"First Knight," playing where it should -- at the Senator -- provides some of the best entertainment of the year. Big scenes with big music and awesome, spine-rattling sound; lots of action and lots of horses and lots of clanging swords, knights in armor glistening under moonlight, flaming arrows, Richard Gere doing Ninja warrior stunts, Sean Connery as the Lion King, Julia Ormond as the lady to die for, and a guy named Ben Cross as one of the baddest, ugliest mugs we've seen outside of Metro Crime Stoppers (and, at the Senator, his mug must be 20 feet high). I'm all thumbs up. (But spare us the pre-show animated short. It's a dud.)
Signs of the season
Baltimore in summer. Ah, yes. Crab season. And once again signs everywhere for "steamed females." . . . Sign in a Highlandtown market: "Please give coupons at time of purchase. If you don't, you will not be reinbusted." . . . Check out the amusing billboard for Scardina Plumbing on Harford Road, just above Northern Parkway. It shows the proverbial fat lady singing; she's a Wagnerian nightmare with yellow hair and a helmet. I think something from Italian opera would have been more appropriate. . . . A sign we hadn't seen before: "Stork Parking," marking a choice spot for new and expectant mothers. It's outside a supermarket in a new shopping center in Edgewater, Anne Arundel County. Nice touch. . . . And I appreciate this sentiment, expressed on a sign in front of a Dundalk church: "If you pray for rain, don't complain about the mud."
Nick Filipidis, proprietor of Jimmy's in Fells Point, swears he heard a woman say she was packing "bug propellant" for a summer picnic.
Ann Henry of Ellicott City, who has an ear for malaprops and has contributed many to our ever-growing list, advises that her opinionated friend Bill thinks the Luray Taverns is a great vacation spot, that Pomegranates are great dogs and that pasta isn't pasta without lots of Ramada cheese on top.
Gary Michael was coaching a team of 9- and 10-year-olds in the Lutherville-Timonium Rec League one night when a kid named Tommy hit a foul ball way down the line in left. Michael's son, Nicholas, exclaimed, "Holy smokes, Daddy, Tommy hit that one to Cleveland come!" Not to Kingdom Come, but still not bad for a kid that age.
A Baltimore woman, who said she wished to "remain unanimous," swears she heard another woman say she was going to a hospital for a "tubal libation." (I went to the Royal Farm store for mine.)
Marilyn Pontell of Columbia was talking to her father about a recent report on ABC-TV's "20/20." The report was about women having their babies in water. Skeptical at first, dad finally said, "I guess it's OK as long as the imbecile cord is still attached."
If Harry Shriver, his old boss, wanted to produce a 60-minute "Best of Charley Eckman" tape, I bet it would sell out. And I'd get in line for a copy. . . . And the person who hand-lettered this bumper sticker ought to try marketing it: "NEWT: He's a child, not a choice."
Writes of summer
What the Glendenings are readings this summer . . . The governor's book list includes "The Death of Common Sense," by Phllip K. Howard; "The Man in the Arena: Speeches and Essays of Theodore Roosevelt," edited by John Allen Gaule; and "Without Remorse," by Tom Clancy. Frances Hughes Glendening is reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's "No Ordinary Time," about the Roosevelts on the home front during the war; "The Confidence Woman," works of 26 female writers edited by Eve Shelnutt; "On the Golden Porch," by Tatyana Tolstaya; "Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense," compiled by Martin H. Greenberg; and "Eleanor Roosevelt," by Blanche Wiesen Cook. The Glendenings' son, Raymond, selected these three for his summer reading: "Iowa Baseball Confederacy," by W. P. Kinsella; "Interview with the Vampire," by Anne Rice; and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," by Jack Finney.
The National Weather Service says "gusnadoes" touched down the other day in Monkton, Baltimore County, and near West Friendship, Howard County. Makes no sense; only gusnadoes I know are on the menu at Tio Pepe's. (Here's the real deal: In a weekend dispatch, the Associated Press used the term "gusnado." In the past, The Sun has spelled it "gustnado." Either way, we're talking small tornado that can cause property damage, not main course that can cause heartburn. Just so we're square.)
Get this: Guy named Mike, in Columbia, swears he mis-dialed by one digit his wife's office phone number and got his sister-in-law -- on her first day at work in another office, the number for which Mike had no clue. "Is that an amazing coincidence, or what?" Mike asks. Or what. . . . But, wait! There's more! Woman I know swears she saw two people on stilts crossing University Parkway near the Broadview at about 2 o'clock in the morning. And they were naked! (Just kidding about the naked part.)
Seen something strange, or stranger? Had a paranormal experience? Spotted Elvis? Had a good knish? Contact This Just In at 332-6166, or drop us a line at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Coming up: More sunset memories, results of the news dude duds survey and "separated at birth."