Susan Coryell calls it "the ultimate humiliation."

There she was, designated carpooler of the day, her buggy full of neighborhood girls on their way from Oakton to ballet class in Springfield.

The ladies pulled onto Interstate 66 in fine fashion. They zoomed up to the Beltway without a care in the world. Ten minutes later, when the Springfield exit should have loomed, Susan looked up to discover . . . .


Susan had failed to turn off 66 and onto the Beltway. Susan had continued east instead of veering south. Susan had gotten her gang hopelessly late and hopelessly lost. So hopeless was the situation that the grumpy ballerinas voted just to turn around and go home.

Susan submits the story as evidence that she is one of the biggest LUMPs in the world.

Now, before every feminist out there starts screaming that I'm disparaging Susan's figure, hear this:

LUMP is Susan's term. It stands for Lost Unidentified Missing Person. If you're a LUMP, you get lost a lot. Susan, it seems, gets lost a lot. And as bad as the ballet story is, Susan says that members of her family have done better -- or do I mean worse?

Her brother, for example, holds a PhD, speaks three languages and is the author of two books. But the last time brother visited sister, he LUMPed.

They went to one of those seafood restaurants that have tables in this alcove, on that balcony, here, there, everywhere. As they were leaving, the brother realized he had forgotten to leave a tip. So he tried to return to the table to make amends.

"We found him 15 minutes later," says Susan, "bobbing about the labyrinthine dining rooms, looking for a familiar face."

Another brother once spent four hours in an unsuccessful effort to find Q Street NW where a client from Georgia awaited. "He finally gave up and rescheduled the conference in Atlanta," says his Sis. "He figured it was easier to fly to Atlanta than to drive in D.C."

Are you a LUMP? Sympathetic clucks are available at no charge by joining LUMPS Anonymous, the organization Susan began one recent afternoon.

Which afternoon? Well, she was heading toward Oakton from Rosslyn, you see, and these ballerinas just wouldn't stop groaning . . . .

Susan's address is 10503 Adel Rd., Oakton, Va., 22124.

As any patient can tell you, it's not just doctors and not just medicine that make people better in hospitals. It's orderlies, nurses, clergymen and support staffers as well.

The D.C. Hospital Association has decided to sing the praises of some unsung local hospital employes at a banquet tonight. Twelve behind-the-scenes workers, each judged the best at his or her hospital, will receive plaques and applause. They'll also receive notice -- and thanks -- right here and now. They are:

Rev. Henry J. Johnson of Capitol Hill Hospital, Michael Basile of Children's, Donald L. Neugebauer of Columbia, Rachel W. Smith of D.C. General, Delores Costello of Greater Southeast, Florence G. Ector of Howard, A. Janelle Goetcheus of Providence, Jesse Billingslea of St. Elizabeths, Kathleen Ritchey of the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Sherman Wilder of Walter Reed and Catherine Johnson (posthumously) of Washington Hospital Center.

...And the reunion beat goes on:

Classes of 1943 and '44 from Bladensburg High School will hold a joint celebration on June 11. Further information: Helen Pullman Schildt (386-0733 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.) or Mary Anne Brickerd Calhoon (277-4197 after 4 p.m.).

It isn't Ralph Nader's vanity license plate, but it should be.

Richard L. Clarke of Roanoke saw UNSAFE the other day on the back of an elderly car.

On closer inspection, the car turned out to be a Corvair.

Meanwhile, Bob Siclari of Burke is still trying to figure this one out.

The bumper sticker he spotted said: BUY AMERICAN, THE JOB YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN.

The car was a Datsun.