It is with great sadness that I write this post. My good friend Steve Ende better known to one and all as 'Ruffian42' passed away last week. His humour lit up this forum from 2005 to 2008 and even a fight with cancer and triple-heart bypass surgery couldn't slow him down.
I'm sure many of the old stagers on here remember Steve with fondness but, for those newer folks, let me give you an example of his wit:
His 'congratulatory' message to Whiz on her 30,000th post, "I can think of no one who has dispensed more and better advice with heaps of charm and loads of class. Who knows how many tourists and other undesirables have made the decision to visit New York because of your tips and descriptions? You should be thoroughly ashamed. Because of you we are inundated with these people. After 30,000 posts...it's time to KNOCK IT OFF!"
His opinion of the NY Giants (he was a rabid Dolphins fan), "I don't hate the Giants. They're just terrible. Their offensive line is a sieve. They have one decent wide receiver. Their linebackers couldn't tackle a bloated fish floating on top of a pond and their defensive backs have been missing so long the police are probably conducting an investigation as I write this.
On top of that they have a coach who is a cross between a prison warden, a sadist and a serial killer."
He was also a Chelsea supporter but I never held that against him and his other great love was horse racing along with a penchant for Texas Hold'em.
He was the only New Yorker I knew who owned a car and regularly drove it in Manhattan. I'm convinced he did this to disprove the notion that it was a ridiculous thing to do. I was lucky enough to meet him on 3 occasions and, in March this year, had lunch with him and his girlfriend Susan. As usual, he was in great form. He explained to me that restaurants in Manhattan have double doors for one reason only: so that they can place a notice on one saying "Please use other door".
In ending this totally inadequate eulogy to someone who, to me, epitomised everything that I imagined a native New Yorker should be, here's how he marked the passing of a famous celebrity:
"The Pillsbury Doughboy died late last week of a yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes to his belly. He was 71.
Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Among the celebrities who turned out to pay their respects were Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, Sara Lee and Captain Crunch.
The gravesite was piled high with flours. Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never realized how much he was kneaded.
Although Doughboy rose quickly as an advertising spokesman, his life was filled with turnovers. In truth, he wasn't a very smart cookie, spending much of his dough on half-baked schemes. But despite being flaky at times, he evolved into a crusty old man who became a roll model for millions.
Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play Dough and his two children, John and Jane Dough. Rumors that his wife "had one in the oven" were not true. He was also survived by his elderly Dad, Pop Tart.
The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes."
RIP Steve, you will be sadly missed.