"If the weather clears next week, the hypnotist and myself are going in an airplane. Where are we going? We are going to Chicago, Miami, Montreal; anywhere about three hours away. The hypnotist stakes his reputation that I will be able to fly again and I believe him. This man wears a big black hat and a big blue overcoat. He is a strapping man and he does not need Don Newcombe."
Newcombe looked up above his bar at the plaques he won in 1956 for being the Most Valuable Player and the best pitcher.
"I won 27 games once," he said, softly, as if it were a country he had been to all too briefly and to which he could not return.
Jack Paar, the National Broadcasting Company's gift to the nation's nonsense-loving insomniacs, likes to dislocate funny bones in the early morning with demonstrations of odd gimmicks and gadgets his staff finds for him.
Last week he titillated so many funny bones that he wrecked the calm of New York's very proper Abercrombie & Fitch. What touched his viewers off was a largish mechanical fish which stalks after, catches and viciously devours a smaller mechanical fish. The little fish may then, like Jonah, be plucked from the innards of the larger and sent on its way, to be eaten again still another time.
This unorthodox item (Spanish-made Gabby The Whale, $3) was stocked, surprisingly enough, by none other than Abercrombie's conservative Fishing Department.
The morning after Paar's foray into the lighter side of angling, harried clerks normally accustomed to explaining the intricacies of Orvis reels found themselves besieged by hundreds of mechanical-fish lovers. Men, women and children crowded onto the eighth floor in a traffic jam closely resembling Gimbel's Basement on bargain day. Above the din of voraciously cracking jaws as big fish gobbled up little fish all over the place, impatient voices kept shouting, "Show me the carnivorous fish!"
By noon the worst was over. Late-arriving executives and suburban housewives learned the sad news. Every fish, big and little, in Abercrombie's had been sold. "But," a weary clerk assured the disappointed, "we've ordered 20,000 more and hope to meet the demand in a few days."
FRIEND IN NEED
Maryland Game Warden Leo Friend last week arrested Carlos Friend, who owns a farm near Friendsville, for illegally selling wild game. Nor was that the end of this friendly business. Leo Friend, warden, hauled Carlos Friend, game seller, to Uncle Earl C. Friend, magistrate, who fined Friend's Friend $1,750. That's all, friends.