New York has been known to have had its share of mob influences over the years. Even the eastern part of Long Island could not escape the long arm of the mob. Aggressive law enforcement pretty much eliminated the East End element by the end of the last century. Still, there are names I am afraid to mention, lest one of their offspring take notice and silence me in a cruel and unusual mob kind of way.
Today, I dare announce that I am going to create my own mob in the Hamptons. And I am not talking some cheesy flashmob where a group of people assemble suddenly in a place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire and artistic expression. These mobs are usually organized via telecommunications, social media or viral emails, and they end up dancing or singing their way into the local news. I have no interest in this sort of thing. What I am proposing involves business and cash. Lots of cash.
I became the Leader of The Hamptons Mob Family in a curious way.
In late June, under the cover of darkness, 12 area business professionals met in the back of an undisclosed bar in Southampton. The agenda was to discuss the reinvigoration of the Mob on the East End and to appoint a Hamptons Mob Boss. Somehow, Mr. Sneiv was unanimously elected. They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I didn’t complain because I liked the idea that someday, perhaps, my name would forever be remembered in among mob folklore and history. After the nomination, a secret ceremony was held. I am not at liberty to share specific details but it involved alcohol, a pair of panty hose and a rooster.
Following the ceremony, the men at the table all asserted their opinions as to the agenda we would execute in the coming months. First and foremost, if we were going to demand special mob deals and discounts at local businesses, we would need to make sure that those very same businesses flourished. We would need to act like a pseudo Chamber of Commerce. And that is when the brilliance of the decision to make Mr. Sneiv the Mob Boss revealed itself. “How about a CASH MOB?”
Most had not heard of the term so I continued, “According to Wikipedia, the cash mob’s beginnings can be traced back to another Boss named Andrew Samtoy, who wondered what would happen if a group of people were to come together to support a local business. Samtoy’s first cash mob occurred in November 2011 at a small bookstore in Cleveland. He used email, Twitter and Facebook to announce the place and time. And it was wildly successful, with the store making eight times its daily take that day”.
According to Samtoy, “The purpose of a cash mob is to assemble a group of people who want to make a positive impact on local businesses by shopping there with an organized group on a particular day. Cash mobs can help out small local businesses who are in trouble.” But he stresses that a business be chosen that has a history of giving back to the community.
Cash mobs also help to bring communities together to support a common cause. We all know that helping local merchants is the responsibility of the citizenry. Local business profits typically stay in the area as reinvestment. All present at the meeting agreed that it was a good idea.
Our mob would not only help to stimulate local businesses but also have some fun in the process. After a cash mob assembles around a local business and the participants buy whatever the business is selling, they will retreat to a local bar and spend time, and more money, getting to know each other over drinks.
So that is the plan to bring the Mob back to the Hamptons. Maybe Dan’s Papers could even advertise the Cash Mob a week in advance? One thing I have found since having been granted the Mob Boss title is that there are a lot of politics that come along with the territory. It seems that each business man that was at the meeting has since contacted me directly and threatened me if I did not make their particular business one of the first to benefit from the cash mob. What happened to the days when there was honor among mob members?
Mr. Sneiv will not be intimidated. But, if I get whacked, will someone please make sure the local chambers of commerce carry on my work?
Note: The first Cash Mob will be held at a particular East End bookstore (Details to follow). It will be on the day that Dan Rattiner is signing his new book, Still In The Hamptons. I wouldn’t want the Don, I mean Dan, mad at me. I hear he can get pretty ornery!