MetroScene recently railed at the fact that the covers of so-called girlie magazines such as Penthouse and Playboy were displayed in full view of all customers, including children, who patronize the newsstand at Union Station. We suggested to Amtrak, which owns the station, that a cover-up was appropriate.

Passing through the station the other day, I noticed that these magazines now are wrapped in plain paper sleeves that leave the magazine's name readable but mask the covers from view. Good!

Along that line, a letter arrived from Rob Roy Ratliff of Rockville (how's that for alliteration?).

"I was in the George Washington University bookstore and they had one of those revolving stands displaying magazines for sale," Ratliff related.

"Several of the slots were of the covered type showing only the magazine's title--the ones we are accustomed to seeing with only the Playboy and Penthouse titles. Only at GW there was a twist: Playboy, Penthouse and the rest were fully displayed; Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, etc., were the ones in the covered slots.

"A clerk's idea of how to maximize the point-of-sale technique? The work of a student humorist? The project of the anatomy department? . . . Perhaps GW's proximity to the White House and Watergate prompted the . . . decree: 'There shall be no cover-up!' "