2003-02-22 / Columnists

Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle

Forget shoveling. I had other things to worry about—-like being able to get outside to do some shoveling. See, I first assumed the advice about getting duct tape and sealing your windows was an internet joke but then I learned it actually came from a government official. So I went out to Home Depot, loaded up on duct tape, waited six hours on a line, and then drove home smugly smiling at all the people who wouldn’t be prepared as I.

Once home, I sealed all windows and doors. And for good measure, I circled the house wrapping the entire outside in the tough silver adhesive. Only trouble was, I didn’t know how to get back inside my house.

After using my Swiss army knife to cut a small opening in the web of tape I crawled through a basement window. Inside, I used more tape to seal the window and then hammered a piece of plywood in the window frame.

Then I realized I was the only one home.

Anyway, after crawling my way into the house, I spent the next few hours setting up a safe room replete with a deck of cards, Monopoly and Twister. I sat in a big easy chair secure in the knowledge that Tom Ridge would be proud of me. I’d done all I could. Hours passed. My stomach grumbled. Where were those Snickers? Come to think of it, where was my wife?

I left the safe room, moving room to room on my stomach, until I found a sliver of an opening in the duct tape wrap. I peered through and there on the front lawn stood my bride, a scowl on her face, her hands on her hips. (I’d seen the look before). Apparently none too pleased that I had (innocently!) wrapped myself inside the house, my dearest honey was making sure I stayed where I was. She circled the house with more tape and then added a ring of barbed wire. She teamed with my mother to nail and wedge 2 X 4’s to the doors so there’d be no way for me to ever get out. And then they headed for the car.

I called out. Pleading. They didn’t hear me—-or chose not to.

The car backed slowly out of the driveway. The window rolled down. Out flew a single Snickers bar. It hit the ground with a thud. And then it snowed. At least, I think it was snow. Did Tom Ridge say anything about this white stuff?

Boyle-ing Over:

**Last week’s item about how the pool at Riis Park is a dead issue because it will "drown in red ink" couldn’t have surprised you. Not if you read the figures they used. Get this. One study found that a pool and a diving facility would cost $34 million dollars. Who the hell is building the pool? NASA or the Pentagon. $34 million! Are they kidding?! How many $800 toilet seats are we talking about?

The Eisenhower Park facility in Nassau was built for millions less and that includes the "largest pool in the Northern Hemisphere." That pool, which cost millions less than what they’re saying the Riis Park pool would cost, is part of an 80,000 square foot facility. It’s got swimming and diving pools and locker rooms and, get this, VIP rooms. And there’s a press room and a "rub down" and training room. A "drug testing" room. A concession area and interior and exterior television-monitored security systems. It’s got seating for more than 3,000 people.

Hey, we don’t need all that. Do away with the press room—-The Wave staff won’t mind—-and re-do the numbers. $34 million? Gimme a break. (It goes without saying, that private builders could do such a job for a fraction of the $34 mil but since I’m trying to compare apples and apples I’ll use a government funded facility as a benchmark).

Another part of the study considered the costs of a simple outdoor pool. The cost? Oh, a measly $9 million. Yep. Nine million! For an outdoor pool! That’s one expensive hole in the ground. (Of course, these figures come from the same people who did manage to spend $15 million rehabbing the bath house—-now there was money well spent).

So, our good Congressman, Anthony Weiner, inherited the pool promise from Chuck (If I’m elected, you’ll get your pool. And that Doppler Radar will go up over my dead body) Schumer. Anthony gets a study done and says, whoa—-$34 million. Rockaway has a better chance on getting Technodome. The pool is dead in the water.

The question is, did the numbers strike him as a tad high? Again, nine million for an outdoor pool? I’m sorry. You don’t need a study to know $9 million is a crock.

Oh, well. I guess if Rep. Weiner is giving up on the pool idea then I’m sure he’ll make the case to the FAA that all flights should go over the Riis Park parking lot because nobody will ever be there or have reason to use it. And now Gateway can get busy with their plans to put the impound at Riis Park. Barbed wire, guard dogs, and trailer will cost a lot less than $34 mil.

** Vacant lots used to be the hallmark of Rockaway. Gone are the vacant lots and in their place are vacant houses. All these new homes have sprouted up and been sold, yet, far as I can tell, nobody’s moved into any of them. What gives?

**Gotta give thanks to folks who have had me as a guest to discuss a certain book. I had a great time in Roxbury and Breezy Point last week.

Went into Sammy’s on Beach 129th (he carries the book) and he tells me every now and then someone will come into the store —- a resident—-and they’ll see the book and ask about it. And they’ll say they had no idea such a book existed. So much for overexposure. Maybe they’ve got duct tape ar-ound their house.

Local stores carrying the book in-clude Sammy’s, The Gift is Love, and The Rockaway Perfume Store on RBB and 115th street. I think The Wave might have copies still and gift shop in Breezy will carry it when the weather warms.


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