Giovanni O'Malley, owner of O'Malley's, the only Irish Italian tavern on Staten Island, held a press conference on Wednesday to update his followers on the status of negotiations with the US Government for the withdrawal of Staten Island from the union with the United States.
Reminded that he had not yet negotiated the withdrawal from New York City, O'Malley, cursing in the Italian he had learned at his mother's knee, reminded his questioner that Staten Islanders had bigger fish to fry, or, to quote O'Malley, "bigger raviolis to chew on", if they were to repatriate their brethren before Christmas.
He was referring, of course, to the group of refugees in holding areas in Brooklyn and New Jersey, who were about to make their way back across the bridges-Verrazano, Bayonne, Outerbridge and Goethals after nine months, waiting for the financial aid promised them by President Obama to pay the tolls. Their hopes were dashed, however, with the recent round of new toll hikes which not even Obama had foreseen.
O'Malley ducked questions about a rumored clandestine row boat service supposedly operating from Bay Ridge in the dead of night where Staten Islanders could reunite with their families periodically, leaving their cars back in Brooklyn as collateral for the cost of the journey.
It was also rumored that O'Malley himself had purchased a number of huge trailer trucks that could transport 20 cars at a time and was ready to bring back groups of Islanders and their cars for the price of one toll per truck.
Again, he refused to be drawn, reaching, instead for a bottle of Scotch he had tucked into the side of one of his oversized boots.
"We are negotiating with French", he announced between gulps. "But we haven't found anyone who speaks English, so it's been a bit one sided". "We're trying to get everything done by Easter so that we can call it the Staten Island Spring after the Arabs. Then we can show Bloomberg a thing or two ".
With that he began to doze; his secretary slipped quietly off his lap and motioned to the gathered newsmen to leave through the back of the bar but not before purchasing at least one drink.
We were told to come back in two weeks when a translator would be present from the French Embassy.