They will finally come head to head on Sunday__or will they?
Of course I’m talking about Mayor Bill de Blasio and Charles G. Hogg, better known as Staten Island Chuck. As of this writing, the mayor has not responded to requests from the Staten Island Zoo on whether he will be attending its annual Groundhog Day event to pay his first official call on the weather-predicting rodent.
Maybe the mayor is a tad gunshy. During a recent trip to Staten Island, he was mocked for eating pizza with a knife and fork. Last week’s criticism of de Blasio for not sending snow plows out in a timely fashion to clear the borough’s streets didn’t help the cause either.
Or perhaps de Blasio is thinking of the rough history of his predecessor at the event. Five years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to lure Chuck out of his cozy little home to predict if there would be six more weeks of winter.
Sick of being forced to perform this pointless, asinine task year after year, Chuck decided to make a stand, refusing to exit his comfy abode. But no one defied Mayor Mike! Ignoring Chuck’s obvious wishes, Bloomberg stuck his arm into Chuck’s home and tried to drag him out. The little guy was kicking and screeching for all he’s worth (Chuck, not Bloomberg).
After struggling to escape the ex-mayor’s clutches, Chuck turned and unceremoniously took a serious bite out of Bloomberg’s finger. A year later, a vengeful Bloomberg ordered that Chuck be shoved out of his home by a plunger-like device. “This is so much better than having to reach in and letting that little son of a bitch bite me,” cackled Bloomberg.
The results weren’t surprising. The Staten Island Advance reported outraged comments such as “My dog also snarls at undesirables!” The relationship between Bloomberg and Chuck continued to deteriorate, until Bloomberg didn’t bother showing up at all last year, sending Council Speaker Christine Quinn to do the honors.
Perhaps de Blasio sees visiting New York’s hometown groundhog as a no-win situation. Maybe he’s afraid Staten Island Chuck’s grudge against Bloomberg will carry over to him. Or maybe it’s just the fact that the grumpy groundhog is scheduled to emerge promptly at 7 a.m. Sunday__way too early for our late-rising mayor.
He’d just better not say he’s staying home to watch a football game.
(updated from an earlier blog)