Wristbands: Shinnecock Canal Tollbooths Issue Path to Hamptons Fun

Wristband tollbooths cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas
Cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas

Bill Barth, the new mayor of Hampton Township, is pleased to announce the opening of the new wristband tollbooths at the Shinnecock Canal. There are eight tollbooths, open 24 hours a day and they cross all eastbound lanes of the Sunrise Highway.

Keep things moving when you get to the tollbooths. It may not be entirely necessary to come to a complete stop if you time it right. With the large number of booths, people manning them and a cooperating public, it is believed this operation will be a win-win for everybody and just a little blip of time impinging on your day.

As with all tollbooths, payment is mandatory. Those going through without paying will have their license plates photographed and their credit cards charged for the most expensive wristbands offered. So don’t be a wristband jumper.

And don’t be a lane changer. The booths are each clearly marked with the big sign on top that shows the wristband offered. Black gets you a local person’s wristband for $2. White is the tourist wristband for $30. Yellow is the fishermen’s wristband for $50. Green is the artist’s wristband and sells for $7. Blue is the summer renter’s wristband for $1,000. Bronze is the wristband for those who own mansions of eight bedrooms or more and costs $3,000. Silver is for oceanfront property owners for $20,000, Gold is for billionaires and costs $50,000, and Platinum is the Founder’s wristband for $150,000—even if you are not a founder but have the $150,000.

All wristbands get you into charity fundraisers, and you will receive a booklet of all the summer charities that indicates which color wristbands will get you into which fundraisers. The mayor, and the heads of all participating charities, believe that having these wristbands ahead of time will save time getting wristbands later, leaving more time for shopping in the Hamptons.

Look for your proper color atop the wristband booths as you come toward them, then get yourself into the proper lane a half-mile from the booths where the lane lines begin.

The wristbands must be worn at all times in the Hamptons, are good until Labor Day, and give you the freedom of coming and going through the tollbooth either way—in or out—just by showing the wristband. Keep in mind, however, that each wristband is instantly registered to the person wearing it, and that information is stored on our computers. It is illegal to share a wristband with someone else. Doing so earns you a $1,000 fine and if it happens three times you’re banned from the Hamptons. Also keep in mind that each wristband is sold to every person in the car, so please count your car passengers and be ready with the proper cash or credit card as you come into the lanes to pay. Checks are not accepted. Also, because of the volume of people who will be coming through the tollbooths, toll takers are not permitted to listen to any explanation, long or short, from anybody who has questions or lacks the funds to buy the wristband. Incidentally, it is not possible to buy more wristbands than you have people in the car.

All fundraisers in the Hamptons participate in this program. Information about each of the fundraisers is in the booklet you will be handed, and these fundraisers, having secured their dates, will expect you rain or shine. (Those with tents are indicated with an asterisk.) It is possible, of course, to get a wristband at the fundraiser on the day of the event if still available, but buying the wristband at the canal, of course, gives you the guarantee.

Wristbands are waterproof and may be worn in the shower, the ocean or swimming pools. They can be cut off and discarded the day after Labor Day, because at midnight on that day the bluetooth power to your wristband is terminated.

One hundred percent of the money raised by the sale of wristbands is guaranteed spent. Money left over at Labor Day is sent to the Blind Albino Alligator Orphanage of Upper Mongolia. Every little bit helps.

Bill Barth and his staff wish you an enjoyable stay in the Hamptons.

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