Lost beagle finds a new home

December 13, 1999

It has always seemed to me that columnists who rehash old issues and update old stories and lean on reader mail are lazy, brain-dead pieces of driftwood who can't be counted on to come up with fresh ideas of their own.

So here goes:

* Thanks for all the calls of concern, and offers to give a good home to the lost beagle. I'm told that Maggie (a young woman who is wasting a potentially rich and rewarding life of People magazine, nail salons and "Friends" reruns by reading far too much classical literature) had named the dog Ezra Hound, but later changed it to McDuff.

Although the original owner never stepped forward, McDuff will go to a kind owner. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the cat named Pretzel, who pre-McDuff was accustomed to strutting around the household like a she-pope, are currently unknown. If anyone should find a small yellow cat with no tail...


* I love a story like this, and David Brezler of Hagerstown knew I would, so he called up to tell me that a couple of days ago, at 8:22 a.m. to be exact, he took his 1995 Dodge Dakota pickup to the emissions testing shop as required by state law.

The truck failed, meaning he was facing at least $150 worth of work on his exhaust system. The truck's, I mean. Instead, he called his son who sent him to the auto parts store for a couple of $5 cans of carburetor cleaner and emissions cleanser. He used the products according to directions and at 11:06 a.m. took his truck back to the testing shop, where it passed.

I called NAPA in Wayensboro, Pa., and they said yes, there is a product that cleans the gunk out of vehicular equipment like vacuum hoses and may help people who have failed the emissions tests. Asked if it works they said, "Well, some people in Maryland say it does." I guess any auto parts store would carry it, but somehow the thought of a Pennsylvania store profiting off the Maryland automotive bureaucracy washes over me like a warm bowl of celery soup.

* In the Leave The Humor to the Professionals department, a co-worker thought it was just wildly funny that when she called to schedule a mammogram the receptionist told her "Well, I guess we could squeeze you in on Friday."

People think I have an easy job, but they don't realize the trauma that comes with being a low-brow sounding board for every half-baked quip, pun and "wait till you hear what happened to me at the grocery store last night" story that comes down the pike.

* I got a copy of a funny letter from Jim Parker of Hagerstown Paint and Glass, addressed to Gov. Glendening and signed "Stadium Opponents." In it, the opponents beg the governor not to spend any money on our community for a new ballpark - or anything else, for that matter.

"We the people of Washington County would much rather you choose another, more deserving community on which to bestow $6 million of our tax money..."

And all of a sudden it struck me: This is the real reason some people hate the stadium. If Gov. Glendening funds the ballpark, it will put a crimp in Washington County's real sport-of-preference: Complaining that Gov. Glendening never does anything for Washington County.

* I like and endorse this paragraph on discipline, sent to me by Mrs. Marvin Shives of Hagerstown:

"It used to be that Papa dealt out a stern code of discipline to Junior. Then the electric razor took away the razor strap, furnaces took away the woodshed and tax worries took away dad's hair and hairbrush. That is why kids are running wild today. Dad ran out of weapons."

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist

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