Certainly French officials are not totally oblivious to this aimless carnage. On the contrary. The opening of the season in three pastoral departments was postponed until France's largest moving target, President Charles de Gaulle, left them for the relative safety of the capital.
Boxing and television, entwined with one another for the past 20 years, called it off last week, both reeling. It had come to the point where Jack Paar warmed over was outdrawing the fights, and neighborhood-club boxing, the root system supposed to nourish the whole thing, was all but withered and dead.
One man who will be affected by the breakup is Don Dunphy, which is a pity. A fine announcer, Dunphy began calling fights for radio 23 years-ago. One man, recalling those radio days, said: "You could sit home in your Morris chair and his blow-by-blow accounts were so precise you could score the fight perfectly."
"The low ratings that knocked boxing off television," Dunphy said the other day, "were unfair. They never took any surveys of neighborhood bars, and TV fights surely rated 100%, in those." Then, wishing his TV friends goodby and good luck and making a bow to the game he obviously loves, Don Dunphy declared that boxing is clean. In fact, he said, going Ivory Soap one one-hundredth of a percent better, "99 and 45/100% of all the boxers I have known are great people."
When that American League meeting in Boston broke up (see page 26), one of our agents disguised as a janitor slunk into the room to sweep up a handful of doodles left on the table. He emerged clutching six sheets of Hotel Somerset stationery with doodles that appear to make as little sense as the result of the meeting itself. Disguised as a psychiatrist, he produced this report:
"The sheets, doodled by divers hands, are unsigned. One doodle is of a Chinese mandarin. Is a Hong Kong franchise in the back of someone's mind? Another sheet, rather deftly done, shows a ballplayer, a jackass and, possible redundancy, a portrait of a smiling club owner. ' Orioles, Orioles,' is scrawled in a childish hand on two sheets, and another sheet bears the baffling figures, '2-0-4-6-4-8-10-8-12-14-12-1-3-7-13-7-1-6-6-6-9-666-9-666,' which could stand for either the numbers of homers hit in recent games off Kansas City pitching or the room measurements in a new Del Webb hotel. The most significant doodle of all is a circle with an unequivocal 'No!' in the middle of it. The No!, on a second thought, was penciled out."
Snow White fell into a coma eating an apple a day, and now it develops the salubrious outdoor life can get you, too. The peril may be found lurking in freshly dry-cleaned sleeping bags. Noxious fumes given off by the residue of some cleaning solvents can cause sickness in a buttoned-up, airless tent—and have even taken the life of a teen-age camper in Minnesota. Best advice for escapists from the sooty city: thoroughly air your gear. A short nap can become the big sleep.