Bits and pieces . . . .

It's your typical Tuesday afternoon rush hour. John Tolliver of Falls Church is dead-stopped on the Beltway near Telegraph Road, in the right lane . . . . He glances to his left. His eyes behold a stunning blonde in the next lane, in an equally stunning silver BMW . . . . The blonde motions for John to roll down his window. He does. "I love you," the blonde coos . . . . "I pointed a finger at my chest and said, 'Me?' " John recounts. "And as soon as she sees my hand is off the steering wheel, this blonde zips right in front of me" . . . . What people won't do for a car length or two . . . .

Michael Sternberg certainly has a license plate that fits his job . . . . Michael is the manager of the Occidental Restaurant. His tags read:

TBL 4 2 . . . .

Thank you, Judith Moulton Seymour of Silver Spring, for a reminder that shouldn't need trotting out, but does . . . . Judith says a friend was driving along Wilson Boulevard in Arlington the other day when here came a black Labrador puppy, minus leash, minus owner, minus bearings . . . . Seems that just seconds before, a motorist had stopped his car and shoved the puppy out onto the roadway . . . . Other motorists saved the puppy, and turned it over to the local animal shelter. Which is precisely the reminder. If you don't want your pet any longer, please do the humane thing and turn it over to the authorities. Wilson Boulevard is no place to be abandoned . . . .

Update: Back in 1985, I published a letter from Alison G. Smith of Northwest. She thought that Metrorail commuters were much pushier at Farragut North and Farragut West. She thought the reason was that so many of them are lawyers . . . . "Well," writes Alison. "I thought you might get a kick out of knowing that I'll be attending Georgetown U. Law School in the fall. What goes around comes around" . . . . Just don't crunch anyone in the back with one of those heavy tort books, huh, Alison? . . . .

Maybe when Alison earns her legal spurs, she'll take on the case of Jeffrey H. Toquinto of Gaithersburg. It cries out for redress . . . . Jeffrey served in the Air Force from 1978 to 1984. He was discharged honorably. Last year, he took the test to become a mail carrier. He was amazed to learn that he does not qualify for veterans' preference because he did not finish his military service prior to Oct. 14, 1976 . . . . Insult to injury: During his Air Force career, Jeffrey received two good conduct medals, a basic training honor graduate medal, a longevity medal and an Air Force Achievement Medal for heroism. But the post office said it gives hiring preference only to Air Force vets who win campaign medals . . . . Helen McDonald, a legislative assistant to Rep. Connie Morella, said she's looking into the case. But she notes that "veterans' preference has always been a wartime benefit" . . . . That's true, but it's also unfair. Jeffrey (and thousands of other servicemen of the post-1976 era) served long and well. Are we going to penalize them all their lives because they happened to serve during peacetime? . . .

The Zebra Room is one of the livelier watering holes on Upper Wisconsin Avenue. For Janice Lynch of Northwest, it was also a classroom . . . . While having breakfast at the "Zebe" one recent Sunday morning, Janice was stunned to hear a nearby diner stand up and shout: "Does anyone know what to do?" . . . His breakfastmate was having some sort of seizure, possibly a heart attack. But the answer to his question was no. No one in the restaurant knew CPR . . . . The bartender called 911 right away, and an ambulance managed to get there an agonizing 20 minutes later (par for the course in D.C. these days). Fate of the victim isn't known . . . . But Janice wisely notes: "Life doesn't guarantee an ambulance." Instead of relying on 911, Janice says she plans to take CPR lessons immediately. "I'd been debating," she says. "Sunday's experience convinced me." . . .

I will never understand the advertising biz, but one ad-biz habit seems more baffling than most . . . . Why do so many car dealerships bill themselves as "the fastest-growing dealership in Fill-In-The-Blank County?" The way I figure it, if a dealership is fast-growing, that must mean it's young, and wet behind the ears, and maybe a little too hungry . . . . Just exactly the kind of dealership I'd want to avoid . . . .

It blew the mind of Skip Jeffries of Falls Church, and it does the same to mine . . . . Seems Carolyn Jean Jones of Richmond needed surgery. She was in the hospital for five months. That whole time, her car sat idle . . . . When Carolyn opened the trunk for the first time, she was amazed to discover a lawn growing . . . . Seems she had left two bottles of orange soda and a bag of grass seed in the trunk. Below-freezing temperatures made the soda bottles burst. The grass seed thought that was just fine, and proceeded to use all that orangey sugar for nutrition . . . . Can't wait for some kid to read this story and tell his Mom: "See, orange soda is good for you!" . . . Only if you're made of grass seed, kiddo . . . .