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Anchor Men

I was out on a boat with four Captain Queegs last week, though only one knew how to sail. He could boast about that but the others were his equal or worse when it came to screaming paranoia, outsized delusion, and general insanity. Of course, I’m talking about my brothers. One of those brothers will be pleased, no matter what, because he appears in this week’s column. He says it’s the only reason to read Boyleing Points—if he’s in it or can take claim for that week’s topic. He’s often mistaken. I once wrote about George Clooney and Brad Pitt without mentioning their names and this brother bought...

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Mean Genes

Death and taxes, I get it. The only guarantees in life. But the death part seems a little less definite. I mean you’re gonna die but some part of you just doesn’t believe it. You wake up every day. You’re still here. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different outcome—then what about the thought of dying? I keep thinking about it, but it doesn’t happen, so I must be insane.   Which reminds me of that crazy kid’s prayer they taught you back in the days of the lava lamp. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take…what the hell? You’re...

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Truth Bombs

I was gonna write about waking up on the wrong side of the Roman candle because I don’t believe in fireworks after midnight.  But I’m not gonna write about that, I’m just sayin’. I’m all for the bombs bursting in air and the rockets’ red glare on the 4th of July but I’m not looking for proof through the night that the flag is still there when the calendar says it’s the 5th of July. Hey, I know, I’m a dud and I should just turn up the white noise machine. But c’mon, turn it down for the puppies. Poor dogs get scared and quake and quiver and many canines have told me that explosions after midnight...

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It Was Time

The Rockaway Times is five. We launched this sucker five years ago this week and I can’t decide if it feels like five or fifty.  It really started out as a mess. We had a typo before we even published our first edition.  The day before the paper launched, the big, beautiful Rockaway Times sign was hung on the front of our store. (We occupied the booth, current home of Belle Rock car service, at the time).  It looked great except for the missing “a.” The sign said Rockway, not Rockaway. “Take it down!” I shouted in panic. They fixed it and put it back up and all was good. We decided to add an...

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On The Road Again

With technology, you get a lot of new normal. And I’m sorry to share. I recently drove down to North Carolina because I’m a servant of the son who shall remain nameless. I was going to get some crap he left behind. He was shy about having a Hazmat team go in and clean out his apartment so he called me. To start, I hate NYC driving. I hate Rockaway driving, in particular, but I don’t mind getting on the open highway once in a blue. On long trips— I think that means anything longer than two hours— I used to want to set records. If it was a two-hour trip to the Poconos, I’d want to make it there...

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Always A Bright Side

Memorial Day weekend was like mid-summer. There was no easing into the season, no dress rehearsal. Ferries overflowed, stores ran out of ice, and lines formed at some places like they were handing out hundred dollar bills. The Propane King was like an overworked EMT, saving barbecues everywhere. It helps us feel better when we tell DFDs to pick up their garbage, to respect others’ space on the beach (easy on the loud radios!) and to drive safely and park legally. We write columns and letters to the editor. We go on Facebook and Twitter and decry the behaviors of the bad DFD. It doesn’t do any...

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Our Town

This column’s a lot easier when someone else writes it for me. Think I’m bad for skipping a week or several? My brother’s got the right idea, he writes every fifteen or twenty years. This is a reprint of a letter we just came across. You don’t have to know the names of the people he mentions. If you love Rockaway, you’ll get it.  And who knows, your tear ducts might get a work out. ****  This is a love letter to a small town between the green ocean and the tranquil bay and is filled with everyday saints who don’t know they’re holy and would laugh if you told them they were. Peggy, my darling...

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Clothes That Rhyme

As you know, I like stating the obvious. I think the fact that I can spell subtle is about as subtle as I get. And the obvious point I’d like to make is that I’m no sophisticate. I don’t like opera but I have a friend who does. Does that count? Anyway, the basics: my palate can’t tell the difference between Dom Perignon and Cold Duck. I like Ragu and have never called Italian sauce, gravy. Pigs in a blanket over sushi any day of the week. I don’t know my tailor by his first name—although I think his last name is Modell.  I did see some top 10 list article about how to be sophisticated and I...

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Mommy and Daddy Dearest

In last week’s RT we suggested you give a listen to This American Life, a weekly radio show on NPR and also available as a podcast. I know some of you ancients don’t know what a podcast is but I’m telling you, branch out, get crazy, try it. It’s an audible thing, ya know, like a mobile Victrola. You can listen to podcasts on your computer or cell phone, if you’ve moved up from a flip phone. There are podcasts on any, and I mean any, topic you can think of. Whatever it is, somebody’s talking about it and somebody’s recording it. There’s only so much Z100, Cousin Brucie or Rush Limbaugh you can...

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