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Donut Munching Cops And Their Ticket Quotas!

23 Sep

September 23, 2015

Before I begin, et’s enjoy some fine malt lyrics from House of Pain and their hit Jump Around.

Feelin, funky, amps in the trunk and I got more rhymes
than there’s cops at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop
Sho’ nuff, I got props
From the kids on the Hill plus my mom and my pops

Ah, pure musical genius! So why the musical interlude? (And is it really an interlude if you begin with it? But I digress.) Well, this post is about cops at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop. And of course I got mad props from the kids on the Hill, plus my mom and my pops, yo.

I rarely have run-ins with the po-po. Except for the time I was accused of dealing drugs and run out of Farmingdale I’ve never had a bad police experience. (BTW, that’s a true story. Click here to read my semi-harrowing tale of police intimidation.) But even then, ass-hats that the police were, at least they were doing their jobs. In this case, they were lazy and deliberately gave me a bad ticket to fill a quota and justify their dereliction of duty.

(But I still love you, NYPD! Don’t read this and think I am anti-police! I’m not! It’s just Mayor de Blassio I hate. #onetermmayor)

It was a Saturday a couple of weeks ago. I met Saarah for a quick breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts. Yup, that’s me, the Big Spender. When I pulled up, there was a police car parked right in from of the store. I know, hard to believe, isn’t it? A cop car in front of a donut shop. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would have been if the cops were these guys:

I am a big Sir Stewart Wallace fan

I am a big Sir Stewart Wallace fan

They also happened be parked right next to the muni-meter. I parked right in front of them. I got out of the car and, being the total paranoid kook that I am, glanced at the cops to make sure they were not running my plates to see how many parking tickets I still hadn’t paid. (BTW, the answer is “none.” See how paranoid I am?) But they were just sitting there. One was reading a newspaper, the other was sipping coffee. I didn’t see any donuts but I guarantee the box was sitting on the seat between them and their uniforms were covered with cruller crumbs.

So I saw them, and since I saw them I know they saw me, since I saw them seeing me (I am writing this at 3am, can you tell?) and they saw me put money in the meter and walk back to my car and put the receipt on the dash. I paid for 45 minutes.

I will skip the details of my Dunkin’ Donuts snack, except to mention that I had neither coffee nor donuts.

We went back to the car and the cops were still sitting there. Saarah made a joke about cops and ticket quotas and how hard it is to fill them when you sit around parked eating donuts all day. (I will now take a dramatic pause while you say “Hey! That’s ironic!”)

We walked back to the car with almost ten minutes still left on the meter. I got in the car and almost, but not quite, turned the key when I saw something orange and evil under one of the wiper blades. It was a $35 ticket for not posting the receipt on my dashboard. With a single muttered “%$^&!” (Yes, I said it just like that) I grabbed the receipt off the dashboard, right where the officer claimed it was not, and took two steps toward the still parked police car-

-which pulled away from the curb and drove away.

They saw me. I was right directly in front of them the whole time. They saw me take the ticket off the window. They saw me grab the receipt. They saw me walk toward them. They saw me look like an idiot as I watched them drive away with, I am sure, mocking laughter.

The two officers sat in front of the donut shop for at least 45 minutes doing nothing. They had to show some activity, I guess, so instead of saying that they were sitting around goofing off, they made it look like they were giving out parking tickets. And they were smart about it too. They couldn’t give me a ticket for not paying the meter or running out of time, which the receipt would easily prove false. They gave me a ticket for not displaying it, so it really comes down to my word against theirs.

I already pled not guilty online, and if I have to, I will sit in traffic court all day and make those lazy SOBs appear so I can call them liars to their faces.

Unless I can’t make it that day.


