from Rosemary’s Mother by Jimmy Breslin (from the book The World According to Breslin, edited by Michael J. O’Neill & William Brink)

The woman I live with, the former Rosemary Dattolico, has a mother who believes that we are not properly using punishment as a deterrent to crime. It is her view that many punishments now on the books are not effective, particularly the firing squad. She opposes the firing squad because it is too quick and doesn’t hurt enough.

“They should try things out,” the mother says. “Say, you take two or three of these savages up to Central Park and put them in the cage with the leopards.”

She suspects everybody and forgives nobody. To her, every chance encounter out in the streets is a chance to be mugged. The other day, shopping in Queens, she saw three teenage boys at a bus stop. She folded her arms and hugged her purse to her midsection. The teenagers stared at her.

“Ma, do you have to do this?” the former Rosemary Dattolico said to her mother. “It’s embarrassing.”

“Ooohh! They could come jumping out like savages,” the mother said.

The former Rosemary Dattolico called to the three boys. “Will one of you young men kindly come over here and steal her purse so she’ll be happy?”

The three teenagers stepped out into the safety of the streets.

“They should be tortured just once, then they’d leave us alone,” the mother said. To her a loose shoelace is a prelude to strangulation.

(from the column in The Daily News, December, 1976)

5 thoughts on “from Rosemary’s Mother by Jimmy Breslin (from the book The World According to Breslin, edited by Michael J. O’Neill & William Brink)

  1. My grandmother once fought off someone who was trying to steal your purse
    Old school
    Now a days it’s different
    I’m not sure about an answer
    Fear is a killer
    The spirit clock is ticking
    I ‘ll wait till it stops

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.