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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Neighbors

Good news yesterday, even with the rainout: I heard the neighbors aren’t throwing their annual October party this year. Actually, this is the second consecutive year they’re skipping it, making those affairs no longer annual events, I suppose. I didn’t think they were gonna have their party. I know they ordered in a bunch of expensive supplies last winter like they always do, yet I hadn’t seen any sign lately they were preparing for anything to happen in October. Still, you can’t be too sure with these neighbors. Better to get it confirmed before kicking back and relaxing.

Remember those awful parties they used to throw with disgusting regularity every October? Geez, sometimes they’d go on till November. They’d make such a to-do over every little thing. (You should have heard them going on about their jewelry; it was “ring this” and “ring that”. It took me a couple of years to realize they weren’t talking about bells.) All their bleating made it impossible to think. I really prefer October without the neighbors making any noise.

Now and then somebody will ask me, “What do you care what the neighbors do? You have your own house to tend to. Just ignore them.” That sounds very reasonable and all, but it never works that way in October. They are impossible to ignore when they get going. It’s not just October, either. Always with the bombast. Always with the pompous self-regard. And the drama! I grant you we have our share of drama on this side of the fence, but we don’t bother everybody else with it.

Take this week. Even with the neighbors making it clear there’d be no party this October, they haven’t shut up about what they’ve been up to this month. This whole year, actually. What I thought was supposed to be a nice, simple going-away dinner for somebody has turned into a neverending extravaganza. That’s their business, but when they can’t stop going on and on about it, it becomes everybody’s business.

I can’t fault the neighbors for wanting to do this thing — in theory, it’s a nice idea — but ohmigod, they’re making it sound as if anybody who isn’t interested in it or doesn’t think it’s the greatest thing in the world is some kind of enemy of the state. The guy at the center of it certainly earned a bon voyage or whatever, but that’s not enough. First it was like “we’ll do one”; then it was “we’re gonna fit another one in”; then it was like “we have this big blowout planned, and it’s gonna be awesome, but oh no, what if we don’t have super special moments? How can we choreograph super special moments to make sure it’s super special because nothing can ever just ‘happen’ with us? And what if there’s another one after this and we can’t go? And what if it rains?

If anybody who’s not into it dares to suggest it’s too much or they’re not up for swooning over the guest of honor…and believe me, the guest has been honored plenty…they act so offended! “Don’t you know how great this guy is? It’s history! History!” Or, get this: “HI2TORY”. It’s so over the top.

These neighbors of ours. I can’t wait for October when it’s completely quiet over there.

11 comments to The Neighbors

  • Tim H

    When it’s David Wright’s turn, will we all be involved with his “HI5TORY”?

  • David’s DE5TINY can wait.

  • Will in Central NJ

    Of late, I’ve used the following extended metaphors: true Met fans are the French Resistance, a doggedly loyal corps that won’t give in to the occupying force in their beloved home city; those Met fans who publicly crow how bad the Mets play, are the Vichy collaborators; and, the ‘neighbors’, as you call them? Well, they are the occupying army who’ve assimilated our youth and aggressively overreached their bounds.

    Too extended a metaphor? Maybe sometimes; but not always.

  • Lenny65

    I was dreading the possibility, no matter how unlikely or remote it seemed. The fawning would have been totally unbearable. And the hand-wringing and hysteria over his last home game getting rained on…give it a rest already, this victory lap began almost six months ago, I mean come on already.

  • Dave

    As I have pointed to some neighbors, whether or not they would listen or be swayed, Willie Mays announced his retirement with about a week and a half left in the season, and egads, Jeter is no Willie Mays. Nobody sold “Willie Mays’ Final May 14 Game Ever” t-shirts, he received no bizarre gifts from opposing teams, there were no attempts to work a ’24’ into any words for TV commercials, no endless preening as a focus group-tested The Face Of The Sport. And again, for you young’uns out there, Derek Jeter was nowhere close to Willie Mays in any way.

    Oh, and today’s nonstop rain is so refreshing. And not just because our landscape guy reseeded our lawn the other day and I don’t have to bother with the sprinklers for a day or two now.

    A year ago I was so happy that 2013’s dark cloud of a season had the silver lining of phrases such as “last place Phillies” and “Yankees fail to make the playoffs.” Even with the Mets’ rebuilding moving at a pace best described as a real time version of the SNY Super Slo-Motion Cam, it’s nice to see that last year was not an anomaly. And both the soulless Yankees fans and knuckle dragging Phillies fans have little to look forward to, whereas 2015 could be the year that our patience starts paying off at least a little bit. Baby steps, but better than when we couldn’t walk. Mission getting accomplished.

  • Dennis

    “Nobody sold “Willie Mays’ Final May 14 Game Ever” t-shirts, he received no bizarre gifts from opposing teams, there were no attempts to work a ’24′ into any words for TV commercials, no endless preening as a focus group-tested The Face Of The Sport. And again, for you young’uns out there, Derek Jeter was nowhere close to Willie Mays in any way.”

    No kidding……it’s a different time. I agree that it’s all over the top….but what isn’t in baseball these days? From stupid ass home plate celebrations or those idiotic HR dances with towels waving in the dugout. I mean… anyone really shocked that the Yankees are trying to milk every dollar out of this thing? Cal Ripken, Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera and Jeter all had their’s, it will be someone else next year or the year after that. Hard for me to get too worked up by it.

  • vertigone

    I tell you, this thing is spreading like some sort of zombie apocalypse. They got our old friend Ellis Valentine. He tweeted this out earlier…

    “Jeter’s last game in NY, Raining…God crying!!! The greatest career in my lifetime!!!
    Thanks 2”

    Really? The greatest career in his lifetime? WTF?

    I don’t listen to this clown, but my friend said he heard Michael Kay say yesterday that maybe they should have Posada, Mariano, and Pettitte remove Jeter from tonight’s game, or even worse, that HIS PARENTS SHOULD COME OUT AND REMOVE HIM LATE IN THE GAME. Part of me thinks I would drown in my own vomit if that happens, but it’s SUCH a stupid and embarrassing idea that I sort of hope it happens.

  • Rob D.

    Is anyone going to mention the elephant in the room, which is that David and the Mets totally FUBARed his shoulder issue??

  • 9th string

    Can I change my FAFIF handle to FUBAR the Elephant?