New York City Mayor Ed Koch gave me my first job. You see, we were in the middle of a water shortage in the early 1980s, and he took to the TV to appoint all New York City children his deputy mayors.
This was the closest thing I could find on YouTube about the Save Water campaign. (I love the kids’ accents!)
I was around 4 or 5 years old when this happened, and apparently, I took the job very seriously. I saw the perfect opportunity to flash my imaginary badge and start taking charge when my family took me to a NY Mets game and we went to the bathroom between innings. As we waited on line, in stall after stall, I heard flush after flush, and I started to get mad. Didn’t they know that there was a water shortage? Hadn’t they ever heard: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down” and all that?
I started yelling something to the effect of: “Hey everybody — listen up. I’m the deputy mayor, and you need to stop flushing all these toilets right now!!!”
Needless to say, I never lived this one down. But as I laughed about it today with my cousin, it made me realize how likeable and how New York — yes, I’m using New York as an adjective! — Mayor Koch really was. No matter what, I’ll always appreciate that he put his trust and faith in me and my fellow deputies that we could make a real difference in the world. That’s a big deal to a five year old, or at least it was to me.
Rest it peace, Mr. Mayor! It was a pleasure working for you.