What's the Las Vegas line on men's boxers vs. briefs?

A Baltimore community group with a long record of fun will have another big Super Bowl party Sunday and, once again, there will be lots of action on more than 30 betting pools. (I'm not going to mention the group or where it meets. You think I'm a snitch or somethin'?) The modest wagering in odd categories is what makes the event such a blast. In addition to the usual - which team wins, which team leads at halftime - you can bet on which team wins the coin toss, which team gets the first sack, which recovers the first fumble, whether the first cheerleader to appear on the TV screen is blond, whether the longest field goal occurs in the first half or the second, whether a referee will get knocked down during the game, and whether a majority of men attending the Super Bowl party wear boxers or briefs.

Chalk one up

Congratulations to a terrific cartoonist and all-around good guy, Tom Chalkley. His first New Yorker cartoon, signed "Chalk," appears in the Feb. 1 issue, page 78. (It's a clip-and-save for attorneys.) I'm told a second baritone: WBAL Radio's Alan Walden gets to read the Gettysburg Address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during official observances of the 16th Channel 45 the other night. A Fox news photographer caught the Orioles pitcher chastising a woman, apparently for making him walk through a crowd of appreciative fans on his way to his autograph post at Orioles Fan Fest at the Convention Center. "Are we ever going to solve this problem?" Mussina, who makes about $7 million a year, was heard to ask the woman, apparently on the event staff. He pointed to two other doors that would have allowed easier the Crab Pot in Lexington Market, reports a supply of soft-shell clams. That means he'll be frying them up Cape Cod-style for a limited time. Don't forget yesterday reported a local ice cream shop where the counter help actually weighs each and every scoop of ice cream on a scale before serving it on cone or cup. It's the end of the world as we know it.

Share the wealth

Del. Tony Fulton should be very grateful to the General Assembly's ethics committee. In fact, he should give each member a cut of that $9,000 fee he got for handling a real estate deal for lobbyists John Stierhoff and Gerry Evans. What a joke.

Public nature call

A friend, traveling on business, files this report from the road: "Went into the men's room at BWI. Standing there, doing what comes naturally, when in walks a 30-ish guy with a cell phone. Uses one hand for the obvious while the other hand holds the phone, talking away. Couldn't help but wonder if the party on the other end asked him if he was in the woods by a stream."

Mind your manners

From Joey Amalfitano: "My buddy and I decided to walk on the wild side the other day and check the lunch special at Kaos, a place with dancing girls off Joppa Road in Towson. The girls aren't naked, or anything, but they're not exactly wearing winter coats, either. They strut and shimmy and dance with a pole, doing loop-dee-loops. We sat at the bar and, at different times, the four dancers stepped up on the bar and danced to head-bangin' rock music. It's an odd place to eat lunch, I know, but we wanted to try it. We both chose the grilled chicken sandwich with fries. I got a side of slaw. Our orders came - the sandwich was pretty mediocre, by the way - and my pal noticed he wasn't given a fork. He asked nicely for one. 'Not too many people eat with forks in here,' the waitress said. (Please, when you publish this, let me know ahead of time so I can make sure Maxine doesn't read the paper that day.)"

Net loss

Greg Glessner, former bartender and future lawyer, looked up from his lawbooks the other day and crackled with outrage at the announcement of the name of the football stadium.

"Consider the terms of this contract with PSINet - 20 years!" Glessner raved. "Twenty years ago there was no Internet. Twenty years ago I was enjoying the fragrance of my recently mimeographed Algebra 1 handout. (I'd give $50 for a good whiff of mimeo fluid.) Twenty years ago disco ruled! Internet provider companies are more volatile than Oriole manager jobs. What happens in five to 10 years when PSINet gets absorbed by some Bill Gates conglomerate?"

Good point, Greg. I'm feeling dank about the new name, too. I was hoping Slomin's Shield would get the rights.

TJIDAN@aol.com is the e-mail address for Dan Rodricks. Voice mail is 410-332-6166. Letters can be address to The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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