Here's one last war story, from Baltimore County on Thursday night, the eve of Storm No. 3. Chuck Moan, an aspiring country-western singer who goes by Billy Moon, had one thing on his mind when he entered the Giant at Loch Raven and Taylor: Manwich.
Manwich is gender-affirming comfort food. A man mixes a can of that stuff with ground beef, he cooks it up, glops it onto a big Kaiser roll and ends up with the kind of hearty meal that kept wagon trains a'rollin' and them little dawgies movin'. It's the perfect food for aspiring country-western singers, and Chuck Moan's stomach moaned for it.
But the Giant was as crowded as a cattle drive.
"It was like everything was in fast-forward," says Chuck. "But in the middle of this whole mess, in the cheese-and-hot-dog lane, this lady with two toddlers was holding everyone up, because she was shopping at normal speed -- can you believe it? -- just doing her normal shopping, even reading labels!"
This whole time, Chuck's stomach was singing: "Manwich, Manwich, Manwich . . . ELLIPSES" So he jogged to the meat department.
Chuck grabbed the last two packages of ground beef and felt darned good about it. Then, he picked up a can of Manwich. The only other thing he needed was bread -- preferably Kaiser rolls. "But all they had left were those little stinkin' rolls," Chuck says. "So I had to take 'em."
Finally, he went to the crowded checkout line. Another customer, a woman who apparently didn't understand Chuck's masculine cravings, looked him over. "Did you really need two pounds of beef?" she asked, implying that Chuck Moan, aspiring country-western singer, was being selfish at a time of food panic.
Chuck held up the can of Manwich. "Look," he told the woman firmly. "It says right here, 'Add two pounds of ground beef!'"
"Oh," the woman said.
Chuck went home and had himself a feast, even though he had to eat his Manwich on "those little stinkin' rolls."
How deep was the snow? Baltimore County fire battalion chiefs each got a metal detector to help find hydrants. . ELLIPSES. . Something I learned from the blizzard: Don't try to bake bread using yeast that expired in 1990.
TJI reader Joe Jackson swears he heard a street preacher near Lexington Market quote from "St. Paul's letters to the Fallopians."
Here they are, the answers to the 1996 Cabin Fever Quiz:
1. Bertha's Mussels. 2. Uma Pemmaraju, now with WBZ-TV in Boston, was once a reporter with WMAR. 3. Branford Marsalis and Bruce Hornsby performed the National Anthem superbly before Cal's record-breaking game. 4. Tortellini. 5. It's 460 (CDLX in Roman numerals) feet from home plate to the B&O; Warehouse. 6. Astaire appeared as Alistair Mundy, dad of
Alexander (Robert Wagner) on "It Takes A Thief." 7. Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote "I Feel Lucky." 8. Patty Hearst. 9. Diana &L; (goddess and princess). 10. Mars.
11. Rice A Roni, the San Francisco Treat. 12. Chuck Howley. 13. O. J. Simpson played Nordberg in "Naked Gun" movies. 14. Former County Executive Bob Pascal. 15. Kweisi Mfume. 16. Don "The Bowling Ball" Nottingham. 17. So far, Cal Ripken has played only with one team, as did Bench, Williams and Banks, to name a few. 18. Dolly Varden has no legs because it's a type of trout. 19. The Seven Dwarfs -- Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy. 20. "Beauty and the Beast," starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, ran from 1987 until 1990.
21. Chris Hoiles, Jeff Manto and Mark Smith joined Brady Anderson (2) and Cal in hitting homers the night No. 8 tied Lou Gehrig's consecutive game record. It was Sept. 5, 1995. 22. Cracker Jacks. 23. Manny was the Pep Boy with the cigar. 24. "Moonlighting" starred Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd; and Allyce Beasly played Miss DiPesto. 25. Bowler. 26. Bruce Springsteen wrote, "Tunnel of Love." 27. Denzel Washington played Dr. Philip Chandler in "St. Elsewhere." 28. They all are characters in "David Copperfield." 29. "The Taming of the Shrew," now running at Center Stage. 30. Gog and Zog were kings.
31. John Paterakis. 32. Mariah Carey. 33. Albert DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler. 34. Jeanne Downey was a reporter for WJZ-TV in the 1970s. 35. Arby's comes from initials for Raffel Brothers (R.B.). 36. Yogi was speaking with awe of the Dodgers' Sandy Koufax, who was 25-5 during the 1963 season. 37. Lt. Gerard chased Dr. Richard Kimball in "The Fugitive." 38. The defunct American Basketball Association included the Kentucky Colonels, the Dallas Chaparrals, the Oakland Oaks and the New Jersey Americans. 39. Prosecutors in the O. J. Simpson case contended the "plaintive wail" came from Nicole Brown-Simpson's pet Akita, which left bloody paw prints around the murder scene. 40. Moo Goo Gai Pan. 41. Frank Gorshin was The Riddler in the Batman TV series of the 1960s. 42. All terms for saws, used by carpenters.
Depending on how the winter goes -- and reader demand -- we might have another Cabin Fever quiz before spring.
Observations, comments and news items may be sent to This Just In, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. The telephone number is 332-6166.