A pair of Washington street scenes:
Teddy Klaus of Cabin John wasn't born yesterday, but the evening of July 8 opened his eyes in a way they hadn't been opened before.
"While visiting a friend at 4th and I Streets NE . . . , I carelessly dropped my wallet on the street. But I didn't notice it missing," Teddy writes.
"Shortly before midnight, a boy of about 13 approached me and my friend as I was getting into my car, it being a strange one in the neighborhood. He asked if the wallet in his hand was mine. He said that I looked like the picture on the driver's license.
" . . . Needless to say, it was completely intact with cash, credit cards, memorabilia, even a free pass for miniature golf in New Jersey! Talk about restoring one's faith in honesty!"
Meanwhile, over in Georgetown . . .
Molly Moore had had a tough day. It was only her sixth as a reporter for The Washington Post, where the nails they feed you for breakfast can be bad for your digestion. Not only that, but she had been sweating out the arrival of her furniture from New Orleans.
Late that morning, the driver of Molly's moving van called her from a pay phone at the North Carolina-Virginia border. The cops wouldn't let him into Virginia, he explained -- bald tires on the rig. "Keep me posted," said Molly.
The guy did better than that. He arrived at Molly's door at 11 that night, having bought new tires to finish the trip. Could he unload right then and there, he wanted to know? Molly said sure.
In three hours, with the help of his two teen-aged sons, the trucker carted all of Molly's stuff into her apartment. He thanked her, she thanked him. And now that it was 2 a.m., Molly decided to go to sleep.
At just that moment, O Street came alive. "Policemen, lights on top of the police cars, the whole works," Molly said. Seconds later, the trucker was back at Molly's door, with several suspicious policemen directly behind him, begging Molly to explain that he had just brought furniture to her place, not removed any from it.
Molly says she knew this was a tough town. She just never expected to find out quite so personally.
ADDENDA AND ERRATA: I have a wonderful system of nonverbal communication with Sherrian Mock, one of The Post's newsroom phone operators. If she rolls her eyes at me as I arrive for work, it can mean only one thing:
"Why weren't you here an hour ago, dumbo? All these people have been calling to complain about something in the column."
Sherrian's eyes were rolling like dice last week when I wrote that letters returned to senders because of the Canadian postal strike could not be remailed in the same envelopes.
Dozens of readers had called, begging to differ. I checked with Thomas Chadwick, the Postal Service's consumer advocate, who says that U.S. mailers have two choices.
They can either obtain a refund at any post office, or they can scratch out the purple "Return to Sender" stamp and try again -- in the same envelope -- as soon as the strike ends.
How much scratching is enough? "Give it a couple of scratches like you'd use on a doodle pad," Chadwick said.
And while we're at it . . . Apologies to the Charles County chapter of the American Red Cross. In writing about blood collections two Fridays ago, I neglected to list the phone number that Charles Countians can call to volunteer as donors. I'm glad to do so here: 934-2066.
From Charles A. Whitmer of Alexandria, after watching the Charles-Diana wedding: "It's too bad we don't have a royal family in the U.S. so the Reaganites could cut it out of the budget."