Reached For Comment - No. 7

Edited by Griswell

In this edition:

Armageddonish Goings On

• Gravitas for Dummies

• Dispatches from the Queen of Peru

• A New Star on the Political Horizon

Find us on Twitter: @Griswell_RFC

Armageddonish Goings On

Last Wednesday night in Hoboken, for perhaps the last time, who can say, theatre-goers were treated to a performance for the ages. That grand old company – the one that had dominated political theatre in the city for all but a few excruciatingly painful months in the entire lives of both the company and its financial backers - was reassembled. And did they ever put on a show.

Cathartic. Indelible. Displyfic.

Ok, dysplyfic isn’t actually a word, but rhythm called for a 3rd adjective, and it just wasn’t coming. And Hobbesian sounded mean.

A second presentation of the police union street opera, in full make-up and costumes, was ordered by the impresario known only as “The Squid”. To accommodate the promised anti-layoff, but now broadly anti-Zimmer, multitudes union president Sal F. Parodi made a public demand for a change of venues.

To be fair, Sergeant Parodi – “it’s pronounced puh-Roddy, ok, genius?” - was acting under strict orders from The Squid to undertake no communication of any kind without first contacting the media. Parodi’s assumption that this edict covered everything from ordering lunch in the deli to telling the kids to tidy up their rooms has not been without complications for his private life. But publicly, he remains a formidable echo.

Unfortunately for the luckless Parodi – who, according to 3 local papers, had the chicken parm for lunch - guest city council president, Simon Cowell, was unimpressed with request and requestor alike. Citing the epic redundancy of the previous installment of the production, Cowell flatly refused the venue change. “Sing me your 3 best songs, leave,” he instructed the flustered tenor.

“But,” Parodi countered, “each of the 400 or so songs we have planned is part of the great and holy fabric of our democracy, each a unique and fragile little snowflake of-“

“Sing me your 2 best songs, leave,” Cowell concluded.

And so with this fresh resentment to wallow in, the company assembled at 5pm.

The scene was tense as a pleasant late afternoon yielded to advancing shadows, the summer days dwindling as inexorably as the short list of remaining legal options. Overhead, the hovering Reached For Comment chopper captured the sprawling production on video. Barking megaphones, police barricades with police on both sides, a surging yellowy troupe led in choruses demanding an end to layoffs, Zimmer’s ouster, and 6 more weeks of summer. The budget surplus, which ballooned to $300 million by the 2nd act, would be more than sufficient to make any dream a reality. RFC reporters moved easily among the performers, soaking up the bitter joy, and even helping to construct a guillotine, not wanting to seem aloof from the festivities or unhelpful.

At the edge of the assemblage The Squid breathed his satisfaction to a few associates close by. “Yes…Yes… More.”

And it appears that the company’s message is finally being heard in city hall. Sergeant Parodi once again drew a gleeful ovation when he grabbed a bullhorn and promised Armageddon if the layoffs went forward. Conversely, it seemed there would be no consequences of any kind if the layoffs were tabled. And all at once the proverbial light went on.

How had everyone missed it before? There was only one unavoidable conclusion: these are evidently the 18 greatest officers in the long history of law enforcement!

A complete re-thinking of the previous RIF plan is now underway, with all options on the table, the front-runner being to let the entire rest of the force go and just keep the 18 supercops at any price.

Complicating matters, officials from Jersey City have urgently requested ‘a meeting’ with the officers.

It seems the Chilltown PD has been left scrambling for excuses in the face of widely circulated analysis which proves conclusively that Hoboken’s transformation was due to the work of its police force. The unanimous verdict is that the Jersey City Police Department is simply hopelessly incompetent, as evidenced by that city’s continuing failure to become much, much smaller and highly affluent. A bidding war for Hoboken’s finest finest now appears inevitable. “We will be reasonable,” said the officers, speaking through their recently hired agent, Scott Boras. “But we got mad LE skills.”

Meanwhile, there was still the matter of the council meeting itself. The night belonged to the city’s masterful public speakers who anchor left end of the council table and equally to their overwhelming support in the council chambers.

