Category Archives: Rory


It is the first weekend since the Astoria Paper Caper’s arrest. The sun rises over a tranquil neighborhood. Various landmarks are illuminated: The 59th St. Bridge, Silver Cup Studios, etc.


A MAN walks out of his font door and, surprised, picks up the New York Times off his stoop. He scoffs to himself and smiles. He had forgotten this feeling. He is beginning to trust again.


RORY reads the newspaper with a glass of wine. He is distracted by laughter from the building next door. He stares intently into space.


RORY wakes up and walks past an alarm clock that reads 9:00AM.


RORY approaches the front vestibule of his building. His newspaper isn’t there. Only a plastic sleeve sits on the ground.


RORY walks feverishly between buildings on his block. All he finds are empty sleeves. He stops and looks around – a dizzying nightmare.


Dear 2L Readers,

The above scene took place this past weekend. It was short-sightedness on my behalf that allowed me to convince myself and you that I had defeated what we can now assume is a full fledged newspaper-theft racquet. I am embarrassed with the self-aggrandizing article I wrote, and I apologize if its narrow conclusions led any of you to develop a false sense of security.

I know now that the feeling inside of me at the police station was not that of guilt. It was the still smoldering embers of a fire not yet fully extinguished. The petty criminal who stole my papers was merely a piece of the puzzle. But, he was a piece non-the-less, and it is around that piece that I will build outward until I come to an edge. And, it is upon this edge that I will stand as I cast those responsible over into the abyss.

If they think that my dedication will waiver or that my vigilance knows an end, then they have yet to realize the depths of my insanity. I may stumble, but I won’t tire. Being tired is why I have chosen to play.

Rory Corcoran, Editor in Chief


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By Rory Corcoran, Editor in Chief

Like many New Yorkers, I anticipate the weekend home delivery of The New York Times. For all of the advantages of digital subscriptions, the printed edition offers its own unique rewards. Namely, it’s the satisfaction of experiencing the news through the same medium as my father and his father before him. Perusing the printed page is largely a personal experience. Yet, when I look out on the paper-lined sidewalks of my Astoria, Queens neighborhood, I can’t help but feel interconnected with my neighbors.


This weekend rite was disrupted one Saturday nearly 3 months ago when my newspaper did not arrive at my door. I immediately called the New York Times to report the non-delivery. The Times’ representative on the phone could not have been more courteous. She apologized for the inconvenience and reimbursed me for the missing edition.


However, it turned out not to be an isolated incident. For weeks my newspapers went missing. Each time I called the Times and each time they accommodated me with a reimbursement. They reached out to their delivery person who swore that the paper was being delivered. I began to entertain the thought that this may not be a delivery issue, but, rather, an act of foul play.


The idea that someone was stealing my newspaper was so perverse that I hesitated to believe it was true. I decided that I needed proof. The next Sunday, I woke myself up before sunrise to ensure that I would intercept the paper if it was, in fact, being delivered. I rolled out of bed and shuffled down the hallway towards the front door of my building. There, on the vestibule floor wrapped in its signature blue plastic sleeve, laid the Times. I was simultaneously overcome with both delight and disappointment. My discovery all but cemented my suspicion that a thief was snatching my weekend editions. I suddenly had the idea to take the newspaper out of its blue plastic sleeve and insert the previous week’s paper inside. I left the dummy paper near the front door to see if it would be taken later in the morning. When I checked back an hour later, sure enough, it was gone. My disappointment evolved into anger, and I decided it would be my mission to catch the person responsible.



The next Saturday morning, I awoke at 6AM and decided I would surveil my building from outside in hopes of catching the thief in the act. I left a dummy paper near the front door as bait and staked out my building from the front lawn of a senior housing complex across the street. Two hours passed and there was no sign of the thief. My coffee cup, long empty, begged to be refilled, and I began to suspect that I, myself, was being watched by security guards from the senior home. I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a car window and realized I looked like a hipster Serpico. Saddened by my own futility, I abandoned my post and walked down the street to grab some breakfast.


When I circled back less than an hour later, I was stunned to see that the thief had stolen every newspaper on my block. I visited each building he had hit and noticed that he had stolen the main section of the paper, but left the supplemental sections and circulars behind. A few doors down from my building, my dummy paper was scattered about the sidewalk, discarded by the picky thief.


