Her Royal Majesty.
Several weeks ago I rebuked the claim made by the NY Observer's Chris Shott that Dianna Carlin, a fairly new Coney Island entrepreneur, was The Queen of Coney Island. (That entry and a link to Shott's shoddy article can be found here.) I felt the need to admonish Shott because I am well acquainted with the true queen and I promised you then that I would provide an image of Her Royal Majesty. I was really hoping that I would have found one of my old images of her. But, since that didn't happen (probably because those images are so old that they are stored on a 5.5 inch floppy!) I had to stop by to see her. Ah, I owed her a visit anyway.
Well, to my dismay, I found Queen Grandma in the saddest condition ever. She has been given a makeover and apparently her stylist is big on the couture of the religious right. (Rumor has it that Grandma began using the services of Tammy Faye Baker's former stylist shortly after Ms. Baker's death.) Anyway, I am appalled! HRM's bottle of Bacardi 151 and pack of Lucky Strikes have been replaced with strings of pearls and painted fingernails! I immediately protested to Deno's Wonderwheel employees Amos and Charlie. They explained that they had had a slew of complaints about Grandma's indulgence in alcohol and tobacco because (as some people claimed) she wasn't a good image for the children.
I MEAN WTF??? What, did they forced her into some sort of "overcomers" rehab or something? What is the world coming to when the Queen of Coney Island can't take a swig between readings? And, when the hell did the children of Coney Island become so damn precious-wecious that they can handle the sight of an old lady having a good time?
Let's call this what it is. Grandma is being forced to alter her image in acquiescence to the new hipster set (Ahem, Carlin, Shott and the rest of the "Let's-act-like-we're-just-carnie-lovin'-hipsters-but-we're-really-in-it-for-the-$$$" crew) converging on Coney Island. As an act of resistance, I am waging an email campaign to the administration of Deno's Wonderwheel. If you have any sense of justice, you'll join my crusade to Save the Queen from the wiles of middle class anxiety. (Pssssst: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Oh yeah, I sense a bit of sexism in these demands placed on HRM. While the queen can't so much as light a smoke after a hard day's work, the King of Coney drinks himself into a stupor every night and spends his days outside The Ghost Hole like this:
The King of Coney Island
I bet he too has few remarks for those who object to unsavory behaviour in CI!