My Review of Saturday Night Fever: The Musical, at Sea

24 Jun

June 24, 2015

It’s well-known that I wasn’t a big fan of the movie Saturday Night Fever. If you asked me about it, I’d go on a rant about what a complete idiot Tony was, and how John Travolta was the perfect idiot for the part. I hated everything about that movie and if you had the misfortune be near me when it came on TV, or if a Bee Gees song came on the radio, or even if you were a total stranger riding the bus and a guy wearing a white suit passed by on the street, you were likely to get an earful from me.

Well, all that changed some years ago. I’ve come to appreciate that movie and yes, I grudgingly admit that it is well-written. But Tony is still an idiot and Travolta still comes off like a jerk. (In real life. In the film he’s an idiot.)

Anyway, I live in the same area they filmed the movie, and if you want to read and hear me talk about it, check out this New York Minute and listen to me on the Flash Pulp podcast.

If you’ve been reading the last couple of Mr. Blog’s Tepid blogs, you’ve read about how I went on a Caribbean cruise and encountered no one but people from Brooklyn. (And some Caribbeans too, but that’s what you’d expect.) The cherry on top was the show they presented: Saturday Night Live, the Musical.


I must point out that the play had the same ratio of speech to song as the movie, so either they are both musicals or they are both not musicals. Either the movie or the play needs to be renamed.

You might find it strange that a Broadway play was staged on a cruise ship. Don’t be. The cruise ship had a very complete Broadway-style stage in the theater, complete with raising and lowering sections of the floor, complex sets, and state-of-the-art lighting and other equipment. In fact, there were only two differences between the ship’s stage and a Broadway theater stage. 1- It was a little smaller 2- Most Broadway stages do not gently sway on the ocean waves

So there I was, watching my Brooklyn neighborhood recreated in the waters off St. Maarten. There was Lenny’s Pizza, where I had ordered a pie from just a week or so before. There was the Verrazano Bridge, which I see from my window every day. There was the dance studio that was turned into a Chinese discount store a few years back that I pass all the time and never go into.

It was weird. If they had recreated the bagel store that I buy coffee from I would have been right at home.

As for the play itself, well, I wasn’t impressed. For example, many of the iconic Bee Gees songs were merely played in the background, and even worse, many weren’t in the show at all. And even worse? Some that were in the play were cover versions! What’s up with that, I ask, in a Brooklyn accent?

A play can’t do what a movie can, so many scenes were cut, or changed, and some of the choices were odd, like giving Bobby C a bigger role than in the film, and giving the DJ at the disco an absolutely huge part that dwarfed Tony and was, in all honesty, the plum role. He had the best lines, had all the fun parts, and even performed to the best song in the whole show, Disco Duck. (NOTE TO BEE GEES FANS: Yes, I know that almost any random Bee Gees song is better than Disco Duck,  but given the shabby way the Bee Gees were treated in this play, Disco Duck was the best song,) And the guy who played Tony onstage was- and this is hard to believe but it’s true- even stupider than Travolta was in the movie. Either the guy deserves an award for his acting or he is the biggest idiot on the planet… or at least on the seas.

disco duck

If you are familiar with Stop the Planet of The Apes, I Want to Get Off, you know pretty much how this play stacked up against the movie.

It was Saturday Night Fever minus some songs, without Tony’s iconic dance (yes, the pointy disco move- not there), and tarted up for the stage. By the time the entire cast came out at the end in sparkly sequined cliché outfits, I was feeling sick, but not from the sea.

They even changed the best line in the film. “He’s the horniest guy in Bay Ridge” became “He’s the biggest hound in town.” OK, maybe that isn’t the best line in the film, but it makes me laugh every time.

Overall, the play lost any of the grit and real feelings the film had, and just hit the highlights and major plot points without any real depth. On the other hand, the bar kept the drinks flowing so the audience was ready to applaud for anything. It would be nitpicky and petty of me to complain too much about a show that I saw, for free, on a cruise in the Caribbean. It would be small and snarky of me when I should instead realize just what a blessing it was to be in that theater, on that amazing ship, in such a beautiful part of the world.

But I am nitpicky and petty, small and snarky, and so I say that the play sucked.


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