‘Waves of summer mayhem out East Hampton Way’
Well. No turkeys-storming-the-birdfeeder excuses today. I’m late because Labor Day Weekend brought me a full complement of competent Twenty-Somethings to liven things up here around The Compound. And after they left I had to immediately erase all traces of their occupancy (change the sheets; wash the towels; wipe up the avocado-toast crumbs) — or feel super sad.
So now that I can walk around the house without feeling assaulted by reminders of a rollicking good weekend (oops, somebody left her wineglass out by the pool; er, that would be me), let me get down to the actual topic of the piece. Which is crime.
Yes, crime. Out here on the Eastern End of Long Island, otherwise known as The Hamptons, we do have our share of crime. In the summertime much of it has to do with road rage, which is understandable when you consider that the local population explodes from around 20,000 to upwards of 60,000. Some sources say 100,000, even. All I know is that they all have cars and that all summer long it’s impossible to leave my driveway without doing that queen-wave-with-a-smile gesture that means “You’d better let me out now, if you know what’s good for you and that shiny finish on your passenger door!”
Why, just the other day I watched in wonder as a Range-Rover-wielding Botox Fan backed out of Brent’s Deli (home of the Best Fried Chicken on the Planet) right into a hapless Camry waiting at the red light. I hope she at least bought him a bucket. With sides.
I’ll have to check this week to see if this little fracas made it into the pages of the East Hampton Star. Which is the local award-winning super-terrific especially-to-a-former-journalism-student newspaper. (I know a thing or two about small-town weeklies, having worked at one in my own much smaller home town during many a summer vaca.)
Incidents involving road rage — and red-light-running and fender-bending and drunk-driving — go into a (very looooooong in the summertime) traffic report. They don’t make it into the Crime Log, which is where all the really interesting crimes get listed. Well, at least all the non-front-page-type interesting crimes. Here’s a taste of what I mean:
Sometimes the report is of a crime that’s a tad more serious, but still pretty darned interesting. Here’s one featuring, um, Hard Drugs.
There was another one recently where a woman “complained to police that a deer had been trapped inside her fenced yard for several days. Police suggested she open her gate.” And this dandy: “Police received an anonymous call reporting a person dressed as a clown standing in the middle of Main Street. An officer was dispatched, reporting back that the clown was gone on arrival.” Gotta love this stuff. Well, I do anyway.
One of my very favorite Crime Log reports was from a Star of so long ago that I don’t have a visual record. Which means you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that someone called the police to report “four rowdy youths in front of the movie theatre”. When the police arrived, they found “no rowdy youths, just four quiet young men sitting on a bench”.
One time, when reporting my own crime (some other time I’ll tell you all about it, but probably not) I asked the police officer — a guy very keep-the-community-safe in size and very don’t-mess-with-the-law in demeanor — who it was who wrote the Crime Log. “Why, we do, Ma’am,” he answered, with a sweet little aw-shucks smile.
I text photos of the Crime Log to The Child regularly, along with articles from the Times like ‘How to Take Care of Your Clothes’ and, a couple of weeks ago, How to Watch the Eclipse. And, of course, any article about The Company Where She Works or about Working Out Too Much. She claims to be annoyed at my over-texting over-doing, but I like to think she’d miss it if I stopped.
Speaking of The Child, I’d like to end this post with a delightful Labor Day anecdote involving her and traffic. (Not crime, thank the maternal gods.)
The Dude and I were chatting with a friendly fellow at a Labor Day party (a party to which we’d dragged The Child and her friends, but it turned out they had a swell time because the party was chockablock with terrific hors d’oeuvres and even more terrific Boldfaced Names.
Anyway. We mentioned to this friendly fellow that our daughter lived in Boston and he said “Why, so do I” and offered to give her a ride home. (It wasn’t what you think; his wife was with him.) We graciously accepted on her behalf, thus saving us a drive to the Montauk ferry and saving her an hours-long ferry-plus-train-plus-Uber trek home.
He says, “Just have her at East Hampton Airport by 4:30”. Yup. He gave her a ride home — in his plane.
She was home before I made it back from the airport.
Amagansett, New York. September 2017