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Friday, November 14, 2014


I went to the annual Health Fair at work last week, thinking that there would be rides. They measured my height, I assumed to find out if I was tall enough to ride the ride. But it turns out the whole thing was just a bunch of tests and insurance people, which was just as well since I always get sick on rides. But if I did get sick, what better place to be cured than a Health Fair? I usually just self-medicate using time-honored remedies such as funnel cakes and pizza.

By the way, did you know that at the Phoenix State Fair this year they were serving "python on a stick?" I heard that it tastes like chicken, so I am just going to eat chicken instead, if I can find one on a stick. If I ever meet a python in person and it finds out I am wearing its skin on my boots AND eating it from a stick, it is not likely to be in an friendly mood with me. (Can you meet something in person if it is not a person?) Also at the PSF they have something called "dessert on a stick," which I misread as "desert on a stick," which would have been funnier. At a state fair they can fry just about anything and put it on a stick. Usually it tastes like a fried stick.

Back at the Health Fair I went around from table to table, trying to get as much free stuff as I could. I got about 200 pens that sometimes work, a recyclable shopping bag, and a whole bunch of other crap that seemed important at the time. If somebody had something REALLY good, I would feign an illness that only THEY could cure. The better the free gift, the more time I invested in seeming interested in their presentation, in order to assuage my guilt for not being at all interested in their presentation. For instance at the eye exam table they had a cute little knapsack. I signed up for some damn website and felt around in Braille for a while as if I left my seeing eye dog at home. At the aural health table I made like I left my hearing ear dog at home, too. I said "What?" and "Huh?" a few times and picked up a couple pens, They referred me to the mental health table.

I took a PSA test, and the nurse pricked my finger. Did I say that backwards? No thank god. I Yelled "OW!" really frigging loud just to see if anybody left the line. It didn't hurt that much; my cat performs the same test on a daily basis.

Then they drew more blood for my cholesterol test. If I had known they needed all this blood I would have saved some from my last home improvement project. As usual my bad cholesterol is taking over the place like an ISIS raid on a Syrian village. My HDL is like the Syrian village. My triglycerides are like Turkey, sitting around on the sidelines waiting to see who wins. Come to think of it if the Syrians ate more turkey their cholesterol levels would be better.

I had a head cold when I went to the Health Fair and I wasn't feeling that well so I went to one of the wellness tables where they were giving these little free blankets. What better thing to cure a cold than a blanket? The minute I got there they started giving me grief about the way I was coughing. "You should cough into your elbow, like this!" The lady said. Why on Earth would I do that? First of all I don't want my head cold spreading to my elbow. Second, most people don't know their ass from their elbow, so most people would be coughing into their ass. Third, holding your elbow like that looks like the symbol for "party foul," and the entire place would have to do penalty shots. They were giving away flu shots at the next table, which actually were pretty tasty.

They held this year's Health Fair right in the middle of the ebola crisis. At first I didn't think anything of ebola or even e coli. I thought they were just on the internet, like Ebay or Etrade or Esurance. I figured they were computer viruses. But ebola turns out to be very real and scary. It should be noted that you can only catch ebola from people who are experiencing the symptoms of the disease, which are: fever, severe muscle and joint aches, sore throats, severe stomach pains, weakness, substantial weight loss, and loss of appetite. But what if you are at a concert the very first time you get a symptom? And people just think you have the "rockin' pneumonia the the boogie-woogie flu?" By then it's too late and you're all screwed.

Anyway, I took some Triaminic for the cold. I experienced some tightness in my chest, which apparently is one of the side effects. I self-diagnosed this on WebMD to be acute angina, and I was flattered to find that I was not the only one who thought it was cute. After I got through admiring myself in the mirror I took some Lipitor for the angina. The Lipitor caused some memory loss and confusion, which I realized might be early Alzheimer's disease. To treat the Alzheimer's I picked up a couple Exelon patches, one for me and one for a hole in my coat, but I couldn't remember where I put the coat. The Exelon patch caused a decrease in appetite, which I attributed to anorexia nervosa. To treat the anorexia I took some Fluoxetine, which caused erectile dysfunction. I popped a few Viagra and experienced stomach pains, one of the main symptoms of the ebola virus.

FYI all of these are also symptoms of being in love, except for the erectile dysfunction. So if you experience all these issues and you are quarantined with somebody hot, do yourself a favor and open up your heart.

Presently I am self-monitoring my ebola, and I have discovered something quite disturbing: I have a REALLY long nose hair. The thought that it might have been there for some time was making me glum, so I took some Mirtazapine to deal with the depression. Mirtazapine is known to cause abnormal thoughts, which I am writing down here.

Incidentally, another delightful treat on sale at the Phoenix State Fair this year was the chocolate-covered scorpion. The stinger is supposed to have been removed, but how can you tell without licking all the chocolate off first? Also the scorpion is supposed to be dead, which you can also find out during the licking process, as they are ticklish. Here is a State Fair recipe for chicken-fried bacon: http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/unusual-state-fair-food#slide-1 I am still looking for a recipe for bacon-fried chicken.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I am a lean, green bicyling machine. For the past year and a half I have been riding a bicycle from Grand Central Station to West 57th Street and back each day. I purchased a used two-wheeler from Craigslist for $30, and a brand new 3/4-inch lock and chain for $60. Surely criminals with even a rudimentary understanding of math will see the folly of ruining a perfectly good lock to get to a rusty bicycle.

The bike has 18-speeds, but I only use one of them: Slow. So slow that the Polish sausage mascot at the Milwaukee Brewers game could easily beat me. But afterwards I would be in New York and he would have to return to Milwaukee, so who is the real winner??

