Journalism Works Differently On Staten Island

1011statenis.jpgAlthough it’s a borough of New York City, sometimes Staten Island feels like its own little world. Maybe it’s because of the geographic isolation or maybe it’s the island’s demographics, but the Shaolin is a hotbed for weird news. A city councilman from Staten Island, James Oddo, starred in a YouTube meme that swept the world after he snapped at an Ali G.-like Norweigan television satirist and threatened to “beat the s**t” out of her. Then there’s this gem from daily paper the Staten Island Advance, which describes a local game called “Quiet”:

The game is called “Quiet” — everyone sits silently at his or her desk, and the first one to speak gets hit by a flying textbook. It ended badly for an eighth-grader at Dreyfus Intermediate School, Stapleton, whose spleen was ruptured when a textbook hit him in the side. Now cops have arrested one of the youngsters classmates, and investigators are looking into whether the substitute teacher in the room did enough to stop the chaos, or to help the boy after he was hurt. Police learned about the Oct. 3 incident earlier today, five days after 13-year-old Chaz Carvahlo of South Beach had his spleen removed on the operating table. Chaz, who said he’s 4 feet, 11 inches tall and just 69 pounds, was sitting in his math class that Wednesday morning, while a substitute, Kuang Wei Li, supervised. The class finished its work, he said, and Ms. Li told the students they could do what they wanted for the remainder of the class. So they decided to play “Quiet,” he said.

Chaz spoke first — “I just said, ‘OK.'” — and the textbooks started flying. He described the books as about an inch thick, “big and thin with a hard cover.” Each one weighed perhaps two pounds. Chaz ducked the first book, which was thrown by a 14-year-old girl, but the next two made contact, one in his side and one in his back, he said.

That’s Chaz in the picture to the right. We feel bad for him… and are starting to realize that being a reporter on Staten Island might just be an interesting job after all.