I wish I could say that peace has broken out in a certain apartment house on Rockville Pike. Redoubled war is more like it.
A few days ago, I wrote about a young couple (one he, one she) who share living quarters there. They are unmarried and are romantically involved and have not tried to conceal either fact.
At the time they signed a lease, no one told them that both their surnames could not appear on their mailbox. But when the male asked the manager to show both surnames on the box, the manager said no. Reason: Management doesn't want to break Montgomery County laws that forbid cohabitation.
Lots of wrangling ensued. Lawyers were brought in (yes, over a piece of plastic the size of your little finger). So far, the advocates have done nothing but skirmish (and talk to Bob Levey, in jumbo amounts).
The long and the short of it: The couple still don't have both names on their mailbox and still aren't sure that both rent-payers are getting all their mail.
Leave it to George Wright to blast right to the heart of the matter.
George, a buddy who always knows the shortest distance between two points, was the first to offer The Label Solution. Several postal carriers were not far behind.
When a carrier flips open a set of mailboxes in an apartment complex, the nameplate is no longer visible -- and the carrier doesn't care. Mail gets sorted according to a second nameplate that carriers stick to the inside of a tenant's box.
"All you need is one of those label-making machines," George said.
You stick both names to the inside of the box, and everyone is happy.
Dennis King delivered the line oh-so- snidely -- and he was oh-so-justified.
Dennis said he had driven to the Delaware beaches over the previous weekend. "I almost couldn't believe it, Bob," he said. "I actually saw someone pull out a cell phone and pull to the side of the road before using it.
"This was a conversation that was not held while the person was driving."
I wouldn't want to bet that this strain of cell-phone-itis is contagious. But I can hope.
Another positive cell phone story, this one from Monica M. Daly.
Like thousands, Monica was caught in the huge Northern Virginia traffic mess of June 2. At the Pentagon that afternoon, trying to get home, she hopped aboard a 17M bus because it was going near where she hoped to end up.
The assembled riders were obviously facing major disruptions of their lives. But no one freaked out, according to Monica. And a woman named Margo stepped up in a big way.
Margo "offered her cell phone to anyone who needed to call their families or check on their children," Monica writes. She didn't charge for the privilege or complain about how much all the cell time would cost her.
Margo topped off this act of generosity with another. When the bus reached her parked car at Ravensworth Shopping Center, Margo offered lifts to all bus riders who wanted them. She didn't charge for that, either.
I don't have Margo's last name, I'm afraid. Monica says her Metrobus Angel is a young woman who just graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in accounting and came to Washington to accept a job.
Obviously, she minored in kindness. Well done, Margo Whoever-you-are.
SEND A KID TO CAMP
Did you love camp when you were a child?
Yes, the bedbugs bit, and the homesickness bug sometimes did, too. But do you remember how you felt when the bug juice was cold and the swimming seemed to go on forever?
Camp is still like that, and with your help, it can be like that for hundreds of underprivileged children this summer. Our campaign runs until late July. But there's no time like the present for a contribution.
Our goal by July 30: $550,000.
In hand as of June 8: $22,884.85.
CONTRIBUTE TO THE CAMPAIGN:
Make a check or money order payable to Send a Kid to Camp and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.
VISA OR MASTERCARD:
Call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 on a touch-tone phone. Then punch in K-I-D-S, or 5437, and follow instructions.