I pass by a lot of hot New York women every day on my $30 bike and I want to look cool. There is nothing less impressive to the ladies than a guy who obviously cannot afford a car, or cab fare. Or a Metrocard. A guy on a scooter is the only thing lower on the food chain.

I thought some accessories might make me look more like an athlete; maybe a pair of those padded shorts that give you that sexy "bee sting ass." Or one of those streamlined helmets that make you look like a hooded merganser. A duck can fly or swim anywhere it has to go and does not need to ride a bike. However, the helmets are carefully designed to improve wind resistance, which could take up to 4 seconds off my time while protecting my head from hooded mergansers. A messenger bag might make me look more formidable, since bicycle messengers are known to stop at NOTHING to deliver their messages to important clients who do not know how to use email. Whenever one of those schmucks almost runs me over I think of the phrase, "Don't shoot the messenger!" So I try to stab him to death but they are hard to catch.

In the end I picked up a mirror and a bell. The mirror comes in handy all the time because after 2 or 3 blocks my hair looks like crap and needs some TLC. The bell is pretty useless, because whenever I ring it people just try to answer their phones. It's much more effective to yell, "Look out- one of my balls just fell off!" Which clears the area like a concussion grenade.

Pedestrians are unpredictable and often badly dressed. Tourists are the worst, because since they don't read English, they cannot understand a flashing red picture of a hand, the international symbol for: "STOP, idiot!"

The other day I almost hit a Hello Kitty, one of those frightening, pedophile panhandlers who dress up in costumes and threaten you in a South American language if you don't give them a tip for taking their picture. That is an awful thing I just said- I should not automatically assume that these people are panhandlers. What do you tip Hello Kitty for taking its picture, anyway? 15 percent, I guess, but of what? They can't have much overhead- the costume is probably a couple hundred bucks, plus cat litter. Hello Kitty did not look very clean, as if it hadn't said "Hello Dry Cleaner" in quite a while.

Car doors are another hazard. I was passing a stopped limo on the right (a no-no) when a lady opened her car door without looking (another no-no) and I landed in her purse. She let out a loud, piercing shriek as if one of my balls fell off. I have settled into an understanding with cars: everyone who drives a car anywhere near me is an A-hole. And when I am driving a car, everyone who is riding a bicycle is a dipshit. I am thinking of joining a group like Critical Mass and becoming an activist. I doubt that I will, since the very word "activist" implies that I might have to do something.

The weather is always an X factor. I usually don't ride if it's raining, except one time when I held my umbrella with one hand and steered my handlebars with the other. I looked so much like a weird Mary Poppins that I never tried it again. That really happened, so don't try to picture it.

It rained so hard I had to take the subway, but being next to all those people bummed me out. People are so annoying. I sat down for ONE second and somebody piped up: "Hey, everybody, I'm real sorry to disturb you, but I'm a homeless veteran. I served our country during Viet Nam and then lost my house in a hurricane. Then I lost my job in a different hurricane, and if everybody could just-" "HEY HEY HEY WAIT A SECOND!" I interrupted. "I slipped and fell in the parking lot and had to have shoulder surgery. I couldn't play tennis for THREE AND A HALF MONTHS, had to eat with chopsticks LEFT-HANDED, and I am STILL unable to play the piano, although in fairness I never could. PS: I ALSO served my country during the Viet Nam War when I worked at McDonalds." I did not get a whole lot of sympathy but I did get four dollars.

Incidentally, in the year 1817, German inventor Karl von Drais first rode his two-wheeled "walking machine." Considered the precursor to the bicycle, it was basically Flintstone- powered by using one's feet to propel it along. It was made entirely of wood, and failed to catch on, possibly because of the possibility of a termite infestation so close to one's crotch.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Did you enjoy the U.S. Open tennis tournament this year? I did! I was at the Men's Final, and I saw Somebody Something-or-other versus an entirely different guy whose name I also can't pronounce. Somebody asked me who won and I said, "I couldn't say," and they asked, "You don't know who won?" And I said, "I do, but I just can't say it." I don't want to sit here and make fun of peoples' names, and that is why I am typing this standing up. You may say that the Open needs more prize money, or it needs better chair officiating, or it needs more attention to doubles play, but what it really needs is: MORE VOWELS. Someone should arrive with a truckload of a's, e's, i's, o's, u's and a few y's and distribute them throughout the draw so that we can make usable sounds out of their names. And don't put any heiroglyphics above the vowels to try to confuse us, unless it is a heart or a smiley face over your "i." I thought Li Na was cooperating by having such a short name, but it turns out her first name is actually her last name, so just shoot me.

This year's championship was an epic match that lasted about 20 minutes. I spent most of the time scanning the audience with my binoculars looking for stars. I was there, as every year, with my boss, and I nudged her with my elbow and gave her the field glasses: "Isn't that Abe Vigoda?" I asked. "Abe Vigoda is dead," she replied. "I know, but look closely- that guy looks dead!"

I saw Lindsay Davenport there, but does that really count? It's like going to a fashion show and seeing a model there. Donald Trump was in the crowd, and when they showed him on the JumboTron he was loudly booed, possibly more for his hair than for anything he did or said. Every time I see him his hairdo looks more and more like Liberace's. I think I saw a lot of people from various Vampire shows, but they didn't seem to bite anyone, so I couldn't be sure.

I was sorry for the state of American Men's tennis, since the crowd kept shouting curses and epithets in foreign languages that I didn't understand. One of the players was Japanese I think, because I saw something that looked like his name on a sushi menu once. I distinctly heard cries of, "Ano yarou!" ("That idiot"), "Damare Konoyarou!" ("Shut up you Bastard!"), "Oshiri pen pen!" ("I'm gonna spank your ass!") and "Chikubi, Chichi!" ("Nipples!"). That was countered on the other side by intense shouting to the tune of: "Jebal te bik!" ("The bull will fuck you", although in Croatia this is considered a friendly warning, not really a curse). I also heard a smattering of "Os cornos do teu pai" ("Your father's horns") and "A puta da tua tia!" ("Your aunt is a whore!") from people who thought one of the players was Portugese. I even got into the spirit, repeatedly shouting, "Lambasa!" Which is Fijian for, "No underwear on!"

