T'was two weeks before Christmas and the voices were loud: “Now you can't have an accident in Mike Bloomberg's town!”
The screaming from Canarsie, the Lower East Side, Flushing, Riverdale, Sunnyside, Harlem, the South Bronx, Cambria Heights, Toede Hill, El Barrio, Melrose, Brownsville, and Washington Heights reached the North Pole in practically no time.
This was all beause of a new New York City plan that would force a motorist whose car caught fire — or was involved in an "incident with injuries" — to pay $490. If the vehicle catches on fire, but has zero injuries, the cost to the owner drops to $415. And if the motorist is involved in any other vehicle incident, but with no injuries, it would still cost $365.
“Would you like them to close firehouses?” snapped Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg when asked about the fee. "Or would you like them to have less technology [so] in case something goes wrong they say 'oh, the heck with it'? I don't think so, so they've got to raise the money."
Excuse me, Mr. Billionaire!
New Yorkers are raging mad because they know this is just a "crash tax" or "accident tax" that will raise millions of dollars for the cash strapped FDNY. It’s Bloomberg’s way of putting his hands into as many individual pockets as his administration can.
All of which has Santa’s reindeer panicking – a well placed Elf source says Rudolph's nose has stopped glowing – out of concern that an accident that could very well occur while they travel through the City’s five Boroughs on Christmas Eve.
The news of the money-hungry Mayor is not being ignored by the jolly one. Santa Claus was briefed by top advisors. “Santa is aware of the situation in New York City,” is all that spokesperson Stew Pulser would say.
However, a well-placed elf source has told us that, “Santa is very concerned with the ever increasing costs of even a quick visit to New York City.” Asked if this could mean a change in his busy Christmas Eve schedule, the Elf said “he is seriously considering skipping the Big Apple this year”.
Reacting to the development in Santa’s Headquarters, the Mayor’s response was, "Bah, humbug!”
The Mayor ignored a question from a City Hall reporter, as to whether he was concerned how Santa’s diss to New York would play nationally. “I’m busy running the City, and I am not running for President in 2012.”
In addition to the expected backlash from outraged parents, kids and business, there is concern in other city circles. “This would be the first time that’s ever happened,” said a source close to Professor Kenneth T. Jackson, Editor of the just-released ‘Encyclopedia of New York City.’
The historian would want to include this fact in a second printing. “He is ready to update the Encyclopedia’s next printing to include Santa’s boycott of New York,” said the source.
There is also word that at least one book publisher has contacted Charles Dickens' heirs to discuss if they would consider a rewrite of the classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ with a modern day main evil character based on Mayor Bloomberg as 'El Scrooge.'