1182 A Blonde Venti and a Lucky
It’s Saturday morning on East 57th near Park and Detective Lieutenant Melvin “Kojak” Nineberg is leaning against his Ford Crown Victoria which is running -- to the extent it ever does.
In his left hand is a container of coffee, in his right, a Lucky Strike cigarette, about half gone.
They call him “Kojak” after the TV detective because he’s bald as a bowling ball and no one would have any respect for a lieutenant named Melvin.
On the hood of the unmarked is one of those long metal tape measures that carpenters use.
Kojak takes a final drag on the Lucky and stamps it out, blows the smoke toward the Starbucks near where he’s standing, then turns to a visitor, points at the tape measure and says “I am 25-feet, three inches from the door to that Starbucks. I am legal.”
The visitor tries to explain to the officer that Starbucks can’t enforce that rule about no smoking within 25 feet of its door in New York or any other place that has legal smoking in the street.
“Mel,” says the visitor who can call him that because they’ve been friends since the fourth grade at Solomon Schechter in Forest Hills, “you can’t be serious. I’ve known you since you had hair.”
“You know His Honor hates cigarettes. I’m making a statement,” he says,“ and if they see a jackbooted Nazi thug standing in front of a Starbucks smoking, they’ll think it’s OK.”
“It IS okay, Lieutenant. Plus you’re wearing a polyester suit and a pair of Payless loafers. What, leave your jackboots at home this morning?”
The new regulation which took effect that morning really doesn’t apply to cities and towns that haven’t yet forbidden smoking on the corner.
But it sure is causing a dustup. Coffee and cigarettes go together like beer and pretzels... bacon and eggs... Abbott and Costello.
Kojak gets a call on the car radio and takes off. As he scoops up the measuring tape and gets into the car he hands the empty coffee cup to his visitor. It says “Central Market Deli, 115 E 57th Best Coffee in New York.”
Those of us who don’t like Starbucks to begin with say turnaround is fair play. So if any Starbucks comes within 25 feet of us, we’re going to call Kojak and file a complaint. Especially if we’re smoking. Especially if it’s a Lucky.
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--A delightful little Cheerios commercial may be the best TV ad since “Where’s the Beef?” A little girl tries to make sure her dad stays healthy in this 30 second spot. A tirade of racist reaction to the interracial family caused YouTube to disable the comments section.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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