Losing hope that my own vigilantism could stop this purloiner of papers, I called the police to file a report. A short time later, two apathetic officers strolled up to my apartment. Taking the risk of sounding like a man with too much time on his hands, I told them my whole story, dummy papers and all. I told them the days and time-frames within which the crimes had been committed, showed them all of the buildings that had been ripped off, and even pointed out security cameras on the block that I thought might offer some helpful piece of evidence. The officers responded by simply telling me that there was nothing they could do. They suggested that I cancel my subscription and buy the paper from a store. Rather than rebutting their suggestion with an explanation about the financial benefits of home delivery bundled with a digital subscription, I stood down and stayed silent. The officers’ unwillingness to take action ignited a fiery rage within me, but I calmly thanked them for their help and walked back inside my apartment. They had not even cared enough to ask me my name.


In my mind, this issue was no longer about me. It was about my neighbors. It was about the tradition I inherited from my father and his father before him.   It was about the desecration of the common trust we place in our fellow man. I saw the fabric of our civilized society unraveling before my eyes, and at that moment, I knew I’d have to stop it on my own.


I woke myself up at 5:30AM on Sunday morning. It was raining outside and as much as any normal 20-something year-old would want to be in bed at that hour, so did I. Determined not to prematurely abandon my post again, I prepared myself a thermos full of black coffee and went out to monitor my street. Just as I stepped out my front door onto the sidewalk, I noticed a moving figure out of the corner of my eye. I turned to my right, and that’s when I saw him. He was tall and dressed in a long black coat with a hood over his head. He was 3 buildings down and walking towards me. In one hand, he carried a large checkered umbrella that obscured his face. In the other was a large black plastic bag. Steps away from my door, his head lifted and our eyes met for a fleeting moment. He hesitated momentarily but turned away quickly and crossed over the street. His furtive movements may as well have been a signed confession. So like a blindfolded child does to a donkey, I gave him a tail


I let him have a block lead on me, and as I walked, I set my iPhone to video record. I followed him under train tracks and down side streets. Crouched behind the cover of an old Buick sedan, I peered over the hood and saw him make his first steal. He continued swiftly up driveways and into vestibules grabbing papers and magazines and tossing them into his oversized black bag. He seemed familiar with his route. He’d done this before.  


I wanted to get a clear video of him in the act, so I boldly stood feet away from him and aimed my phone into the vestibule of a large apartment complex where he was gathering up papers. Suddenly, he turned and saw me. I was frozen. How would this man react? Was he armed? Was he desperate enough to attack me? Thankfully, I wouldn’t have to find out. He fled hurriedly down the street as quickly as his burdensome bag of papers allowed him to. My cover was blown. I had no choice but to call the police. The operator on the line began to lecture me about the dangers of chasing people, but I ignored her, gave her the thief’s description and insisted the police get there right away. I hung up, and within seconds a patrol car screeched around the corner, sped up the block and cut off the thief who had no option but to give himself up.


I watched from a block away, but made my presence known to the police. A few minutes later they approached me, and I told them my story. They were more appreciative of my efforts than the officers from the previous day. They arrested their suspect, and I rode to the precinct in the back of a patrol car to go make my statement.


As I sat in the dilapidated waiting area of the police station, I overheard some police discussing the suspect’s previous criminal record, which included a prior petty larceny charge for newspaper theft. I laid my head back and my eyes scanned the tiled ceiling above. Rainwater dripped from several tiles and into strategically placed pales around the room. I closed my eyes and reflected on the systemic socio-economic problems that likely led this man to a life as a newspaper thief. While a small part of me took pride in having stopped the criminal who was ruining the weekend morning rituals of countless numbers of my neighbors, I felt a strange sense of guilt for having led the sting operation that ultimately ended in his arrest. That would be my cross to bear. I could only hope he learned some lesson in all of it, or, at least, would think twice about stealing my newspaper in the future.


I looked up again at the rainwater dripping through the ceiling tiles and into the strategically placed pales around the room, and it occurred to me that they might need a whole new roof.

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The Downfall of America

The Downfall of America will be a continuing series in which I highlight particularly awful aspects of our society.

Today, I’d like to highlight the WAIT FOR GREEN traffic sign.

