What the El! Train tracks attack Carmine!

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I’m madder than Beau Brummel in a polyester leisure suit with Payless shoes over the fact that my arch nemesis — that stupid elevated train over 86th Street in Bensonhurst — is continuing to do what pounds of bacon, loaves of bread, yards of chocolate, and other mass quantities of food cannot — kill me.

Look, you all know the ol’Screecher got his nickname because of my screeching about the screeching wheels on that godforsaken train way back in the 1970s when I moved into my palace at the Harway Terrace and realized that those darn things make so much noise I couldn’t sleep at night.

And I don’t need to tell you that since I started hootin’ and hollerin’ about its various states of disrepair, it has gone on the defensive, repeatedly trying to put me out of my misery by dropping chunks of metal on my noggin’ as I walk — or, more likely, ride my trusty steed Tornado — underneath.

Folks, it is happening more and more, and, last week, it happened again.

Now, I know what you are thinking: “Carmine, for goodness sake, of course you’re the one who is going to get hit by things as you walk beneath the train, because you are the biggest target.”

To this I answer “Right.” But that doesn’t make it right.

The latest case in point was on May 12 at exactly 2:16 pm. I was sitting in the my car at on the corner of 86th and Bay 31 street minding everybody else’s business when a Coney Island-bound train passed overhead.

Now, by now I’m so used to hearing that loud train roar overhead so much that it doesn’t even bother me in the slightest except when I start to think about it, but I almost had a heart attack when I heard a BANG! on the roof of my car that scared the bejeezus out of me. Apparently, that train had jostled loose an old rusted piece of the El that ended up splattering junk around the perimeter of my car. There was even rust dust on my windshield!

So I used one of my seven cellphones an immediately called the MTA complaint department which, and I don’t need to tell you this but I will anyway, I have on speed dial (and by speed dial, I mean I called the district manager of Community Board 11, who actually had the number on speed dial. He even free-mailed the complaint to them for me). When I got through, they took down all the information and said they’d get back to me, which took an unconscionable two days (Not for me to tell them what happened, that only took two hours. For them to get back to me. Get it?).

When they finally got back to me two days later, I told them I didn’t think my car was damaged, but I wanted them to immediately investigate the El structure that obviously was falling apart. They said they’d see what they could do, which left me thinking they wouldn’t be doing nothing.

But lo and behold, I got a call from the MTA’s Iron Division the very next afternoon, and we set up an appointment for the next afternoon.

When we got together, I explained what happened and he said rusted pieces fall off the El all the time.

Of course, that statement enraged me.

The inspector then went to check my car’s damage and said there wasn’t any, again trying to act nonchalant, repeating “It happens all the time!”

So I says “That’s why I called it in, so you can investigate to see if they’re are other potential bombs ready to hit somebody or car. What would have happened if it nailed somebody in the head?”

“It happens all the time,” he said.

So that’s when I pulled rank, because obviously this guy didn’t know who he was talking to.

I proceeded to hand him one of my Big Screecher cards before giving him a little history lesson on what’s wrong with that train line, ending it with “Why don’t you ask your boss Tom Pendergast?”

And with the mention of that name, grabbed his camera went back to the car taking multiple shots and securing more of the debris from the windshield. I opened the car and told him where to find the inch-long rusted iron piece that Sharon found when I asked her to check out the car. He found it.

Letting him out of the lot, directing him to the danger zone in front of 2220 86th St. I wonder if he’ll call me back with his findings before we go to press?

Well, you can find out by attending the next Bensonhurst West End Community Council OPEN Community Meeting on Thursday May 29 at Harway Terrace Community Room. E-mail for more info.

Screech at you next week!

Read Carmine's screech every Sunday for the rest of your life on, because he will outlive you. E-mail him at
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Reasonable discourse

Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Man driving car complains about the subway.
May 25, 2014, 5:38 am
Leo from Staten Island says:
Jim from CObble Hill should get a life or end it by sleeping underneath the els.
May 25, 2014, 8:30 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
If "Carmie" were worth defending, you would have defended him, and not attacked his detractors.

Only boomers, Staten suburbanites, and transplants call it an "el" Us regular Born and raised Brooklynites, who have no need for cars and driveways like you suburbanites do, we never say "el" because we already have an L train. We say that so no one gets confused.

Just go down to Boca already and wait for the prostate cancer to kick in.
May 26, 2014, 10:09 am
pookie da lion from slip slope says:
Jimbo - been here since I was born almost 60 years ago and you maybe the only one who does not call it an el. My parents and older relatives (all from Brooklyn) called it an el re 5th ave, myrtle ave el etc. If you get confused between the el and l train well that is another story. Mazel tove!Tor
May 26, 2014, 2:01 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
So much belly button lint-so little time. It happens and we all have to deal with it sooner or later, Jim.
Pardon mr for bringing this to you attention.
John Wasserman
May 27, 2014, 11:49 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Hey Pookie.... I'll bet you have a driveway where you live.
June 5, 2014, 1:17 am

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