You can write something that would make Old Yeller cry. You can write something that deserves to be framed and sent to Congress. And you can write something that Abe Lincoln and Mark Twain would plagiarize but it wouldn’t matter in Rockaway. You want to get noticed in Rockaway? You want feedback? Then write what people care about: liquid refreshments with a jolt.
I write about the joy of early-birding, the art of afternoon alcohol, and I get splashed with praise. I bemoan the arrival of a SIX DOLLAR bottle of bud and I get hundreds of alerts to bargain beers elsewhere. I write something about hangovers and little old ladies send me homemade cures. You think I’d take the hint.
But nooooo. … I’ve spent all these months talking about various issues and how the boardwalk is the lifeline of Rockaway. What an idiot. I try to elevate the conversation once in a while and what do I get? Silence. Some weeks, I have to go to the newsstand to see if the paper actually got delivered because nobody says anything to me. I should’ve just written the column on a postcard and mailed it to myself. Silence, the last thing any writer wants.
There’s no way around it. I’m insecure. If I write a dud and nobody responds?
That puts me in need of a hug. But don’t hug me, because I’m Irish, and I hate that hugging crap. I’d rather get a cold shoulder than a warm hug.
But I think I’ve got it figured out. From now on, every column I write will start off with how I woke up and poured beer on my corn flakes. And then I’ll mention how I walk out on my porch and like Stanley from A Streetcar Named Desire I howl, Rockaway !!!!!
Boyleing Points: Tara Carlton Stackpole sent a classic my way. In last week’s column, I mentioned “the long goodbye” and how it takes some people forever to actually leave. The goodbye part is the longest part of the conversation. Tara tells me her aunt used to call it “vestibuling.” She said, you go to a wake or party and see someone and don’t talk to them until you’re leaving and then you stand at the door for 39 minutes talking about your kids, your retirement, what the doctor just cut off your face, and how you must really get together soon!
***I’m easily bugged. People from Rockaway, what are they called? Rockawayites? Rockawayites is lame. Rockapeeps, Rockadudes, Rockawayers? Rockafarians? That’s the deep thought of the week: we gotta do better than Rockawayites.