I’m madder than the loving Italian grandfather who was snubbed by his 10 grandchildren who were too busy with their play dates, soccer practice, ballet, piano lessons, gluten-free cooking classes, and — no wait — too busy playing on their iPads to pay attention to their patriarch at his 77th birthday over the fact that kids don’t pay attention to me anymore because I’m too boring.
Look, you all know that kids today — especially those teenagers — are only interested in things that blink, blip, or buzz, and the skin and bones part of me does none of those things.
But you would also think that since I’m whizzin’ around on my trusty steed Tornado, I’d get the lion’s share of attention at any get together, because I can take kids for a ride on my handlebars.
Unfortunately, the fact is that is not the case. The only way I get any attention at these gatherings is if I do one of two things:
1) Smash their iPhone on the ground; 2) Send them a text message; 3) Run them over with Tornado.
So the only thing I can do that is considered un-grandfatherly is text message them, but my thumbs have gotten too big over the years to hit those tiny keys.
The only good part about it is those kids are so busy texting that they forget to eat the birthday cake, and — you guessed it — that leaves more for me!
Fortunately, not all kids are like that. As you know, I tend to exaggerate things in this column for effect, and my grand kids are, in fact, the best in the world.
And let me tell you about another example of the apple falling not far from the tree.
For many years, Sharyn and Annye Cohen have contributed their time to bring comfort and help those less fortunate.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Carmine, have your fingers gotten too fat to type? What’s with all those “ys” in their names?”
Well, to answer your query, “No.” I can still type. The reason those “ys” are there is because these two say “yes” to anyone who needs their help.
They live in my building and when I was a mailman, Sharyn’s office was on my route. When Annye worked for Disney, she used her employee discount to purchase toys for this jolly Santa to give out to the needy kids.
So when I heard that they were collecting soap, shampoo, and individual toiletries you find in the better hotels, I gave them my collection from Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal.
Again, I know what you are thinking: “Screecher, don’t tell us that you’re one of those people who cleans out the hotel, and then uses the soap when you get home.”
To answer that the answer is an emphatic “no!” Look, my lovely wife Sharon keeps an ample supply of Head and Shoulders in the Santa Maria pad, so all the stuff I take home ends up in my drunk drawer with my Kodak Disc camera!
And when Annye and Sharyn came calling, I just dumped the stuff right in their bag.
You want to know how wonderful these people are? Well, I won’t even mention their “Adopt-a-Senior” program that brings gifts to seniors during the holidays, or the fact that they now have “adopted” an entire platoon in Afghanistan.
As if that isn’t enough they even spend a couple of nights a week teaching the Kateri residents how to use the computer, with the Google and all that.
Now look, these are the types of deeds that generally go unnoticed. But it is these small acts of kindness — which are within the reach of all of us — that slowly change the world.
Six years ago, Annye and Sharyn were looking for yet another cause to which they could contribute their time. That was when they discovered the Dwelling Place, a homeless shelter in midtown New York for single women. This shelter provides women with a place to stay and teaches them job skills so that they can eventually get back on their feet. Annye and Sharyn joined its gala committee to work on the annual fund-raiser for the organization five years ago, and last year the mother-daughter team helped raise more than $40,000.
Those guys over at NY1 got wind of their work last year and named them the “New Yorkers of the Week” in December. That puts them in good company, because I too was NY1’s New Yorker of the Week, but I can’t remember when.
This year the Dwelling Place will celebrate its 35th year and Annye and Sharyn are planning an October gala designated to raise more money than ever before.
If you would like info on purchasing tickets for, or contributing to the 35th Anniversary Gala for the Dwelling Place that takes place on Oct. 18 call (212) 564–7887 or better still go on the line and visit www.thedwellingplaceofny.org.
Seek out Annye and Sharyn and tell them the Big Screecher sent you!
Screech at you next week!
Read Carmine every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail him at [email protected]!