Our local Staten Island paper was all set to run a piece last Thursday about my musical experiments with my avian pals. It did not run, I was informed, “for lack of space”. (My birds were understandably miffed.)
“Lack of space” –Hah! A generic excuse, if ever we –the birds and I– heard one!
That “lack of space” was none other than our local lad, Congressman Vito Fossella, who failed to walk a straight line in Virginia a week ago, after a Giant’s Victory Party (wasn’t that some time ago?) when he got out of the car, please, for the police.
Vito’s blood-alcohol count was “twice the legal limit”.
(When Vito was first nabbed for the DUI and only the DUI, I noted his muddying of the waters with an artfully phrased –turns out he had hired a specialist to guide him in this– non-apology, in which he “humbly” slapped his own wrist, confessing to knowing how wrong and dangerous it could be to “have even one drink”.
Vito, Vito, Vito, Vito! You don’t get to “twice the legal limit” with only one drink. An inventive try, but we are NOT buying it.
NOTE: Readers will know how hard we come down on Avoidance of Responsibility in this blog. And will equally know the fun and understanding that can be derived from a little extra parsing of the Tortured Syntax of the Exculpator.)
But I digress.
“Twice the legal limit” turned out to have other –shall we say–resonances in Vito’s life. There were, it transpired, other “straight lines” that Family Man Vito had also failed to walk. Along with wife Mary Pat and first family at home in Staten Island, Congressman Fossella had a second family going with Laura Fay in Virginia. And a 3-yr-old daughter to prove it. That is a Tsk-tsk-able offence right there, especially for such a straight-arrow Republican Family Values guy.
What now for Vito?
Well, having failed to invoke the “What happens in Virginia, stays in Virginia” rule, he now says that he plans to run again in November. (Look, I already SAID I’m sorry! What more do you want?)
Apparently, Vito aims to Tough It Out. Who knows, maybe even try to cash in at the ballot box on any notoriety. He may try to “borrow a hyphen” –you know, go as “Congress-Man Fossella”!
It may be his only option. But it’s going to be a tough sell.
(Optional Exercise: Compare and contrast the waywardnesses of Eliot Spitzer and Vito F.
What floored me about Eliot was the degree of his Stunning Immaturity, tempered –should we say ill-tempered– by an apparent Olympian Arrogance. His sin, however, was not the sin of paying for sex (ho-hum, indeed, –if that is not a slur) but the political sin of hypocrisy, for which he paid through the nose. Also, of course, there was the slight oversight of not making any friends among Democrats in Albany. Like, for when he might need them.
But –Immaturity and Hypocrisy are not illegal. They are punishable, not by law, but by life.
One could say of Vito that he also displayed some major-league Immaturity and Hypocrisy. The coldness and distancing that one can only imagine were necessary for the assiduous pursuit and maintenance of dual-infidelities, probably served him well in his chosen calling of politician. Not to mention the cost of maintaining that Family Values Mask when, at any moment, such a simple thing as a Giant’s Victory Party gang awry can be one’s undoing.
But Eliot was probably “bigger fish” than Vito. Which is not to say that “being from Staten Island” will be Vito’s salvation.
If it was not such un-PC language to use in front of my avian pals, I would say that Vito’s goose is cooked.)
So, the piece got bumped. And it fell to me to try to explain all this to said avian pals.
“Tell it to the birds” said one of the sparrows, when I finished.
It turned out that The Cardinal had already gone out early to get the paper, and was upset. (He is in mid-mating ritual with his sweetie, and was hoping to impress her with the fresh ink.)
But one of the male Morning Doves was sympathetic to Vito: “Hey, doesn’t a guy get to have a personal life any more?”
His plea might have carried a little more weight with me had he not broken off in mid-sentence to rush off and try to have said “personal life” with a couple of attractive bill’n’coo-able females wearing that new neck-iridescence thing that everyone is talking about.