I quickly tired of this exercise, or it could have been from walking up to level 300. My mind started to wander, due to the lack of oxygen and thoughts. I thought back to some of the crazy things I had witnessed throughout the fortnight. In one match featuring Serena Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm, a bee flew into the stadium and terrorized both players. A ball boy chased it around for about 10 minutes with a towel, but the bee was not actually wet, so that had little result. The bee ended up cross-pollinating Serena Wiliams with Kimiko Date- Krumm, forming a large short black tennis player with pale skin. I heard Ms. Date-Krumm exclaim, "Chikubi, Chichi!"

I fondly remembered the extremely awkward moment when Martina Navratilova proposed to her girlfriend in between men's semifinal matches. The girlfriend, who barely speaks English, did not seem to understand what was happening. Martina gets down on one knee, pops the question, opens a box with a ring in it, and the girlfriend still hasn't said yes. Martina gets down on the other knee, then an elbow, and still nothing. I thought I heard the girlfriend say, "Oyah dah papakina, yoscho papakina," but I'm too much of a lady to say what that means in Russian. Martina takes it for a "Yes," and they all live happily ever after, I can only assume.

Then there was the incredible shot Roger Federer made: his opponent had made a volley that landed outside the baseline, and started walking away from the net. Roger, not realizing the shot was long, raced back and hit an acrobatic between-the-legs stroke that hit the other player square in the ass. This occured much to the delight of Michael Jordan, who was shown applauding in the stands. Jordan is not actually a tennis fan, he just likes seeing people get hit in the ass. I'd hit that ass!

I mused about the weird sounds that come out of women these days when they play tennis. I was watching the Williams Sisters play a doubles match, and trying to yell at my cat at the same time, and my fracas was almost completely drowned out by a player named Elena Vesnina, who every time she struck the ball, yelled "Hi-YAH!" extremely loudly, as if she were breaking a stack of bricks with a karate chop. When I was 13 years old I was a yellow belt in Judo (I possibly became a yellow belt in Judo class after having peed my Judo gi during a "hiza garuma") and I never ONCE said "Hi-YAH," even to myself. I do make a funny sound when I am musing though.

In another startling development, Caroline Wozniacki went to hit a backhand, and didn't notice that her ponytail had gotten caught in her tennis racquet. She almost yanked her whole head off, lost the point as a result, and would have lost it anyway, since you are not allowed to use a tennis racquet with hair in it- her hair is considered a foreign substance since she is from Denmark. This is PRECISELY why you don't see ponies playing a whole lot of tennis, even though they would have two forehands, and four two-hands. Thank god Caroline Wozniacki was not bowling at the time: HEY CAROLINE- get your head out of the gutter!

I recalled the gut-wrenching women's semifinal match where Peng Shuai, suffering from severe heat cramps, crumpled in pain and had to receive treatment in the locker room. She returned about a half hour later, played one point and then keeled over again. The trainers helped her to her seat, but she broke free and crawled back to the baseline to try to serve. The medical staff dragged her away by her feet and she left 10 huge divots on the court from dragging her fingernails across the surface. Finally they shot her with a tranquilizer gun and removed her in a cage.

Wistfully, I realized that I would not hear the word "fortnight" again until next year's U.S. Open.

Incidentally, Jimmy Connors is the only player to win the U.S. Open on three different surfaces. When I read that he won the 1974 tournament on grass I was surprised, because at the time he only seemed drunk.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I don't dwell on 9/11 a whole lot, and I've never watched any programs or movies about it. My own memories of that day are more than enough, especially the experience of working in the televison air monitoring studio with more than a score of video monitors, each with its own vivid horror.

I sometimes thank the gods for the gift of musical expression, and 9/12/2001 was one of those times. I composed this song that day, and I finally got around to re-recording it the way it should sound (with the usual exception of my voice).

It has the same effect on me now as it did then.


Please listen to it with headphones on, as it is not professionally recorded.

Monday, August 18, 2014


She was at work, and she opened her shade, and a drone was hovering outside the window looking at her. My wife was not actually happy to see the drone, and said it was frightening and creepy, like the guy from the EHarmony commercials. If the drone was out looking for people with a surprised look on their face going "WHAT THE F***," I bet it found plenty.

There are only three reasons for drones to exist: 1.) to identify enemy targets. 2.) to remotely attack enemy targets. 3.) to try and look under women's skirts.

Really, nothing has ever been invented in America that doesn't either make money or try to look up women's skirts. But there is a fourth reason for drones to exist, besides identifying targets and bombing targets, and that's delivering things from Target. I read that the CEO of Amazon wants to deliver things to my house using drones.

But in addition to delivering my package, I just KNOW that damn drone is going to be snooping around, trying to find out things about me so that it can put them into an algorithm and recommend more things that I might want to buy. It's going to casually fly into my house before I get a chance to close the door, and it's going to peek around my house at my stuff. It's going to engage me in small talk while it checks out what's in the fridge. And before I know it it's going to be saying things like, "people who like chicken ALSO like throw pillows, weeping willows, armadillos, minks, skinks, franks, skanks, socket wrenches, park benches, pirate wenches and golden retrievers.

