If you're a student of gloppy promotional prose -- and who can avoid that in today's world? -- you'll appreciate the following story about Honda.

"As a Honda owner, you've come to expect certain things from Honda, namely quality, reliability and affordability," glopped a promotional piece mailed last month to Montgomery County households. It went on to offer, "for a limited time," an oil and filter change and a series of fluid checks at a local Honda dealership.

What the promotional piece left out is that Honda's offer comes with different price tags for different dealerships.

Arlene and Harold Soon of Silver Spring inadvertently smoked out this inconsistency.

Two of the Honda glop sheets arrived in the mail at the Soon house on the same day. The first was addressed to Arlene. It urged her to take advantage of the maintenance package at Wilson Honda in Silver Spring. The second was addressed to Harold. It urged him to take advantage of the package at Herson's Honda in Rockville.

The offer was identical at both places. But Herson's price was $14.95. Wilson's was $21.95.

For those of you who like your gotchas in percentage terms, Wilson's price was about 46 percent higher.

Comment, anyone?

From a spokesman at Herson's, who declined to be identified: "Every dealership has its prices." No, he didn't say it gloatingly.

From Phil Robinson, service manager at Wilson's: "Like any business, everybody sets their own prices, some higher, some lower. Honda sets the program up {from its headquarters in Gardena, Calif.} and the dealer chooses the coupon and the Zip Code area. Every dealer is an independent business and this is not a fair comparison."

I pointed out to Brother Robinson the difference between embarrassing (which this item undoubtedly is to Wilson) and fair (which this item also undoubtedly is). He was unimpressed.

In any case, I began with glop, so I'll leave you with same. The Honda glop sheet concludes with these words:

"We'll make sure you get the quality you expect from Honda."

The inconsistency you don't expect, too.

You won't hear of a better coincidence than this one. Thanks to Vance Garnett of Takoma Park for advising me.

"Last Friday night," Vance writes, "I and two friends, John Manticas and Geri Fleming, went to the K-B Cinema on Wisconsin Avenue to see 'Fatal Attraction.'

"Knee-deep into the tense movie, we heard a resounding thud in the rear of the theater. People in the back began yelling, 'Lights!' and the proverbial, 'Is there a doctor in the house?'

"The house lights went on. The projection stopped. A man had fallen into the aisle and the paramedics were summoned. They arrived in about 10 minutes, and in another 10 minutes they had the man revived and in a wheelchair. As he was being pushed up the aisle, a smile on his face, the audience broke out into applause, happy for the man's okay-ness, as well as for the resumption of the movie.

" . . . The next day, my friend John called his daughter in Sacramento, Calif. They talked a few minutes. Then she said, 'Guess what, Dad? A funny thing happened last night.

" 'I went to see "Fatal Attraction" and during the movie somebody fainted and they had to stop the film and call the paramedics. She was all right, though, and when they wheeled her out, the people began applauding wildly.' "

How many people would return a $100 bill if they found it in a public place? I'd peg that figure at somewhere between zero and none. But Jean Nenbauer has just proved, not for the first time, that Levey is getting cynical in his old age.

We'll let David Osterlund tell the story, since the C-note was (and again is) his:

"A few days ago, I needed to make quick use of the Xerox machine at the Aurora Hills Library serving Crystal City before dropping off quite a few Overnight Mail packages at the post office.

"I stuffed a $100 bill in my back pocket, made my copies. Sure enough, {the bill} wasn't there when I got to the postal counter. I raced back to the library . . . to ask Loraine Glowachi at the desk if anyone turned in the cash. No such luck. An expensive lesson, I thought, and returned home."

Two hours later, Jean Nenbauer, a librarian at Aurora Hills, called David to ask if he was the gentleman who had "lost something." Turns out Jean had been watering some plants and had spotted the $100 bill under the Xerox machine. She tracked down David via a book he had checked out.

Honesty, I love you. Ditto the Jeans of this world, who live by it.