"The pickpocket...got $140 from the old gentleman, perhaps the sum total of his social security pittance and modest pension for many years of honest toil who now derives pleasure from an occasional visit to the race track."
IS PEACE WONDERFUL?
The merger of the NFL and the AFL last week terminated the pro football war, which had always seemed to us to be less a war and more a fairly routine expression of free enterprise, or of Darwinism. However, "war" has only three characters, which endears it to those who write headlines. Ostensibly, what dictated the peace were the terrific bonuses that certain college seniors commanded and the prospect of established pro stars jumping from one league to the other for immoderate sums. (What is rarely acknowledged is that the publicity resulting from the bonuses often more than repaid the clubs that shelled them out, as well as benefiting the whole war-torn sport.) As Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills, put it, "The players had taken over the game. We had to do something."
At any rate, the owners did what they thought would be financially rosiest and legal; and, reputedly, they are willing to spread some of the prospective profit around among the players in the form of higher salaries. That leaves the fans. Will they be better served in peace than they were in war? One immediate advantage is the NFL-AFL championship game, which will be played until 1970, when four seven-team divisions will be established. The fans have been clamoring for that one, though its appeal is lessened now that the AFL no longer has to beat its breast. Then there will undoubtedly be 173 consecutive hours of pro ball on TV each weekend, which ought to please some, at least until it drives them up the walls. Whether live gates in towns like Pittsburgh, where they weren't selling seats in wartime, will be enhanced in peacetime by the prospect of seeing our Steelers playing those rough, tough Denver Broncos remains to be seen. By the way, if you're wondering when the next Grid War will begin, it will be when the new league starts trying to decide what teams go in which division.
DOWN BY THE OLD 5-7720-21680 ETC.
Someday soon a kid will come home with soggy sneakers, wet pants and a couple of sunnies, and his mother will say, "Where have you been?" And the kid will say, "Out." And the mother will say, "Out where?" And the kid will say, "Out fishing in 5-7720-21680-0150-095."
And you better believe it. The Federal Government has been numbering every river, creek, brook and run in the country as part of an antipollution drive. With the ZIP code, the area code and the computerized special checking account number, what did you expect?
The way it works is: the biggest rivers have the smallest numbers, and the smallest brooks have the biggest numbers. For example, the Mississippi is 5, but by the time you get to Bushy Run the number is 5-7720-21680-0130-0120-0250. Which seems to indicate that the water flows from the Mississippi (5) through the Ohio (5-7720), through the Monongahela (5-7720-21680), through Turtle Creek (5-7720-21680-0130), through Bush Creek (5-7720-21680-0130-0120) before emptying into Bushy Run. Or is it vice versa?
Actually, the system is needed because of numerous duplications in the names of streams. In Pennsylvania alone there are 69 Mill Runs, 62 Pine Creeks and 46 Trout Runs, but only one 5-7720-21680-0130-0120-0250.
MAN VS. MACHINE