By which we parse that parrot cage lining people call "Dan's Papers" (but is really Brown Publishing's Papers, or Jimmy Finkelstein's News Communications Papers) for all its subtext and stupidity. Mostly stupidity
This week Dan was out on Ocean Road in Bridgehampton. He was stretching out along with literally dozens of other runners getting ready to start the 4,000th Annual Potatohampton 5K Mini-thon. Yeah, the 4,000th. It predates the Greek games.
As he was stretching he heard it in the distance. He didn't believe it, but others heard it too. It was the song that intros the entrance of Darth Vader. They were coming. They were here. It was Memorial Day weekend and the fancy cars were cruising down the Montauk Highway stuffed with pretty boys and girls and Prada handbags, and cocktail shakers, and hope, and crazy, faraway daydreams, and painted toenails, and pretty thoughts, and a slave in the trunk to watch the kids while all the pretty boys and girls dance their pretty dances, and shoot their pretty insults at the wait staff, and give pretty answers to all the reporters and photographers trailing after them to capture all the pretty. And it reminded Dan, to call his photog. Because, after all, these people can't be ignored.
But there was no time. Tens of people were lining up to cheer on the runners. The gun went off. Accidentally. Some ran. Some stayed frozen in their places, as though they'd forgotten how to run. But this wasn't going to be like last year, when the pace car designed to guide the runners through the course took a wrong turn and everybody ran straight off a cliff and fell into the bay, no. This was more organized than that.
Except it wasn't. Apparently the digital clock didn't start until a minute into the race, which meant that runners crossing the finish line filled with glee that they'd set a new record had to be told they didn't. They weren't special. They were their usual dull, slow, non-record-setting selves. They wept on the side of the road.
Also, the winner of the women's class was Alexandra Jennings, 29. But really she wasn't. Really she finished second. The winner was Barbara Gubbins, who was accidentally mistaken for a man. After a genetics test revealed Gubbins to be a woman, she was award first place in the Minithon. But last place in life. Also, the cheating, lying, posing Alexandra Jennings (who is now second place, or, the first loser) kept running. She ran past the finish line, across the monument in Bridgehampton, down the Montauk Highway, pumping her fists in victory. She ran and ran, and nobody has told her yet. Nobody has caught up to her to do so. She made the decision that she'd never stop. She'd keep running. And tell everyone she encountered that she'd won first place in the Potatohampton Minithon, and nobody...nobody, could take that away from her. Dan watched the flash of her track shoes disappear around the corner, but there was nothing he could do. At least, he thought, the folding chairs arrived on time. And at least the digital clock counted in seconds, and not years. So that was good, he thought. Then he actually wrote: "Thinking about things profoundly like this every once in a while is good for the soul in my opinion."
Yes, Dan. In fact, it is your profound thoughts that keep us all alive. We're forever grateful. Now get back to organizing next year's Potatohampton MiniFAIL. We can hardly wait.
Just up the street, Susan Galardi was sitting down to write a profile of Madonna without any cooperation, input, or knowledge from...Madonna. The profile was scathing. By which we mean, Galardi didn't intend for it to be scathing, but it is. From this piece we learn that Madonna is a high-maintenance, pouty, horse-snobby, reclusive, fly-by-helicopter, piece of egotistical work. And this was supposed to be a sycophantic, welcome-to-the-neighborhood article? The last sentence really pops in its unintended hilarity. We like to protect our local celebrities.
Unlike Gina Glickman, who likes to stalk our local celebrities and then tell everyone where they were spotted. Also, her friend's lame Led Zeppelin cover-band was playing at Stephen Talk House, so she gave them a fair amount of ink, while waiting to get that all-important invite to something better. We'd like to further recap Glickman's "Whispers," but, well, she whispers, and we couldn't hear it.
Sitting behind Glickman was Sharon Feieriesen. Of the too-many-vowels Feieriesens. She put together a wrap of all the charity benefits being held in the Hamptons this summer. Well, not all the benefits, that would be lunacy. Because every party that's held in the Hamptons is dedicated to some charity or another, how else will they bribe pretty people to show up? Duh. So there's the Annual "Soup Cans for the Ugly" Benefit, the "Summer Without Bad Hair" Benefit, the "Bring Your Dog Everywhere You Can Possibly Go" Benefit, and the "Mad for Meds" Benefit, all which got completely ignored by Feirereideseien. But in development: the "Getting Actual Meaning From a Novel" benefit, whose honoree will be Rebecca Schiller.
