I think I could be a cub reporter. Because I’m known as a writer, and not a bona fide journalist, I knew that I would probably never be given the chance. But that doesn’t mean I should give up on my dream. Perhaps if I could prove myself, Dan’s Papers might ask me to attend and report on some exclusive East End events this summer? That’s the perk that goes along with the job.
So in an attempt to prove my worthiness, last Saturday, I took to the streets of Southampton to interview various visitors to our community. I carried a clipboard and writing pad. Just for good measure, I tucked a few copies of Dan’s Papers under my clipboard.
The basis for my interviews was to gauge the knowledge of visitors, as it relates to the East End. I knew visitors would be easy to spot, as they often have a certain look of bewilderment on their faces.
“Excuse me lady—I am a cub reporter—could I ask you a few questions?”
She looked at me with suspicious eyes but saw the clipboard and ended up agreeing.
Sneiv: “Are you in favor of the current petition to rename Sag Harbor—Sag Hampton?”
Lady: “Absolutely—that way it will better fit in as part of the Hamptons”
Sneiv: “Do you think the Big Duck of Flanders is a boy, girl or transgender?”
Lady: “It’s a private matter and it’s not my or your place to judge. Shame on you for asking.”
It was obvious I had worn out my reporter’s welcome, so I moved on.
Sneiv: “Sir—Mr. Sniev, cub reporter, can I ask you a few questions?”
Man: “Sure, if you will tell me where I can catch the Hamptons Subway.”
Sneiv: “You go to the corner and take a left, then go down four blocks and take a right, you can’t miss it. Now, are you for or against eliminating the two forks in favor of one fork?”
Man: “I think two separate forks is a waste of time. I can never remember which one is which. The second fork just clutters the table.”
This was proving harder than I thought, so I moved on. Crossing the street, I spotted a 20-something wearing a Big Daddy Kane T-shirt.
Sneiv: “Welcome to Southampton. Could I ask you a few questions for a story I’m doing on visitors to the area?”
20something: “Cool. What–Up?”
Sneiv: “Do you think dogs should be allowed on the beaches of the East End?”
20something: “Man, as long as girls are gonna be on the beaches, you can’t keep the dawgs away. It’s just the way it is, bro.”
By this time I was feeling dejected. I sat on a bench and hung my head low. Just then, a mature gentleman sat down next to me. He asked why I looked so down. I shared with him that I was a cub reporter and that I was finding it hard to get any good material for my proposed news article.
“Why not ask me some questions. Coincidentally, I actually am a journalist for a New York-based newspaper,” he offered.
Sneiv: “What is your opinion on beach erosion and what should be done about it?”
Mature Gentleman: “I have been visiting Southampton for more than 40 years. I didn’t even know there was a beach erosion problem. If there is a problem, something should be done about it. What would you suggest?”
Sneiv: “Well, there needs to be a balance between the recreational, commercial and residential uses. Since the beaches of the East End are one of the main calling cards to attract visitors, I think it’s imperative that we maintain them at the highest standard possible. Also, the impact of not having great beaches would be disastrous to the local economy. We need to make sure that there’s continued support for programs that monitor coastal processes, which can subsequently be evaluated and compared to historical shorelines, topography, locations of structures, etc. This information can then be used to make more informed decisions regarding coastal erosion management. There are several proposals on the table, including reclaiming sand from the ocean and pumping it back onto the beach. Engineers have suggested building jetties to slow down the wave action. There’s no absolute solution, but it needs to remain at the forefront of our local agenda.”
At this point, the mature gentleman got up and walked away. As he did he turned and said, “Sorry I have to get back to Manhattan. I just got an interview from a local on beach erosion.”
I’m going back to creative writing. Who wants to be a reporter, attend exclusive East End events, partake of amazing culinary delights and socialize with celebrities anyway?