Gaston is a name fit for the leader of the new villains


Pieces of column too short to use . . .

About this Cito Gaston thing . . . Has it been pointed out that Gaston is also the name of the villain in "Beauty and the Beast"? And that Gaston -- at least the one in the 1991 animated musical version -- was good at spitting?

"I'm especially good at exPECtorating!" go the Howard Ashman lyrics in the Disney insta-classic. Well, Cito Gaston certainly possesses this skill. (Hey, his life is baseball; he's a spitter!) This time he spit in the eye of Baltimore fans and a good number of other American League fans. I love it.

Gaston has done a great thing for the game. It's high time we started hating the Blue Jays. We used to hate the Yankees, but it's been years since they were worthy of ire. Cito Gaston has ensured the Blue Jays are the new villains of the American League.

It's a beautiful thing.


Random thoughts on the All-Star game . . . Geddy Lee? The guy from Rush? The one who sang -- if we must call it that -- "O, Canada"? I've heard better crooning in dinner theater. . . . James Earl Jones? Great actor. Great voice. Terrible national anthem shouter. I could have settled for the Morgan choir without the C&P; Yellow Pages guy. (Or Bill Murray doing the anthem as the Amtrak lounge singer from his "Saturday Night Live" days.)

I give James Earl credit for two things: He kept from breaking into song, and he proved that, when it comes to "The Star-Spangled Banner," nine out of 10 know all the words.

Another thing: That fact that a free-the-whales kook scaled the scoreboard during the game to unfurl a sign raises an interesting question -- and not about captive marine mammals. A friend who attended, and a lot of other spectators, were outraged at this incredible breach of security, especially since the vice-president of the United States was seated along the first base line.

It's remarkable that somebody could pull off such a stunt in such a situation. But I've heard that the Secret Service . . . well, I'll just say that the Orca liberationist was well within the sights of federal agents. Need I elaborate?


About Del. Leslie Hutchinson, of Essex, I say this. . . . Somebody throw the woman a life-saver; she's in over her head.


More Baltimalaprops . . . Noting the passing of the most famous Our Gang comedy kid, a man said: "Yup, ole Spanky bit the dirt." And, on a Baltimore radio station, a fellow discussing jazz greats was heard to say: "People couldn't phantom the meaning of Miles's message."


Heeding signs. . . . This Guy I know -- that's his name, Guy; he's French -- nudges me to look at the big National Boh sign painted on the side of a building on the Fallsway. You might have seen the sign. It's about three stories high, been there for years, facing south on the east side of the Fallsway, near St. Vincent's Church. It's a beauty. "It ought to be preserved as an historic landmark," Guy says. He's right, of course.

Another pal says I should check out a little sign attached to the cash register in Nick's, a carryout on Broadway in Fells Point. They feature roast chicken at Nick's. Order three whole chickens, get half a chicken free.

So I go to Nick's in the morning; it hasn't opened for the day yet. But I can see through the window a sign advertising a bull and oyster roast sponsored by a Sons of Italy lodge for hairstylists and barbers. Is that beautiful?

I call the phone number on the poster. Joe Tuminello, of Rosario's Total Hair Care, Randallstown, says the lodge was formed about 12 years ago.

Its members, all Italian-American stylists -- my mother, the former Rose Popolo, called them "hairdoers" -- socialize, compare notes on their craft and raise money for needy children. The bull roast is October 24 in Parkville. A fresh "do" before the event is not required but encouraged.


I couldn't make this up . . . A friend reports that his nephew, one Aron Burger of Baltimore, is spending the summer "working as waiter in a kosher resort in -- now get this -- Whitefish, Montana." Is that beautiful?

A kosher resort in Whitefish. Would you believe a salad bar in Waldorf?

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