Actually it might be kind of convenient, if the drone can hover over my house while I make sure the damn thing I ordered works first, since it just dropped onto my driveway from 100 feet in the air. And then the drone is going to report back to Amazon, and they are going to try to sell my information. Good luck with that- no one wants my information because I'm too cheap to buy anything! They will end up with an ad on Craig's List:

"FOR SALE: RICKSTER'S INFORMATION" slightly used. Included: 3 tendencies and one proclivity. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Act now, and we'll DOUBLE IT! That's right, WE'LL DOUBLE THE INFORMATION! (Just pay for shipping and handling.)

If you look up the word "drone" in the dictionary, you can see a picture of my 10th grade geometry teacher. He weighed about 310 pounds, and spoke in such a monotone that you couldn't distinguish the vowels from the consonants without a DNA test. He would have caught me sleeping every single day if he wasn't asleep himself. He was a great geometry teacher because even his weight was educational; he looked like a cross between a circle and an isosceles triangle. If I had to use what I learned in class to calculate his circumference I would guess that he looked like an R squared that ate too much pi.

I asked her what the drone was doing at the time, and she said it was just hovering there, looking at her. I asked what was the expression on its face? Was it looking at her funny? Cause I will kick its droney little ass. Which side of a drone is its ass?

At least it didn't see her naked (I don't think). She told me that Jill Clayburgh once saw her naked, and I asked, "Why was Jill Clayburgh naked?" Turns out they both belonged to the same health club, but Jill Clayburgh wasn't the one that was naked, and in Jill Clayburgh's defense, it was in the women's locker room.

It's possible that it was a small alien space ship- who says they have to be big? It was unidentified, it was flying and my wife objected to it, so there you have it. What if it shot her with a ray gun, miniaturized her and sucked her into the spaceship so that spacemen could bring her back to their planet and perform experiments on her? And what if instead of a scientist in a lab it was a 12 year-old idiot like me with a chemistry set? My chemistry set came with 64 bottles of different reagents, compounds and catalysts. But really, if it wasn't highly flammable, I was not interested in it. How much Bunsen could a Bunsen burner burn? I could have answered that question if only my parents had not taken the chemistry set away. Anyway, I did not want my wife to be lit on fire by a 12 year-old alien dipshit with a chemistry set.

Worse yet, it could have cloned her appearance and sent back an alien that looked exactly like her, but talked like an electronic phone prompt. Would I notice that it wasn't really my wife when it called me to dinner saying, "Please remain there, because our menus have CHANGED." I would know that my wife was an alien the very first time she answered the phone and no one was on the other line. My REAL wife is trained to keep holding the phone to her ear, even though the line is dead, and say, "You don't say!" over and over, then hang up and wait until I ask, "Who was it?" so that she can reply, "I don't know, they didn't say!"

What if my wife was secretly a foreign agent whose whereabouts were being monitored by the government? I decided to give her a pop quiz.
"Quick: what's the capital of North Dakota?" I shot.
"Who cares?" She answered.
"CORRECT. Are you a foreign agent?" I further queried.
"If I was, I would certainly tell you, so I would have a good reason to kill you."
"Also correct."
But there were still many unanswered questions, not the least of which was: where the hell did I put my glasses?

Incidentally, the FAA describes an "unmanned aircraft" as any aircraft "without a flight crew on board." Which essentially means good luck getting drinks. If you are flying an unmanned aircraft for recreational purposes, your flight will be governed by the voluntary rules of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, which administrates the flights of models. If you are flying a supermodel, you are definitely going to need those drinks.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Okay I swear to god this realy happened: I went to retrieve my sneakers from the basement. It was dark. It was quiet. I tiptoed over to the light switch. A voice from the shadows said: "STOP. Don't turn on the light." The voice was eerily familiar. A purple laser beam temporarily blinded me. I was paralyzed with fear. I stepped back towards the door. "DON'T WALK THERE," the voice warned. That voice again. I had heard that voice threaten me before. Many times before. I realized it was my wife. What was she doing in the dark with a laser beam? "I'm looking for cat pee," she said. "Have you tried the catbox?" I asked. She said, "Someone is peeing down here, and the only way to find it is with an ultraviolet light."

So she looked all over with the blacklight, and there it was! Eureka! She found a tiny area of carpet in between two couches. This was the only area where there was no cat pee.

Apparently this is a special blacklight made specifically for finding cat pee, so it did not come with a Jimi Hendrix poster or anything (back in the 70s, blacklights were used for finding teeth and dandruff). Seeing the blacklight made me nostalgic for the 70s. All the great songs, like "Chick-a-Boom" and "Sylvia's Mother...." The great hairdos... the great sayings: "GROOVY! FAR OUT! LET'S BOOGIE ON DOWN!" Things that really meant something. I thought about how great it would be to live in a great place like Iran, where I read that people got stoned after they made a video of the song "Happy!" And another person got stoned after saying the word "bieber" in a crowded place. What a fun country!

Anyway, how do we even know it was a cat peeing in our basement? It could have been a mouse, or a bird. Do birds even pee? In all this time I have never seen a bird tinkle, and it's not because they are so modest; I've seen them do a bunch of other disgusting things.

"The cat is simply marking its territory," I observed, and the minute I said it I became terrified. If the cat had already annexed the entire basement, it was only a matter of time before it peed its way upstairs and took over the whole house. I was going to have to file for an easement just to use the stairway.

"I'm going to have to re-mark the territory as ours," I said triumphantly. "I am going to pee our house back! And I'm going to do it NOW!" Only I didn't have to go yet, and my wife made a move towards the phone, so I postponed the re-districting.

"They do this when they are angry with you for something," my wife explained. The cat is literally pissed off. This had me scratching my head. Shit! What if they are angry with me for not scratching their head? A cat could be angry at you for ANYTHING, because they don't share the same values as we do. They might be peeing on my tennis bag because I am not paying enough attention to them? Am I paying too much attention too my tennis bag? I immediately stopped allowing my tennis bag to sit on my lap. Shit- what about my laptop? If they see that thing sitting on my lap all the time they are going to get jealous and pee on it.