Hey guys, this 3-colored signal thing has become just a little too confusing for me! Let’s face it – a red light is pretty much just an empty threat. But, give me a sign that clearly spells out its concept, and I might consider not blowing it. I mean, it’s not like a camera is going to take my picture and ticket me if I do.

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Great Live Music on L.I. this Friday Night

Diamond Ray Finch, Mike Adams & Johnny Pierre

RS Jones
153 Merrick Ave
Merrick, NY

Date: 1/14/11
Showtime: 7:30PM

Come enjoy a night of musical hi-jinks…

Along with some tasty cover versions, the band will be performing a selection of their favorite Freelance Vandals songs!

RS Jones offers a bunch of great eats, so if you plan on having dinner during the show…

Call 516-378-7177 for dinner reservations…

Hope to see y’all there!

Come on down & lose those snow blower blues, eh?

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Le Fantome de l’Brewery

By Rory Corcoran, Editor in Chief

I was very flattered, today, when my dear friend, Kelly Mescall, endorsed 2Losers on her blog, The Daily Snip.

The latest post on The Daily Snip included a video clip of Kelly’s grandfather, Gerald Mescall (whom is referred to as “Par” by his family). In the clip, Par comments on the latest snowfall to beset Long Island from the front door of his home in Babylon, NY. Yet, I must say that when I watched the video, I noticed that something about Par was amiss. And then it dawned on me…

As Par looked out at the various-shaped snowflakes that descended from the heavens, his thoughts undoubtedly drifted to another icy cold pleasure of his – one which, unfortunately, he is deprived of these days.

That pleasure is Coors Extra Gold, a crisp golden lager formerly produced by Coors Brewing Company. You see, on various occasions, Par and I have sat and ruminated about our mutual adoration for this celestial libation. We have also discussed the ire we both feel over the fact that, in recent years, the beer has seemingly vanished from store shelves in our area.

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“The Social Network” Lunch Meeting

I made a video of these funny computer things reading a scene from The Social Network to prove that:

1) Sorkin is GENIUS!
2) Eisenberg is an overrated D-Bag
3) JT can dance

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David’s Barber Shop: Another Barber Shop Review

by Rory Corcoran, Editor in Chief

I have been frequenting David’s Barber Shop for the past 8 years. It doesn’t offer a good haircut, but it provides a unique cultural flavor that keeps me coming back. It’s a small shop tucked away inside a brick building on a quiet side street in Oceanside, New York.

David, the shop’s proprietor, is a Russian-Jewish immigrant. He is severely restrained in expression and speech but can command his domain on the strength of one chilling and terrifying glance. His tightly tailored European shirts reveal the body of a man who has indulged in all of the spoils his success has afforded him. His neck and wrists are adorned with splendiferous jewelry, and he compulsively checks out the window for his Mercedes CL, the manifestation of his pride.

A telephone hangs on the wall next to David’s barber chair, and it will occasionally ring in the middle of a haircut. This is my favorite time. David’s phone manner is unwaveringly harsh, and callers are often berated by a torrent of Russian expletives that clank off his tongue.

I like to imagine that David is an underboss in the Russian mob, and that he is ordering the head of an enemy to be presented to him inside a jar of blue barbicide. Sometimes I wish that David would ask me to kill someone for him. I would. But, other times I like to imagine that David suspects I can understand Russian, and that I have infiltrated his shop to spy him. It’s thrilling when I think that he’s caught on to me, and I lay vulnerably in his barber’s chair at the mercy of his razor blade. Suffice it to say that when I leave his shop, I am more appreciative to be alive than when I entered.

The majority of David’s verbal abuse is reserved for his mistress and fellow haircutter, Sher. Sher is attractive and dresses like a Russian prostitute. Her make-up is heavily layered upon her deeply set eyes, but there is something very warm about her. One day, I entered the shop and found Sher working alone. This would be a rare opportunity for me to candidly pick her brain without being under the cloak of David’s watchful eye. Without forethought, I tossed out a lame compliment about her beauty, which I immediately regretted. Surprisingly, she was flattered, and I felt slightly less inappropriate. As she cut my hair, I probed her about how she had come to work at David’s shop. She told me that she had attended elementary school with David in Russia, and that they happened to run into each other years later after they had both immigrated to the United States. I had already learned more from Sher in ten minutes than I had learned from David in five years. Our conversation was uninhibited, borderline flirtatious, and totally outside the realm of what was acceptable under David’s roof.

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