Not all the lamebrains on Capitol Hill frequent the House or Senate . . . . A resident of Seventh Street SE had his door rapped upon the other night by a fund-seeker . . . . "Your basic zealot," is how my man describes the doorknocker. And what was he zealous about? Toxic waste . . . . "He asked for money for some group whose name I didn't catch, and I said I wasn't interested," reports my man . . . . That's the sort of response fund-seekers get all the time . . . . But this clown was a sore loser. Halfway down the block, he turned and shouted over his shoulder: "You may not die of cancer, but I hope your children do!" . . . . You may not die of rudeness, my friend, but you've sure got a bad case of it . . . .
Wonderful new sport being played in PG County . . . . It's called Dump The Cat . . . . A reader in Hyattsville says he came home from work the other night to discover a cat sitting, hungry and bewildered, in the front yard . . . . My reader can't swear it, but the cat had apparently been left there by "a selfish coward who wanted to get rid of it" . . . . My guy already has a cat, who didn't cotton to the stranger one bit. Luckily, my reader was able to find a foster home . . . . But what kind of a world is it when people chuck animals the way they chuck candy wrappers? . . . .
Memo to the D.C. Department of Transportation ticket-giver who works Foggy Bottom: Knock it off, champ . . . . Several readers report that you're leaving tickets along 23rd Street for illegal parking between 4 and 6:30 p.m. . . . . One minor problem: you're leaving them at 3:45 p.m. . . . .
Two good ideas for The Great Gods of Metro, from The Great Users of same: . . . . J. A. McKevitt of Bellevue, Wash., notes that when you come up the escalator and out into the ground-level world, it can take a while to get your bearings. Even more so if you're from someplace like Bellevue, Wash. . . . . J. A.'s suggestion: paint a N/E/S/W compass on each Big-M pylon . . . .
Problem No. Two: What if you get trapped in the Farecard Shuffle? . . . . In case it has never happened to you, here's a synopsis: . . . . You think your Farecard has $1.10 left on it, but it really has 20 cents, because your last 90-cent ride wasn't deducted (as usual) from the running total on the left side of the card . . . . You soon discover that you can't get out of the station without adding more value to your card on the Addfare machine. But you also discover that you can't use Addfare because all you have is a $10 bill, and Addfare won't take tens . . . . You're reduced to begging change from passersby, which is no fun at all, and might consume as much as 20 minutes on a bad day . . . . Solution (from Frank A. Stevens Sr. of Arlington): change-making machines beside Addfare . . . . Yes, yes, we know hardware costs money, Metro . . . . But losing a furious rider forever costs more . . . .
Any worthy outfit need a stove? . . . . You must be nonprofit, with the wheels (and the brawn) to cart the stove away yourself . . . . It's a 30-inch white Norge, gas, 8 years old, in good shape . . . . Call Mrs. Brown at 892-2010 . . . .
From the Urban Daredevil file: . . . . Bill Stephenson of Annandale was waiting to cross 19th Street at K Street NW. As the light turned green his way, here came a delivery truck down 19th and across K, full blast. The driver had not even entered the intersection at the time the light turned red his way . . . . But a pedestrian near Bill wasn't about to let this -- or it -- pass. He jumped in front of the truck as it reached him, planted his feet and shouted at the top of his lungs: "You stop right there! You ran the red light, and you just wait right there!" . . . . As Bill says, "I don't recommend it, but I sure do admire it" . . . .
Summer is a super season -- unless you happen to be walking past the fountains in front of the Martin Luther King Library . . . . Street people have started congregating there night and day now that the weather is warm. And because they don't have access to bathrooms -- well, you can guess the rest . . . . But how is the city responding? With that age-old game, It's The Other Guy's Job . . . . Assistant MLK director Brenda Johnson says it's the Department of Public Works' problem, since DPW runs the fountains . . . . Public Works says it's up to the cops to run the homeless away . . . . The cops say they can't run anybody away from a public fountain for just sitting there. As for the "mementoes" street people leave behind, the cops say they have to witness them being left in order to arrest anybody . . . . Upshot? The fountains stink to high heaven, fewer people are using the library, and nothing's being done about it . . . . How about public rest rooms next to the fountains? . . . . If it works in Europe . . . .
They're fixing the spellings on the Maryland Beltway signs -- the ones that tell you which road you're going over or under . . . . But as Ross Perry of Fort Washington notes, "the irritating feature of the new highway signs is not their spelling, but their existence" . . . . Wonders Ross: "Who possibly cares what street they are travelling over or under?" . . . . Well-taken wonder, say I . . . .