[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom DUMBO to Coney Island, shock and disbelief gripped residents of Brooklyn when surveyors confirmed that Brooklyn was actually part of a very long island known as, well, Long Island.
“No doubt about it,” said Chief Surveyor Eudora Fletcher, “Brooklyn is really the western end of an island, 118-miles long, that juts out into the Atlantic.”
The survey was on everyone’s mind at a local bar in Cobble Hill.
“I didn’t spend all this money moving to Brooklyn just to live on Long Island,” said one clearly annoyed patron. “They shudda told me where the house was located before I bought it.”
“Look,” said another Brooklynite, “my 11201 ZIP Code has got real status. What will people think when they find out it’s on Long Island?”
Two men wearing dark suits, obviously visitors, sat quietly in a booth across from the bar.
“Where youse guys from?” asked a local resident, noticing the strangers.
“Yaphank,” one man replied.
“You’re kidding. There’s a place named Yaphank?” said the guy at the bar.
“It’s on Long Island,” the man said.
“So whatta you guys doing in Brooklyn?”
“We’re theft consultants.”
“Yes, sir. You people stole the Islanders out from under our noses, and you’ve got Long Island worried. We’ve been hired to find out what Brooklyn is going to steal next.”
“This is a joke, right?”
“Nope. We’ve even heard talk about building a wall across the whole island. Or taking over Queens as a de-militarized buffer zone.”
“Jeez. What do the other boroughs think about all this?”
“Well, Queens is nervous, of course. The Bronx isn’t worried—they’re sure the Yankees are too classy to ever move to Brooklyn. And, as usual, nobody really knows what they think in Staten Island,” said the consultant.
“Most people in Manhattan can’t even find Long Island on a map,” he laughed. “The only the people who know where Long Island is have houses in the Hamptons.”
“Listen,” said the guy at the bar, “Brooklyn is nuts about sports. And we didn’t just nab the Islanders, we got the Nets, too. You gotta problem with that?”
The Long Islander shrugged. “What’s done is done. But Long Island accounts for a lot more interesting people than just athletes.”
“Yeah, like who?”
“LL Cool J’s from Long Island.”
“O.K. But Jay-Z’s a Brooklyn boy.”
“Alec Baldwin’s from Massapequa.”
“Eddie Murphy comes from Bushwick.”
“How about Jackie Kennedy?”
“Classy, but we got Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
“Long Island’s Billy Crystal.”
“Brooklyn’s Woody Allen.”
“Rodney Dangerfield came from Babylon.”
“Brooklyn’s got Bob Guccione.”
“But you have to admit that Long Island’s way ahead when it comes to corrupt police officials.”
“On the other hand, Bugsy Siegel and Al Capone were both born in Brooklyn.”
“Fair enough. But who’ve you got to match our Bill O’Reilly?”
“Hmmm. How about Curly from the Three Stooges?”
The man from Yaphank called out to the bartender: “A glass of Brickhouse Red from Patchogue for our friend at the bar, please.”
The guy at the bar laughed, “And two Brooklyn Lagers for my buddies in the booth.” He came over and sat down.
The Long Islanders smiled. “So tell us, do you have anything worse than the LIE?”
“What?! You guys have never been on the BQE?”
The bartender brought over their beers.
“So,” asked the guy from Brooklyn, “seeing as we share an island and all, do you think Long Island and Brooklyn will ever understand each other?”
“Well,” said one of the Yaphankers, “we could run a ‘Know Your Neighbors’ event, so Brooklyn could find out what’s happening in foreign places like Mineola and Hicksville.”
“And even Suffolk County,” said the other consultant. “You think Brooklyn people would be interested?””
“Not a chance in hell.”
They raised their glasses.