Breaking

Boyleing Points
Typography

Well, that backfired. Writers are a needy bunch and are desperate for feedback (as long as it’s standing ovation).

After last week’s column, I got the exact kinda feedback I didn’t want. First, let me say, I usually forget what’s in my column until somebody reminds me on Thursday or Friday, well after the paper has hit the street.

So last Friday, I woke with full amnesia about what was in my column. The official beach opening was scheduled, so I went to the boardwalk to check out the protesters who were miffed about the last-minute decision by the Parks Department to close 11 blocks of beach. I barely got off my bike before I got a big, and very long, sustained, hug. He had dark shades on but I knew it was a Courtney. Those Courtneys will keep hugging until you’re sufficiently freaked out.

I basically died. I still have the willies.

As the hug dragged on, I realized, this is Rockaway, where ball-busting is the favorite pastime. Yeah, volleyball and surfing are popular, but you’ve gotta be at least marginally athletic to try those. Busting them, is the real number one sport, and it’s open to all. And probably the one the Parks Department can’t put a damper on. And here I was, getting busted on by a true master. 

You see, my column was about hugging and how I have a hard time with it. So starting with Mike Courtney, I got feedback. Too much. I tried to high five and fist bump but huggers weren’t having it. A line started to form...

I finally caught a break when a team of professional ball-breakers marched through the Opening Day ceremonies as a funeral procession, marking the death of eleven beaches. See, there’s an art to breaking chops. There’s nothing wrong with yelling and holding up signs to protest but if you’re gonna get noticed, if you’re going to break chops and you want to make an impression, you go full Rockaway. You dress the part and bring along a bagpiper. 

The Parks Commissioner tried ignoring the brouhaha, but the ball-breakers owned the day. The poor Commissioner, he looked like he needed a hug.

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