There used to be a tradition in small-town baseball of setting up a keg of beer beyond third base. The losers had to pay for it. But after the game everybody drank from it, sharing again the excitement, the fun, the joy of taking part.
Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand's famous mountain climber, reports that so many climbing groups are wandering around the Himalayas nowadays that the supply of experienced Sherpa guides is not sufficient to meet the demand. Inexperienced Sherpas are taking the climbers up the mountains with inevitable results: an increasing incidence of accidents. Hillary suggests the establishment of a training school for Sherpas with, of all things, experienced Western climbers as teachers.
With spring only a few weeks away, it is time in the North to keep an eye out for the first robin. Chances are he will have spent his winter vacation in Clarksdale, Miss., which is one place where you don't want to start bubbling about how much you like good old robin redbreast. A lot of cities and towns around the country are bedeviled by birds like pigeons or starlings, but Clarksdale residents had the distinction this winter of being up to their clavicles in robins.
Traditionally, robins stop off in Clarksdale for a couple of weeks each fall on their annual migratory flight to the sun. This time, for some odd reason, possibly increased nest rates farther south, the birds decided, let's stay right here in old Clarksdale all winter. And they did, an estimated 150,000 of them. Have you ever heard 150,000 robins chirping outside your window at dawn or routing about on the lawn after worms? It would drive you to burn your bird feeder and throw your sunflower seeds in the Disposall. Clarksdale tried firecrackers, sirens, amplified robin distress signals, everything. The robins retreated until the fuss was over and then came flitting right back.
You think you're looking forward eagerly to spring, when the robins come North? You ought to be in Clarksdale.
JUST GET IN THE PENALTY BOX
Graffiti at Cornell University: HOCKEY MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY.
THE LOOK OF EAGLES
If your income tax is getting you down, maybe you should buy a pro football team. Leonard Tose, key man in the group that bought the Philadelphia Eagles for $16.1 million in 1969, was testifying in a Norristown, Pa. court where his estranged wife was eventually awarded something like $450,000 in support over the next four years. His 1969 and 1970 income-tax forms were introduced in evidence.
"What is the figure on line 19 for tax liability?" asked a lawyer.