(An occasional postscript about almost anything.)
* Something's amiss: Free-lance writer Sherman Pittman -- remember the shy guy lamenting both the street harassment of women and the fact that women don't dare speak to strangers -- was both chastised and encouraged in telephone and mail response to his "IF YOU ASK ME."
"An outrage," screeched one woman. "Now every mugger out there will feel he has a right to approach any woman he wants to. God knows what will happen."
There was this plea: "Will men of your caliber and connections try to instruct others of your sex to show respect for themselves as well as respect for the 'attractive woman?' " Signed, "An Attractive Woman."
From S.P. Shephard: "My parents did not name me 'Hey! Psssst! Green Eyes or baby . . . I have come a long way, I can joke about this particular kind of humiliation, in the safety of my own home . . . In another time, another galaxy, I might have replied to a simple 'Good Morning' . . . but now, if a tall, dark and 'goodness-of-heart' man said, 'Excuse me Miss, is this the bus to King's Dominion? my reply would be, whether he looked like Billy Dee Williams or Bozo the Clown, 'Ask the driver.' And then I would step away, as far away as possible."
And Pittman's favorite from another Washington woman: "Your article came at a time when I was beginning to give up on men. It never occurred to me that you might be shy or afraid. I always thought you were looking for Miss Universe. Maybe next time I'll find a way to start a conversation, or just say 'Hello.' Thanks. I feel better."
* Sticky wicket: A couple mallets were thrown in the direction of Gayle Boss-Koopman for her meant-to-be casual commentary about backyard croquet in the context of other more macho, commercialized and hyped American sports. Croquet, it turns out, is not so casual in other yards.
Margaret S. Harris of Alexandria reminds us that an " 'advanced American croquet' based on the English six-wicket, central-stake game has replaced the nine-wicket game in official and international competition."
In response to Boss-Koopman's assertion that croquet lacks "a sexy wrapper and a high price tag," Peter W. Hull of Danbury, Conn., refers to last weekend's National Championship Tournament in Central Park, where they "pay $35-$70 for the privilege of hitting $40 balls with $200 mallets" and later "re-hash the play at the $100/plate black-tie ball (white sneakers optional)."
Both writers stress that the U.S. Croquet Association is "alive and well" and include its address -- 635 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022 -- for more information on sanctioned tournaments and events.
Meanwhile, Abercrombie & Fitch, Georgetown Park, just sold two, brass-fitted, precision John Jaques & Son of Surrey $1,000 croquet sets.
* Coming up: Because everyone is bemoaning the high price of clothes -- and no one has time to shop -- a new Q and A, Clothes Call, will limn some of the dilemmas.
And because everyone is bemoaning the difficulty in finding that Significant Other -- and no one has time to shop -- a new column, Singleminded, will limn that dilemma.
* And Here Lies: The liveliest response to a story on celebrity epitaphs comes from Mrs. W.P. Snyder of Gainesville, Va. "As the mother of a very large brood, member of a large family, inundated with friends, relatives, neighbors, etc., etc., I have always wanted my tombstone to read:
" 'Alone at last.' "