“All of a sudden, I feel a shot on my back ... like somebody shot me,” he said of a man patting him on the back at a Staten Island grocery store.
Rudy Giuliani is a pornographic man, in the most literal sense of the term. He exists in a constant state of glorifying the human body, in all its carnal forms: He farts and sweats and melts and adjusts himself without a hint of shame or reservation, and in doing so embraces his fundamental physicality. And yet, for someone who revels in the vulgar meatiness of daily life, Rudy sure seems like a huge, baby-soft wuss when it comes to actual physical contact with other human beings — particularly those who AMBUSH him in an unguarded moment, subjecting him to a HEINOUS ATTACK in full view of a New York City grocery store and God and everybody.
If you haven’t guessed (or, I suppose, even heard) by now, I’m talking about Giuliani’s alleged “assault” at a Staten Island ShopRite on Sunday evening. Here’s how he croakily described the encounter to fellow past-his-prime New York character Curtis Sliwa:
First thing I have to do is I have to use the men’s room. So I get out, I walk to the men’s room. I come out of the men’s room — a group of people are around me, hugging me, kissing me, telling me [his son and Republican gubernatorial candidate] Andrew [Giuliani] is great. And all of a sudden, I feel a shot on my back ... like somebody shot me. I went forward, but luckily I didn’t fall down. Lucky I’m a 78-year-old in pretty good shape, ‘cause if I wasn’t I’d have hit the ground and probably crack[ed] my skull.
Speaking with The New York Times, Giuliani added to his narrative, insisting that “my back hurts, but otherwise I’m able to walk and stuff like that.” Sounds pretty serious!
Now, let’s go to the tape:
Hm. I don’t see any hugging or kissing or ... really much of anything, honestly. A guy walks up, pats Giuliani on the back, and then, per the Times again, asked, “What's up, scumbag?” Hardly the makings of a true crime podcast. Hell, in Staten Island, this is basically like holding the door open for someone while you tip your expensive Borsalino fedora and offer them a fine-howdy-doo.
Keep in mind as well that Giuliani is a career politician who established his public persona on the boast that he’s the absolute toughest guy around. So, given the information at hand, I think one of two things is happening here:
1) The footage of Giuliani’s “assault” fails to underscore the true IMPACT of the SHOT to his back, delivered by a well-trained, impossibly strong assailant, that would have felled a lesser man and sent even the most immovable linebacker hurtling headlong toward certain hospitalization. If that’s the case, then Rudy is simply the strongest human being to ever walk the face of this Earth, and his DNA should be studied for its superhuman medical properties.
2) Boy oh boy is Rudy just a velvety soft little kvetch who either doesn’t know the whole incident was caught on tape, or thinks so highly of his bullshitting skills that he assumes he can lie his way out of it — in which case his DNA should be studied for, y’know, other reasons.
Incredibly, there is a real victim to all this: the 39-year-old Staten Island man who was arrested and charged with second-degree assault for simply giving Rudy a pat on the back. Somehow, though, I have the sneaking suspicion that there are plenty of lawyers in NYC who would be happy to represent the accused assailant, free of charge.