Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Long Island Theory

112 The Long Island Theory

Here it is in a nutshell: Any place a Long Islander goes he will find at least one other Long Islander whom he didn’t know while each was there.

Usually, it’s more. But at least one.

Here’s some history of this formulation: An avalanche in Japan in 1966 or 67. Who survived? Two Long Islanders who didn’t know each other before they went to Japan.

There aren’t statistics. But there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that this is one of the world’s great universals, an axiom irreducible. Like String Theory and the War on Terror.

(Aside: maybe the answer isn’t to find and kill the terrorists, appealing as that idea is, but to be less terrified of things. First, get rid of the Terrorism Mafia. Start with the Terrorist In Chief, the real danger. Then work on losing your fear of dead guys, like Arafat. Then on the mid level hoods like Bin Laddy-boy and finally the low level street punks who go around believing the wearing of explosives is a fashion statement. Che and the Black Panthers did the ammo belt look and it’s fallen out of fashion. The bomb look might also. Or, alternatively, make the bomb look into a REAL fashion statement. Everyone gets to wear Plastique and C-6. Oh. Wait. That’s not out yet. Make it C-4 or 5.)

Anyway, why this Long Island phenomenon? Some would have you believe that it’s because we’re more active, engaged and involved than the average American.

Nonsense. We are generally eager to get off the damned sandbar. We’re ready to trade traffic on the Expressway or crowded, slow, excuse-laden breakdowns on the LIRR for anywhere else – at least temporarily.

Even the local newspapers couldn’t wait to get away. Two of them escaped by suicide, one got itself a New York edition so it could say “we’re really a New York newspaper, but we had our proud beginnings in a garage in West Hempstead, and oh, yeah, we still edit and print it out there.

Some, of course relish the Island. Politicians of Great National Stature, like Theodore Roosevelt and Al D’Amato (a bit of difference between these guys – and many years. Inventors like Leroy Grumman and Charles Avnet.

Businessmen like Joey Butterfingers and Frank Costello.

But the fact remains that anywhere in the world you go, there’s another Long Islander there, one you never met while on the island yourself.

Want to know how to tell the REAL natives? They’ll tell you they lived ON the Island. The foreigners will say they live IN it.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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