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July 27, 2009

Only in the Hamptons

Yiddish

by Clive Irving

Temperatures are rising in the Hamptons, that summer playpen of the rich and infamous. The notoriously snarled only major highway, Route 27, has ten-mile tailbacks between Bridgehampton and East Hampton. What is a poor native to do when confronted with some of the world's most aggressive drivers? Resort to Yiddish.

This novel solution appears on adjacent flyers on Main Street, Sag Harbor (above). Once loved as the "Unhampton," Sag Harbor these days, with its docks full of mega-yachts owned by those shrewd enough to have taken the money and run, is as blighted as any place else by road rage. The twin tutorials offered here, on defensive driving and vernacular Yiddish (same phone number), could produce some vivid encounters. Having been rear-ended by a cell phone-addicted Range Rover driver, the victim should--before calling the cops--yell, "Meshuganah!" at the perpetrator, many times, in rising volume. Politely translated, it means mad person. Other suggestions, anyone?

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