In one of those Richard Scarry books, Bananas Gorilla actually gets profiled and wrongly arrested. That was one of my favorite teachable moments when my kids were younger.
Being a teenager in New York during the Dinkins administration was THE BEST.
Important question not answered by this otherwise perfect piece of writing: is "Boobear" pronounced "boo bear" (probably) or "boob ear" (hopefully)?
Goddamnit, I may be a pedant, but somebody has to say it: A "mashup" of two words is called a portmanteau. OK, I'm done. As you were.
When I was in high school and Moviefone seemed like the coolest stupid thing ever, my best friend and I made a song that contains probably the longest Moviefone sample ever. It is not a terrible song: http://glen.nu/sound/silly/moviephone.mp3
Some solace: a "ratchet" is also a handgun, typically (but not exclusively, language being what it is) a revolver. This may mean that "ratchet" is becoming (or has already become) the "smurf"-like catch-all word of a certain subset of the population, in which case there is no wrong way to use it.
May I suggest naming it "The Catbird Seat" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catbird_seat)?
@Morbo Union wages are whatever the workers negotiate with the employer. It seems conceivable that their wages could stay the same (because food truck margins are probably tight, and it wouldn't make sense for a union to negotiate wages so high that all the jobs are lost) but the working conditions (steady schedules, fair evaluations) could improve.
We're digressing, I think, but I still think it's worth noting that lousy working conditions can often be resolved with collective bargaining.
This IS a workers' rights issue, but not because every worker should be entitled to a tip in those circumstances or to chide stingy financiers or to argue about last-minute shift changes. All of these things - the form of remuneration, the fairness of the manner in which performance is evaluated, and the employees' ability to have regular, predictable work schedules or receive some sort of compensation when shifts are changed on short notice - are the bread and butter of collective bargaining agreements. In other words, these are the reasons why people unionize - so that some lady's crappy camera phone won't cost them their job, and some manager's poor schedule planning won't affect their personal time. Mr. O'Connor, to his credit, recognizes that he was on thin ice in fighting against the workplace discontents the way he did. But his story is a good illustration of the usefulness of collective bargaining and working under a contract.
Here's what makes it all OK: that Mister Softee jingle sampled and used as the base for a marvelous song about ghetto ice cream trucks: http://youtu.be/CqBFz38u9Eo