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Apologies of the abject sort

UNLIKE all the rest of the news media, which never make a mistake, the ``Lightly'' column can come up with some gems of misinformation. This is a humble retraction of some mistaken facts. Not long ago this column stated the United States didn't have a Stonehenge and therefore the ``Carhenge'' out in Nebraska, made of old automobiles, was filling a great need. The column also asserted that because of the lack of Stonehenges, there were no druids to have orgies and to chant religious rites in the proper fashion.

Alas! Letters and phone calls have been coming in telling me the US is full of Stonehenges. Well, maybe not full of them, but there are enough to turn my face red. They are not of the 10,000-year-old variety such as England can turn out (the earliest in America is circa 1914), but they do exist. They are scattered around in such places as the states of Washington, Missouri, and New Hampshire, as well as other places claimed by various readers. Apparently none is made of plastic.

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And as for druids - they are popping out of the woods all over. Of course they are mostly in California, as they should be, and I venture to say they are not honest-to-goodness druids descended from those ancients who painted themselves blue. Perhaps I had better not assert this as a fact, because as sure as I do, a cult of genuine druids will be discovered tomorrow in South Boston.

When corrections like this have to be made, they are not without side effects.

For instance, I had hoped to do a piece on the Eiffel Tower as a unique city ornament. There is nothing like it in any other city of the world, and certainly the US doesn't have one. But I've lost my nerve.

As soon as I make the point there are no Eiffel Towers anywhere in the US, some gleeful person in a city like Amarillo, Texas, will write to say an oil tycoon has just built an Eiffel Tower in his backyard and has imported French-speaking chorus girls to run the elevator.

It's not an easy life. From now on I'll write only about safe topics, like the superior quality of Iowa corn.

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