"You need to engage the cats more," my wife said. "Play with them once in awhile!" "CatS? We have more than one?" I asked. So I set up a weekly card game. Oxford stud, progressive pot, no limit. I lost about $120 the first two weeks, which made me really angry. I started thinking of ways to get even. I admit that I peed on some of their stuff.

Finally we went outside to escape the pervasive smell of cat pee and breathe the fresh air. "Do you smell something? It smells like cat pee out here, unless the cat peed inside my nose." I exclaimed. "No," my wife said, "that's a boxwood bush- the smell keeps the deer away." Which is probably the only thing that explains why there aren't that many deer in our basement.

Incidentally, ultraviolet light has a shorter wavelength than other colors visible to humans, although it looks taller in person. UV light has long been used in hospitals to disinfect surgical equipment. When the light hits the object it breaks down the germs, causing them to cry. The photochemical reaction renders the germs unable to reproduce. It would have been a great thing to try on the cat.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Is it wrong to say that I can't wait until the World Cup is over? Soccer is just SO FRIGGIN BORING I can hardly contain myself. You can waste more than two hours of your life seeing them run back and forth, and at the end of the game the score is still zero-zero. The Brazil World Cup is played on partially natural turf, and the stadiums are brand new, so you can actually compare which of these is more boring: watching the grass grow, watching paint dry or watching soccer.

I would rather watch curling, women's figure skating, even biathlon. They have a biathlon, a triathlon, a pentathlon and a decathlon, but they have no sexathlon. That would be six events, all related to sex. I can guess what the events would be, although I am too much of a lady to say what they are here. I will say that in this competition, "sticking the dismount" is NOT something to be proud of.

Even car racing is easier to watch, even though it's so dull you're basically just waiting for someone to crash so you can go, "COOL!" Wouldn't it be more interesting if a deer bounded into the middle of the road like in real life? Or if there were a million potholes, or if people insisted on not using their turn signal?

No one can even tell you how long a soccer game is. It's supposed to be 90 minutes, but the referee can just tack on extra minutes to the game based on how long he thinks injuries or penalties took. If someone gets injured during a penalty the referee scratches his head for 5 minutes and you can tack THAT on to the end of the game too.

I saw that a guy was kicked out for biting another player on the shoulder. How stupid is that? How many goals are you going to score with your shoulder? He should have bitten him on the foot, or taken a divot out of his head so the ball goes off in some cockeyed direction. Apparently it was the third time he has done this. Instead of biting three different guys, he should have bitten the same player three times; he could have gnawed off his ankle by now. Thank god they kicked this guy out- he could have finished off an entire team- Cameroon, or even Turkey. I heard they are going to have to put him down. This biting is certainly not something I would do, but only for dietary reasons; is a white soccer player considered red meat or white meat?

And good luck getting his mail- we used to have a chow chow and the UPS guy was so convinced he would get bitten by him that he used to leave our packages 50 feet from our house.

Soccer fights are the fifth stupidest fights anyway. Basketball fights are the best, football fights next, then baseball fights, then hockey fights. A guy who picks a fight in soccer has to run 15 or 20 minutes to get to the guy he wants to fight with, and by that time he is so winded he just stands there hunched over with his hands holding the bottom of his shorts while the other guy pushes him over with his index finger.

Then there is the TV announcer who yells, "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALLLLLL!!!" at the top of his lungs. People love him, because compared to the game itself, all that noise seems interesting. I find it supremely annoying, and before I can hit the "mute" button, it sets off my car alarm. I go make a sandwich and when I come back he is still at it. Yes, I admit I used to make the same call on a particularly successful date, but I quickly outgrew that kind of behavior about two years ago.

They even had an opening ceremony for the World Cup with a concert and everything. JLo was up there shaking that big ass of hers at Pitt Bull. It seems like no one can make a song these days without Pitt Bull. I recently recorded a song in my basement, and to save money I used an actual pit bull, but it ate two of my microphones.

At the bar, the fans were rabid (possibly something they caught from Pitt Bull), cheering every time the Americans got close to the goal (742 times) and even louder when they scored (0 times). USA lost the match, but since they did so well scoring NO goals, they let them keep going in the tournament.

The fact that I can't stand soccer doesn't seem unpatriotic to me, since it's called the World Cup and I'm disagreeing with the entire rest of the world. When I put it like that it seems completely normal for me.

Incidentally, players from Chile, Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina are banned by team rules from having sex during the World Cup. I don't really know if that means for the whole month of the tournament or just while they are on the field. The rule makes these players definitely NOT players. Americans have no such rule, and can have sex with anybody they want, except for players from Chile, Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the way, if it Herzegovina, you're not doing it right.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I lost my frigging wallet. Can you believe that? I have never lost my wallet in all my 55 years. Even when I was 6 months old I never lost my wallet. Sure, I have lost everything in it at one time or another. I have certainly lost all my money here and there, mostly there, at the stripper bar, where they nipple-and-dime you to death. I have all these silver dollars that come out of the parking machine at the train station, and you can't believe the dirty looks I get when I drop a few of those down somebody's G-string.

They call them "gentleman's clubs" now. If you don't act like a gentleman there, i.e. asking to see women's vaginas, you will be escorted out, which is another laughable euphemism. If you get escorted out of a stripper bar at least you have the escort.

Anyway, losing the money was the least of my problems. I had all my personal information in there, and someone could easily steal my identity. Can you imagine anything worse? Not for me, but for the poor person who has to assume my identity. Have you taken a good look at my identity recently? Multiple people with multiple personalities? And none of them good? And can you imagine my poor wife?
"Honey, these dishes are in the dishwasher wrong again," I point out, just trying to be helpful.
"Also, could you put the silverware in pointing up?" Says the guy assuming my other identity.
"Sure, and how about at least one of you taking out the garbage?" Says my wife.
"I took it out last week," I say.
"I didn't exist last week, or I would have done it." Says my other identity.
"Do you both have to live HERE?" Asks my wife.
"I would have chosen a four-bedroom," says my other identity.

