Carmine slams Mayor Bloomberg's Big Gulp ban

The Screecher enjoys a Cyclones game — especially the fast food!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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I madder than me when my lovely wife Sharon scolds me for eating seconds (and thirds, and fourths, and fifths) at dinner time over the fact that our mayor wants to tell me how big of a soda I can slurp down in one sitting.

Look, you all know that the ol’Screecher has had his share of sugary beverages in his 77 years on this planet, and it didn’t seem to affect me negatively in the least. And I’ll tell you this, I enjoyed every last drop of every one of them.

Sure, I put on some weight over the years, to the point that I need a scooter to get around because my legs would rather not carry my now super-sized frame, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be allowed to buy the biggest bucket of 7-Up that the restaurant around the corner knows I’m craving.

And today’s technology lets me live my life as if I was a 16-year-old working the pools at Raven Hall. Look, I don’t need to remind you that my best friend, my trusty scooter Tornado, has no problem carrying me to places like Coney Island, where I can take in Cyclones game with Sharon, my kids, and my beloved grand kids.

Sure, I wasn’t able to throw out the first pitch — as I had been invited to do, being me and all — because to get onto the field, I had to go down a four-inch step, and I haven’t taught Tornado how to negotiate such a steep drop yet.

But that didn’t stop me from having fun with my family at the old ball yard.

Look, the Cyclones was celebrating Bensonhurst’s 350th birthday, so of course they invited me (because, thanks partly to my love of sugary drinks and my weekly column, I’m the biggest thing in the Hurst) and the whole brood down to celebrate and have as much fun at Coney since I went there as a wide-eyed, pop-drinking 7-year-old.

Now’s the point in the column where I tell you about the great time I had at the ball park, and list all the things I ate. But first, I want you to know that an evening of fun at a Cyclones game gets the Screecher’s seal of approval. There is a beautiful breeze coming from the Atlantic, the razzle-dazzle of the cheering crowd, and all the goodies hawked throughout the park were there was enough fast food to fulfill any appetite, including mine. There’s Nathan’s Famous to Gabila’s knishes, cotton candy to fries made the French way, popcorn, ice cream, ices, frozen drinks, beer, hamburgers, chicken tenders, fresh lemonade, custard, Cracker Jacks, loaded fries, peanuts, pretzels, nachos, fried dough, and anything that could have been devoured in all of Coney’s amusement area. We wafted the tantalizing aromas of all this unhealthy fast food, and worried that His Honor the Mayor will put his 670 billion cents into abolishing our pleasure of eating whatever we want!

Well, here’s my two cents on that: you know, Mr. Mayor, most New Yorkers can not afford to have their vehicle pre-cooled by an air conditioner borrowed from City Hall and some families have to buy the largest size drink to quench all of their kids thirsts to cool off. Not everybody is as fortunate as you. So lighten up and live and let live!

Now, back to the ball game. This was the first time Sharon had been to a Cyclones game because like me, she is not an baseball devotee. But she still had the time of her life, and why shouldn’t she? We were surrounded by family and friends, we had our son Carl and his wife Lori and our grandchildren, Jake, Cassandra, Dean, and my daughter Dana and son-in-law Michael and grandchildren Alexa, Michael, and Vanessa with by my sister Jennie and brother-in-law Leo Vento, with their daughter Barbara and son-in-law Billy Castellano and their son Michael and daughter Jenna. My son-in-law’s sister Joanne and hubby John Carbonaro came with their daughter Lauren, who is part of the cousins club that Jenna and Alexa belong to, with cousin Marie that couldn’t make it. But these three beautiful teenagers laughed, giggled, and flirted the entire game. They were the first to run down to the field level to dance, catch the throw-a-ways from the King Henry and his troops of comic characters, or balls from the players. Oh, yes, there was a tight ball game going on in between all the audience activities and festivities.

All I could swear to was that everyone that came on my behalf had a wonderful time and glad they came. I do want to thank all of you that came and honored me with your presence. So you others, give your family and yourself a treat go and enjoy a Brooklyn Cyclones ball game and support Brooklyn’s own ball team. Sharon did and she loved it!

Screech at you next week!

