Quick takes . . . .

Silly me . . . .All this time I thought the whole point of wearing a Walkman was to lock oneself into the heavenly tunes that spew forth from the radio, and to lock the rest of the world out . . . .But as Gloria Noon of Annandale notes, sounds seep from Walkmen, with offensive results . . . .Most common site of Walkman Seep: buses or subways. Many Walkmaniac riders keep the volume so loud that fellow passengers can't help but hear every CLUNK-a-clunk or BLEEDLEDY-bleep-bleep . . . .Gloria's worthy solution: Would all those music lovers please turn down the volume? It would end seepage -- and discomfort . . . .

Well, it must be spring . . . .The Los Angeles Times reports that The Center For The Strange (whatever that is) has finally issued its predictions for 1986 . . . .Everybody ready? . . . .TCFTS says Richard Nixon will write a bestselling erotic novel, Caspar Weinberger will share the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize with Prince, the U.S. will suffer spot shortages of ravioli and Ted Turner will make a buyout bid for an unnamed Third World country . . . .You heard it here first . . . .

When it comes to traffic, the world is definitely nutso . . . .Proof: A reader of mine was driving along. Came to an intersection. Light in her favor . . . .But here comes a jaywalker. Bops right into the path of the car as if there were no tomorrow . . . .My reader brakes suddenly, just in time to hear jaywalker ask: "Why didn't you yield the right of way? I'm a pedestrian!" . . . .

True rottenness on Observatory Place NW . . . .Resident up thataway has a friend who's blind. Only exercise the friend ever gets is to split time with Ms. Observatory aboard a bicycle-built-for-two, which Ms. O bought for that very purpose . . . .But the bike was stolen last week from Ms. O's front porch, possibly by two teen-aged pedestrians, to judge from the report of a neighbor, who later told Ms. O she had heard the teens remark, "Hey, look at that bike!" . . . .Needless to say, the blind friend is brokenhearted, and both he and Ms. O will be brokenwalleted if they try to buy a replacement . . . .The number for that exercise: $1,200 . . . .Please, neighboring folk, if you know anything about the bike's whereabouts, call Ms. O at 342-0660 . . . .No questions asked . . . .

Go ahead and beat it, I had challenged. So Mike Salkind of Springfield went ahead and beat it . . . .In normal travels around good old D.C., Mike spotted license plates from each of the 50 states, in a mere 30 days, about twice as fast as the previous record holders . . . .Actually, Mike says he did it twice. First time through, he got stuck on Idaho, so he started again. Second time was the charm. Montana was the clincher . . . .By the way, cynics, Mike notes that he didn't go to any of the three places a cheater might visit: the parking lots at National Airport, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the U.S. Capitol . . . .

Phange, an 18-year-old mutt, had been in Mary Ann Heddleson's family out in Kensington for 18 years . . . .But finally the old fella couldn't get around any more. So, tearfully, Mary Ann asked Dr. Ira Silver, a Chevy Chase vet, to put Phange to sleep . . . .Dr. S. did so. But he also stunned the Heddlesons by making a contribution in Phange's memory to the veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania . . . ."I do it quite frequently," said the doc. "I'm a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, so it's an excuse to make a donation to my alma mater. It makes me feel good for helping out my alma mater and it makes the client feel better." Rest of us, too, doc . . . .

Amen, William W. Hardgrave, for pointing out one of the beastlier examples in town of man's inhumanity to man . . . .It's the point on northbound Rock Creek Parkway where the traffic splits. You can stay left for Calvert Street, or right for Beach Drive . . . .As William points out, the line of motorists waiting to turn into Beach Drive can extend half a mile or more during evening rush hour. But that doesn't deter dozens of other motorists from rushing past the entire line in the left lane of RCP, and then trying to nose into the Beach Drive stack (usually successfully) at the last instant . . . .I'll bet some of these last-second cutter-inners, if asked, would become Instant Choir Boys-'n'-Girls . . . ."Who us? Cheaters? Why, we would never have done something like that if we'd only known everyone in line was waiting to turn," they'd say . . . .Funny how they do the very same thing the very next afternoon . . . .

Finally, let's take Ross Pancoast of Silver Spring out of his misery . . . .Ross wondered who first referred to New York City as the Big Apple, and when . . . .The New York Convention and Visitors Bureau says the term was coined in the NYC jazz world of the 1920s. But (polishing its own apple just a touch), the NYCVB says its own president, Charles Gillett, made the words "Big Apple" famous when he centered an "imaginative" and "effective" 1971 promo campaign around them . . . .Big the New York apple may be. But humble? Not yet, and if I know New York, not ever . . . .