it happened this week

Hold Your Breath

Barack Obama has had it up to here with his own weird names!

It was a week of waiting to see if things could get any worse. John McCain continued to lose ground against Democratic nominee Barack Obama, a.k.a. “That One,” despite a new strategy of linking his opponent to Weather Underground radical William Ayers (infamous locally for his fellow Weathermen’s real-estate crime of blowing up a Greenwich Village townhouse in 1970). Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld took a thrashing on Capitol Hill. The Fed slashed interest rates by a half-point, and Wall Street reacted by plunging to new lows. (The week’s only sure investment were tickets to the Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel fund-raising concert for Obama at Hammerstein Ballroom, which scalpers marked up 150 percent.)

Term-limit fanatic Ronald Lauder said he was okay, just this once, with making an exception to the rule for fellow billionaire Mike Bloomberg. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who’d been pondering a move to Gracie Mansion, declined to comment on her group’s closed-door debates on the issue. Governor Paterson revealed he’ll be running in 2010. The remains of former Colombo family vice-capo “Wild Bill” Cutolo were I.D.’d on Long Island. Four former employees of Hawaiian Tropic Zone filed a lawsuit painting life at the restaurant as a Girls Gone Wild video.

The Port Authority nabbed the joker who’d been leaving mysterious bottles outside the Lincoln Tunnel, causing hours-long backups. Columbia professor Martin Chalfie shared in the Nobel Prize for chemistry. The Times killed its stand-alone “Metro” section. Sarah Palin lobbied for a Saturday Night Live guest appearance, and probably deserved a cut of the $6 million book deal Tina Fey landed for a collection of humorous essays. Halloween celebrants stocked up early on essentials for their Palin costumes. Yankees fans ground their teeth as Joe Torre led the Dodgers into the second round of the playoffs. And gallant divorcé Peter Cook sat down with Barbara Walters to explain that his philandering and porn addiction had been entirely the fault of his ex-wife, Christie Brinkley.

Hold Your Breath