Glancing up from her knitting to provide a spark to the kindling spirits that filled the gallery, Minnie Defarge promised vengeance against “it” in a knowing, mousy voice as she held up the “Z” taking shape between her needles to thunderous approval.

Next to speak, Defarge’s cousin, Flaunt Enrico, voiced his disgust for the 5 people present who didn’t cheer for the “Z”. And again, the rafters trembled with joyous loathing.

In the rear of the room, The Squid repeated to no one in particular, “Yes… Yes… More” and exited to a waiting black car.

Gravitas for Dummies

But not all speakers sounded the call to cathartic mob violence. One such was the youthful, well-beloved challenger for the 4th Ward seat presently held by the one known only as “The Don.”

We should note here that the young candidate has recently had his name legally changed in response to constant hectoring from critics who have accused him of being nothing more than the old guard in a new suit and low-carb diet. The last straw came when he opened his campaign headquarters last week in a defunct pet supply store only to be heartlessly dubbed the old guard’s ‘pet shop boy’ by a local wag. Determined to cut all perceived ties to the past, he has chosen the name OchoPinto to reflect his newfound newfoundness.

Asked where he got the name, OchoPinto insisted it came to him “completely independently, like the way my campaign is all completely independently and junk.”

Stepping to the microphone, OchoPinto had a sobering if baffling message for his listeners. In a halting delivery, he called for all parties to resume a dialog, seemingly unaware of Parodi’s pointed refusal to participate in “an obvious media publicity stunt.” OchoPinto’s misguided remarks reflected the widely held belief that Parodi only wanted to participate in obvious media publicity stunts. Nevertheless, under instructions from The Squid to “cheer for everything,” the audience wildly applauded this 180 degree contradiction of its leader.

Reached For Comment caught up with the dapper political novice afterward to talk about his evolving portrayal of an independent candidate in which he employed a much slower cadence than in his previous performances. “You seemed like a different man up there tonight, more statesmanlike - or really medicated.”

“Thanks…for noticing… My advisors tell…me… that…by speaking slowly…and…deliberately…I can…achieve…an air…of maturity…and gravitas…and junk.” The Squid’s rear car door opened then and OchoPinto dutifully vanished.

Dispatches from the Queen of Peru

And finally, it was Meth time. By popular acclamation, she was the evening’s keynote speaker. While Minnie and Flaunt had delighted everyone with their seething contempt, it was to be expected. But Raisin had fallen a majestic distance to reach this plateau, and it was her time to sparkle like polished gemstone at the bottom of a well.

She’d had several hours to prepare for her moment and seemed more than slightly ‘fortified’ when the time came.

She started by explaining why layoffs could never be considered.

“Why can’t we have layoffs? Why? I’ll tell you why. In my ward alone a terroristic phone call was made to a school; a house was broken into; someone needed medical attention; a plane crash-landed in the river, which is technically part of my ward; I get daily calls about pot holes; and people were going backward on skate boards.”

She paused and took a long sip, seemed to lose focus for a moment, then continued.

“And some terrorists needed medical attention. A house broke into a school. A plane went backward on a skateboard, and-“ Here she paused for a point of order.

“Garçon? Garçon? Hey, top me off here, will ya? Christ. I’m just gettin’ to the meaty potatoes, k?”

Unsure how to respond, city clerk James Farina finally said, “Sure, anything you say. Coming right up.” Chewing on an olive, Raisin continued.

“So anyway, there’s this pot hole, and it’s like, it’s big, like a big, you know, hole. Bigger’na pot actually. I don’t know why they even call ‘em pot holes. S’anybody know? An’body? No? I’m gonna find out. That’s my pledge to all you yellow people at the other end of the bar.”

Throughout the speech the audience, accustomed by then to applauding at rhythmic intervals, struggled to find their opportunities in Raisin’s wandering monolog. So the news that she would lead some sort of expedition to find out why pot holes were called pot holes unleashed an explosion of pent up cheering.

Sensing that she could now say anything, she did.

