The Worst Lottery

16 Nov

from November 18, 2009

Around November 1st you may have been shocked to hear the stunned silence emanating from my little part of Staten Island. OK, so you couldn’t actually hear the silence. Leave me and my imagery alone. We’re happy together.

Around November 1st you may have been shocked to note the absence of sound emanating from my little part of Staten Island. If you were close enough. Otherwise with all the other noise around you probably wouldn’t have noticed any silence, it would all have been drowned out. So this opening didn’t work either.

Around November 1st you would have been shocked, had I told you, at the stunning absence of sound emanating from my little part of Staten Island. Although had I spoken, it would have ruined the silence and thus there’d be nothing for you to be stunned at. I’ll try again.

Around November 1st, had you been particularly attentive to my little part of Staten Island, and had you been paying attention, you may have noted that there was a lack of sound where there had hitherto been sound and, granting that you were extremely close so that no other noise in your vicinity would ruin the effect, then….. uh……where was I? Shit.

Look, let’s all agree that on or around November 1st there was a stunned silence coming from my little part of Staten Island. It is just simpler that way and easier on my keyboard.

How little is my little part of Staten Island? How should I know? What am I, a cartographer? And who needs cartographers anymore anyway? Google Earth is good enough for me. Am I supposed to go out, parchment and stylus in hand, and measure the coastline of Sweden by sextant? Or whatever those old mapmaking guys used? And besides, who needs a map anymore anyway? We’ve all got GPS. So what if it tells you to drive your bus into a snowdrift or navigate your Vespa onto a rural dirt road over a rickety wooden bridge and straight into a swamp? It is the digital age, baby! Cartography went out with Americo Vespucci, Lief Erickson, and Joe Biden’s integrity. Ha ha, a Joe Biden joke. But seriously, the joke’s on us. The man has no integrity.

What the heck am I writing about? Do you know? Did I tell you? Man, my memory is like one of things with all the holes in it, whatchamacallit, an ACORN voter registry. Sieve. I meant sieve.

So on the aforementioned November 1st, of which so much has been made, in my little part of Staten Island that is so little that it is, technically, only room 419 at McKee High School, I was shocked into a stunned silence. Or stunned into a shocked silence, if you prefer. We’ll compromise. I was shocked/stunned into a stunned/shocked silence. See that? How long until loads of parentheses, brackets, and arrows start popping up here like illegal alien Obama relatives in Boston? AM I BITTER MUCH?

I will now, doggedly, stubbornly, with little hope of success, really try to move on with this story,because, dammit, this blog needs real change that we can believe in. © 2008 Obama/Biden ’08.

Fine, no more Obama jokes. (I’ll have plenty of time for that as America burns.) And there’s the first parenthesis!

So on that day which I will not mention for fear of falling back into the same trap, I won the lottery. So to speak.

OK, I didn’t win money, and no, I didn’t win a trip to Hawaii, and no, I didn’t even get a dinner with Ed McMahon (who’d just stiff me for the check anyway. See him in the news lately? The guy has got so much tax trouble he can’t keep his house. I’d think a couple of hi-ohhhhhs and you are correct sirs would net him a couple of bucks on the voice over circuit but I guess not.) but I did get something even more valuable: A. Parking. Permit.

DOE parking permits are rarer than good ideas coming from the Tweed Courthouse. They are kind of like the yeti or the female orgasm. Men talk about them all the time but never actually see them.

Well I got one. The permit I mean, not the female orgasm. The DOE, on orders from Mayor For Life And God Help Us, After All We VOTED For Term Limits. Twice. Michael Bloomberg (AM I BITTER MUCH?) decided that schools would only get a number of permits that equaled the DOE reserved spaces around the school. God forbid anyone needs to go to another school for any reason. That never happens. Anyway, the McKee head custodian went outside and counted the available spots- 10 of them.

What do you think happened?
A- The DOE issued ten permits.
B- The DOE issued two permits.
C- Don’t be stupid, pick B.

One permit, logically, went to a woman with a handicap permit that allowed her to park in a DOE spot anyway. Logically, I mean, for the DOE.

The other permit went up for lottery. Whoever won the lottery would get the permit for the month and believe it or not I won it for November. I’ve never won anything before. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin’ on the porch with my family, singin’ and dancin’ down in Mississippi. SORRY, that was Steve Martin in The Jerk.

To quote a wise man, pimpin’ ain’t easy. And neither is parking around Mckee. Getting the permit was like getting gold. Or at least a golden parking spot. (And that wise man? A wrestler named The Godfather.)

There is just one little catch- there are never any spots where there are supposed to be. The spots are all taken by teachers parking illegally, people from the neighborhood parking illegally, Barack Obama parking illegally- OK, OK, I’m SORRY. I couldn’t stop myself.

So now, on November 17th, I have managed to park around McKee twice. Had I known how useless the parking would be I would have, on the November 1st, broken the stunned and/or shocked silence by laughing hysterically.

The moral of this story? Well, be not a borrower nor a lender be, from Gilligan’s Island, season 3, episode 4, The Producer, is pretty well known. That’s the one where Phil Silvers, as Harold Hecuba, famous Broadway producer, crashes on the island so of course the castaways all try to be in his show. BTW- Ida Lupino directed that one.

So, as Gilligan said, be not a borrower nor a lender be. That’s the moral of my tale.

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