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Off Main Street /

Hold the champagne

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul couldn’t wait to congratulate the New York Mets via Twitter for sweeping the Chicago Cubs and advancing to the World Series.

In fact, she did it before Game 4 was even over.

The tweet was taken down as the game continued, but Jon Campbell, a state government reporter for Gannett New York, notified the twitterverse.

Hochul fared better than Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. With the Houston Astros on the verge of eliminating the Kansas City Royals earlier in the postseason, Abbott’s office tweeted out congrats to the Astros – only to see the Royals roar back, win that game, and eliminate the Astros in the next game.

When the Mets finally clinched on Wednesday, Hochul couldn’t resist a “just as predicted” follow-up to Campbell, complete with a winking emoji.

A leg up

You’ve probably heard about bootleg CDs from concerts, but at Sir Paul McCartney’s Thursday at First Niagara Center, bootleggers took it a step further.

They were selling concert T-shirts after the show at deep discounts, according to a concert-goer. When one bootlegger was asked how he was able to sell his T-shirts on the cheap, he explained that the garments were overstocked inventory from a printer.

Still another street vendor had his stash of shirts tucked inside his own clothing. After a customer he had engaged requested a medium-size shirt, the vendor reached down and extracted the garment from inside his pant leg.

We suppose it doesn’t get anymore bootleg than that.

Small business, big game

Super Bowl 50 (the NFL has ditched the Roman numerals for this one) is more than three months away.

However, a mere 11 days from now, the owners of Vidler’s 5 & 10 will learn whether or not the East Aurora small business still has a chance to make it to the big game.

Vidler’s is one of 10 finalists in the Small Business Big Game contest sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks, which will produce a 30-second commercial for the winning entry to air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. Online voting by the public will continue until Nov. 3, when the three finalists will be announced.

“We still have no idea where we stand, but we’ll find out on Nov. 3 if we’re in the top three when the public voting ends,” said Vidler’s co-owner Don Vidler.

“I and the other nine finalists are all being flown out by the sponsor, Intuit, to their headquarters in San Jose, Calif. for this announcement … and then we wait an excruciating ‘one or two weeks’ until they reveal the grand prize winner of the Super Bowl ad,” he added.

That’s so 1970s

The Erie County Legislature might not be hosting a karaoke night anytime soon, but it could.

Two years ago, the Legislature moved its Thursday morning work sessions into a larger conference room. Space was no longer a problem, but sound was. Department heads giving reports at one end of the long conference table couldn’t be heard easily by folks on the other end sitting along the wall. Installation of a microphone with an amplifier was required for the new meeting room, so they hunted through storage closets and found a big, dark gray karaoke machine, complete with microphone, speaker and double-deck cassette recorder. Who knows how it wound up there? But, hey, it worked and – voila! – sound problem solved. It’s now a standard fixture at work sessions.

“If we’d just had the mirror ball, we’d have the full set-up here,” joked Scott Kroll, a former Legislature clerk who now works in the Comptroller’s Office.

No one uses the karaoke machine’s cassette tape recorder to record the work sessions, though they do still use cassette tapes to record the regular Legislature meetings on a different audio system. They also record the meetings digitally.

Why the redundancy? Kroll said his predecessor ordered so many boxes of the obsolete cassettes that staff figured they might as well use them.

Off Main Street is written by Harold McNeil, with contributions by Matt Glynn, Lou Michel and Sandra Tan.