August 19, 2022

You’re the Boss: Comedy and Tragedy at Town Hall

Start-Up Chronicle

According to Mel Brooks, when someone else falls and breaks his neck, it’s comedy. When you cut your finger, it’s tragedy.

At Southampton Town Hall today, the man in line in front of me asked about his permit to build a deck around his swimming pool. The woman at the computer said, “We sent it to your general contractor on May 15.”

“There is no general contractor,” said the older gent. “I am doing all the work myself.”

“We sent it to your architect on June 1,” said the woman.

“I am the architect,” said the gent.

“We don’t send permits from this office,” said the woman.

That’s comedy.

I would love to convey the machinations I am going through to get the permits to re-open the restaurant after a small fire on May 28, but I don’t want to dig an even deeper hole for myself. I am afraid of everyone who works in Town Hall in Southampton, N.Y. Not that I think anyone who works at Town Hall in Southampton reads The New York Times, but I wouldn’t want to bet my restaurant on that hunch.

The results could be tragic.

Bruce Buschel owns Southfork Kitchen, a restaurant in Bridgehampton, N.Y.

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