I’m madder than a kid in a candy shop without a dime in his pocket over the fact that my column is running on not one, but two competing websites at the same time — and nobody told me about it!
Look, you guys all know that I’m and ink and mortar man, so you can imagine how surprised I was when I learned through e-mails from friends that my weekly screech was appearing in two places at once — and I wasn’t seeing any extra coin!
That’s right, the greatest column in the world was being absconded with by this new “BrooklynDaily.com” — on Saturday nonetheless — stealing the thunder of my beloved “Sunday Screech” on BrooklynPaper.com, which features one of the best logos you’ll ever see with me in a cape, riding atop my trusty scooter, Tornardo.
But when I brought up this disceptioncey with my editors, Vince DiMiceli (at BrooklynDaily) and Gersh Kuntzman (at BrooklynPaper.com), they just brushed it off.
“Carmine,” they said (In unison! We had one of those fancy conference calls going on!) “Your column has got to be in both places, because all our readers love it.” (They must have been working off a script!).
Well, that wasn’t a good enough answer for me, because I think that if they are going to run it twice, I should be paid twice! It’s only fair!
But they explained that, between the two of them, they can’t rub two nickels together!
So they told me if I didn’t want the column in both places (or if I wanted some extra doe-ray-me for its encore appearance), then I should decide where it goes myself.
So I did what any god-fearing columnist would do when faced with such a difficult choice: I flipped a coin!
And you’re not going to believe this, but it landed on it’s side!
Look, the editor of The Brooklyn Paper is an old friend of mine, Gertz Kuntszman, who, many years ago was a guest speaker at my Bensonhurst West End Community Council.
But on the other side of the coin is my new editor at Brooklyn Daily, Vince DiMicili, a very dynamic young guy who has worked side-by-side with Gertz until the Community Newspaper Group took over the two entities and made them part of the New York Post chain.
Now, I don’t have to tell you that both of them are terrific editors, even if they don’t know how to spell their own names, and I wouldn’t have any problems working with either of them.
Vince is my main editor now, and I enjoy working with him, even if he is a bit of a taskmaster, occasionally giving me tough topics to screech about … such as this one.
And Gertz is also great, even though his name reminds me of some kind of x-rated muppet. Heck, I’m sure he has something to do with that awesome logo! Man, I would hate to lose that. It makes me look thin! I want to make up t-shirts with it on it. And a baseball hat. And a cape!
Look, you know as well as anyone that I’m not one to rock the boat, and I certainly don’t want to make my esteemed columnist colleagues jealous of the fact that I am in two places at once. Cripes, I’ve seen Stanley Gershbein angry, and it’s not a pleasant site. And Joanna DelBuono? Not for Nuthin’™, but she might write a disparaging column about me. I also would never want to upset Shavana Abruzzo, or the Dean of Brooklyn Columnists, Lou Powsner (well, it might be OK if I upset one of them, but put them together, and you’ve got a powder keg!).
So I’ve decided that the only reasonable thing I could do is let you, dear reader, decide where you read my column — and on what day — every week online! That’s right, we’re going to do one of those fancy polls like they have on the 6 pm news, where they ask people their opinion on some important matter of the day, then report on how they voted on it.
So take the poll on both websites, and let me know where you think I should go! And everyone is allowed to vote — from old friends, to new readers, to avid fans to, believe it or not, all those new critics out there that can’t stomach the Screecher! (Ouch! You guys hurt! Carmine’s skin is only so thick!).
So take a minute and vote away, and remember, “To be or not to be” was Shakespeare’s contribution to literature. Screeching is mine.
Hey Gertz, don’t stuff the ballot box!
Nows the point in my column where I’m forced to bring you some sad news: Bensonhurst has lost two great community activists these past couple of weeks. First I learned of Sammy Grasso, who helped get the Narrows Verrazano Youth Fields built along Shore Parkway. Sammy was a POW during the big one (World War II) and a strong supporter of our American ideals. When he retired from his insurance business, he volunteered at the VA Hospital for many years. My deepest condolences to his Mary wife and his daughter Debbie and the rest of the Grasso family. Bensonhurst lost a great, great man.
Our second great loss is Adele Michaels: the shock of losing her stunned all those who knew her. Adeline started the Concerned Citizens of Bensonhurst with her husband Charlie. She became very involved with environmental issues and was an avid St. Finbar’s Parishioner and active community activist. She also chaired the environmental committee for the Bensonhurst West End Community Council.
Bensonhurst lost two of its greatest citizens. Sammy and Adeline will be sorely missed. Rest in peace!
Screech at you next week.