Some people feel sorry for poor little Feb because it never has more than 29 days, and usually not that many.
Others feel sorry for weather forecasters during February because it is a month that plays tricks on the learned meteorologists. This Feb was supposed to be unusually cold and dry, but it has turned out to be unusually warm and wet instead. Not even Gold's Law can deal adequately with the perversity of February.
Personally, I have never felt the least bit sorry for Feb, especially during the years Washington had a baseball team. Our Wondrous Nats used to give me an excuse to go to Florida for spring training, so I frequently managed to avoid the cantankerous month of February entirely and was not subject to its vagaries. Now I'm stuck in Washington all winter, and spend my time envying friends who are more fortunate.
But there's a brighter side. On Monday I saw our Metro editor, Bob Woodward, in the news room and said, "Welcome back. That's a wonderful tan you have."
"Yeah, it's pretty good," Woodward said sadly, "but I figure it cost about $100 a square inch."
Insurance man Arthur C. Sabin's pleasures are less expensive. Arthur reports, "As of this morning, we had 14 crocuses in full bloom! They sure looked good."
Don't be fooled by the balmy breezes, Arthur. In the Washington area, the flowers that bloom in Feb tra la are very often followed by heavy snow in March. If you think spring has sprung, let me remind you that there's a good reason for the regulation that sets April 15 as the earliest date on which you can remove your snow tires and not worry about getting a ticket. THE MALE ANIMAL
In the spring, a young man's fancy turns to thoughts that we older guys have been harboring all winter.
As a pretty cashier was checking out his purchases at a supermarket this week, Hy Feinstein of Fairfax cautioned her, "If you weigh your hand with that produce, I'm taking you home with me."
She laughed. "Only the hand," she said.
"In that case," countered Hy, "hop on the scale."
It's all right. Hy's wife was there, and she laughed, too. CRIME DOESN'T PAY
The FDIC News, which is published by employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., tells of a survey made for the Washington State Association of Bankers. The survey indicated that the recent rise in bank robberies "doesn't make much sense."
The study revealed that most bank robbers are caught. They spend more time in jail than other thieves. And even in a successful bank robbery, the average thief gets away with a relatively small amount of money.
Presumably there would be fewer bank robberies if news of these findings were widely disseminated among potential robbers, so I am doing my bit by publicizing the survey.
I realize that many robbers won't see these words, but I know some of them will. I get letters from them. I refer, of course, to the ones who have been caught and sent to jail.
Question: Why can't we find an effective way to communicate with them before they get into trouble? THESE MODERN TIMES
Our Federal Diary columnist, Mike Causey, picked up this true story as he chatted with Lawrence Nye Stevens at a party the other night:
During the 1940s, Stevens lived in Albuquerque and opened a savings account in the First National Bank there. Even after stevens moved to Washington, he kept the account in Albuquerque.
All went well until the bank installed a computer that asked for Stevens' Social Security number but could never get it listed properly, despite numerous requests for correction. "Add a zero in front and drop the last digit," he pleaded.
A few days ago, Stevens received a letter from the bank informing him that even when its vice president personally tried to correct the number, he failed. The computer added a zero to the beginning of every Social Security number on every savings account in the bank and dropped the last digit on every account.
The bank gave up. It sent Stevens his money and closed the account.