Schiller's review of "I'm Ten Years Late To The Chick-Lit Dance" by Diane Meier did not go well. A novel about renovation, forbidden love, personal growth, and the rediscovery of identity, and what did Schiller pull from it? Totally bitchin' decorating tips! Yay, book reviews.
Dan sent his photogs to both New York City and the Hamptons to cover people drinking wine. The highlight was the Einstein Spirit of Achievement Awards. You know, "spirit of achievement" as opposed to "actual achievement." But hey...everybody looked fabulous, and that's all that ever counts.
And there there's David Lion. Who spent the whole week wandering around trying to eavesdrop on conversations for his "20-something" column. He just couldn't come up with one. Then someone suggested they put Jimmy Buffet on the cover of the Montauk Pioneer this week. Someone climbed a tree and got a photo of him eating lunch. Perfect for the cover! And since Dan had already decided on his Monty-Python's-Flying-Circus cover, replete with a large breasted woman with hairy arms in a shower cap flying up from the ocean, while a dog swoops down like deus ex machina to save her from beach balls, this cover would actually be about something. But no. It couldn't be countenanced. The people of Montauk would revolt. They'd take to the streets. Putting a celebrity on the cover! That's crazy-talk! Because, as David explains, people from Montauk, though just as famewhorey and caught up in celebrity as the rest of us, like to pretend they're not, so to see a mega-star like Buffet on the cover would undermine the very tone of Montauk. That's the conversation he had privately with his staff. Then he took that conversation and wrote a "20-something" column about his intention to use that conversation for his "20-something" column.
Which allowed him to concentrate on the body count in this week's Police Blotter. Two, in total, which is probably the highest body count of any Police Blotter to ever appear there. One body washed ashore from Connecticut, and a youngster was killed during a high-speed motorcycle chase from Southampton police. We'd have something funny to say, but there's nothing funny about a 19-year-old girl going off of her fiance's bike while the stupid fiance is trying to outrun the cops because he had something as minor as a suspended license. It's terrible, and the fiance is in deep trouble. But for the rest of the blotter, we learned that people shouldn't own dogs. Because the dogs fight, and then the owners fight. Because everyone involved is unhinged. Dog owners are unhinged, that's what David Lion is saying in this blotter. Also, rich old women get to lay claim to every bench in America. This rule was not honored last week, and the rich old woman went ballistic. However...video please, or it didn't happen. Also, a woman's car was kicked. She can't prove it, but she called the cops anyway. Ah, tax dollars. And another woman in Hampton Bays tried to run off with a cart full of groceries. So basically, women were crazy last week. We'll see how crazy women act this week before we declare an epidemic.
Then of course, Dan got to his Letters. Ah the letters. And they keep pouring in from the Tea Party movement, some of whom aren't sure which convention they should walk into: the Democrats or Republicans. Like little kids trying to ascertain the male/female graphic on the doors of the public restroom, some think Dan is a dopey Democrat, some think he's a dopey Republican. He's only confessing to the dopey part. Then David took a lashing for saying he was half Irish/half Jewish, because for some people Jewish is only a religious identity. David said, And there's Isreal. So, yeah. There's David sticking up for his right to say he's Jewish, and there's Dan sticking up for his right to be a lightning rod for political kooks. There's Gina Glickman rolling her eyes at the staff and waiting for TMZ to call her for a job. Blowing her bangs away from her face.
And there's Alexandra Jennings. Poor Alexandra, running off into the distant sunset of what-could-have been. She's at a job interview in Manhattan, clutching her recently updated resume. In gleaming black ink, like a beacon of achievement, there it states: 1st Place Potatohampton Minithon. And no one has told her yet. And maybe never will. Maybe she'll move up the corporate ranks of that job. Become a manager, a director, straight on to the C-suite, CMO, CFO, eventually CEO. Still running that race, in her mind. Eventually running for President of the United States. Running on the ticket of her success. And then...the truth will come out. Dan will write an article about how he knew her when, and suddenly a storm of controversy will sweep her out of the race. Alexandra Jennings. The liar candidate who lied. The lying candidate who didn't win the Potatohampton Minithon, as was thoroughly documented in the book Unclean To Command: Why Alexandra Jennings Should Never Run For Anything by Babara Gubbins. The Tea Party's first legitimate candidate, undone by Dan. And from then on, the Potatohampton Minithon will be watched. Oh, it'll be watched like a hawk.