Even Crazier Love
Dan Klores’s new documentary — the boy-meets-girl, girl-leaves-boy, boy-hires-thugs-to-blind-girl-with-lye, girl-marries-boy-after-he-gets-out-of-prison love story of Burt and Linda Pugash — tells an amazing and freaky story. But, as Klores confessed to us at the premiere earlier this week, he collected some even weirder material that didn’t make it into the film. For starters, there’s rampant speculation among people who know them well that Burt and Linda have never had sex, even to this day. And then there’s the story of Pugash’s first sexual experience. “The first time he got laid, he totally deceived and lied to a woman,” Klores told us. “He met her, and she said, ‘Are you from New York? I hate those Jews.’ And he says, ‘Me, too!’ And then when he was making love to her, she saw that his dog tag had an H on it. In those days they were labeled C, P, or H, Catholic, Protestant, or Hebrew. And she said, ‘What’s that?’ And he said, ‘Hindu.’” Jimmy Breslin puts it just right in the movie: “I’ve been covering news in New York City for 50 years,” he says, “and no one is as visibly insane as Burt Pugash and is not institutionalized.” —Jada Yuan
the morning line
• Eliot Spitzer doesn’t just want DNA samples from all convicts and parolees. He also wants automatic HIV tests for all rape suspects, in a bill that’s dividing Albany, where some Democrats see testing “by virtue of indictment” as a slippery slope. [NYT]
• Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is quickly turning into a tiny local version of Tom DeLay: First came the strategic purge of a community board, now he’s in hot water for accepting a free cruise on Queen Mary 2 after lobbying Cunard to dock the ship in Red Hook. [NYP]
• Accounting assistant could be a pretty lucrative job, provided you’re ready to (a) steal and (b) go to jail. Eileen Koranteng, for instance, parlayed said gig at Riverdale Country School into both a $500,000 windfall and fifteen years behind bars if convicted.
• Chuck Schumer has Lyme disease! The senator is receiving treatments after he was bitten by a deer tick in the Hudson Valley. In an odd coincidence — this is not a joke — he’s proposed a $100 million research grant to study the disease. [WNBC]
• And in a first that doesn’t bode well for the future of the Postal Service, Saks Fifth Avenue’s shoe department got its own Zip Code: 10222-SHOE. Nice PR move, but we’re not sure Saks is ready to embrace the yo-mama-so-fat- she-has-her-own-Zip-Code jokes. [amNY]
Is Everyone Out of Town Already?• The Britannia Ball. Aboard the Queen Mary 2, nr. Bowne St. and Van Bruck St., Red Hook, Brooklyn, 6 p.m. A benefit for BAM and the New York City Opera, the ball will feature a performance by Patti LuPone. CIT Group chairman Jeffrey Peek hosts. Top headline on the CIT Group’s homepage? “CIT Completes $512 Million Collateralized Loan Obligation Transaction, First in a Series of Asset Management Initiatives Designed to Leverage CIT’s Expanded Origination Platforms.” Sounds awesome, but we’ve heard that Jeffrey Peek doesn’t go quite as crazy after completing collateralized-loan- obligation transactions as he used to in college. God, we can’t even remember how many times we woke up with hangovers and only the barest memory of all the origination platforms we’d expanded the night before.
Or check out our Agenda listings for tonight, selected by New York’s culture editors.
Just How Bad Are Things in Iraq?
There’s a new Times/CBS poll out today on the Iraq war, and it’s bad news for Mr. Bush. “Americans now view the war in Iraq more negatively than at any time since the war began,” as the Times bluntly put it. Six in ten say the country should have stayed out of Iraq in the first place, the paper reported. Three of four say things are going badly there. And a whopping 63 percent disapprove of Bush’s overall performance as president, with only 30 percent approving. The one bit of good news is that a majority support continuing to finance the war, assuming the Iraqi government meets benchmarks. But it’s a poll of all Americans. What do New Yorkers think? We asked the first twenty people we found on Madison Avenue in front of the office. Oddly, only 45 percent said the country should have stayed out of Iraq (we think maybe we phrased that one wrong). Otherwise, the locals are even more pessimistic than the rest of the country. By a lot. The questions and tallies are after the jump.