Letters, we get letters, we get stacks and stacks of letters. (Oh no! He's doing the Perry Como song again. I hate when he shows his age like that. What will he do next, suggest that CBS hire Lumpy Rutherford to co-host the Winter Olympics?) Yes, it's true. It's time to dip into the mailbag, and answer your pressing questions.
Q. If the NHL playoffs were to start today. . . . ?
Okay, let's hold it right there. You are talking to the wrong guy. Until last year the only thing I knew about the blue line was that you could ride it to National Airport. I'm still trying to figure out whether the Prince of Wales was a left wing or a defenseman -- and, did he take the body? Fine, continue.
Q. If the NHL playoffs started today, how would the Pittsburgh Penguins do?
A. Poorly. They have yet to recover from Mario Cuomo's surprise decision to abandon hockey for a career in politics.
Q. I saw the photo of John Williams in yesterday's sports section, where he still looked larger than Shamu. How did the photographer shoot that picture?
A. Wide-angle lens.
Q. If you were Andre Agassi, and "image is everything," why would you be in an International House of Pancakes?
A. Taco Bell doesn't serve boysenberry syrup.
Q. Why does Don King comb his hair straight up?
A. So you won't confuse him with Neil Bush.
Q. What does George F. Will really know about baseball?
A. If you hold the hot dog properly, you won't get mustard on your bow tie.
Q. Why would any rational person think the National League will expand into Washington over Denver and any of the three Florida cites? Denver has proven it can draw 1 million fans for minor league baseball, and Florida is a huge, untapped market. The NL could put two franchises there, one in Miami and one in either Orlando or Tampa-St. Pete and replicate the successful California gold strike of 1958 with the Giants and Dodgers. I thought Fay Vincent wanted to put baseball in places where there is no baseball. There is baseball here. It's just 40 minutes away. Other than wishing and hoping, what concrete evidence is there that baseball wants any part of Washington?
A. What are you, a killjoy?
Q. What percentage of Orioles fans drive from Washington?
A. Five years ago, when expansion talk first bubbled up, the Orioles said 15 percent. Now, they say 25 percent. When it comes to a vote, they will say 95 percent, and claim they will dry up if the league allows expansion to D.C.
Q. Then why not just move the Orioles here and save on gas?
Bonus question: What color are Joe Paterno's eyes?
Q. What do you think of the Los Angeles Lakers with Vlade Divac at center?
A. Big problema.
Q. Who killed Laura Palmer?
A. Where have you been? That was last year's question. This year's question is, whose body will the spirit of Bob enter? The answer: John Williams's, if you can put it between two slices of bread.
Q. What would Michael Jordan be if he couldn't dunk?
A. A Bullet.
Q. Where can I go for a quick, no-interest loan?
A. The First National Bank of Lou Holtz.
Q. What are the 17 reasons why the Kansas City Country Club let in taxmeister Henry Bloch?
A. Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson, Tom Watson and finally, Tom Watson.
Bonus question: Who is the R of H & R Block?
Q. People say Charles Jones does things that don't show up in a box score. What are these things?
A. He used to drive Jeff Malone to games. Now he drives Pervis Ellison. He gives his frequent flyer miles to Wes Unseld. He walks Tiny.
Q. Have you made your 1994 World Cup plans yet?
A. Yes, Gordon Bradley and I will be watching all the games on cable at the new Sweepers R Us discount broom and soccer emporium.
Q. What is Pete Rose's job in jail?
A. He hands out sheets and pillow cases. Bedding. Get it? Bedding.
Q. Why doesn't Burnsey wear a headset?
A. He doesn't want anything blocking out the sound of the rattle.
Q. Why is Georgetown playing Ohio State after Hawaii-Hilo and Hawaii Loa?
A. Hawaii Five-0 was booked. (Good work, Danno.)
Q. With all this Eastern European talent on the team, how can you keep the Capitals from winning the Stanley Cup?
A. Blow a whistle and yell "Green cards!"
Bonus question: When they talk about two-sport athletes such as Bo Jackson and Danny Ainge, how come none of the sports is ever hockey or boxing?
Q. What do you get for your $95 million expansion fee?
A. Two months of Darryl Strawberry, Jose Canseco's private 900 number, six innings from Mike Boddicker, and an "I Brake For Lower Interest Rates" bumper sticker.
Q. What did Chuck Knox do with his pre-Slim Fast clothing?
A. Yes, operator. In Los Angeles, a number for John Williams?
Q. Why does 1990 Rudy Award-winner Chris "Cybill" Berman-Shepherd make a fool of himself by wearing that ridiculous helmetcam?
A. It's cold in Bristol, Conn.
Q. Whatever happened to Slap Maxwell?
A. He's part of the Northern Virginia expansion group.
Q. How does America feel about Japanese supermarket magnate Isao Nakauchi trying to buy 10 percent of the Yankees?
A. They can live with the Japanese buying Rockefeller Center and stocking the ice skating rink with carp. They can live with the Japanese buying MCA and dubbing "The Godfather." But buying the Yankees is going too far. That's one of the big three -- Mom, apple pie and baseball. When they fire Stump Merrill, will they relace him with Toshiro "Neon Deion" Mifune?
Bonus question: Whither Norm Hitzges?