A Cup of Coffee--Monday, August 6, 2001

By Sean Clancy
From The Saratoga Special, reprinted with permission

Pretty much around this office, a crisis comes and goes every hour on the hour. My tape recorder (with interviews from Rick Violette, Shug, Mark Hennig) burped and chirped until I threw it across the office. One down. Joe's computer freezes up every night when we try to scan Tod Marks' negatives. He curses and kicks the bag of clothes on the floor. We lose an hour.

Have you ever worked in an office when you know damn well you can take a sick day anytime you want and nothing will change? Well, in this office if something happens to one of the six real workers, we're (sorry) screwed. Susie, Paul, Pete, Frank, Dan, Joe and me. If Susie Alexander decides she's sick of working for nothing (we told her we'd figure it out at the end), this shop is closed. I mean closed. Today, she picked up a chicken salad sandwich for me, went out and bought a new tape recorder and answered the phone every time it rang. God bless the girl. She gallops horses in the morning for Mike Freeman and for some unknown reason keeps the office running.

Paul. I've had more people come to me and say I met Paul, the guy who's selling the paper at the Union Avenue gate. He's relentless. When we started this paper venture, he said to me after another shoot down on the advertising side, "You're problem is you think they should treat you like human beings." Paul wouldn't know Jerry Bailey from Jerry Seinfeld but he jumped in with both feet. He comes to me once a day and says I met a guy named... Dwayne Lucas . . . Terry Me Oaks . . . Dom Turkin . . .Pete. Well, Pete and Frank. They're the handicapping team who bang out winners like Frank Stronach bangs out enemies. I met Pete and Frank in 1997 when we rented a house on Union Avenue. Paul actually did the booking. "Remember those two guys you met in the Glass last week? They're staying with you this weekend. I told them to bring beer." The rest is history. They brought a case of Genny Cream Ale and four years later anchor our handicapping section.

Dan. He's our paperboy. Best damn paperboy in Saratoga. Hawks them all day long and likes it. Paul says, "He loves it. For every dollar, he gets a gleam in his eye, like a good athlete on a roll." Can you imagine?

And then there's Joe. My big brother. And I hate to tell you but I‚m going to get sentimental now. My brother is the best father and husband there's ever been. I mean the best. And he left his family to come along on a wild goose chase that I invented, the punk little brother with no sense of responsibility or family or commitment. Now can you imagine that? It breaks his heart too. He loves this paper, he believes in this paper, hell, he believes in me. And it's killing him. We'll make up for the lack of sleep in September. He'll never make up for missing his third boy's first rollover, first whatever they do at three months. Yeah, you might be able to look through this a little, I am trying to say I'm sorry to Sam, his wife who really takes the brunt of this project. She's raising three boys in Maryland without Joe. They come to town tomorrow, Joe will be better tomorrow. I hope this paper makes it. For lots of reasons. The biggest one of all? That Joe didn't waste his time away from home.

Yesterday‚s fictitious piece about Slim, Roy and Pegleg may have confused you. It certainly has confused me. It's just an attempt at trying something different. Once a week, we'll give you a chapter from my first attempt at fiction. We run it on Sundays because we figured it was a good time to kick back and read. Of course we were told that nobody's coherent enough on Sundays to understand it. We'll run it on Mondays from now on. If you hated
it, let me know, and I'll stick to what got me here.

Contact Sean Clancy via e-mail at sean@thesaratogaspecial.com or telephone at 518-581-1947.