The day the lights went out on Lakeland Ave.

So where was I when it happened? I was in the middle of the Island, on a diner’s rooftop, working on an exhaust fan. The fan next to me started to hum lower, as if another motor turned on on the same circuit, so I paused to look at it. A freezer compressor about 20 feet away from me turned off and on, and I said to myself, “It would be a strange thing to put both those things on the same circuit.” Then I promptly ignored it and went back to work. “Hey! Hey, you up there!” I heard below, but ignored it, since no one could actually see me from the ground due to the height of the facade of the building. I continued to work. “Hey, guy,” I heard in a thick Spanish accent from just behind me. I turned to look, and one of the diner’s cooks had climbed the ladder and was gesturing downwards. “The lights.” Car horns started bleating on Vet’s Highway, below us. “Huh?” I said and followed the cook back down the ladder. Sure enough all the lights were off inside. The owner of the diner sees me and says, “Hey, what did you do?” So for about five seconds, I thought I caused the biggest black-out in the Northeast, or at least the diner-in-Islandia black-out. Then I said, “Nothing. I’m not working on the electricity!” “Oh,” the owner of the diner said, slowly and thoughtfully. “So what happened?” And the rest is all of our collective stories, so you know as much as I do there.

6 rules for every drinking game

On a different site, I elucidated the obligitory six rules that any drinking game should have. Since it reminded me of good times, I decided to post it here as well, dedicated in fondest memories to Beau:

  1. Players cannot say the words “drink,” “drank,” or “drunk.”
  2. Players must ask permission from rest of group to temporarily (as in go to the bathroom) or permanently (as in pass out) leave the game.
  3. No foul or coarse language at the table, please. (Unless the rules of the game stipulate that specific foul or coarse language is appropriate, vis a vis the card game “Asshole.”)
  4. Players cannot call any other members of the group by their first and/or last name. Each player must be referred to by a nickname that does not include, or is an abbreviation of, their real names.
  5. No finger pointing.
  6. Any disputed breach of these rules and the rules of the game, proper, shall be decided by all members not involved in the dispute, henceforth known as the “kangaroo court.”
  7. There is no rule seven.

Dirty, lowlife license plate thief

What is this world coming to? Even hoodlums don’t know the rules anymore. It used to be, in my day, when you needed to steal a license plate, you only stole the front plate. This way, the person whom you stole the plate from wouldn’t notice for weeks that a plate was missing, and therefore wouldn’t report it, and you could go on your merry way with the stolen plate on the back of your unregistered vehicle. That’s the way we did it when we were young, dammit! But just two weeks ago, what happens? My girlfriend’s plates are stolen from her new car — both plates! We see the car in the parking lot, and an eagle-eyed friend notices the plates are gone, so we call the police who file a report. So what did the thief get away with? Nothing! It wasn’t vandalism, since the car was not marked up in any other way. It was just stupid, because now the plates are worthless. And just in case you see New York plates with the number ALL 7111, feel free to beat the perp… I mean, driver, about the head with the dumb stick, ’cause he’s probably used to it by now.