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Friday, April 21, 2006


A Very Close Call

This morning, I, like thousands of other New Yorkers, am down on my knees thanking the Almighty that our fair city was spared a catastrophic fate worse than death. Things were very tense up until midnight, as the very real possibility loomed over our heads that the city's doormen could have gone out on strike.

My God, can you imagine the anarchy that we barely avoided? I shudder just to think. I can see it, though. I can see the newspaper articles that would have described the hell on earth of a Manhattan without doormen...


NEW YORK, April 21 (A.P.) --New York City was plunged into bedlam today as the city began its first day in the grip of a doormen strike. Casualties so far have risen to the hundreds, with worse still to come as a city that's come to depend on its doormen tries to make due without.

On East 87th Street, 65-year-old Jason Benneton has been trapped outside of his building since arriving home last night. When he spoke to this reporter, Mr. Benneton appeared anxious and frightened. "I don't understand," Mr. Benneton said, "I tried walking into the building, but I ran into something and hurt my nose. There's this giant thing in the way and I can't go inside."

Mr. Benneton at one point flagged down a fire truck that was responding to an arson on 101st street. The entire crew attempted to explain to Mr. Benneton how to work a doorknob, but he was unable to grasp the concept.

In Midtown, Jill Caldwell's husband Ryan lies in a coma after an attempt to hail a cab went awry. Said Ms. Caldwell, "They wouldn't stop! We were standing there for what seemed like minutes, but they just wouldn't stop! I think doormen have some kind of magic button they press that makes taxis stop, but we don't have the button. We don't have it. So Ryan did the only thing he could think of. He dove out in front of a cab and stopped it with his body. What else could he do? We had tickets to Three Days of Rain. I called the ambulance and then went to the show. Julia Roberts was wonderful."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg hastened to reassure his constituents that the city can make it through this crisis. During a press conference, a reporter asked the mayor how he plans to cope, at which time Mr. Bloomberg confessed that he employs only undocumented immigrants as doormen at his building and they are too frightened of deportation to unionize.

A spokesman for the United Brotherhood of Door-Opening Guys told the Associated Press that contract talks were continuing, but that the union had some demands that they were not willing to concede, even if it meant a lengthy and, for the workers, costly strike. "Our job is exhausting. Opening doors all the time. Smiling. Kicking cigarette butts off the sidewalk. We will not accept any contract that doesn't include a provision guaranteeing our right to scratch ourselves without fear of repercussions."

And so the city waits. And hopes.

Man, I am so glad I live in a world where the doormen stayed on the job.

Hilarious, Joe. Nicely done. Especially the reference to Three Days of Rain.

You've got real balls keeping this up when a doorman or a friend of a doorman could happen upon this at any minute. You laugh in the face of doorman danger even though they are NUTS and could totally refuse to let you into every building worth getting into in New York! I admire you, man. I really do.

P.S. Thanks for the steamy vegetable recap.
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