I have always assumed my identity but I don't actually have any proof.

I really thought that someone would find my wallet and mail it back to me, but it never happened. If I found a wallet I would mail it back to the owner, after subtracting the cost of shipping and handling. I don't want to rip anyone off, so I would handle the wallet accordingly based on how much money was inside.

I had my social security card in my wallet. Everyone says, "You idiot- why did you keep that in your wallet?" I don't know, I just felt socially insecure without it I guess. Besides, if you're not supposed to keep it with you, why do they issue a wallet-sized card? They should have put it on 8 1/2 by 14-inch legal paper.

I also had my car registration in there. Everyone says, "You idiot- why did you keep that in your wallet?" I don't know, I just figured if I lost my car, at least I won't have to replace the registration. Besides, the car already has the registration sticker on it, and my wallet doesn't have any stickers at all.

Not only that but I actually had a check in there made out to my friend Julie, to buy her tennis racquet. Who is going to be the bank teller that gives $234 dollars to a 320-pound black man named Julie so that she can buy a tennis racquet?

I had my health insurance spending account card in there of course. When I went to physical therapy they asked me for my co-payment, and of course I didn't have the new card yet.
"What about a credit card?"
"Hmm... I don't seem to have anything that's what you might call 'payment related.'"
"No problem."
"What is that machine? We've never used that before, have we? That looks like some boarding, and some water? What is that sticker that says 'Guantanamo Bay' on the side??"
I also found out that when they set the electical stimulation machine to "high" it acts as a taser.

I had my license in the wallet, so now there is no proof that I can drive, other than my awesome ability to parallel park. I can parallel park anywhere. I have even parallel parked parallel to a park. "Your rear wheels are the key to parallel parking," I always tell my wife, "you should always put them four inches from the curb." "Shouldn't they remain at the back of the car?" She asks.

But what if I get stopped for a DWI and the cop asks to see my license, proof of insurance and registration?
"Officer, I'll get to you, but first I'd like to report a stolen wallet."
"Get out of the car and keep your hands where I can see them."
"Would you like to hear the alphabet without several of the letters? Would you like to hear me count backwards from 98 to L? Would you like to see me walk a perfectly straight line half standing and half lying down?"
"I need to see some identification with a picture on it."
"Officer, I have some identification with Benjamin Franklin's picture on it, if you know what I mean."
"Actually I don't have that either, since I lost my frigging wallet. The only thing I have replaced so far are some pictures of my cat. But I am in one of them, and that should be a satisfactory form of identification since NO ONE ELSE in the world would have a cat THIS ANNOYING. Would you like to see the photos?"
I was arrested, but on the plus side, so was the cat.

Incidentally, our current system of Social Security is based on the English "Poor Laws" of the 1600s. To me, there are so many poor laws, especially the ones that make it illegal for me to go 50-mph in a 30 -mph zone. Have you ever gone 30 miles per hour, except on the way to get to 50 miles per hour? I would hate to look outside my car after an hour and think, I should be 20 miles farther. It's pathetic. When I was on vacation a lady asked me if I was retired, and I didn't know whether to be flattered because I looked wealthy enough to be retired, or be insulted because I looked old enough to be retired. But it was a moot point- it turned out she asked if I was retarded.

Monday, May 26, 2014


When you picture paradise, what is the first thing you think of? RIGHT: Dana Delaney naked in "Exit to Eden." What's the second thing? The island of Hawaii. The natural beauty of the island is daunting; where else can you find a desert, a rain forest a beach and a volcano existing side by side? The only things they do not have on the island are the letters C, F, G, J, Q, S, X, Y or Z. Meaning that Scrabble there is dangerous and unrewarding. The correct spelling of the 50th state is Hawai'i. It's one of those weird punctuation flukes like that little doohicky that comes out of the bottom of the "c" in "facade."

Our vacation started on Oahu, the most populous of the eight main islands. The opulent Royal Hawaiian Hotel is at the north end of Waikiki Beach, with great views of the Diamond Head crater. Since I'm still in shoulder surgery recovery mode, the doctor told me NO surfing, not even body surfing, unless I was using someone else's body. Even channel surfing was to be done carefully, and no pay-per-view channels.

After relaxing on the beach it was time to take our bus to the luau at picturesque Paradise Cove. There were plenty of activities for the kids, tattooing, spear-throwing and rock-bowling. If your kids don't care much for you, this is not the place to be, as they will be armed much of the time. All this was presided over by cute girls wearing coconut shells and grass skirts. If I had a weed-whacker in that place there is no telling what I would do.

When are we going to eat around here? When pigs fly, I said to myself, and no sooner did those words not come out of my mouth than did a pig emerge from the ground instead, dug up by two dudes wearing native tattoos, although one looked like it had the Lakers logo. How long the pig had been there, and how they knew where it was I have no idea.

We ate like King Kamehameha as the hula dancers bobbed and swayed to the lilting music of an excellent band, followed by the Polynesian fire dancers. One of the fire dancers also ate fire. I don't know how many calories fire has per serving, but this was a pretty big kahuna.

We went north in a tour bus the next day. Beautiful Sea Life Park near Makapuu Beach is a great way to see marine animals in their natural habitat: giant metal tanks. I scheduled a little dolphin surprise for my wife, and a "dolphin touch" for myself. Once in the water, I wanted to instead touch the dolphin with my words and my music. As I sang an original song it appeared quite moved. In fact, it moved so fast I couldn't catch up to it to do the second verse. Then it was time to tickle the dolphin. I was told that the dolphin's blow hole is sensitive, and to avoid touching it. I was told this by the dolphin. I assured him that the same thing goes for me. The trainer warned that the last dolphin was tickled to death, so go easy. I tickled it pretty good, but instead of laughing it splashed the crap out of me with its fins AND its tail.

