"Put your little hand in mine/There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb...
OK campers! Rise and shine, and don't forget your booties, cuz' it's coooolld out there today! It's cold out there every day, what is this Miami Beach?"
This week Dan was short-staffed. David Lion kept running around the newsroom waving a No. 2 pencil in the air, swearing that he'd snapped it in half the night before. And now, having written the same exact Police Blotter as the May 7 issue, he was convinced he was having the same day over and over. Ned Ryerson, an old acquaintance from high school, Needlenose Ned, Ned the Head, kept running up to him on Main St. in East Hampton.
"Don't tell me you don't remember him, dad, cause he sure as heckfire remembers you!" Lion said.
But Dan knew the boy must be reeling from the effects of living beneath telephone lines his whole life. 'Imagine life without telephone poles' Dan thought. Gnom, gnom, gnom... Then he went back to Googling himself to find out what sort of nasty things were being said about him and his bankrupt newspaper. "I'm not gonna live by their rules any more..." he heard Lion mutter to himself before he headed out of the office. 'The boy's unhinged,' he thought. No matter.
The Southampton Press reports inaccurately and their commenters are all doo-doo heads, Dan wrote in his splash article "Eavesdropping." It was a re-post of all the hatred and celebration the commenters at 27East.com were unleashing upon news of the coming demise of Brown Publishing's Papers. But they would have no such satisfaction today. No sir. Brown Publishing's Papers is celebrating their 50th and nobody is going to crash that party. They're here to stay! The office rejoiced. Dan rejoiced. David Lion kidnapped a groundhog and drove off a cliff. Edward R. Murrow rattled his chains and moaned. The flames tickled his elbows.
But there was work to be done. Blond sock-puppet and News12 famehound Gina Glickman had to schlep all the way out to Tribeca for a story on the film festival. Unlike the glorified YouTube channel known as the Hamptons Film Festival, this one's real. And full of celebrities! So Glickman simply had to be there. And had to insert herself into the writing as much as possible without making people wonder if she was even there. It's a technique that crosses over to her "hit" series on News12 Long Island, "Stalker In The Hamptons," or whatever. Most viewers who watch that show, or read her columns think the important part is what the celebrities are saying, or what they're in attendance for. Perhaps even what they're promoting. Nuh-uh. No way. What's important is that we all know Gina Glickman actually, really spoke to these people! In person! She even stood next to them! And danced at their parties! Maybe even one will ask her on a date! Oh Gina, don't you know that your columns are the destroyer of worlds?
Anyway, back at the top of the cliff, David Lion clawed his way up the steep incline and sniffled. He coughed. Then he hurried back to the newsroom to write about his snifflecough and see if it appeared again in Brown Publishing's Papers. It did! Why is this happening?! he screamed. Then he figured since there's no tomorrow, he might as well write a column telling fat and ugly people to suck it up and lose weight or quit their bitching and leave the Hamptons for good. That also appeared in the newspaper. He covered his ears. He couldn't stop that polka that kept playing in his head. Strike up the music/the band has begun/the Pennsylvania Polka...
Dan strode past his son and shook his head. Then he sat down to answer a cease and desist letter from the State of New Jersey. "Stop claiming Jon Bon Jovi," the letter stated. Never. He'd never relent. He'd never give up Jon Bon Jovi. He's from East Hampton and I don't care what anyone says, he wrote back. Then he counted Madonna's bushes and put that in his South O' the Highway column. Marcia Gay Harden is going to act again! And in a show about the Hamptons! She hasn't done that since Pollack. Also, Sarah Jessica Parker is treating Sex and the City 2 like it's a matter of national security, shooting fake scenes, and threatening cast and crew members with things she has no legal authority to enforce, and kidnapping everyone's moms until the movie comes out, because when this movie comes out everyone needs to be mutually shocked and mystified by its complex and enigmatic ending. "There's simply too much at stake. If people get any sort of sneak peak at this vapid apologia for self-aggrandisement and entitlement, grandma will simply have to die," she said. Also, Joy Behar ate. Alec Baldwin did Alec Baldwin stuff. Steven Spielberg needed to take media blackout tips from Sarah Jessica Parker, and Christie Brinkley totally didn't slide into the operator's chair for a quick face-change when her daughter went under the knife to stop looking like her father. Come on, you know she did. All in all, the column was its usual success at linking people who call the Hamptons their 4th home.
Then Dan tossed out New Jersey's playa-hatin' letter, only to reveal beneath it more hate-mail from Patchogue. "Damn, son," he yelled, "all these places are gettin' all up in ma grill, like furreals, son, don't be drinkin' that hatorade, Patchogue, I love my homies in the gitto, don't be skerred." Patchogue wants Brown Publishing's Papers to know that they're not friends. Well, they won't be friends until Dan takes back all the mean things he's said about Patchogue. Like completely ignoring their press releases because Alec Baldwin wasn't going to be there. And for saying Patchogue is stabby and likes to stab immigrants, so they're immigrant stabby. So Dan apologized, with his fingers crossed behind his back. Good thing Pete Lutz wrote in to Dan while high on blood thinners to brighten Dan's day! Yay, Pete's back. And he's laying in a hospital bed with a "tempter" wiggling her hips in front of him, but the fat, ugly nurses keep coming in to take his tempter and he wants out! Also Times Square has a bomber, the fishing industry is oily, he needs all sorts of work done on his house and no poors to do it, the earth is always turning, stewardesses aren't RN's anymore and can't get any guys but fat ones, and they only speak one language, and the damn rich people are moaning about sex offenders when they should be getting them jobs. Ahhhh! he yelled.
"Ahhhh!" David Lion yelled back. He was still covering his ears.
"Can you all keep it down!" TJ Clemente screamed. He was trying to finish his article on ticks. There's just so many ticks in the Hamptons. This is true. And there's just so much Lymes Disease. Everyone has it. It's like a rite of passage now. We don't have Lymes Disease, and when we get pulled over by cops in East Hampton they know we're not from there. Oh, there's just too much Lymes Disease everywhere you go in the Hamptons.
So there was Dan, answering his mail. There was TJ pulling a Lymesy tick off his arm. And there was Gina Glickman, twirling her hair with the end of her pencil. It's what pencils are made for. She rested her chin on her hand and stared dreamy-eyed into the photo of Puff Daddy. Why won't he return my calls? she wondered. Didn't he get the joke when I pinned that doll with the severed head under his windshield wiper? I thought it was funny. He did too, I'm sure. He's just busy planning his white party. Hmmm. What should I wear to his white party?
And then there was Pete Lutz. Poor, forgotten Pete Lutz. The patterns on the ceiling above him were conspiring to strangle him with his IV tubes. He knew it. Plus, the jello had long since stopped asking permission from the carrots for everything it did. And his sheets are being lazy again. The whole world is gone to hell, he thought. It's like you can't even be a giraffe anymore.