1092 How the Marathon Got Cancelled
Mike Bloomberg: Hello?
Voice on the phone: Michael, what's the matter with you with the marathon?
Mike: Who IS this?
Voice: It's your mother, Michael. What about the marathon, are you crazy? It’s Friday night. It’s after sunset. I should be in temple, not having to call you about this shanda, this circus.
MB: They have sunsets up there? They have temples?
Voice: Never mind, temples. You're going to have a parade when they're dragging bodies out of the ocean in Rockaway and Staten Island looks like the city dump?
MB: You aren't my mother. She would never talk to me that way.
V: Listen to me! You think it’s easy getting a phone connection to New York with this Sandy thing? Just listen, don’t talk. Get sensible. You can't have a parade with all those dead people piling up.
MB: Mom! Stop it. We have to have this marathon. It'll bring major money into the city and show that we're not going to knuckle under to this hurricane.
V: All you think about is money. Come on, son, cancel the stupid race.
People are risking their lives to help and save people. Pay attention. Live up to your potential!
MB: It will bring joy to the people.
V: It will make you look like an idiot and you're not an idiot. You will make the New York Marathon look like some event for big shots while people my age are stuck on the 15th floor somewhere and can’t get out to buy a quart of milk, a cup of coffee or an hour’s time in the laundromat if it’s even open. You want to be known as "The Mayor who was blind and deaf?" Kill the damned road race. Let the Garbage men and the firemen and the cops work on rescuing people. You want the EMS to stand by to treat some spandex floozie from Colorado who faints because the air down there is heavier than what she’s used to? Or do you want them to be able to get the Espinoza family out of the van they’ve been trapped in on the Cross Bronx Expressway for the last day and a half?
V: Never mind, “but.”
MB: (sighs) Okay, ma. I'll stop the race.
V: Thank you, Michael. You know I only want what's best for you.
--Friday night last, NBC showed us and PBS and NPR and the Muscular Dystrophy Association how to hold a begathon by harnessing the might of its star-quality news men and women, a passel of rock stars and others in raising gazillions for the Red Cross and its efforts to help victims of Sandy. No volunteers sitting at phone banks. Instead, serious storm stories told and shown by Brian Williams, Matt Lauer and Ann Curry among others, interspersed with live performances by such as Sting, Mary J. Blige, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Billy Joel... performances with “message” songs and pitches to contribute easily using cellphone texting services.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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