Well, it couldn't last forever. I'm delighted to announce what a roomful of roisterous rooters already knows. Toni Schettewi of Potomac, a secretary at General Electric, dethroned me on Friday as the Fastest Two-Finger Typist in Washington.
Toni finished with a net score of 62 words a minute for the five-minute test, which would be smokin' fast even with all ten fingers. I managed to finish second in the field of nine with a net score of 47. Obviously, as they say at the race track, there was a lot of daylight between win and place. Toni is the undisputed champ.
Equally praiseworthy are the hundred or so people from all around the Washington area who made donations -- in the form of bets on various contestants -- to Children's Hospital. The total take from entry fees and side bets was $1,794.50, which would buy us two-finger relics a few typing lessons any day.
Al Lawson, director of development at Children's, pronounced that sum "excellent and surprising." I'd like to pronounce Children's deserving of that much money, and more.
Eighteen hundred bucks may sound like a healthy sum to you or me. At Children's, it might pay the electric bill for a week. For this hospital in particular, there is no such word as enough.
The contestants who filled Trader Vic's at the Capital Hilton were a colorful bunch.
Rob Bamberger, an energy analyst at the Congressional Research Service, had his typing digits wrapped in a handmade pair of red wool finger-covers. Ken Labowitz, an Alexandria attorney, brought along an incredibly complex electric typewriter that looked as if it could do everything but shine your shoes.
But the crowning touch belonged to Toni Schettewi. She arranged for two junior high school cheerleaders to show up, complete with uniforms, cartwheels and chants. As one of the 200 spectators said, glancing at the contestants, "football ain't got nothin' on you."
My fellow combatants all said they were honored to put their hopelessly archaic typing habits to good use. Most of the time, our office mates, spouses and little sisters just laugh at us.
However, all of us -- Toni and me, Rob, Ken, Gregory Tu, Stan Allen, Karen Woodfin, Eugene Mornell and Art Kosatka -- urge all of you to give generously to Children's.
If you meant to do so in time for the contest, but didn't, or forgot, I'll be glad to accept your donations now, even as I humbly try to get used to my new role of runner-up. Mail your checks (please, no cash) to me at The Post, 1150 15th St. NW., Washington, D.C., 20071.
A final word: When we first matched flying fingers back in August, it was I who finished first and Toni Schettewi who finished second. The results on Friday only make the score 1-1. A rubber match is obviously called for, and we hope to arrange one, again for the benefit of Children's, very soon.