While the Times Square Alliance set up an industrial shredder for ‘Good Riddance Day,’ so that people could shred bad memories of 2009 and start out fresh in 2010, in New York City; The Community of South Philadelphia set one up out in front of Mama Mia’s at the Italian Market.
As a just-in-case strategy maneuver (if the shredder breaks down), Louie “The Lug” and Nicki “Three Fingers” placed a sledge hammer and torch nearby. Hundreds of participants are expected over the next few days, ending at midnight Thursday.
My friend Annette Giordano, who owns Mama Mia’s, called and asked me to find out what the folks are shredding. I showed up wearing my “Rosie’s” press badge.
Annette is also writing a book, “The Buck She’s a Stop Here.” Annette has never heard of President Harry S. Truman, she thinks it means money and the “Where’s George?” tracking system. She has paid Vinnie “The Stump” to use his good hand to go online and put "Mama Mia’s" as the starting point on all of her dollar bills. She drools when she sees a strange one with “Where’s George?” in the register. Annette figures it’s good business.
A notebook is sitting by the front door of Mama Mia’s. People are ripping paper out of it to write down their shredible memories of 2009. I walk over to Vito Giordano, who just used the shredder.
“Vito, what did you write down?” I asked.
“Hey, I can’t tella you.” He said. “It’s like a chicken wisha bone.”
“Vito, you weren’t supposed to make a wish. What did you write?”
“I wisha the Yankees would die,” he said.
“Vito!” I responded. “That’s not right. It will bring you bad luck.”
“No,” he smiled, “I lose $5,000 business when dey beata da Phillies. Annette shes already giv 'em da evil eye.”
Next, I spotted a young couple laughing as they shred.
“What memory did you just destroy?” I asked.
The man spoke up. “Three months ago, our landlord gave us an eviction notice, we were down to $20 in our savings account and couldn’t afford a car. Last month, we hit the lottery for $100,000 and just got the check. I said goodbye to abject poverty and public transportation,” he laughed.
Some of the other responses included:
“I found out that my son was paying kids to do his homework. I shredded his allowance.”
“I got a new job and shredded my old boss.”
“My old New Year’s resolutions.”
“My ex-boyfriend and his pitbull, the snot-eyed bumdwarf.”
“I just torched my old Timex. It was making me late for work. Now, I have to go buy a new watch.”
My friend, “The Paisano,” (no one knows his real name), is taking a nap in the local park. He has not yet stopped by Mama Mia’s. I believe he is more Amish than Italian by nature, as he does not use modern conveniences and travels only by donkey.