My wife swam with the dolphin. For approximately 3 seconds. This activity is not too cost effective if you figured out the dollars per second, but it's a bargain when I found out what they were charging the dolphin. Dolphins are not as smart as they think they are.

We travelled west the following day. The USS Arizona Memorial sits astride the 97-foot beam of the battleship sunk there by a Japanese fighter plane 73 years ago. The Arizona remains today as it was then, settled on the floor of Pearl Harbor. Oil from the hull still seeps noticeably to the water's surface, an eerie reminder of the 1,777 men buried inside, plus the remains of many survivors whom Navy divers interred there upon their deaths, per their wishes. Moored a couple hundred feet away, the USS Missouri represents the end of the Pacific Theater of World War II, as the Arizona marks its beginning. Here, on the "Surrender Deck," Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the articles of surrender in Tokyo Bay in the presence of American and European military and dignitaries. Touring these two sites was as moving as it was interesting. Most of these battleships are named after a state of the Union, and thank goodness they didn't choose a crap state like Rhode Island for these important exhibits.

Next day it was on to the big island of Hawaii, to visit our gracious hosts Jenn and Jeff and their furry friends in their beautiful home that he built himself. Not so impressive when you consider that I built SEVERAL out of Lego, back in the day. In the morning we toured the farmers market, where I bought three used farmers at an attractive price. I also picked up a Hawaiian shirt. I needed something loud enough to drown out possible crying babies on the flight back to San Diego (THREE plane rides).

In the afternoon we relaxed and snorkeled near the tidepools of Kapoho Bay. The wildlife scenery underwater was breathtaking. It literally was since I didn't have the snorkel attached properly.

At night we hung out in the lanai, drinking, talking and playing songs on the guitar and ukelele. If you have never heard a rock song played on a ukelele you are probably missing something, but you'll get over it. Their dog has a habit of coming up to you from behind, with that pointy nose- I thought it was that damned dolphin again.

The next day we hopped in the rent-a-car and drove north along the coast and around the top of the island, drinking in the spectacular views along the way. At home in Westchester, driving in the car, the scenery is so lackluster that I usually just watch it on the GPS screen, where I can at least change the color, instead of looking out the windshield. But in Hawaii each mile brings a new seascape. We turned on the radio- If you were expecting the gentle steel guitars and ukeleles of hula music, think again, because the music of Hawaii is modern reggae. It fills the airwaves all day and all night, and seems totally appropriate.

We stopped at a scenic overlook that we almost overlooked, then we did. Do not get lost travelling in Hawaii. Getting directions goes something like this:
"Do you know how to get to Kalaeloakalanianaole Highway?"
"Simple: You take Moanaluamokapupali Freeway until you get to Wilikinawaialae Drive, then make a left onto Kahuapaanikahekilihalawa until you get to Main Street, then it's not near that."
"Got it! Thanks!"

Back for dinner in Pahoa with Jenn & Jeff, we were told that the mahi mahi would be upgraded, possibly to a mahi mahi mahi. The town of Pahoa is filled with colorful and eccentric characters, which is a nice way of saying that they all look like they are there hiding from the government, their parents or their children, or were kicked out of a circus.

Next day Jeff took us on a tour of what used to be Kalapana, a small town buried by a volcanic lava flow in 1986. What ash-hole would do such a thing? We found out when we toured the Kilauea volcano, or as Dan Quayle would say, volcanoe. When you look around the site, smoke rising everywhere around you and the awesome fact of the smoldering crater right in front of you, you can't help feeling that the gods must be angry. Was it something I did? I threw a kleenex out the car window but I figured it was biodegradable? Just to be on the safe side I impulsively pushed a teenage girl into the volcano as a sacrifice. I hope she was a virgin, but come to think of it she looked like kind of a slut. But it's the thought that counts.

Then it was time to say goodbye to the Hawaii, and our hosts Jenn and Jeff, who were so much fun and so generous with their time and with their island. Words could not describe how we felt, so I made one up. A combination of "aloha" ("hello/goodbye") and "mahalo" ("thank you"), "maloha," I decided, means "Thanks! Gotta run!"

Incidentally, the largest mountain in Hawaii is Mauna Kea, at 13,796 feet. However, if followed to its base at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, it stands at about 33,500 feet, taller than Mount Everest, and the only mountain where you need to switch from snow skis to water skis halfway down the slope.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I'm not a particularly litigious person, and when I fell on the ice at the train station and tore my rotator cuff, I was prepared to take it in stride. Which is ironic, because I couldn't even take my stride in stride, and that's why I fell on the ice and tore my rotator cuff.

At the time I did not know I had injured myself, figuring that my well-rounded ass had absorbed most of the blow, padded from years of being spanked by my parents, teachers and boy scout leaders. I was not even in the boy scouts.

I thought I simply hurt myself. I even played tennis the next day. But the more people I talked to, the more they convinced me that I should be seeking a large settlement. I have a personal injury for god's sake! An injury is so much more personal when it happens to YOU. I have both pain AND suffering. Does anyone skip the pain and just have the suffering? I may be entitled to large sums of money!

Which lawyer should I go to? I see them on TV: the one with the big handlebar mustache? The lawyer who makes a big show of donning an extremely large hat while he is talking? What about the TV barrister who fills the entire screen with his big, fat, read-headed, bearded face, talking about personal injury while invading my personal space? Maybe Cellino and Barnes, with their pretty song? I sang it in the shower, and then I slipped and fell, but it was my own shower, so I settled out of court. The lawfirm Weitz & Luxenberg specializes in mesophelioma. I heard about their website on the radio: weitzlux dot com. But on the radio it sounded like " white sluts dot com," so I did check out that website, but it was all about lawyers and other boring crap.

