Perceived labels that no longer fit reality

Parade-goers watch the 251st St. Patrick's Day Parade Parade-goers watch the 251st St. Patrick's Day Parade make its way up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. (March 17, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and ...

It's all in the labeling sometimes.

Is St. Patrick's Day a "drunkfest" or a "sober family holiday"? As always, that depends on who's being asked. Police across Long Island certainly have a view. They've set up breathalyzer checkpoints at many of the major intersections. The Long Island Rail Road added cars and cut the booze.

Erin go blah!

Pro football's expensive, you say? Well, the Jets are lowering some ticket prices. Babies are born in hospitals? Not always. One popped out on the side of the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway after a very nervous expectant father made a very bad turn.

Label that a huge surprise.

Even Bruno the Rottweiler got a labeling makeover that no one could possibly have anticipated. He went from being a "strong and sometimes stubborn" dog to "the last dog left at the Sandy emergency shelter." Suddenly, he was Long Island's pooch célèbre. On the strength of that alone, he shot to the top of the pet-adoption list and will surely be fetching someone's slippers in no time.

What will they try to tell us next? That the new pope is a Jesuit from Argentina? That's as crazy as a college dean on drugs. Oh, wait.

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Suffolk Community's Robert Beodeker denies it. But he's now charged with drugged driving and aggravated vehicular manslaughter after a crash that claimed two lives on the Meadowbrook State Parkway.

A bad label all around.

LABEL THIS

1. Carnival Lose Lines

2. CPAC Your Bags and Go Home

@Newsday

3. Portman Family Values

4. National Ridiculous Association

5. Washington Why-Partisanship

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Solar panels on 15 town-owned properties in Brookhaven? Wind turbines too? So who exactly will all that renewable power lower electric rates for? . . . Now that Steve Israel got Tim Bishop named to the national Democrats' fundraising priority list, how will Tim return the favor? Is it enough just to win again in 2014? . . . Will the frozen dessert wars heat up this summer in Stewart Manor, as TCBY moves onto what had been strictly Carvel turf? The ice-cream and yogurt franchises are somehow coexisting on Seventh Street in nearby Garden City . . . Will Barret Beyer, sous chef at The Emporium in Patchogue, ever reheat a beef Wellington again? Not in front of "Hell's Kitchen" hellion Gordon Ramsay, you can bet he won't . . . Who on Long Island hasn't been slammed by Sandy? Local farmers are pointing at their saltwater-slogged fruits and vegetables and pleading now: "Hey, don't forget about us, OK?" . . . Who's the bartender? After Tony Danza's successful fundraising shift at Connolly's Station in Malverne, what other beloved TV stars are available for charity fill-in work on Long Island? . . . Isn't today St. Patrick's Day? You mean I already missed the parade?

THE NEWS IN SONG: I wish to Christ I'd stayed home last night: Black 47, "Livin' in America," tinyurl.com/livinhere

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This can be very lonely work, pounding out nouns and verbs, day and night. That's no secret around here, where the streets are dotted with thousands of writers in attic offices and basement rooms. Almost all of them could use a few more friends -- or at least a supportive colleague to proofread the latest essay. That's where the Long Island Authors and Writers Society comes in. Best-selling authors, industry pros and a quite a few wide-eyed newbies, all trading ideas, encouraging each other, sharing their hopes and grumbles in roughly equal measure, securing this Long Island as the writer's Mecca that it is. All are welcome for an informal networking event, Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Melville Marriott Long Island, which could soon be known as the Algonquin of Walt Whitman Road.

Email ellis@henican.com

Follow on Twitter @henican

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