The rest of the world’s eyes are locked on the future, i.e. the throwdown last night on CNN between Obama and Clinton. But the real chuckle for me, this morning, came from yesterday’s news, i.e. Rudy Giuliani, via the NYT. Is he still running for president? Is he still employing that super-crafty tortoise/hare strategy? Because I wonder how this might play in Florida, the land of losers looking for a second chance, old people with the accumulated wisdom of a million lifetimes, hustling sharpies, clamorous immigrants and, of course, O.J. Simpson:
In August 1997, James Schillaci, a rough-hewn chauffeur from the Bronx, dialed Mayor Giuliani’s radio program on WABC-AM to complain about a red-light sting run by the police near the Bronx Zoo. When the call yielded no results, Mr. Schillaci turned to The Daily News, which then ran a photo of the red light and this front page headline: “GOTCHA!”
That morning, police officers appeared on Mr. Schillaci’s doorstep. What are you going to do, Mr. Schillaci asked, arrest me? He was joking, but the officers were not.
They slapped on handcuffs and took him to court on a 13-year-old traffic warrant. A judge threw out the charge. A police spokeswoman later read Mr. Schillaci’s decades-old criminal rap sheet to a reporter for The Daily News, a move of questionable legality because the state restricts how such information is released. She said, falsely, that he had been convicted of sodomy.
Then Mr. Giuliani took up the cudgel.
“Mr. Schillaci was posing as an altruistic whistle-blower,” the mayor told reporters at the time. “Maybe he’s dishonest enough to lie about police officers.”
Mr. Schillaci suffered an emotional breakdown, was briefly hospitalized and later received a $290,000 legal settlement from the city.
The rest of the story suggests that a person would have a better chance of surviving after calling Tony Soprano a faggot pussy in front of his children. Is this a great country, or what?
(Hang on. I have to take out the trash. A new trash hauler arrived in the neighborhood Jan. 1, and their schedule is still a mystery.)
Nothing like a little chore to get your mind off whatever you were writing about before. Oh, right — political payback. For another point of view — on Clinton, not Giuliani, for you forward-thinkers — I can’t say it better than Roy, so read him.
Well, I met my deadline, sorta. A combined 3,000 words of opuses (opii?) are out the door. Someday we’ll have to get some of you other old-skool contract workers in here to talk about the pre-internet days, when making a deadline meant learning the schedule of your local FedEx office. I once white-knuckled it with J.C. while we traveled through the back streets of his Atlanta neighborhood, cornering on two wheels in his Honda to deliver a bunch of slides, or disks, or something, to the people who could absolutely, positively have it there overnight. I work only with words, but remember meeting freelance deadlines with 5-inch floppies, faxes and other 20th-century technology, and it seemed impossibly sophisticated.
Just last year I had a noon deadline for another big chunk of prose, finished it at 11:58 a.m., IM’d my editor and delivered the MS by dragging it onto his chat icon in my buddy list. The file transfer was complete at 12 noon exactly. I hope to live long enough to file via Vulcan mind meld someday.
Deadline is a drug, though. When it’s done right, it’s better than sex:
Seriously, where else does a woman say to a man “BobbyBobbyBobbyBobbyBobby?” Note, also, that the clip is 84 seconds long, and Joan Cusack says, “In 84 seconds?!?”
And now it’s the last day of a four-day weekend. Grosse Pointe tacked an in-service day onto the King holiday. The motto of this district should be, “Accommodating the ski-vacation plans of the affluent family since Henry Ford was a pup.”
No bloggage for you today, alas. At some point in the next 24 hours I’ll get my Wireblogging up to date, but there’s certainly other stuff to enjoy over at The New Package. I’ll be back later, perhaps.