Bits and pieces . . . .

New trend aboard our subway that needs to be squashed in the bud. I refer to sitting on the floor . . . . Yes, dear friends, Yuppies who can't get a seat during rush hour (and who can't pos-s-s-ibly tire out their precious calf muscles by standing for 10 minutes) simply go plunk on the planks. They adopt the lotus position, they open the paper to the sports section and they are in heaven . . . . But the rest of us are in the other place. To enter the train, we must step over thighs, feet and golf results. To leave the train, we must do the same . . . . If common courtesy won't dissuade the lotuses from their manifest selfishness, perhaps this will: Think of the wrinkles you guys are putting in your pinstripes . . . .

Belated thanks to the Red Line operator who did me a good turn the other day -- and followed it up with a good laugh . . . . As I came down the L Street escalator at Farragut North, there was the Silver Spring train, sitting in the station . . . . This is always a good test of what kind of shape you think you're in. Can you cover 100 yards in 4.2 seconds, before the doors close? Or will you give up before you even try? . . . . I chose to sprint. That is no mean feat on those burnt-red tiles, especially in loafers. But just as my lungs began to ache and my heart began to pound, I reached the rear door and skittered aboard . . . . Over the loudspeaker came the driver's voice. "YOU'RE WELCOME," it said, to the vast amusement of out-of-shape me and the rest of the rear car . . . .

Bike Messenger Watch: There was a woman in a car, in the right lane of 20th Street NW, waiting for the light at I Street to change . . . . When it did, she began to make a right turn. Suddenly, a bike messenger tried to whip past her on the right. She turned into his path. He had to brake very sharply to avoid a collision . . . . Of course, the messenger had been the unsafe one of the pair. But who cursed out the lady at the top of his lungs? And who took out his heavy lock and smashed the lady's car right on its roof, leaving a two-inch-deep-crater? . . . . I say it again (and I'll keep saying it as long as I hear stories like this): Get these menaces out of downtown, and get them out now . . . .

Did you catch the computer show at the National Archives during the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution? . . . . Thousands of people did, and thousands took part in a Q-and-A exercise set up on a video display terminal. The first Q: Would you have signed the Constitution? . . . . According to Sept. 17 figures supplied by Archives staff, 5,537 people answered yes. But 1,717 answered no . . . . Because I am a charitable guy, I am going to assume that those 1,717 voters were teen-aged wise guys who were simply trying to make a notice-me statement -- the same sort of statements you see on restroom walls . . . . I sincerely hope that none of them was serious, because the same Constitution that they disdained gave them the right to say that they disdained it . . . .

You say romance is dead? It is merely taking on new forms, one of which mightily charmed Sylvia Kelty of Burke the other day . . . . Sylvia was munching away at a fish and chips place on Little River Turnpike when she noticed a Young He and a Young She "mooning" at one another across some half-eaten shrimp . . . . As Sylvia watched, the couple left the place hand in hand. The He opened the door for the She. The He helped the She into the shotgun seat of his truck. Then the He reached across the She, grabbed the seat belt, pulled it across her and lovingly buckled her in . . . .

David, I spoke too soon . . . . David is my good buddy Dave Krupinski, who coaches a football team in the Capital Beltway League and who called to disagree with Old Two-Fingers here about Little League Syndrome . . . . Last week, I two-fingered my belief that LLS is alive and well in our kids' football and soccer leagues. David says it ain't so in his league. And if it looks as if it's about to become so, Dave says the offending coach or parent is asked to disappear -- permanently . . . . Now why can't every league be that way? . . . .

There was Jay Levy of Takoma Park, merrily encamped at National Airport, about to fly off on a grand weekend getaway to New Orleans. Whoops! Jay realized that he had forgotten to leave the video rental club membership card with his son, Jonah . . . . Any parent knows that leaving a kid VCR-less for more than three seconds, much less a whole weekend, is a mortal sin . . . . Jay had only a few minutes to act. He bummed an envelope from the National Car Rental booth. He cadged a stamp from Traveler's Aid. He scrawled Jonah's name and address on the envelope, called and told Jonah to expect the card in the next day's mail and hopped his flight . . . . That was on a Thursday afternoon. The letter arrived in Takoma Park (less than eight miles from National) on the following Monday, after Jay had gotten home. Proving that parents may commit mortal sins occasionally, but the Post Office commits them every day . . . .

Finally, this wince-inducer, from "I'd better remain nameless" in Prince George's County: What is a carbuncle? It's a used auto salesman who happens to be your mother's brother . . . .