November 23, 2014

Confessions of a Child Bookie

I'm a lot like my father in many ways. We both liked to sleep late... especially on Saturdays. As a kid growing up, I had to wake up earlier than my dad however. While most kids watched Saturday morning cartoons, I had a job. Well not really "a job" but I had to answer phone calls, take down the numbers and place bets. On Saturday mornings, I was a kid bookie. For those that may not know, back in the day, there wasn't any Lotto or OTB, there were guys that took numbers and placed bets.

Mama:  (screaming) Vinceeent get the phone! I'm busy, I'm making breakfast. It's probably Leroy from down in Harlem.... you know what to do. Just give him the numbers.

Vin: Ahh Ma, do I have to do it again?

Mama: You heard me, give him the damn numbers. Your father is still sleeping. Get the piece of paper, breakfast is almost ready.

Vin: Alright, alright. (It's showtime for this kid as I picked up the phone). Hello... no this is Vincent.

Leroy: Hi Vincent. Can I speak to your dad? It's Leroy.

Vin: Sorry, he's still sleeping Leroy. I know what to do. I got the paper with the numbers. I can do the job. I've done it before. Are you ready for me to start?

Leroy: Okay, okay kid. Take your time and give me the numbers, but tell your dad to call me later.

Vin: Of course I'll tell him. Ya gotta pencil? Are you ready? Mama's making pancakes and they smell good. I'm hungry.

I started to read off the numbers that my father collected from his friends and family. I didn't realize what I was doing, but I was placing their bets. What a trip, only in NY could your kid be a bookie as you get to sleep in. So I confess - I'm guilty. I was a child bookie, at least on Saturday mornings.

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November 12, 2014

"You Hate Everything"

How would you feel if a friend told you that they thought you hated everything? I was surprised when a friend told me that. She continued to explain (without a breath) you hate driving, you hate eating dinner before eight, you hate bright lights in restaurants, you hate bugs and wildlife, you hate the early to bed early to rise mentality, you just hate Suburbia. Okay, okay, I know you love NYC. Everyone knows you love NYC, but you hate it when anyone confuses NYC with New York, because as you've said way too many times, the two are not the same.


Phew, first of all, I was glad that she actually heard a few things I've said in the past and remembered them! Kudos for that in itself because I really thought this girl lived in her own little spoon fed Suburban bubble. I may dislike many things, but hate ain't in my vocabulary.

I dislike holiday ads that start in August. I dislike not hearing "please" or "thank you". I dislike that most companies have automated phones and a lack of human connection. I dislike being seated in an empty restaurant next to the only other occupied table. I dislike the automatic response "fine" or the overused words "amazing" and "awesome". Really are there that many things that are amazingly awesomely fine? I think not! I dislike when families gather around the TV watching sports during a family get together, what's the point? Once again a lack of human connection, not everyone likes sports. Is the only connection thru the TV? I cannot understand the concept of being PC. We now have to watch everything that we say because it may not be "acceptable". I could go on but I feel better already just by letting it out.


Now back to my friends comment about me "hating" everything. I had to wait and think, before I responded to her (a rarity for me). It took me a moment as I explained to her, that although I may dislike many things, I don't hate anything. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that... the only thing I "hate" if the word has to be used is stupidity. Yeah, that's right, I hate stupidity. I really get pissed when people don't question things and just take things for granted. Just doing what's always been done because that's how it's always been done! WTF? I hate that, but then again... I hate everything.

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