Brought Back By The P Word


Costume Party Planned

I found myself deep in a rather enjoyable hiatus, both from music and from writing, when my personal assistant, Alf, narrated an alarming email from Kevin Boyle. Emails from Kevin are never welcome in my inbox, due to the fact that I bailed on The Rockaway Times, mid-contract, sometime last fall. The email was succinct:

 Bert Sanders, You need to get back to Rockaway. The Rockaway Times is now the official sponsor of Poseidon’s Parade. It’s time to get back to work. Stop being a bum, Kevin Boyle.

I knew right then and there that it was time to return to my post. I could bail on local news big wigs without a hinge of regret, but I could never, ever, turn my back on the Vicious Freaks that make up The Rockaway Mermaid Brigade. They needed me, and in hindsight, I probably needed them. So, I put down my book, “Escape From Bellevue: A Dive Bar Odyssey,” by Christopher Campion (from which I learned the term, “Vicious Freaks”) and had Alf set the sails towards Rockaway Times headquarters.  Since I was only at the Ruffle Bar in Jamaica Bay, I was back to work in eight minutes.

I ditched the office, dusted off my notebook and set out to meet with the brigade. I got as far as Caracas and decided to take a break. Alexis poured me an ice-cold beer and I started mingling at the colorful tables. I was holding court with some ferry people, when Alexis politely informed me that there was a problem with my card. “I spoke with The Rockaway Times, and they don’t issue corporate cards to deadbeat writers anymore,” she whispered in my ear. I began to prepare an exit strategy when I noticed a flyer.

“MERMAID COSTUME EXCHANGE. CARACAS. AUG. 22, 5 p.m.” My journalistic instincts were still intact. I found what I was looking for. I headed to the Butler house to find Casey, the Queen of the Brigade. As I approached, dozens of cats and raccoons scattered away and Casey answered the door. She and Geoff had all the juice, both literally and figuratively. After they showed me their newest trophy, “The NY1 Choice Award” from the 2019 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, they got down to business.

On August 22 at 5 p.m., The Rockaway Mermaid Brigade is having a costume exchange party at Caracas. The event invites mermaids to bring old costumes, and mingle with like-minded aquatic maniacs. The Brigade has boxes of old costumes and material on display, and some of the seasoned seamstresses will be helping people come up with ideas and themes for their parade costumes. It is a family-friendly event that will help get the community brainstorming for the big parade.

Poseidon’s Parade is on September 21. I will be meeting with seasoned mermaids throughout the summer to provide Times’ readers with relevant information, taboo tidbits, unusual updates, and mandatory mermaid matters. The brigade is confident that this year’s parade will include more bars, blocks, bands, and beach beauties than ever before.