Wednesday, February 15, 2017

1758 Ray the Egg Man's Sunny Side Down


Ray the short order cook made the best egg sandwich north of E.57th but they fired him, anyway. One day he comes to work, sick as a dog. Coughs all over the place. Everyone complains. Can’t eat stuff from that cyclone of germs Ray’s transmitting.

He’d called in sick the night before.  Spiro told him he had to come in or be fired.  So he came in.  And they canned him anyway.  But not until he’d finished his shift.

This is what you call a setup. Setups are common enough in the world of small businessmen in the high rent district.  Ray got even.  No one disputed his claim for unemployment comp.  And when his near-pneumonia cleared, he landed quickly because … well, he made the best egg sandwich north of 57th.

A legendary egg guy with a rep.  Tens of thousands of breakfast-at-your-desk breakfasters on the upper east side.  No problem for this guy getting work and above market compensation.

Before he signed on at the new place, he made one thing clear:  “When I call in sick, it’s because I’m too sick to work.”

But Ray also had a dark side.  Something with a teen girl in a stairwell in an apartment house.  “She came on to me,” he once said.

Nah.  She’s a kid. A child.  “No. She came on to me.”

“You’re the grownup. You want to be flipping eggs in The Tombs?”

This was not the worst kind of child abuse.  But it does point to one way “older guys” like Ray get into trouble.  (Older in this case meant 24.)

Egg man, she came on to you because you gave her the two things no one else did: Attention and a sense of protection.  It’s what kids want. They don’t get it from home, they’ll find it somewhere else.  And if she came on to you… which probably she didn’t, it was those needs and not yours she was trying to satisfy.

Ray,  unrequited in his post adolescent stupor, avoided jail time when Concetta spilled the beans to her BFF who spilled the beans to her brother who spilled the beans to her mother who spilled the beans to her father who spilled the beans to a community organizer dressed in medium blue and an L.A. baseball hat and carrying a Louisville Slugger whom he joined one afternoon to have a sitdown with Ray as he got off the bus.
Well, not exactly a sitdown. One of the three had a lie down and two others walked away. And nobody saw nuthin’.

Good thing Ray was still on unemployment comp at the time.  When the labor department asked him why he wasn’t out looking for work, he said he had an excuse.  He was in the hospital for three of the previous four weeks.

SHRAPNEL:
--Some years ago, this space promised there would be no more full-size posts about anything Sandusky.  But it’s tough to keep now that Jerry’s “kid,” 41 year old Jeff has been accused of improper conduct with an underage girl.  But keep it we will.

--Dirty Jeffie has hired a lawyer with a lot of experience in cases like this.  The fella once was a star prosecutor but ran into trouble about the way he handled some victims of domestic abuse.  Suddenly, he was in private practice and no baseball bat or blue gang jacket was involved.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
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© WJR 2017

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