began to blow and Leon Meadows of Jacksonville, N.C. noted that March didn't come in like a lion; it came in like a lamb but may go out like a lion. Incidentally, Leon added that his part of North Carolina gets "fine" postal service to and from every part of the United States except Washington, D.C. Service to and from Washington is "awful," he says. . . .Mac Kendall Allen of Silver Spring suggests that when the District of Columbia begins conducting its legal lottery, grocers should be forbidden to sell tickets, thereby minimizing the temptation to divert part of anybody's food budget into gambling. I think that's a sensible suggestion, but I wonder how much good it would do. People who really become hooked would rather gamble than eat. . . .When her bank decided in January that the 3800 block of Connecticut Avenue NW had suddenly become "Silver Spring, Md. 20901," Blanche Berlin phoned and asked that future bank statements to her be addressed to Washington, D.C. 20008, as they had been in the past. The bank said it would make the change at once, but that's the last Blanche has heard from the bank. She received no February statement and no March statement. If all else fails, Blanche, stop making deposits but continue to write checks. They'll find you in a hurry.
Raymond B. Schnell of Alexandria reports that since Thanksgiving he has received 71 fund-raising letters. I haven't counted how many I have received, but I can tell you this: At least 90 percent of them were deliberately designed to make me feel guilty, especially the ones from organizations I never heard of before. . . .I receive a dozen chain letters a week from people who are too superstitious to break chains themselves and want me to do it for them. I don't mind unless they use company photocoping machines and company postage. For example, Saturday's mail included a 9 by 12 manila envelope filled with 20 copies of a threatening "prayer" that cost the sender's employer 54 cents when it was run through his postage meter. Inasmuch as every postage meter postmark carries a number, I wonder if I should begin tracking down the numbers and sending this junk back the employers who pay for it. . . .Robert Solomon of Bethesda raises an eyebrow at my advice that those who want to park in the Kennedy Center garage should arrive early. He asks, "If we all get there early, will we find it any easier to park?" No, we would not, Robert, especially since the parking facility was never designed to accommodate all the people who might attend sellouts in all five KC theaters. . . .Robert E. LaMond of Arlington has a sensible reaction to my criticism of state legislatores who defy the will of the people in relative anonymity. A switch to unicameral legislatures would give the public a chance to focus its attention on one house instead of two.
We carried a UPI story from Richmond recently about state penitentiary prisoners who dug an escape tunnel that had "a 19-square-inch entrance hole." Cornelius Van S. Roosevelt sighed and patiently pointed out that a 19-square-inch hole would measure less than 4 inches by 5 inches. What UPI meant, no doubt, was a hole 19 inches square, not a hole of 19 square inches. . . .Mrs. J. W. Harrold has sent me a clipping that says a bill for a semester's tuition ($12), room ($3) and meals ($24.50) was mailed in 1845 to the father of a student at Brown University, but the letter was somewhat delayed in transit. It was delivered last year, 135 years late. . . .Danny Klayman reports, "My wife and I have been bickering lately and my mother-in-law is coming to live with us -- but only as an adviser." . . .Bob Orben quips, "I never realized how far government spending had gone until I talked to a tree surgeon. He had three maples on Medicaid." Orben also comments, "If the administration isn't going to eliminate the subsidy on tobacco, the least it can do is tax coughing." . . . Where but in America can boy who enjoys playing baseball more that anything else in the world grow up to be a man who refuses to play unless he's paid a million a year?