Reached For Comment – No. 6

Edited by Griswell

Dueling protests are planned for city hall tonight as furor mounts on all sides over Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s handling of the police contracts and layoffs. In a bizarre example of unharmonic convergence, sworn enemies –both pro- and anti-layoff, BnR’s and yuppie scum alike - will find themselves on the same side of an issue tonight.

Demanding Zimmer’s head on plate.

At one time all seemed to be going to plan for this native of exotic New Hampshire. Elected on promises to cut taxes and right-size municipal government, Zimmer began her term with the deliberation thought to be characteristic of her distant bicycle-powered island nation. But after settling into office and persuading Governor Christie to collect his fiscal crossing guard, Zimmer set about the task she was elected to perform, starting with re-orging and cutting staff in city hall and the police department. Or so we were led to believe...

So clever was the Zimmer deception that a recent anti-Zimmer ad – quite possibly the work of Zimmer loyalists posing as her opposition: a favorite Zimmer ‘dirty trick’ – trumpeted her ‘20% reduction’ in the police force with ’37 job cuts’.

RFC microphones caught up with police union president Sal F. Parodi (“It’s pronounced puh-Roddy” he corrected, indefatigably).

Asked to explain the ad’s arithmetic, which presupposes a force of 185 before the proposed reductions, Sergeant Parodi explained, “I don’t have much talent for math.”

To the suggestion that it would have taken little effort to multiply the number of cuts by 5 to see if the ‘20% reduction’ statement passed muster, he elaborated, “I don’t have much talent for effort.”

He declined to comment on the observation that the three biggest arrests in the last 10 years were two mayors and a Parking Utility director and concluded our interview at that point. “Anything else? It’s puh-Roddy, got that? Puh-Roddy. Not Parrot-y, not Parody. Puh-Roddy, mmkay?”

It’s easy enough to comprehend the resentment of the unfortunately named spokesbot. But what was it that stirred up rebellion in the ranks of Zimmer’s former supporters? Reached for Comment wanted to find out.

Upon closer examination, RFC has discovered that Zimmer will not be cutting 37 officers as claimed in her self-promoting self-attacking ad. Moreover, the officers will not be ‘fired’ as the ad boasts but laid off with benefits intact and positioned to be re-hired by the city should the need arise. And now for the real dirt.


But first, a few words about our hosts.

Folks, how many times has this happened to you? You’re just back from a business trip, just finishing papering over all the clubbing and call-girl charges and shoe-horning them into the old expense report, and now you just want to kick back and catch up on what’s been going on this crazy mixed up town.

That’s the time you turn to [Insert name of whatever loser outlet bought the feed. And, Carol, ‘bought the feed’ means they sent a check for $15 dollars, ok? The check has to have a dollar amount and a signature. And you should be able to get the phone number of the bank from information and call them. For example, the First National Bank of Scooby Snacks is not a real bank. If you had called them – and you may be the only person on earth who needs to do this – you would’ve found that out. ]

You know people ask me all the time, Griswell, how does an in-the-know guy like you get that way and stay that way. It’s quite simple, friend. I read [re-insert subscriber’s name if the check miraculously clears] every [insert frequency of publication – hour, week, month, geological epoch]. It’s got the news I need organized the way I want it, without all those doggone facts and that annoying source checking that doctors say promote gingivitis and may lead to shortness of pants.

So if you’re like me – and I know I sure am – there’s only one place to turn for all the latest. Your friends – and mine - at [whatever the hell].


Our Reached for Comment legal department pored over the documents for upwards of tens of minutes until we found Zimmer’s dirty little secret hidden in the fine print.

Mayor Zimmer is actually adding – yes ADDING – 19 officers, including a lieutenant and 7 new sergeants! Just take a look at the counts by rank before and after her supposed ‘cuts’. This means the net change is a reduction of 18 officers (or imaginary-number percent, according to Sergeant Parodi’s math). Her claim of 37 jobs cut is pure flapdoodle, hold the mayo!

This is austerity? This is belt-tightening? Or is it the same old you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-pore-lotion-on-your-thighs-and-kiss-your-tonsils patronage game?

Fiscal Rottweiler, Sock Stiegel, had this to say for RFC cameras. “This hiring binge will not stand. Soon-to-be-ex Mayor Zimmer has stirred the wrong hornet’s nest this time. We intend to blog feverishly, long into the late afternoon at That’s Put a Sock On It, all one word, dot blogspot, dot com.” The highly influential site, which continues to enjoy literally dozens of hits per eternity, should be sizzling almost to room temperature with this outrage hanging in the air.

Other local dot-communists were similarly en flambé at the revelation. Kerfuffle Grande and Stony Juarez took time out from burning a fatty in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot to offer, “Not cool. Not cool at all. What? I thought you drove. I drove? Not cool. Not cool at all.”

Councilperson Meth Raisin cited a pattern of incompetence. “It was a terrible idea to let the officers go. It’s an equally terrible idea to replace the officers and proof of Zimmer’s unfitness for office. I’ll be away next week. Should any new ideas come from the mayor’s office in my absence, please accept in advance my categorization of whatever they are as terrible and proof of Zimmer’s unfitness for office.”

Otherwise unemployable Raisin apologist, Jane DeBlarney, amplified mommy’s assertions with his trademark oedipal venom. “Zimmer must die. And Nancy Pincus made a picture with turds. I love my mommy. Other mommies must die,” he foamed as Raisin gave a sharp tug on his safety leash.

Meanwhile, buoyed by what a panel of linguistics experts have determined to be ‘support’ on the popular English-as-a-second-language website,, Sergeant Parodi had a warning for all who would listen. “This ain’t over. Far from it, my friend. We have $20,000 worth of spite theatre left based on what we paid Mr. Squid. That’s puh-Roddy, kay?” he thundered from his stall in the men’s room at 1 Police Plaza.

Parodi added that he is planning an All-Star civil disturbance at city hall, including ‘a lot of out-of-town talent’, a performance by The Nerds, and bringing back Steve Huddock to sing ‘a little Sinatra’. There will be a 50/50 raffle at 10 PM. 2 drink minimum. Have proper ID or a Stop the Zimmer Layoffs shirt. The foam is guaranteed to flow.

From the other end of the political spectrum but no less foamy, give a big Council Chambers welcome if you will for the protest stylings of … the Sock Puppets! It wasn’t so long ago that this mirthless band were singing along to Lerner and Loewe’s “Zimelot” in Columbus Park while Cake Boss fed the masses, and an angel got its wings. PELT, Scary Harlot, Kerf and Stony, and the rest of your favorites. But now they’re just another angry mob fighting for recognition and the big prize against other angry mobs on tonight’s edition of “Hoboken’s Got a Strange Talent.”

Someone’s goin’ down!

Anyone who still doubts the maxim ‘Politics is show business for ugly people’ – contact me after the show. If you still have the strength.

And stay tuned. RFC will be back. You can’t make this stuff up. Heaven knows you tried.

With malice toward all -Griswell.


  1. Genius, effing genius

  2. Fabulous job, Griswell.

    If I can afford RFC's rates, I hope to publish your future dispatches... pls contact me offline.




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