Well, that explains everything. Sifting through dusty archives to find evidence of links between Mark Phillips, Princess Anne's recent bridegroom, and the nobility, English genealogists have discovered that he is descended from a titled family by the name of Horsey. The family coat of arms is adorned with three horses' heads.
Meanwhile, back at another branch of the royal succession, Prince Charles was trying to figure out what to do with the feudal dues he received as Duke of Cornwall in a grand and ancient ceremony. In addition to a pound of pepper and a carriage full of wood, the tribute included a number of useful sporting goods, among them: a bow (without arrows), a salmon spear, gilt spurs and a pair of Cornish greyhounds. Others, including a goatskin mantle, a pair of gloves and 100 newly minted shillings, could be useful in an ancillary way. The ancient ceremony at the Norman castle in Launceston, Cornwall was last performed in 1937 when Charles' grandfather. King George VI, received the tribute. There is no record of what King George did with his booty.
With a name like Maria de los Angeles Rams, you'd figure she would prefer one National Football League team above all others. And Miss Rams does: the Baltimore Colts. All this was discovered when the 20-year-old young lady, who really is an avid pro football fan, became a naturalized citizen at the Lancaster, Pa. county courthouse. But until 1966, when she came to the United States from Cuba, Miss Rams had never heard of the Los Angeles Rams.
Maryland Secretary of State Fred Wineland shot into the air, and where it landed he knew not where—even though it fell right on top of him. "I went goose hunting near Chestertown," Wineland explains, "and a formation of geese flew overhead. I shot at one, a second, and then swung to shoot at a third. Just then, the first goose hit me and knocked me out. It had fallen about 100 feet and I never saw it." Wineland suffered four cracked ribs and a considerable fracture in the state of his dignity.
Take an enormous rock, carve into a ship shape, put a motor on it and place actress Edy Williams at the controls. The result is a great gimmick for the Los Angeles Boat Show—or so Promoter Al Franken claimed. "But rocks don't float," the sponsors said. "This is pumice," Franken replied. "It's filled with air pockets." So the party proceeded to Marina del Rey, where the 2,200-pound rock was launched with the assistance of a shot-putter and a discus thrower from USC. Now we all know that pumice, air pockets and all, does not float.
There is endless curiosity about what really transpires when an infielder trots over to the pitcher's mound at a tense moment in a baseball game. Ron Hunt of the Montreal Expos accommodatingly revealed one of those conversations recently. It occurred last summer after Hunt let a routine grounder get through his legs and Relief Pitcher Mike Marshall threw up his hands in disgust. Moments later, Ron jogged over to Marshall. Here is what he said: "If you ever show me up on a baseball field like that again, I'll beat the daylights out of you right here on the mound." Marshall looked wise, said nothing and went back to pitching.
Hazards of the playing field are well known, but on the concert stage? Well, yes. Pianist Arthur MacKenzie, who once injured a leg when he hit a crashing chord and the piano collapsed, had his piano roll right away after another mighty crescendo. It slid off the stage into the audience, and clearly a stop had to be put to this sort of thing. MacKenzie called on his friend Peter Bronfman, owner of the Montreal Canadiens, who responded with a gift of hockey pucks. The pucks now travel everywhere with MacKenzie. Make good chocks for the legs of Steinways.
European heavyweight champion Joe Bugner does have a tendency to fight best against the big ones—Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, for example. But when an admirer gave Bugner a replica of Michelangelo's David, and Bugner went nose to nose with the Biblical hero, the result was striking. "Apparently the fan was so impressed by the likeness that he bought it for me," Joe said. And indeed the resemblance was anything but a bust.
Ten thousand people and some congressional cash showed up in Cuero, Texas for the World Champion Turkey Race. Representatives Abraham Kazan of Texas and John Zwack of Minnesota had placed a friendly wager on the two-heat turkey trot. Tom Foolery, Minnesota-bred, won the second heat, but Cuero's own Ruby Begonia had the best elapsed time for the combined heats and was judged winner. Zwack had to pay, but the turkey did not. Instead of the usual loser's fate of getting gobbled at somebody's dinner table, it was given to Cuero's high school football team as a mascot. They are nicknamed the Gobblers.
It was a little like discovering that Bert Parks had cavities or that Charles Goren regularly lost in pickup card games. Dr. Ira Whitman, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the state's water quality chief, admitted that he has a water pollution problem right in his own home. For more than a year now, he explained sheepishly, he has been entirely unable to keep goldfish alive in his aquarium. After a feverish change of divers and castles and recaulking of seams, the tank is still not fit to breathe in. If nothing works, will Whitman grant himself a two-year extension to comply with clean-water standards? "It's too late for that," he says. "The fish are already dead." Yeah, but what about the stream the tank water comes from?