September 27, 2006
Watching Monday night football was wonderful.
The game was being played at the Superdome in New Orleans. The first time the Dome was being used since Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city. People held up signs reading, "Dome sweet Dome."
I bet on Atlanta over New Orleans because I reasoned, 'What has sentiment got to do with getting four points on Atlanta — which is clearly the better team?' New Orleans won. Sentiment beat cynicism and I lost my bet. Watching the happy faces of the people of New Orleans, I wasn't all that sorry I lost.
It's been predicted that we are supposed to get hit by more than one hurricane on the East End this year. If it happens, it will be because of "Global Warming." If it doesn't happen it will be because of "Global Warming."
Here is how I survived the hurricane of 1991 which we now know was caused by "Global Warming."
The hurricane was named Bob. It was headed towards New York late in August of 1991. The Weather Channel said it would hit the East End by mid-afternoon. A next-door neighbor called and said he had heard that those of us who lived in houses on the ocean would be evacuated.
"Not me," I said, more dumb than brave. "I want to stay and watch from my window and see the hurricane coming in. It should be really exciting."
"Are you crazy?" shouted my wife, the Beautiful Judy Licht, "We're right on the ocean! I'm taking the kids and going to Bob and Kathy's (Bob Levenson and Kathe Tanous) house!"
Bob Levenson is one of the greatest copywriters in advertising history and Kathe Tanous a fantastic artist who did all the wonderful caricatures on the walls of the Della Femina restaurant.
And so it went all morning, with Judy trying to get me to leave the house and me being adamant about riding out the storm because it was exciting. I must admit at one point I got a bit macho and said in a joking way that I was the captain of our family ship and in a storm it's women and children first. Judy said, "You are a stubborn jerk and you're going to die."
Jessie, who was five-years-old, started asking "Is daddy going to die?"
J.T., who was three, thought this was the funniest idea he had ever heard and ran around the house singing "Daddy is going to die . . . Daddy is going to die." My knees started to get weak.
The sound of the doorbell ringing ended his song. "I'll get it," I said. I opened the door and there was a handsome young man who clearly was a volunteer firefighter.
"Hello sir, I'm here to tell you must evacuate the house in the next half hour. How many people do you have here in the house?"
"There are five of us," I said.
"And all five of you are ready to leave the house?" he asked. "Well," I said, "actually only four of the five people are leaving."
The young man didn't miss a beat.
"Four? Is someone staying?"
"Yes sir, one person will be staying," I said, puffing up so that he would know it was me who was staying.
"Sir", said the young man taking out a pencil and pad, "May I have the name of the next of kin of the person who is staying?
"N-n-next of k-k-kin?" I gulped.
"Yes, sir for the purpose of identifying the body and then, of course, there are the legal issues."
"Never mind" I said in a weak little voice "All five of us are leaving."
"Great decision," said the young man, smiling, as he went on his way.
A long time ago, Britain and France were at war. During
one battle, the French captured an English colonel. They took him to their headquarters, and the French general began to question him.
As an afterthought, the French general asked, "Why do you English officers all wear red coats? Don't you know the red material makes you easier targets for us to shoot at?"
In his bland English way, the officer informed the general that the reason English officers wear red coats is so that if they are shot the blood won't show, and the men they are leading won't panic.
And that is why, from that day to this, all French Army Officers wear brown pants.
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