The District of Columbia Government advertised in The Wall Street Journal recently for a new assessment director in the Real Property Tax Administration.
The ad listed the job's duties. It described the D.C. residence requirement. It gave the salary.
Near the bottom, the ad contained a typo that unintentionally underscored how famous Marion Barry's reported romances have become.
The mistyped sentence read:
"Person appointed will serve as a pleasure of the mayor."
Here's a pet peeve that's probably the pet of many of us, from Scott Peters of Potomac:
Scott says he can't stand gimmicky phone numbers that mix numerals with words in an effort to make you remember the words. For example, 1-800-432-WINK for a tiddledywinks club. Or 676-BEER for a liquor store.
"I don't know about you, but I can't remember where those letters are on the phone pad," Scott says.
"It would be different if the local pet store, as an example, used B-U-Y-P-E-T-S as its phone number . . . . But to combine meaningless letters and numbers seems to be counterproductive."
Thanks, Scott. This is Bob Levey the Razzer (phone number 334-RASM) signing off.
The year wanes, but the Marines at the barracks in Southeast Washington don't.
The short-haircut folks could easily stay behind the walls of their military outpost and never have a single thing to do with the surrounding community. But for the last five years, the Marines have cleaned up a 20-square-block area around the main gate of the barracks at Eighth and I streets SE.
Volunteers spend the afternoon picking up papers and bottles. The junk is piled near the main gate, where city sanitation workers load it onto trucks. About 400 of the 1,000 Marines stationed in Southeast take part each year, according to Sgt. David Sampson in the public affairs office.
As you might expect, the annual cleanup has led to requests from neighborhood schools and public facilities for the same service. The Marines have said yes to most of those, too.
Good neighbors come in all sizes and shapes. Some of them come in uniforms, too.
Here's a weird one from Davenport Street NW. It stars someone who started to do what the law requires -- and stopped before he had done the slightest bit of good.
Lucinda Caldwell parked her bright yellow 1979 Volkswagen convertible early on the morning of Dec. 10 at Connecticut Avenue and Davenport Street NW. When she returned to the car at lunchtime, she noticed a note under her windshield wiper. It said, "I HIT YOUR CAR. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH ME RIGHT AWAY."
No question the car had been hit. About $500 worth of damage had been done to the left front fender and headlight. But where to find the notewriter/fenderbasher? His note gave no clue.
Lucinda hunted for witnesses. She asked the police for advice. But no one could figure out what to suggest.
My hunch is that the note writer meant to include his name and phone number, but got scared away in mid-scrawl. Or maybe he wrote half a note when he thought he had written a whole one. Or maybe he's a cruel crumbum who wouldn't know holiday spirit if it leaped up and bit him.
In any case, if the note writer recognizes himself in this story, and is having pangs of conscience, give me a call at 334-7276. Lucinda doesn't have collision insurance, Mr. Halfnote. A cold, costly Christmas is looming.
Ben Willis of McLean says a high school student in a current events class was asked to use the word "glasnost" in a sentence. The boy came up with:
"Glasnost what your country can do for you . . . ."
I know you're out there. I know you want to give to our annual fund-raising campaign. But I know you're experts at finding ways to put it off.
I figured one of your own might apply a nudge.
Ann Beck of Beltsville writes: "Every year I say, 'I really should send something.' This year I stopped putting it off." And there was Ann's $10 check.
Won't you stop putting it off, too? Our annual campaign depends on you. Thanks in advance for making everything else wait for a change.
Many thanks to the following group donors:
Andrews Air Force Base FAA Control Tower ($100).
The women of McGraw-Long Hall at James Madison University ($115).
Officers and staff of Clover Development Associates, Rosslyn ($500).
St. Jude Leisure Club ($25).
The staff of Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn ($538 raised at The Second Annual Holiday Bazaar).
The Wheaton Chowder and Marching Society ($100).
The Gaithersburg Lioness Club ($500).
The Small Purchase Coffee Club at the U.S. Government Printing Office ($200).
"The Ladies Club of C H & B" ($60 -- half from the ladies, half from the brass at Cameron, Hornbostel & Butterman).
Professors and first year law students, Section 12, George Washington U. Law School ($135).
Employes of Washington Roofing Products Co. in Cheverly ($500 in the names of the bosses, Ian Kramer and Jim Kaufmann).
Kensington Bridge Club ($16).
F.J. Corbett Company ($100).
The SSN On-Site Support Team of Tracor Inc. ($45).
The Senior Citizens Mixed Ten Pin League, which rolls at Rinaldi Bowl in Riverdale ($48).
Employes of Roman Way Inc., Burtonsville ($100).
The congregation of Beth Tikva Synagogue, Rockville ($36).
Mount Rainier-Brentwood Lioness Club ($100).
R.N. Wolpe Enterprises ($100).
McLean/Falls Church Benefit Bridge Club ($70).
"The Bridge Club" of Rockville ($20).
Oakcrest Towers Senior Citizens Club ($41).
The Quiet Woman of Calverton, Va. ($25).
D.C. Department of Public Works, PSMA, Roadside and Parks Division Christmas Club ($200).
Financial Order Inc., of Bethesda ($25).
The Sales Department and the Energy Management Division at Potomac Electric Power Company ($376.20 in proceeds from the office Coke machine).
Capital City Branch 67 of the Fleet Reserve Association, Suitland ($67).
The DOD Inspector General FM Directorate Coffee Club ($100).
American Legion Auxiliary, Colmar Manor Unit 131 ($20).
TECHMATICS Inc., of Arlington ($160 from a "dunk tank" at a company picnic).
TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CAMPAIGN:
Make a check or money order payable to Children's Hospital and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071.