New Yorkers will elect a new mayor for the first time in 11 years on Tues. Nov. 5, and hopefully it will be a man who will unite our city, raise our quality of life, increase our trade and tourism, and lead by example.
One candidate memorably showed his true colors years ago.
It was Dec. 2001, and Courier Life was having its annual holiday party at Lundy’s Bros. Restaurant in Sheepshead Bay. The deejay was hopping behind the boards. The food and drink were flowing freely. And us working stiffs were feeling mighty jolly, when around 10 pm our publisher appeared at the podium and told us to shush up because some “important” visitors had dropped in, announced.
One of the gatecrashers was Bill DeBlasio, then a newly elected councilman. Bill brandished a million-dollar smile and gripped the mic, flanked by his beaming missus and their two cranky, yawning kids, who were about 4 and 7 at the time.
I remember our editorial team — trying its darnedest to stand up straight at the back of the room — remarking that it was odd for such young children to be at an adults-only party, when they should have been tucked away in bed.
The boy and girl must have agreed. They kvetched and bawled — as young children past their bedtime will do — while their mum tried unsuccessfully to cajole them, and their dad droned incessantly. Their squeals drowned him out, and their combined racket reverberated the cavernous room like a banshee on steroids, raining a kiss of death on our revel. Yet oblivious Bill remained at the podium with the smile affixed to his face like a postage stamp on an envelope, verbalizing thoughts and words — that escaped me then, and now — in a steady stream.
Held hostage by the racket, we wondered, “What gives?” Our publisher must have been thinking the same because he plunged his hand into a nearby raffle basket, which earlier had been a treasure trove for the lucky winners among us, and emerged with the lone prize left — a camera.
He gave the loot to the child who was shrieking the loudest. This prompted the other sibling to hike up the howls like a champion yodeler, while Bill and his other half idled, at a seeming loss to seize a valuable teaching moment and tell their offspring that siblings shared stuff. End of story.
Our overwhelmed publisher, realizing the DeBlasios weren’t muffling their wee wailers or beating a hasty retreat, did what any self-respecting boss would do. He called upon the nearest raffle-winning employee to part with her prize, which he gave to Bill’s other bellyaching bairn, who accepted it with a sheepish grin — without a prompt, mind you, by the elder DeBlasios to say, “Hey, thanks, sir.”
Finally peace reigned once again at our shindig. But it was not due to Bill and Chirlaine DeBlasio, who eventually hit the door — without apologizing, like one-percenters who felt somehow entitled to ruining our knees-up.