By Harry Freedman

I got a town press release from Joe Saladino with summer safety barbecue tips, such as “If you smell gas when cooking, turn off the gas and call the fire department.” Or, “When finished grilling on a charcoal grill, let the coals cool completely.” And, “Don’t use lighter fluid as a sunscreen, but if you do and catch fire, call the fire department.” I exaggerate slightly, but not much.

I don’t know how many BBQ fires have actually occurred in Oyster Bay, but when I googled it, the only thing I got was Joe Saladino’s press release about the dangers of BBQ’s.

So, I’m chalking this up to – Joe Saladino using any excuse to get his name in front of us no matter how infinitesimal the actual danger. It’s his way of saying, “Enjoy your summer, and don’t forget to look for my name everywhere that your tax dollars can help me put it up.”

Fortunately, I have a contact inside Town Hall, and I got hold of some of Joe’s upcoming safety tips for other dangers.


We live in a wonderful town. But we have to be prepared for all kinds of disasters. As we monitor the active volcano devastating Hawaii, we see homes destroyed, cars melting, and lava flows ruining good surfing spots.

While we know the odds of this happening in Oyster Bay are about 1 in 7 trillion during the next 3 billion years, we still want you to know that I, Joe Saladino, am preparing for this, by sending out this press release to distract you from our incredible town debt, and the fact that I am wasting more of your tax money to pay for these meaningless press releases.

Besides, Hawaii is only 6000 miles away and as they say at Lotto, “Hey, you never know.” Because, here in Oyster Bay we are sitting on just a few miles of insidious rock and other earthen layers that I don’t remember from science class, which is all that is protecting us from an ocean-full of hot lava.

So, if you think the Bethpage plume is bad, imagine if that plume was 6000 degrees and boiled up to the surface. We’d have to redo Roosevelt Park again for another $5 million.


  1. SO WHAT TO DO? –  If you see fire shooting hundreds of feet into the air, it’s either the Dolans’ Fourth of July Fireworks, or a volcanic event, in which case, call the fire department. Call every fire department
  2. RESPECT THE LAW – Remember, the town might be gone, but double parking is still illegal. And In the event your home is swallowed up by lava, you still need a new town permit to rebuild after it has cooled, and unless you are related to Ed Mangano, processing a permit will still take 17 years.3.DAMAGE CONTROL – A volcano could ruin our town more then any proposed cross sound bridge might, but we have gravity on our side. So, let’s say a volcano starts in Teddy Roosevelt Park and lava heads up to Stop and Shop before getting tired trying to climb that hill. Have you ever tried to bike up that hill? Well, I seriously doubt that lava would want to try it either, particularly on a hot sticky summer day, when it’s already sweating to begin with.4. NEW JOBS – Yeah, sure, we’d probably lose the downtown area, but a volcano would also CREATE JOBS because we’d need workers to broom the lava back into the bay, and that means more town workers owing favors to help our reelection.

    5. CHARITY – A volcano will create terrible disruption and by taking a page from The Ice Bucket Challenge, in the event of a volcano, we will begin the first annual Joe Saladino Lava Bucket Challenge, with all donations going to help any future indicted Republican officials with their legal fees. As I said, a volcano will create terrible disruption.


I also got my hands on some Joe’s late summer press releases.


  • SUPERVILLAINS – From other planets may attack our town at any time. So, if you see someone flying in a cape shooting electrical bolts from their hands, do not intercede. Wait till we call up Marvel to get one our own Superheroes to handle the situation.
  • TSUNAMIS – Haven’t occurred on Long Island as long as there has been recorded history, but just in case, if you see the water retreat more quickly then a typical low tide, and you are a Democrat – don’t worry. It’s fine.


If you’re a Republican on the other hand, get in your car and drive like hell past Stop and Shop to avoid being caught in the rushing waters and the back-flowing lava. If you’re lucky, they’ll have a sale on Baked oysters.

  • NUCLEAR WAR – If you see a large mushroom-like cloud in the sky, it could be a nuclear event. Please go inside and hide in your underground bunker for about 5000 years. Hopefully you got fully stocked up from Stop and Shop before the volcano destroyed it. Also, call the fire department. This time however, they may not answer.


PS. Oh, and by the way, I almost forgot. We’re going to secretly raise your taxes to pay for the parking garage fiasco and the interest on the 750 million dollars of debt. Have a great summer! Particularly if you commute from Hicksville!

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