Since no one asked me....
A couple of more weeks, and another winter driving season should be behind us. Yet once again, we didn't do anything about Crown Disease.
This ailment owns just about every side street I know. It's caused this way:
Fresh snow covers the pavement. Someone drives through it. Inevitably, he leaves a strip of snow between his tire tracks.
Along comes the next guy. But instead of doing a public service and driving through the strip, so it'll be flattened, he follows the previous driver's tracks. And so does the next guy. And the next.
Naturally, the temperature drops into the teens overnight, and the strip becomes a neatly rounded crown. Some crowns sit there, hard as rocks, dangerous as bobsled runs, for weeks.
Remember this for next winter: While the snow is still soft, aim your trusty buggy through the strips, not astride them. It isn't dangerous to squash strips -- but it will be once you let them become crowns.
If you are a clothing designer with a little time to volunteer, run-don't-walk to the headquarters of the Montgomery County Police. They need to do something about those dull-as-dishwater light brown uniforms.
The Metropolitan Police wear that wonderful royal blue. The U.S. Park Police have that spiffy black, with gold trim. Most of the other departments in the area have classy gray, or light blue, or Something Else Commanding. But Montgomery's Finest must sport uniforms the color of uncooked Wheatena.
You would think there'd be a reason for a color that's so (gasp) distinctive. Maybe some chief back in the 1930s liked it. Maybe his wife did. Maybe the County Council adopted Wheatena as Montgomery's official food.
But there's no rhyme or reason. The department's records shed no light. A few veterans say they've never heard of any good reason for the color. Wheatena Brown seems to be just the way it is.
Until somebody changes the way it is. Pretty please, Montgomery brass? With Wheatena on top?
The signs are all over the stores of Georgetown: NO MORE THAN ONE PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ALLOWED INSIDE AT THE SAME TIME. And once a teen-ager is inside, it goes from bad to worse.
Some Georgetown stores refuse to let teen-agers try items on for size. Others refuse to accept credit cards issued in Mom or Dad's name. Why such strong medicine? Shopkeepers say that the real world demands this, that kids today are wild animals who would just as soon shoplift and raise hell as take a deep breath.
Well, maybe this describes some kids. But I can't believe the responsible kids are letting the Georgetown shopkeepers get away with this.
I can't believe no one has pointed out to these shopkeepers that they're courting a fat lawsuit. You doubt it? Change "UNDER THE AGE OF 18" to "WITH BLACK SKIN" or "WITH A HISPANIC NAME." Then ask yourself how long that sign would stay in a window without a large stink being raised.
I can't believe that leaning on teen-agers so heavily hasn't harmed these businesses more than it has helped them. Kids have money. Kids spend money. But kids also talk -- and the word about crummy treatment in a store gets around quickly. Kids can "ice" a store's reputation overnight.
Most of all, though, I can't believe that the student councils at Duke Ellington, Wilson and other nearby high schools haven't thought of a constructive way to react. Want a suggestion, gang? Organize a pool of unpaid student monitors -- teen-agers who will spend the immediate post-school hours in any Georgetown store that wants them, watching out for shoplifters and cooling down ruckus-raisers.
We were all pretty disappointed that the Inaugural Parade got "frosted out." But the most disappointed souls of all had to be the vendors who sell those trashy presidential mementoes. They had loaded up in anticipation of a big day. All they got was full garages -- and red ink.
But I hope you didn't think the vendors would take such a blow lying down. They haven't. They waited a respectful period of time -- about six minutes -- and then started to play catch-up. They put the inaugural mementoes on sale all over town.
They're still on sale. And they're so hideous that you find yourself wishing that they'd all been sold on Jan. 21 so we wouldn't still have to look at them.
How about a pencil sharpener in the shape of President Reagan's face? To use it, you twist one of his ears.
How about a paperweight that looks like the White House? Pick it up, and out pops the President, jack-in-the-box style. At least there's no sound track that has him saying "Hiya, kids, hiya!"
The clincher: a key chain that depicts the Washington Hilton assassination attempt. How very tasteful.
As the old saw says, there oughta be a law . . . .