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At troubled city jail, who will guard the guards?

7:30 AM EDT, May 1, 2013

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Regarding your recent blurb about Family Fun Day, I noted the headline was a gloss on one of Gilbert & Sullivan's most memorable songs from the "Pirates of Penzance" ("This day, a policeman's lot was a happy one," April 29).

That charming ditty concludes with the refrain "When constabulary duty's to be done, to be done, a policeman's lot is not a happy one!"

"Pirates," which debuted in the U.S. in New York City on Dec. 31, 1879, has always been a favorite on this side of the pond — so much so that by the 1920s its chorus, "Come, friends, who plow the sea," had acquired new, rather scurrilous lyrics that are still well known.

Considering the extent to which police and guards have been in the news recently (quis custodet ipsos custodes in Latin, or "who will guard the guards themselves?") thank goodness you didn't end the article with the pseudo-Gilbertian text: "Hail, hail, the gang's all here!"

Michael Blum, Bel Air

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