Duke Ellington Bridge on a Tuesday . . . . Jane E. Galbraith of Adams-Morgan notices a small black car half on the roadway and half on the curb . . . . The car is minus its windows, its dashboard equipment and its tags, and all four tires are flat. "The classic signs of a stolen car," thinks Jane . . . . But the matter seems in good hands, because a D.C. police car is parked alongside . . . .
Duke Ellington Bridge two days later . . . . The black car is still there, stacking up rush hour traffic to beat the band . . . . But the police haven't been entirely derelict . . . . Not one, but two, tickets are flapping in the breeze underneath the windshield wiper . . . . Real nice priorities, policepersons . . . . Instead of immediately removing an impediment to thousands of motorists, the best you can do is to leave two tickets that you don't have a snowball's chance of collecting on . . . .
More poor policing . . . . Far Northeast Washington, well after midnight . . . . Nina A. Lyon happens to witness a fight between two pre-teen-aged boys . . . . Maybe you and I used fists when we were kids. This night, they were using 16-ounce glass soda bottles. Sure enough, one kid caught a clonk in the head, and started bleeding as if there was no tomorrow . . . . Two police officers appear in a patrol car. Nina points out bleeding boy. Officers drive away without uttering a sound or doing a thing . . . . Probably had a ticket they had to leave on a stolen car . . . .
The "Social Safeway" in Upper Georgetown has gone antisocial . . . . This from a clerk who works a cash register there . . . . "What?" sayeth I. "Is this not the grocery where D.C.'s most eligible and fabulous singles mingle among the pork chops? Where smiles flash across the frozen peas? Where phone numbers are exchanged more often than spoiled peaches? Surely you jest" . . . . My man says no, tempers have gotten shorter than skirts. Customers use foul language, disregard express lane rules, drop trash on floors and smoke (sometimes tobacco, sometimes less legal substances) . . . . "I want you to write one four-letter word: rude," he says. "Maybe that'll stop 'em" . . . . Let's hope so, pal . . . .
Polio symptoms can and do recur . . . . The Post-Polio League for Information and Outreach Inc. is looking for people who thought they were cured, but who are experiencing fatigue, shortness of breath and other telltale signs . . . . Call 244-5700 for further info . . . .
You wouldn't fall for this one, I know, but others have, like so many tons of bricks . . . . The ad says come on in, we're an agency that'll help you find a job . . . . You pay your $40, and are given nothing more or less than a scrapbook full of classified ads lifted directly from the newspapers . . . . Salt in the wounds: most of the listings are two weeks out of date . . . . Insult to injury: they won't even let you take the scrapbook home. You have to use it right then and there . . . .
Catherine Hart of Glen Burnie calls it an "I Never Thought It Would Happen To Me" story . . . . She was southbound on I-95, just below Baltimore, when funeral services for her car suddenly began . . . . Catherine is no mechanic, so she pulled over, ripped up a shopping bag and wrote HELP on a foot-high piece. Then she stuck the makeshift sign in the rear window . . . . Happily, aid wasn't long in coming. But what if Catherine hadn't had a bag with her? She might still be sitting there . . . . Neither Catherine nor anyone else has to depend on paper bags in emergencies . . . . You can order easily-stowable banners that say CALL POLICE from the D.C. chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women . . . . Price: $3 apiece. Further details: Luna Diamond (4701 Willard Ave., Chevy Chase, Md., 20815. Phones: 652-2369 or 652-8437) . . . .
Found . . . . By Becky Ryskind, at 5 p.m. Aug. 4, near Lock 11 of the C&O Canal, one pair of gray women's reading glasses . . . . If they're yours, and you'd like a reunion, I'm at 334-7276 . . . .
Hoping To Find . . . . Everybody who's ever had anything to do with the Thanksgiving Day Old Oaken Bucket football game . . . . It was held every turkey day between 1935 and 1968. Combatants were Washington-Lee High School of Arlington and George Washington High of Alexandria . . . . Reunion will be Nov. 29, Twin Bridges Marriott. Tab is $25 a person. Write to Old Oaken Bucket Reunion, P.O. Box 20470, Alexandria, Va., 22310-0470 . . . . Who's eligible? Players, coaches, cheerleaders, faculty advisers, band members, even participants in the halftime show . . . .
"Welcome back to the land of civility!" writes Donald W. Lief . . . . He's being ironic, I assure you . . . . While Donald was crossing the street on foot in downtown Bethesda, with the light, a car began to turn across his path . . . . It braked sharply, and Donald continued crossing . . . . As the motorist finished his turn behind Donald, he shouted, "I had the green light, you 3/4%$&*+ 3/4!" . . . . But so did Donald, jerk -- and a pedestrian always has the right of way. Three-hundred and fifty horsepower doesn't give you the right to spoil anyone's day . . .