Read Carmine every Sunday on E-mail him at

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Reader Feedback

Dave from Park Slope says:
Is this reverse psychology? Or is having a guy too fat to walk arguing against Bloomberg's soda ban just the Brooklyn Paper's idea of parody?
July 29, 2012, 7:34 am
day late from dollar short says:
What a timely column!
July 29, 2012, 11 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The idea of this ban has got to be the dumbest way to stop obesity. What if obesity continues after this ban? What will be the next scapegoat here? All of this claim for health on outlawing in what is claiming to be unhealthy will just become nothing more than a slippery slope. If someone wants to drink a large sized soda, they should have every right to do so. I am so tired of health food fanatics telling us what we can or cannot have. It's not as if anyone is forcing you to have them, so quit trying to ban something just because a select group doesn't like them. There are many foods and drinks that I don't like, but you don't hear me calling for a ban on them. Doing this is just going to drive out a lot of businesses, and they will probably leave the city because of such bans if such sizes makes up their profits. For the record, I do NOT represent any soda companies in any way or form by saying this.
July 29, 2012, 11:42 am
ty from pps says:
Tal - The dumbest thing is your mom letting you use the internet.
July 29, 2012, 2:14 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, you need to go back on the chill pills your doctor told you take whenever you decide to break out such hostilities.
July 29, 2012, 2:40 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- I'm offended by your comments. I'm going to sue you.
July 29, 2012, 4:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, the reason I have been against such a ban is because I never saw it as being productive. How does denying such a size help curb obesity? In reality, obesity is a complex issue that can't be caused by one particular food or beverage. If getting rid of trans fats didn't help, then I don't see what getting rid of large sizes for regular sodas would do. If I had enough soda, I would rather let me stomach tell me that I am done, not a group of health food fanatics like Bloomberg himself. Overall, if you don't like to get big sizes for soda, then just don't, because nobody is forcing you to do so. Even if the soda companies are funding the opposition, it's not cheap to stand up to this wrong that Bloomberg wants.
July 29, 2012, 6:40 pm
VFBirkin from Ditmas Park says:
Nonsense. All the boys say my slender, post modern booty has just the right tightness, try me and you'll never go back to women again.
July 29, 2012, 8:32 pm
SkyRoller from WrightHair says:
Soda ban, candy ban, wow, Sammy would be shocked, and I mean that.

This week's BackGroundMusic:
July 29, 2012, 8:40 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- You're seriously dumb. I wish you weren't. I wish you could listen to yourself and have a small capacity for critical self-reflection.

What are you basing you comments on? "getting rid of trans fats didn't help"

What about the smoking ban? Did restaurants, bars and clubs all close? Did they all lose millions in revenue like they said they would? Folks are still getting lung cancer, so that didn't help, right?

You should think about moving out of your dad's basement.
July 30, 2012, 6:47 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, you tend to miss the point, and my guess is that you don't get a lot of oxygen to your brain. My point is to stop looking for a scapegoat on the claim of health. In reality, there is no magic bullet to this issue. The truth is that one can get obese and hardly ever have any soda, and last time I checked, such a thing is possible. Unlike tobacco and its associates, it's actually easier to get off of soda and other sugary drinks, because they don't have any major chemicals that cause for addictions. As long as people can get a good work out, it won't matter what you eat as long as it's in moderation. I am sure nobody wants speakeasies forming if more foods or drinks are banned because the health food fanatics say so.
July 30, 2012, 1:58 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Like I said, it's a shame you're not actually smart.
July 30, 2012, 2:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I know you work for Bloomberg, ty, plus you were actually describing yourself.
July 30, 2012, 3:01 pm
ty from pps says:
I work for Bloomberg?

Tal - I know you live in your dad's basement, plus you're dumb.
July 30, 2012, 3:02 pm
VFBirkin from Ditmas Park says:
Pay attention to me! Pay attention to me!
July 30, 2012, 3:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How about this? If there is a reason for the ban, I would to hear it? However, I would like to hear real facts, and not something that happens to be Bloomberg-funded or even said by his cronies who bow down to him a lot. Most of those who want such foods or drinks that they don't personally like just give excuses rather than reasons to have them banned. What did annoy me about supporters is that they cried foul whenever there were those who advertised against the ban on giving sodas at large sizes when they were pretty much silent when Bloomberg and his cronies were advertising for it. Let's not forget that if one group can express on TV on they feel, then so does the other.
July 30, 2012, 3:49 pm
ty from pps says:
How about this... go help your dad or mom with the housework. You should at least earn your keep if you're going to use their internet.
July 30, 2012, 4:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I already do that ty. Either way, I have still yet to hear from you why the ban on large sizes for soda is good. As usual, I hear nothing but excuses that I can easily debunk. Still, the outcry on the claim on NYC Beverages for promoting their views on TV or even at movie theaters are nothing but a double standard on Bloomberg and his cronies for promoting their views. Then again, forget it Jake, it's ty from pps, and he will never understand the truth of the matter, but resort to personal attacks instead.
July 30, 2012, 7:40 pm
ty from pps says:
Yes, Tal. You're really good a debunking things. You're a debunking master. It's amazing to watch you debunk.
July 30, 2012, 8:36 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Column Comments = This is why we can't have nice things.

Way to go Carmine... a day late and a dollar short as always. At least there was no mention of cucumber soda. Please drink all the soda you can... mix it with vodka and stuff some pizza down there... because I am very much looking forward to your final column and anything that gets that here more quickly, so much the better.
July 31, 2012, 10:41 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
There are so many other sugary drinks out there, but there is no plan to ban large sizes for them. The reason I am against this ban is also because it uses selective outrage here. Why is it just normal sodas that are being singled out here, but not the rest? If you don't want a large size for a soda, then just simply don't get it. This is sort of like the sexists who constantly attack the WNBA when they don't even have to watch it let alone discuss about it. It's all fun 'n' games until they go after something that you like.
Aug. 1, 2012, 7:17 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Have you been drinking or were you hit by another golf ball?

What sugary drinks do you think are exempt from the large-size ban in restaurant/snack bar settings? (You could really *debunk* yourself really easily...)
Aug. 1, 2012, 9:47 pm
Tall Baricrazy from Unpleasantville, NY says:
Just because I am a fat tub of goo that lives in his mother's basement doesn't mean that I don't have a valid opinion. The Bloomberg law speaks of Big Brother and I would thought that all you streetsblogger zealouts would be on my side for this.
Aug. 16, 2012, 8:35 pm

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