Shocking as it may seem, considering all the ink that's been spilled in recent years touting Prince George's County's miraculous comeback from Ugly Sister to renaissance wonder, the word has not gotten out to the hinterlands.

To help remedy that, Del. Dennis C. Donaldson, chairman of the Prince George's delegation, announced last week that the House members have instituted an Adopt-A-Delegate program in which they will invite an out-of-county legislator to visit the county beginning this spring.

The delegates will be given the one-on-one red carpet treatment during a day of doing whatever they want: a round of golf at Tantallon on the Potomac Golf Course, a cup of cappuccino at the Greenbelt Hilton, a trip to the winner's circle at Rosecroft Racetrack.

But at some point during the day, the visiting dignitaries must pause for a commercial break. They will see "The Innovative but Financially Struggling Magnet Schools," "The Booming but Traffic Congested Intersection" of Rtes. 197 and 450 near Bowie, and "The Charming but Antiquated Equestrian Center."

And they will be asked to remember the day spent in Prince George's when, well, when it's appropriations time next year.

Former state delegate and longtime political gadfly Robin Ficker, a lawyer and school board candidate in Montgomery County, learned a lesson last Friday about the long arm of the law.

Ficker's client appeared in Circuit Court on time for a 9:30 a.m. hearing on a traffic offense, but Ficker never showed up to represent her. When Judge DeLawrence Beard called the case again later in the morning, Ficker was still absent, and this time the judge ordered sheriff's deputies to bring Ficker to court.

Ficker, who learned of Beard's action from a reporter, telephoned the judge Friday afternoon, and Beard instructed him to appear in court at 4:30 to explain his earlier absence.

Ficker repeatedly blamed the oversight on his administrative assistant, but the judge wasn't satisfied. "This is not the first time -- nor is it the second time -- you have failed to appear before me," Beard reminded him. "What do you suggest I do, Mr. Ficker?"

Ficker promised he would show up on time if Beard would schedule his client's hearing. After a long pause, the judge did so, but warned Ficker about trying the court's patience.

"You will be standing here, right where you are now, next Friday?" Beard said.

"Yes, Your Honor."

Another Montgomery school board candidate has been in the limelight recently.

Jeremiah Floyd, who was selected by the school board in 1984 to fill an unexpired term, is facing some heat for an apparent campaign claim about his vote-getting ability.

A campaign brochure reads: "From Oct. 1, 1984, to Dec. 1, 1986, he served as an elected member of the Montgomery County . . . Board of Education."

Although it is true that Floyd was elected by board members, the voting public did not participate. The language generally used, critics of the brochure say, is "appointed member." He lost a bid for the board in 1986.

When asked about the objections, Floyd responded, "I was elected by the board. The school system used that language {in its newsletter announcing his 1984 selection}. There was no intent to mislead."

When Mitch Snyder came out to Takoma Park last week to pledge his support for the tenants who are fighting a Montgomery County law that would displace hundreds of apartment residents if enforced later this month, he had some practical advice.

The nationally known advocate for the homeless stressed the importance of organization in taking on government. "The people on the other side are very organized." Snyder noted that about a month ago when approached by the group, he called three phone numbers on a leaflet and no one had any information.

That has all changed, said group leaders. The next day, though, a snafu almost occurred as group members prepared to picket the home of County Executive Sidney Kramer. But they had the wrong address, discovering their mistake only at the last minute.