The First Person Ever Busted By Rudy Guiliani
That’s right, MOI.
As an atheist I’ve always enjoyed the irony and surrealism of life. With all the Mafiosi and arch criminals Rudy Guiliani helped put away, including the dons of the five NYC crime families, the infamous Tony “Ducks” Corallo, the notorious Carmine “The Snake” Persico, and the sine quo non, Johnny “The Teflon Don” Gotti, I have a place of distinction none of these disreputable malefactors could ever claim. (Not to mention, Wall Street biggies like Mike Milken and Ivan Boesky.)
So that means I’m Perp Number 1. Here’s how it happened.
Rudy and I were both born in 1944, he in May, I in July. We’re aniversarsial contemporaries you might say. By this time the Nazis saw the writing on the wall having gotten their asses kicked at the Battle of Kursk and the Allies landing in Normandy in June. On the day I was born, July 17, the war was virtually won that day with the siege and conquest of Caen, in that a defensive line could be drawn across the base of the Normandy peninsula, making it almost impossible for Panzer Divisions to break through. The Allies could land men, tanks and materiel at will.
Besides having the same initials and we’re both incorrigible operaphiles, both our fathers were in the bar business and we were born within a few miles of each other in Brooklyn, NY. (We even have the same favorite opera singer, Renata Tebaldi. We’re called Tebaldiani.)
So, by more than coincidence, in 1959 we wound up in the same freshman class at Bishop Loughlin H.S., home room 216. Now Loughlin at that time was called a “scholarship school” in that there were only a couple of Catholic schools in the entire NYC where no tuition was charged.
Even as freshmen, I had always judged Rudy to be of average intelligence at best. He was weak in math and science, my favorite subjects, and I felt kind of superior to him. He was pretty smart at history, English and religion—verbal stuff in SAT parlance—and managed to keep an average in the 80s. But what blew my mind even as a fourteen-year-old kid, is that after the first semester I found out that Rudy was chosen for “the brown-nose class,” la crème de la crème, you might say.
“What the heck’s going on?” I asked myself. He barely passed algebra and I don’t know how the heck he got by in Mr. Appli’s bio class. “How the heck did he do it?”
So aside from a few other common classes I rarely saw Rudy. But in senior year, 1961, I found out that Rudy was running for president of the student body, and he was so popular nobody even ran against him. “That ass kissin’ mf, how the heck does he do it?” Don’t forget it was a pretty tough section of downtown Brooklyn, Bed-Sty, to us kids.
That year when Rudy was president we were both in Brother Corbinian Joseph’s chemistry class. (How do I remember this stuff?) I remember the esteemed brother, who knew his material pretty well, calling on Rudy to define and explain the term “mole.” “Dunno,” answered Rudy and I almost hit the ceiling. Here he’s president of the student body and can’t define a mole. It’s one of the most important and basic concepts in the entire chemistry curriculum.
I didn’t say anything tough and it has nothing to do with my prosecution.
Here’s what happened: My mother was a widow and worked nights in Manhattan. I had received permission from Mr. Appli to leave class fifteen minutes early so I could hop on the subway to see her before she left for work. I had been doing this all year and thought nothing of jaywalking across Clinton Avenue and running down the subway to catch the GG. All of a sudden a burly fat kid waiting at the corner behind a fence practically tackled me and pinned me against a parked car. (I couldn’t have weighed more than 130 lbs at the time.)
He was a pimply-faced kid with a greased-up crew cut and the grin of the Cheshire cat in Alice of Wonderland. I felt like slugging him but noticed he was wearing one of those sashes running diagonally down his chest with a shiny bright badge saying “Student Patrol.”
“What are you supposed to be? We don’t have any Student Petrol.”
“We do now. Rudy Guiliani and the student body just instituted the Student Petrol last Friday. You can have the honor of being the first to go to student court.”
I couldn’t believe it. I had permission to leave early. There were no jaywalking laws in NYC. What the heck is going on?
Within a few days I found myself in the cafeteria standing in front of some makeshift tables and who should walk in, dressed in a black graduation gown, but one of my best friends and fellow math enthusiasts in Mr. Gehm’s 11th-year math class, Andy Carney.
“Boy, it’s good to see you, Andy,” I said sotto voce as he pranced in. “This is bullshit. Get me outta here. Now you can pay me back for letting you copy my homework all these weeks”
“Sorry, Rich, I gotta enforce the law. It’s my duty. You have to go to detention for two hours after school for a week.”
I never spoke to the prick again. So much for Rudy Guiliani and his law and order, authoritarian mentality. Later in college in social psych class I learned that the anal compulsive personality has distinct advantages in a moralistic bureaucracy and often rises to the top like cream. To me, it’s a person who sells out his friends to gain personal advantage (called leadership credit) with the brothers
I remember sitting in the last rows of the auditorium attending mid-week mass. I whispered to my buddy, “Get a load of Rudy, receiving Holy Communion on a Wednesday. He’s gotta be a freakin’ religious fanatic.”
As I’ve stated many times in other writings, when he comes to sex, money or politics, all that religious bull crap goes flying out the window. As religious as he was in high school, he divorced after a few years of marriage and faced ex-communication except for some secret deal he made with church officials. Figures. Other ex-communicants go to hell but Rudy got around it.
As law-and-order type as he was, when it was his turn to fight for his country, he chose to let less influential kids do it, letting patriotism go flying out the window like the ass-kissin’ religion. As a young prosecutor, he asked his boss, some judge, to write a letter to the draft board stating how indispensible Rudy was to the NYC judicial system. He beat the draft with a 2A Occupational Deferment.
Anyway, that’s my story: I was the first “perp” prosecuted by Rudy. Only 4,151 more convictions to go. My crime was I got dismissed early so I could see my mother before she went work as a cleaning lady, as Rudy gained stature and political credits from it. I wonder how many of the four thousand were as guiltless as I, notwithstanding Tony Ducks and the boys.
Getting back to my opening point, life is surreal:
The Saudis are one of the most primitive, tribal, narrow-minded, sexist people on the planet, and one of the richest.
Sarah Palin, a fundamentalist glossolaliac (speaker in tongues) ran for vice president.
I just watched The World Series of Poker where the winner received eight million dollars, more than average laborers can make in ten lifetimes of toil and drudgery.
When gang members in Detroit try to shop lift condoms, people try to prevent them.
(If you like my writing, and who doesn’t enjoy Barbara Walker’s encyclopedic knowledge? our Pot Stories Atheist Essays is available on Kindle. I’ll have an A/N ad up there pretty soon. Like the kids tell me, “I got issues.” I admit it.)
What do you find surreal? Please comment below.