Gurney's Inn
December 05, 2007

Jerry's Ink

Jerry's Ink


Want to know what fear looks like? Just think back to the days when Mohammed Ali was riding high and remember the look in his opponents' eyes as they waited for the bell to ring to start the first round. Scared.

Check out the eyes of Alex Rodriguez when he is up and there are men on base and it's a playoff game in October. Scared.

I have no desire to look into the eyes of Boss Gruber, the phantom who runs the Democrats in East Hampton. But I can tell you this – he's scared.

He has good reason to be scared. This last election for Town Supervisor was going to be a laugher – his man McGintee was going to win in a walk. He had the early polls to prove it.

Then a lot of smart Democratic voters had it up to here after reading Rick Murphy's story of McGintee's role in a hockey rink deal that stunk on ice. And there was word of his finagling with the budget that smelled bad.

So many Democrats who read The Independent (and yes, Boss Gruber, there are probably more Democrats who read and enjoy The Independent than there are Democrats who read The Star – it stands to reason since we have thousands more readers – did the smart thing. They voted for Republican Bill Wilkinson and that really scared Boss Gruber.

It was a close, close race that required a recount. And that scared Boss Gruber even more. In fact, for most of the night McGintee fidgeted, bit his nails and stared in disbelief at the results coming in while his running mates celebrated their easy victories.

And don't buy the malarkey that the weather made the difference. What the McGintee people want you to believe is Democrats went into the polling booth and voted for all the other Democrats (who won with comfortable margins) on the ticket, then looked out of the poll booth and said, "Oh, oh, it looks like rain. I think I will vote for a Republican for Town Supervisor."

In his fear Boss Gruber started lashing out, so he decided to write a letter to the editor. Did he send it to The Independent? No, that would make too much sense. Instead he rushed to preach to those who are already converted. He sent his letter to The East Hampton Star.

My first question is which East Hampton Star did he send his letter to? Did he send his letter to The East Hampton Star that is the rubber stamp of the Democratic party, or to The East Hampton Star which apparently woke up the day after the election and warned Boss Gruber in its editorial that when a virtually unknown Republican takes 7 of 19 election districts not all is well? The Star also questioned the use (or misuse) of the Community Preservation Fund.

When the newspaper he has in his pocket made a statement like that, Boss Gruber's only reaction was to be panic. Why the panic? Because hundreds of Democrats made their own decision at the polling places in East Hampton. They cast their votes for the best candidate, no matter what their party affiliation was. That kind of independent thinking on the part of voters scares the hell out of power brokers like Boss Gruber.

So, in one of the longest and worst-written letters in the long history of The East Hampton Star, Boss Gruber questioned The Independent's policy of giving our paper away free to our readers in return for their loyalty to our advertisers. In doing that he also questions The East Hampton Press's free paper policy, which appears to be giving The Star fits.

In his letter he claims The Independent is not really independent. The fact is on the East End, in this election, 52% of the time we have endorsed Democrats, and 48% of the time we have endorsed Republicans. Unlike Boss Gruber's favorite mouthpiece paper, The Star, which endorses Democrats 99.9% of the time. I think the last Republican they endorsed was Abraham Lincoln.

But the weirdest part of Boss Gruber's letter to the editor came when he cleverly wrote about the results of the town council races (Democrats 3, Republican 0):

"Never mind, says Jerry. Next time he suggests the Democrats run Charles Manson, the insane perpetrator of the Sharon Tate murders ... Okay, this is Mr. Della Femina's twisted idea of humor. I suppose it is funny if you are still of an age to think that the word "underpants" spoken out loud is worth five minutes of giggling."

I must say I was amazed at Boss Gruber's incredible insight into my sense of humor. Boy did he nail it. He got me and Rick Murphy at the same time. Now it can be revealed that at least once a day I call Rick and say "Underpants . . underpants . . . underpants," then Rick and I giggle for 5 minutes. Then he says "Panties . . . panties . . . panties," and we giggle some more. Then I say "Cocky doody," and Rick, being the incredible wit that he is, says "Pee pee . . . pee pee." Then I can't stop laughing and I collapse on the floor.

And so when I read Boss Gruber's brilliant letter in The Star I called up Rick Murphy and I said, "I think Boss Gruber is so scared at the results of the Town Supervisor election race that he is going to "poo-poo" in his pants. "No, no," said Rick, "He's going to poo-poo in his underpants." There's that word again. I giggled so hard I could barely hang up the phone.

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