“Here’s a story, k. Pay ‘tention. So I’m in Peru, ok, and they got this big giant mountain of steps like for some kinda royal ceremony thing, lotsa lotsa steps, ok, and they got these guys that carry you up on a chair if you don’t wanna walk, cuz it’s lotsa lotsa steps. So I get carried up, up, up to the tippy-top and look allllllll around, ok, and it’s byooful and regal and everything like that with the chair and everything, and then they carry me back down ok, but I didn’t wanna leave yet so I made ‘em carry me back, up, up, up lotsa lotsa steps, to the tippy-top. And it’s byooful again and back down again, but I still didn’t wanna leave, ok, so we go back up buncha times. And then they said, you know, how about this, ok. They said, how about we go up one more time, ok, and then if you promise to leave you can be the Queen of Peru. So I got that goin’ for me. Which is nice.”

At this point Raisin’s laid her head down on the council table and fell asleep.

Summing up, otherwise unemployable Raisin apologist, Jane Deblarney, declared, “Mommy drank more than all the other mommies put together. Mommy wins! And Nancy Pincus made a picture with turds.”

Nervous applause began in the back of the room, spreading slowly, almost person to person, until it finally took flight, sensing that ‘the speech’ was at last over, and engulfed the room in a celebration of unbridled antipathy. Chants of “4 more years! 4 more years!” soon followed.

“This is our time!” cried Flaunt Enrico. “Every meeting can be just like this if we want it to be! Just like in the old days. We don’t need them. Every night can be just like this!”

And so they can.

A New Star on the Political Horizon

Insiders have speculated that Raisin’s heavy… fortification on this night of nights may have been due to the emergence of a surprise challenger for her council seat. This candidate is known only as “TG” to even the most in-the-know political junkies. However, Reached For Comment got the full story. And we’ll give to you. But first….

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In what may be a lethal blow to Meth Raisin’s chances in the spring, she finds herself running far behind a spatula in a race to hold onto her council seat.

Who is this game-changing candidate? Reached For Comment was determined to find out.

Tolbin Garth Spatula – or “TG” for short – first came to this country in a crate from Hungary in 2002. An anonymous if hardworking figure for most of his early years in Hoboken, he came to prominence first as an extra and later as a weekly contributor on TLC’s “Cake Boss.” Can anyone ever forget the peach flan episode?

Sensing Raisin’s vulnerability and Spatula’s rising star, The Don and other king-manufacturers approached the TV demi-icon about a possible run in the 2nd ward, where Spatula lives with his wife, a ladle, and their 2 children, a 3-year old spoon and a 6-month old cute-as-can-be spatula.

Reluctant at first, Spatula agreed to a test marketing poll. The results staggered even the most optimistic politicos.

At a fund-raiser at Teak, Spatula told supporters, “We’re going to run a campaign on the issues – not just issues facing the Spatula community, but other utensils as well.”

“Heck,” quipped the suddenly seasoned to the point of being obnoxious candidate, “my campaign manager is a fork.” In a clever pre-emptive strike, Spatula added that he was proud to live in a city where his inter-utensil marriage to a ladle would not be used as an issue by his worthy opponent.

More to follow as the perpetual campaign season trundles on.

Police Blotter

Police were called to the scene of a single car accident very early last Thursday morning. It seems a Lincoln Navigator, travelling the wrong way up Hudson Street and pin-balling off of cars on both sides of the street, finally struck and laid low a utility pole on the sidewalk. Full airbag deployment prevented any injuries.

Police at the crash site reported an insistent small voice in a rear car seat repeating, “Nancy Pincus made a picture with turds,” by way of excusing the mishap.

Community News

The combined memberships of and the post-relevant 4Whut?Huh? websites will hold a $20 per seat charity spelling contest this Saturday at the Hoboken High School auditorium. Words to be used in the contest will be posted on the wall in the auditorium in 3 foot red letters. However, this is unlikely to shorten the affair, as the contestants have already decided they know how to spell the words and have characterized dictionaries as ‘elitist’.

All proceeds will go to benefit the “Fix Mommy’s Car / Nancy Pincus Made a Picture with Turds Fund.”


  1. Fabulous job, RFC and you too, Griswell.

    In fact, I've decided to spring for #8. It was either that or a haircut at Astor Place.


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