February, The New Pluto

Novel  news! Novel news! Alright, settle down, it’s not all that exciting just yet. I just wanted to let you know that last night I sent out a query to another prospective agent for my book. And the minute I hear back, you’ll know. I reworked my synopsis, added a little mystique to it, chopped it up into bits and when it was done and I read throught it, I wanted to read my book. Do you realize it’s been, at this writing, 5 years and 6 days (March 27, 2005–Easter Sunday–we’d had Easter dinner on Saturday, but I don’t recall why) since I wrote the last sentence.  But I  remember it took me nearly two hours to get it just right, to wrap up the entire story and when it was done, we celebrated with turkey soup because I was sick as a dog and on medication and couldn’t have champagne.  

 How’s this for a statistic? This past March was a homicide-free month for the city of Newark, NJ. Imagine, for an entire month, the first time in more than 40 years, Newark went without a single murder. Statisticians aren’t counting the 43 consecutive days between March and April of 2008 a non-calendar month. But considering March has 31 days, which is 12 less than 43, I’d say it’s no big deal. I mean, yeah, it’s great nobody got killed, Heaven forbid, but if they’re going to be that nit-picky over whether it’s one singular month or over the span of two, then their statistic is just as stupid as their reasoning. According to Garry McCarthy, director of the Newark Police Department: “We’re not talking about February that has 28 days. March is a legitimate month.” I wonder what his take is on September, April, June and November?

But, it’s Good Friday and there’s a story I just can’t help but tell you. I have to warn you, it’s a bit of tearjerker, but it has a happy ending. I saw it on the news yesterday morning and it brought tears to my eyes. And that was just the teaser before a commercial break.

Sixty-four year old Bonnie Strickland called 911 on March 8 and told the dispatcher that her seventy-four year old husband, Earl, of forty-seven years was choking to death on a ham and cheese sandwich. “I tried to do the Heimlich Maneuver. I have a broken arm and I couldn’t do it, so I kind of freaked.” When the dispatcher, Bethann Alexin, learned of Bonnie’s broken arm she told her, “Okay, well I’ll tell you what to do for him”. Bonnie continued describing the scene, “He was turning real blue and I says to her (the 911 operator), he’s turning dark and I says, oh my God, he’s falling out of his chair. I had already kissed him and told him I loved him cause I just knew he was gone.”

Earl was flat on his back and Bethann calmly instructed Bonnie to straddle him, place her good hand on his stomach and push. But that didn’t work at first. “Use your weight and push quickly and that did the trick. “Okay, I got a piece of cheese out,” Bonnie exclaimed and Earl took a breath. “She (Bethann) was my angel,” Bonnie said, “I don’t know who she is but I’d like to meet her one day. She deserves this award she’s getting.” The award is the “Lifesaver Award” and she will forever have the lifelong gratitude of Bonnie and Earl Strickland.

Do you remember about a month ago I got confused (cripes, that could have been any day, really) about Tell A Lie Day and I thought it was March 4th but it turned out it was April 4th and I was going to bring it back up? Well, not only is April 4th Tell A Lie Day, but it’s also Easter Sunday and… we’ve got tickets to go see Valerie Harper on Broadway in Looped, a show about Tallulah Bankhead. When we go the tickets we had no perception of the calendar (kind of like the statisticians in Newark) and didn’t realize show day would be on the holiday, so we’re doing Easter on Saturday and the show on Sunday. Hmm, maybe history will repeat itself, in a sense,  and maybe I’ll have news from that agent. And  maybe I’ll get to fix my kitchen faucet this weekend, also.

So, on that note, you all have a great Easter. See you next week with a fresh new McGinty and an update on the weekly weigh-in!


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One Response to “February, The New Pluto”

  1. Donna Says:

    Happy Easter and enjoy the show!

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