A man wanted in Little Italy finally turns up in a City Hall joke


Big doings in Little Italy this week: They're dedicating the new, longer boccie courts behind Apicella's Grocery! The DTC ceremony is Sunday at 3 p.m. There will be a blessing of the courts, followed by a ribbon-cutting. "We'd like to have the mayor cut the ribbon," says Joe Scalia, who lives on Stiles Street. "If we can't get the mayor, we'll have the priest do it." No word yet on who gets to throw out the first ball.

Slump in the action

I hear that a woman passed out at a local cinema during the hard-on-the-eyes "needle scene" in "Pulp Fiction," Quentin Tarantino's weird and wicked box-office smash. The movie was stopped, the lights came up and the woman received emergency medical attention. Her problem might have been unrelated to the film, but she apparently slumped in her chair at a key gross-out moment. "In a little while she was OK," says one who was there. "In fact, it seemed like she didn't want to leave the theater."

Public assistance, indeed

Our Remington correspondent, Ingmar Burger, spotted something on the sidewalk the other day and was inspired to do the right thing. "I found an Income Maintenance Identification Card," he says. "I recognized it immediately. For your readers who are fortunate enough not to know about such things, it's the photo ID used to cash public assistance checks. When I looked on the back to see where I should mail it, so it could be returned, I read, 'If Found This Card Should Be Destroyed.' "

Burger considered this instruction ridiculous. "That means the poor woman who lost the card is going to have to go into some office somewhere, explain to 30 or 40 people that she lost her card and then maybe they'll give her a new one. . . . The card should read, 'If Found Please Return to Department of Human Resources,' and they can return it to the person who lost it. So I called the department and asked to speak to the director. And guess what? The voice on the other end doesn't know who the director is. So, OK, I ask to speak with public information and the voice says -- and I'm not making this up -- 'Sir, this is public information!' "

More disgusting stuff

By now, we have received a few dozen references to Maryland service stations with foul restrooms. Actually, foul is too polite a word. Disgusting defines what we are looking for. Thanks to the many people, women primarily, who contacted This Just In's Disgusting Restroom Hot Line. (We receive so many calls on solicitations like this, I should get a 900 number and make a little something on the side, eh? Rush would, right?) Our restroom inspectors are on the road. Reports to follow. . . Bumper sticker seen on car at Royal Farm Store, West Joppa and Thornton Road: "Pray for me/My husband still collects trains."

Enough dirt to go around

Before you read the following response to a recent item in This Just In, just note: I never use the "R" word. The writer of this letter was too timid (or self-conscious) to sign his name.

"I read with interest your column concerning the 'mess' left by hunters and gun-toting rednecks during a hunting expedition. When will you do a column on the mess left on the grounds of the NAACP headquarters by your colleagues in the media the day the board ousted Dr. Chavis? The grounds were littered with empty soda and soft drink bottles, coffee cups, food wrappers. The following Tuesday the mess was still there. Talk about slobs . . . pigs! I sincerely doubt that you will write about this." First I've heard of it, pal. And don't try to dance around the issue -- a lot of "outdoorsmen" repeatedly make a mess of the metropolitan reservoirs. At least Robert Standiford and the Reservoir Anglers Association are doing something about it. Standiford and his group will stage its third annual cleanup at Loch Raven Sunday, Dec. 11. Call 374-5422 for details.

A sap by any other name

Remember Madame La Rose, the mystery woman who walked up to my pal James in the parking lot of a Pizza Hut in Columbia, dropped a dozen red roses in his hands and said, "Give these to someone you like because I don't like the someone who gave them to me," then drove away? We still haven't heard from Madame La Rose. "But I think I'm Monsieur Le Sap," said the guy who gave her the roses. He called this columnist, after reading a description of the strange interlude and the car involved in This Just In. He said he and his wife had been having marital problems and, on a certain Thursday in September, he sent her flowers in an effort to heal a gaping wound before it became a mortal one. "She usually keeps [the flowers] in her office or brings them home. This time she did neither," he said, his voice sounding as if it was falling off a cliff. It gets worse. The man suspects that his wife has been seeing someone else and that, the day she surprised James with the roses, she was headed for a rendezvous with a lover. An unhappy turn, but what did we expect? I never promised you a rose garden.

A chuckle to end with

Joke circulating around City Hall:

"Hey, did you hear that Mayor Schmoke solved the unemployment problem?"

"Really? How?"

"He just had Walter Amprey adopt everybody who needed a job."

(The superintendent of schools, his wife, a daughter and stepson all work for the Baltimore school system.)

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