Hardy Plumbing
June 28, 2006
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THE BIRDWOMAN OF SHIRLEY


Summer is flying away — it's already the Fourth of July.

It seems like it was only 30 rainy, lousy days ago that it was Memorial Day.

Here is the "Will there be Fireworks on Main Beach in East Hampton?" story.

I'm told from some excellent sources that all that stands between the fireworks and us is one lousy un-hatched piping plover egg. Some day this week, maybe before this paper hits the stands, a decision on the fireworks will be announced by a bunch of embarrassed, nervous village and town officials.

On one side, there are thousands of kids and their hard-working, tax-paying parents who want to celebrate the Fourth of July on the beach with fireworks.

On the other side, there's The Birdwoman of Shirley. Her name is Latisha Coy. She lives in Shirley, Long Island. Ms. Coy's job, as the town's environmental technician in charge of the piping plover protection program, according to a recent article by Robin Finn in The New York Times, is to drive up to Main Beach in East Hampton, take out her binoculars and search the beach for those icky, little piping plovers, their bird-flu-infested nests and their lousy (I can't wait to see them scrambled) eggs.

My guess is that the fireworks will be called off. Right this minute The Birdwoman of Shirley may be staring into her cauldron and saying to herself, "I may live in Shirley but I will bring East Hampton to its knees."

But I'm not here to dwell on the negative. It is the birthday of our country and if we could win our independence from the Brits, someday we can win our independence from The Birdwoman of Shirley.

Let us forget the fireworks and seeing the wonder of the sky lit up, the lights reflecting in the awestruck eyes of our children.

Maybe next year.

Let us all bow our heads in thanks because there is great news. There is wonderful news for the tens of thousands who must endure sitting in a car on the LIE for hours every weekend, while their kidneys and bowels cry out for relief.

There is, as I said, great, great news.

The new Mobil Gas station in Manorville is open. It's incredible. I give their new interior, gleaming, clean, sparkling bathrooms Four Stars (which is the most stars any bathroom has ever been awarded in this column).

Last Sunday night (I swear this is true), they ran out of gasoline. They must have 20 pumps but no gas. Did I pass them by? No sir. I went in and just feasted my eyes on their gorgeous urinals and toilet bowls.

I didn't have to go but I went in just to look and I must admit with a tear in my eye, I whispered, "Thank you, Mobil. You may be ripping me off on gasoline. Your profits are unconscionable and the four wacky Pakis you have behind the counter in the new store are sweet and look like they are auditioning for a skit on 'Saturday Night Live.' But thank you, Mobile. This is a men's bathroom fit for a king or, in some cases, even a queen."

I don't want to go all mushy on you, but I had a lump in my throat when I thought of the bathroom at the old Mobile station in Manorville. In the early days, late at night, it was the only place to go BM.

No silly, not that BM. I mean BM (Before MacDonald's).

Who could forget the dark, dingy, incredibly disgusting look of the old Mobil bathroom? Who could forget the smell? Is there anyone reading this who didn't out of desperation tip toe into that foul, disgusting bathroom worrying about the Ebola virus, which I'm sure lived and thrived there?

And who can forget that giant, enormous, evil looking horsefly that resided in that old bathroom and terrorized men and women in their most vulnerable moment. Women were helpless just having to sit there. Men, on the other hand, would swing what they held in their hands in an attempt to drown the world's largest horsefly. Alas, they would miss and the walls and floor would get the worst of it.

The horsefly was large enough to pick up a small child and fly away with it like an eagle clutching a sparrow. And the buzzing — can anyone ever forget the loud, incredible buzzing sound that horsefly made? It sounded like a giant, flying vibrator that brought no one any pleasure.

I thought of that horsefly and I got a chill.

What could have happened to it? It was indestructible. But where did it go after the wrecking ball smashed those foul bathrooms to smithereens? I would guess, at that point, that the giant horsefly was sort of endangered. Then I thought Manorville, Shirley. Then Manorville, then Shirley. Manorville . . . Shirley . . .

They're not that far apart.

That's when I realized the giant Horsefly of Manorville was safe and protected and had found a new home in Shirley, Long Island.

Jerks like me may scoff and make silly, little jokes. But, in the long run, we cannot match the arrogant, holier-than-thou pose of moral superiority of those who live to protect the unwanted birds and the unloved bugs.

If you wish to comment on "Jerry's Ink," send your message to jerry@dfjp.com.

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