I’m madder than the first guy who was ever sold a pig in a poke over the fact that no matter how hard I try, I can’t order my favorite products that the Zenith in the living room says I should have for my own!
Look, you all know the ol’Screecher is, in fact, the man who has everything, so when the television tells me that there’s something out there that I need, I run right out and get it!
But that doesn’t mean I always get what I want!
Take for instance that new-fangled wallet the television is yelling about that will allow me to sit atop my trusty steed Tornado without falling over side-saddle because the wallet in my hip pocket is too loaded with stuff.
Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking: “Carmine, I thought you kept all your cash stashed away in a mattress under the floorboards in the attic, so why would your wallet be fat?”
The answer is simple: I’m not only the hair club president, but I’m a card-carrying member! And that means I’ve got discount cards to just about every shop in Brooklyn, plus credit cards from every major player — Master Charge, Players Club, Diners Club, Visa, the Amalgamated Bank, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, all of ’em! — that my wallet bursts at the seams!
So when I saw this commercial on the television, I knew I had to run out and buy it to make my dreams of a flat wallet come true!
But every time I dialed the number to get the thing, I couldn’t get through! Talk about frustrating! Apparently, everybody has the same idea!
I’m madder than the deli waitress who refused to accept a miserly tip from a cheapskate, who tipped her $3 for a $140 tab occupying her table for more than an hour. How can anyone mac-ca a leiben (Yiddish for ‘make a living’) with customers like that?
Enough of the bad news, here’s the glad news: We got a new Santa in Southwest Brooklyn, courtesy of Investors Bank, and Tuesday night’s shindig at the glorious 86th Street and 21st Avenue branch had the crème de la crème of our community leaders welcoming him to our diverse community.
Investors Bank pulled out all the stops in making this “Welcome Gus” celebration an event to be remembered by all those lucky to have been invited, with fine catering from Mamma Raos, serving endless trays of giant shrimps wrapped in bacon, rice balls, pizza, mozzarella in carozza, penne with pesto, potato croquettes, cold antipasto, cookie assortment, red and white wines, martinis, vodka, scotch, martinis, martinis, martinis, and more martinis.
Thanks to Access-a-Ride, I didn’t have to drive home and got there early enough for my friend Wendy (filling in for my lovely wife Sharon) and me to arrive early at 5:30 pm. So we got choice seats by the bar, actually an arms-length away from the Investor’s Bank employee-turned-bartender Joseph Drivas, sporting a totally magnificent handsome, black, full-groomed beard. Totally astute to my needs, every time he saw me grab a shrimp he handed me a vodka martini to flush it down. What a nice guy, he even counted how many shrimps I devoured. He claimed four dozen! But I know I had more!
Gus Arniotes thanked my ole pal Regina Scire and Assistant Manager Justyna Milanovich for putting the event together. Great job, ladies!
Gus mentioned the history of the Bank, which in 1926 was incorporated as the Washington Rock Building and Loan Association. Through mergers, acquisition, and internal expansion, the bank grew and prospered. Some of those there included the Federation of Italian American Organizations of Brooklyn, Jack Spatola and Frank Naccaratto.
Gus said that prior to joining Investors he worked for 16 years at another bank managing branches in Manhattan and Brooklyn. But during the last five years, he became dissatisfied with the way that bank treated its customers and employees. It had also abandoned the grass roots community involvement, which is so important to the communities they serve.
It was a great occasion for Gus, his wife Gina, and their beautiful son James Samuel as well as his father Steve — all gleaming for the celebration. For me, it was like old home week, spotting a few dance class pupils, neighbors, and lots of community friends.
Congratulations Gus and Investors Bank, welcome to the community, we need caring friends like you!
Screech at you next week!