This and that . . . .

By now, price scanners in grocery stores are old hat. But how does the old hat fit? . . . . Do consumers have problems with the machines? Do stores make good in case of disputes? I put these questions (and several close cousins) to Giant Food, the first grocery chain in the area to install scanners in all its stores (1979) . . . . Giant says that in a recent 14-month period, it gave away 39 items because of a discrepancy between the scanner price and the shelf price. "But it has always been human error and not one with equipment," said spokesman Barry Scher. Typical explanation: A clerk forgets to change the shelf price . . . . The biggest problem with the scanner system in its nine years of existence has been sale prices that appear in newspaper ads but not in the innards of the checkout computer. Midnight shoppers have run into this more than once, since prices usually change when a new day dawns and an old one sets . . . . Best defense is still the one you used before scanners. Check the tape before you leave the register . . . .

My proudest accomplishment in the first two months of 1988? Easy. Managing not to lose my first pair of glasses . . . . Perhaps that's beginner's luck. But why trust to luck when the Prevention of Blindness Society has a program for the less lucky? . . . . PBS runs a lost eyeglasses center at its Dupont Circle headquarters. If you find a pair of glasses, wrap them in a couple of sheets of paper towel, attach a note explaining when and where you found them and mail them to PBS at 1775 Church St. NW., Washington, D.C., 20036 . . . . If you've lost glasses, call PBS at 234-1010. But as executive director Arnold Simonse puts it, "please be realistic. Unfortunately, many glasses are not turned in." . . . .

Beverly Sklover of Foggy Bottom has found a stay-at-home occupation that may be a perfect symptom of the times. She a professional nooge . . . . That's a Yiddish word that means part nag and part lobbyist. What it means in Beverly's case is that she will fight your consumer battles for you . . . . Let's say you've had the kitchen renovated. You've paid the bills. But the faucets leak. You don't have time to make all the calls to set things straight. But for a fee ($40 for the first hour, $30 for each additional) Beverly does . . . . Beverly was a lawyer until her twins were born in 1986. That made three kids altogether, "which meant that working outside the home was out." The nooge idea was born of consumer battles of her own that Beverly fought and won with babies, diapers and bottles hanging off every limb. "I thrive on this kind of problem resolution," she says . . . . Phone number: 293-7111 . . . .

For your next dull cocktail party: Everyone knows that Arlington Cemetery is the least busy Metrorail station. But what are the three busiest, in order, as measured by weekly turnstile counts? . . . . Farragut West is first. Metro Center is second. And Farragut North is third, says Metro's Marilyn Dicus . . . .

John B. Thomas wrote me the nicest note the other day about his Post carrier, Derrick Williams. But it can't be a coincidence that John is a nice guy -- or that Derrick is a "courteous, dependable young man" (to quote John). John lives on Chivalry Road in Annandale . . . .

The sun is setting later and later, and if things keep on this way, some of us Worker Bees may actually get home one of these days while it's still light . . . .But Nancy O.M. Dickson of Mount Pleasant notes that dusk is still dangerous in residential neighborhoods like hers . . . . "These VIPs (Very Impatient Potential-Accidents) drive at excessive speeds through neighborhoods, turning them from locations for bike riding, skateboarding and an occasional game of football into a mini-Le Mans course," Nancy writes . . . . Nancy acknowledges that kids "don't always pay as much attention to traffic as they should." But she notes that "it's hard to get out of the way" of a Worker Bee going 40 or 45 . . . . Please, WBs. Give it an extra look and an extra second . . . .

Correction to my item of a few days ago, wherein I reported that Redskins quarterback Doug Williams was offered by team officials for Metro's antivandalism poster campaign . . . . Metro general manager Carmen Turner writes that Doug offered himself. Sorry for any hurt feelings or misunderstandings . . . .

Some Dads are half careful and half out to lunch . . . . Cliff Freeman of Northeast saw a man park a motorcycle at 63rd Street and Eastern Avenue to go into a variety store. The man had a 2-year-old with him -- and the boy was decked out in a crash helmet, just like Dad . . . . That was the good part. The bad: While Dad was in the store, he left the boy on the bike, unattended, during the busiest part of rush hour . . . .

And thanks to Carolyn House of Silver Spring for news of a clever graffitist out in the state of Washington . . . . At the bottom of a sign that reads CHAINS NECESSARY, the graffitist spray- painted: WHIPS OPTIONAL . . . .