Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle
I almost missed another deadline. There I was typing up this column, sitting on my favorite milk crate, when the SWAT team descended and hauled my butt off to the hoosegow. Even though I’m not a smoker, I was so nervous, I lit up a cigarette. Big mistake: jail’s a public place. They tossed me in solitary. I didn’t know how I got into this or where this was going. Then some rough looking guard with a summons book stood in the doorway and asked me what kind of knot I used when tying my recyclable papers. I just kinda shrugged and said, "Square knot, I think." He started writing a summons. Then, he asked, are you still using the blue plastic bags to throw out your garbage. "Yes, sir!" — figuring this was a safe answer. He shook his head and started writing another summons.
You got a dog? No. Keep him on a leash? I said I don’t have a dog. Lying to a police officer is obstruction of justice. He started writing another summons. Wait a second! Don’t blame me, he said, this is Mayor Mike.
I nodded, I finally figured out what was going on, how to get out of this. I’ve got my checkbook right here, officer. He smiled. Now you’re getting it. You have ID to go with that check?
Huh? ID? He started writing again.
I tell ya, Bloomberg’s making me nostalgic for Dinkins and Cuomo.
The 50th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s ascent of Mount Everest was Thursday. Some 500 climbers were elbowing each other on the way up, each hoping to get to the top for the anniversary. That’s 500, five hundred. That’s more than an average line at Waldbaum’s. That’s more than the number of people boycotting Duane Reade. Things just ain’t what they used to be. Back in ’53, Sir Edmund and crew took seven weeks to get to the top from base camp. Get this, some sherpa got to the summit last week in 10 hours and 56 minutes. That’s considered good time getting from Staten Island to Rockaway—never mind climbing the highest mountain in the world.
From what I hear it’s still cold at the top and the air is pretty thin but there are 900 tents on the south side of the mountain filled with people who are ready to give it a try. A 70 year old guy did it (get him a Graybeard shirt) and a 15 year old made the climb recently. Maybe it’s the permanent ladders and fixed ropes along the way that have made it such a snap. It won’t be long before chair lifts are running. And McDonald’s rest stops, too. Once again, the modern world spells ruination.
If you just got a whiff of something, it’s probably hypocrisy. I’m like everybody else—I say I wish things wouldn’t change; I long for the good old days. Nothin’s the same. Even the goldfish I bought for my son. I figured I was getting the 24 hour fish. Dead overnight, toilet in the morning (a burial at sea, so to speak). I’m still feeding the damn thing two years later. Nope, nothin’s the same. Of course, as much as I long for the good old days, when they build the condos and hot tubs on Mount Everest, I’ll be making a reservation.
***If you’ve got cable, you saw The Graybeards featured as New Yorkers of The Week on NY1, as they broke their backs cleaning up the Claddagh Inn. Some good action sequences were in the piece: Bugsy Goldberg doing deep forestry work; Joe Kenel filmed actually working instead of giving orders; Steve Stathis demonstrating a fine New York accent. Hey, at least they spelled my name right. Don’t know who the guy was they identified as Kevin Boyle but it wasn’t me (too busy working to be interviewed of course).
***Speaking of the Graybeards. They’ll be playing the famous Harlem Wizards Saturday, May 29—check the calendar (that could mean tomorrow or today depending upon when you read this or maybe it’ll mean it’s already happened). Anyway, the game starts at 2 pm at the St. Francis gym. Tickets are $10—but WILL NOT be sold at the door. Call the Graybeard Hotline –1-877-GRAYBEARDS—for last minute info.
***Someone made a good suggestion. If Duane Reade goes out of business, there’ll be a ready-made catering hall on the bay.