A Bethesda reader says she has "quite a spread of front windows." Recently, she saw a sight through them that troubled her greatly.

"A young girl -- perhaps 10 to 12 years old -- was walking down the street with a toddler in tow," my reader writes.

"The girl reached down, took the toddler by one arm and swung her around -- a complete swing around the older one's body. We were always told that swinging a child in this manner, especially by one arm, could pull the arm from the socket.

"Perhaps this is an old wives' tale. Perhaps you know more about it than I do . . . ."

I didn't, gentle reader, but I do now, thanks to Dr. Randall Lewis, an orthopedist recommended to me by the D.C. Medical Society.

Dr. Lewis said the greatest danger of a "full-body swing" would be to the toddler's elbow. That's where the force of the swing would be exerted most directly. It could cause a condition known as "nursemaid's elbow" -- a strain to the ligaments and tendons. The shoulder could also be pulled out, said Dr. Lewis, although that's far less likely.

In any event, swinging a toddler around you by one arm can't possibly be a good idea, Dr. Lewis said. So if you know a 10- to 12-year-old who likes to play with toddlers in this fashion, tell that preteen to take up another sport. Doctor's orders.

Red Talbert of Bethesda adds this to our list of Inanities Uttered by TV Sports Announcers:

O.J. Simpson on a recent edition of Monday Night Football: "The only way the Jets are going to beat the Dolphins is to outscore them."

You're a Baptist church in Arlington. You sent a bunch of parishioners south on Shirley Highway recently in a bus that bore your name and address. You sent them with a bus driver who, according to reader Beth Bolton, whizzed along at speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour.

Your receptionist was less than sympathetic when Beth called to complain. "Thanksforcallingbye," she said, in approximately three-tenths of a second, before hanging up.

Your name doesn't appear here, Baptist church of Arlington, because maybe your bus driver and your receptionist were having bad days, and maybe that shouldn't reflect directly on the church. But these employes should realize that even a holy connection doesn't exempt them from the law -- or from being courteous to a caller.

When will modesty return to Metrorail? It had better hurry, after what a woman did aboard a Blue Line train the other day.

She was obviously late to work, like so many morning rush hour riders. But this woman had even less shame than she had time.

As the train left Foggy Bottom and plunged into the tunnel beneath the Potomac, this woman plunged into her handbag.

She found a roll-on deodorant applicator. Then she reached under her jacket and applied day-long protection -- while dozens of riders watched.

Beating the HOV restrictions -- or trying to -- seems to be a favorite sport of Northern Virginians. No one has done it yet. But one Annandalian thought he had discovered a foolproof method.

He went and bought a new Mazda RX-7.

It has only two seats.

You can't put three people in two seats.

So surely the brass would let him use the HOV-3 lanes any time he wanted, right?

Wrong, says Jimmy Chu of the Virginia Department of Transportation. "Three people are required" in each vehicle, declared Jimmy. "We make no exceptions" -- for Mazdas, motorcycles, mopeds, or any other minuscule means of motoring.

Good Guy File:

*Metrobus driver J.B. Owens wins a gold star for his performance the other day in Arlington. As Cortlandt M. Taylor of Falls Church relates it, J.B. had just passed the stop at Manchester and Arlington Boulevard when here came a blind woman, being led by a Labrador retriever. She obviously wanted to board the bus -- but she had obviously just missed it. Not with J.B. at the wheel. He set the parking brake, got out, walked back and led both woman and dog aboard. Three cheers!

*Diamond cabbie William A. Cochrane deserves a fanfare for his honesty. As David Wood of Bethesda tells it, William came to the store where David works and asked to see one of his coworkers. She wasn't there, but $5 was -- courtesy of William. Seems the coworker had taken William's cab to work the previous night and had inadvertently handed him two $5 bills when she meant to hand him one. There he was, to return the second fiver. Take a bow, William. Too few like you.