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Clipboards and Catcher’s Mitts


In today’s Impromptus, I have a little item on Planned Parenthood. Do you know the clipboard people? I don’t know if you have them in your city. Here in New York, during the warm months, there are these clipboard people stationed all over. They want to know whether you’d like to contribute to this Left cause or that. They are usually quite nice and cheerful.

“Do you have a minute for gay rights?” “Do you have a minute for the environment?” “Do you have a minute for women’s health?” This last phrase is basically a euphemism for abortion, I believe. (“Gay rights” means marriage.)

The other day, I was stopped by a clipboard person working for Planned Parenthood. And I was tempted to say, “How are those mammograms coming?” But I really don’t like public altercations — I mean, in-person altercations. I’d rather have them in print.

Anyway, you know how Barack Obama and other pro-choice folk are always claiming that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms, even though it’s not true? If I were Planned Parenthood — there’s a thought! — I would provide mammograms: just to make honest men out of Obama et al.

After writing my column, I thought of Armand Hammer. As the story goes — and there are different versions — he was tired of being asked whether he owned the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Company. So he bought it, or as much of it as he could: which was kind of appropriate anyway, considering the Bolshie symbol on the box.

One more note, before I let you go: At the very bottom of Impromptus today — after the usual Sturm und Drang — I have a little note about golf. I quote Angel Cabrera, the great Argentinean player. He finished second at the Masters this year, and his son, Angel Jr., was on his bag (i.e., caddied for him). Said Sr., “He was responsible for all the bogeys I made. I made the birdies.” Gotta love the guy.

A reader writes,

Your Cabrera story called to mind another story, involving Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk. . . . Fisk is catching for Chicago, and the White Sox pitcher — whoever he was — is on his game. In fact, he has not allowed a hit all day.

Batter comes up. Fisk signals for, say, a fastball. Pitcher shakes him off. Fisk calls for a curve. Pitcher throws a curve, and batter strokes a single — the only hit the other team gets all game.

Afterward, Fisk says to the beat writers, “As far as I’m concerned, I called a no-hitter with my fingers.”

By the way, I referred to Cabrera as great — not a term to be applied lightly. The way I see it is, he has won both a U.S. Open and a Masters. I have yet to do that, although another season is upon us, and the Open has yet to take place . . .


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