The staid old Firearms Lobby of America is an outfit that is 1) against gun-control legislation and 2) takes itself too seriously. Sure enough, the lobby is outraged by a challenge issued by the Friends of Animals, a group led by such ladies as Lauren Bacall, Ali MacGraw and Patrice Munsel. The women want the men to "stop trying to prove their manhood through maiming or occasionally killing helpless animals because they fail on better proving grounds like a boudoir." Wow. And as if that were not enough, the ladies issued handbills reading, "Hunters, make it dear, not deer. Will you? Won't you? Can't you?"

So what do the firearm fellas do? They call it a diabolical scheme and propose to fight it in court. In court. Of all the dull places to fight a case like this.

"This guy just suggested it," Jimmy (The Greek) Snyder says modestly of a report that he had been asked to try out for a role in The Godfather. Hmm. Will he be billed as Jimmy (The Sicilian) Snyder?

It seems two female members of the Maryland state legislature, Lena K. Lee and Hildegarde Boswell, have introduced a bill to make marriage a three-year contract, with an option to renew. Sounds O.K. as far as it goes. Maybe they should consider compulsory spring training, too. It would probably do a lot for the game.

A Few Footnotes:

In Houston the Oilers welcomed new Coach Ed Hughes by rushing to outfit him in cowboy clothes so he would no longer look like, you should excuse the term, an Easterner. Hughes loved it. "I lost 20 pounds just trying on boots," he said.

Then comes the report that Broadcaster Lindsey Nelson has made it back from Timbuktu alive, presumably thanks to sleeping in his boots. "Scorpions like to get into shoes at night," a local doctor warned him.

Which may explain another report, the one from England, that Marlon Brando tried to play the nude love scene in his latest movie wearing his Wellington boots. Of course, England isn't exactly overrun by scorpions—perhaps Marlon is just shy.

And finally there is Oriole Catcher Clay Dalrymple, who claims that his feet "still have the smell of champagne from last year on them." We'll take your word for it, Clay.

Maybe all the snappy award names were taken or something, but the Hamms Beer folks have a dandy. They presented Detroit Lion Mike Lucci their True Grit trophy and accompanied it with a quote from Coach Joe Schmidt that Lucci "showed an unusual amount of the gutty quality called True Grit." Swell. That leaves just one trophy to go, the one for the athlete displaying the grittiest quality of True Gut.

This Week's Effete Easterner Is...

The Manhattan adman who wrote a letter to the Jackson Hole, Wyo. ski area and led off with the greeting, "Dear Mr. Hole...."

It was bound to happen, and it was bound to happen in England: there is a bird over there that is watching people. The London Daily Express reports that a pheasant named Charlie "sits in Joseph Loades' garden studying Loades and Mrs. Loades and their son Ivan." All of them are bird watchers, and at first they thought this was pretty funny. Now they can't open a window without the pheasant zooming over to peck them. If Mrs. L. wants to hang the wash she has to throw corn out the front door and run out the back before Charlie finishes it up. When the family wants to go for a drive the bird stands defiantly in front of the car. ("The trick," says Loades, "is to reverse. Charlie rushes around the back—then we switch into first gear and escape.")

Loades is treasurer of the Norfolk Naturalist Trust and feels that he can't just have a go at Charlie with a shotgun. "It would not look right." Still, at press time Charlie was mysteriously missing. He is either off somewhere watching more people or else the Loades had him in the house. For dinner.

This week's Nothing-in-His-Life-Became-Him-Like-the-Leaving-of-It Award goes to Ron Godfrey, who has retired as Miami's basketball coach. "I hope," Ron said, "that my resignation will help to improve the basketball program."

Things are never dull in Duran-go. Here comes Dean Martin, filming a Western to be called Something Big in which he plays a lovable renegade bandit (as opposed to a lovable Establishment bandit?) who is searching for a woman to swap for a Gatling gun. The script also involves a horse with a mouth full of gold, played by Martin's own horse, Tops. Turns out no other metal can be substituted for gold in a case like this, so a Durango vet fitted Tops with gold caps. Now every night after filming. Tops' gold mouth is removed and deposited in the local bank for safekeeping, just in case he should swallow it. Also in case of bandits. Not lovable renegades, just plain, old-fashioned bandits, who still hang out in the Durango hills. After all, Tops would be a real temptation—sort of horse-thieving and robbing the stage, all in one.

And for our second horsy exclusive: here comes Actor Dustin Hoffman, showing off his horsemanship in Little Big Man. Forget it. It turns out that the horse was stuffed.

Good night to you from Hollywood.