Some lawfirms specialize in these weird drugs or operations that caused weird problems. "Did you take Risperdal? If your teenage boy took Risperdal and grew female breasts and started lactating, contact us immediately!" If I had female breasts when I was a teenage boy, I don't think I would be so quick to part with them. Who knows when I might see another pair?

"Did you have vaginal mesh?" The very thought of whatever that is made my head spin. But then I thought about it a little more and thought, hey- if it keeps the damn deer out then I'm in favor of it.

"Do you have 'Non-24?'" YES! I think I do! What is it? "'Non-24' is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder." Where those stupid bugs come by every 17 years and make such a racket you can't sleep? I HAVE THAT! "If you are blind and either can't sleep or have chronic sleepiness you may have 'non-24.'" I'm not blind usually, but when I'm asleep my eyes are closed and I can't see a damn thing! I THINK I HAVE NON-24! OH MY GOD!

"Do you burst out crying, or laugh uncontrollably?" You might have pseudobulbar affect! They used to call this: somebody with PMS watching their kid's driving test. But now there is a clinical name for it, and they are trying to convince people that they have it, so they can create a market for prescription drugs. "Don't call them crazy!" the commercial implores. "Around the bend? Perhaps. Screw loosey? Maybe."

Drug companies are hard at work every day creating pills to cure stuff. Sometimes they have the pill first, and they are left to figure out the stuff that it cures. After a little bit of testing in the lab, it turns out that there are a few side effects. The pills cure your pseudobulbar affect, but you may suffer from acne, shingles, dog bites, sunburns, sideburns, earthworms, bed-wetting and "non-24."

"Also, occasionally death." They include death right after the headaches and listlessness. They figure if the headaches and listlessness didn't kill you, death certainly might, so they had better mention it. However, it is only occasional death, so it's not like I'm dying all the time, just once in a while. By the way what a tease it is to say the word "listlessness" right in the middle of a long list.

Aren't they aware that every commerical like this is going to spawn a zillion hypochondriacs who think they have this condition? Everyone knows at least one hypochondriac at work. I had a co-worker one time that used to wipe down the phone with disinfectant before using it. "Hey you never know where that phone's been," she would say. I said, 'It's always been right there." I think she was afraid that germs might be transmitted THROUGH the phone.

"Is this Rene?" "Yes, whom is this?" "Never mind that, Rene. Do you have any open sores at the moment? And by the way it's: 'Who is this?'" "I do have a paper cut where I tried to file my nails into the wrong folder." "Would you mind holding me next to your sore for a minute?" "Wait a second- is this an air-borne germ?" "So? You were born in Piscataway."

The eighties called: they want their cooties back.

Anyway, I did end up going to a lawyer, about two months after the fact. "Were there any witnesses?" he asked. "YES- I saw the whole thing." I said. "The other side might try to assert that you did something to cause the accident," he said. "You mean something stupid?" I asked. "That might be easy to prove. They could have a parade of witnesses waltz through to testify that I do more stupid things every day than most people do in a week." "Were you tripping when you fell?" he asked. "No," I said, "that wore off in the 70's." The lawyer declined to take the case, but If one of the witnesses fell and injured himself while waltzing through in a parade he could have had a whole new case.

Incidentally, as I was researching the syndrome of "non-24," I came across the following sentence: "The majority of patients with non-24 are totally blind, and the failure of entrainment is explained by an absence of photic input to the circadian clock. However, the disorder can also occur in sighted people for reasons that are not well understood." I could well understand why this was not easily understood this. PLUS, as I was reading this, my foot fell asleep. Coincidence?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Every morning for the past fifteen-and-a-half years before I left for work I have walked across my front lawn with a good friend of mine, stopped for a moment, turned and walked back. I gave her a tasty snack, and she thanked me with two kisses on the cheek. I sat down and fixed her beautiful red hair for a few minutes, and then stroked with my hand the results of my grooming while discussing with her how I would like her behavior to be for the rest of the day.

I have every reason to believe that that small amount of attention had made her life a little longer and my own life a little better.

For those six to eight minutes each day I did not watch TV, listen to the radio, use a mouse, use a phone. I did not multi-task. I did not text, I did not sext, I did not message. I did not plan. I did not stress. I did not fret.

I expected little in return. I got by far the better end of the bargain.

Thank you for being my friend.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Jesus Christ are we done with this goddamned winter yet? I'm sorry to yell but this has just gone on far too long. I'm sick and tired of it. I'm actually sick and tired because I have a cold, but if we are still blaming colds on the lack of warmth, then I can go back to yelling at the winter. I never knew that HELL could be so friggin' cold. If I wanted to live in Syracuse I wouldn't have bothered to graduate.

I've been living in the Northeast all my life and have seen my share of rough winters. Every year the TV weathermen and weather chicks, who get paid by the idiotic phrase, come up with a new one every year. They made up the term, "Wind Chill Factor" so that they could tell you that it's cold AND windy. "Dew Point," is a cocktail of numbers brewed together that pilots use for judging the possibility of icing. I have used the formula to evaluate cupcakes and it works. "Real Feel Temperature" was invented for those to whom the actual temperature did not feel real enough.

This year they have come up with: "The Polar Vortex." It sounds to me like they spent a lot of money on the word "vortex" and were waiting for another word to come along to use with it. It sounds pretty high tech, like it should be flying around the mountains of Pakistan flushing out terrorists. Next year if we had a "Polar Vortex Matrix," it wouldn't surprise me.

All this harping on how cold it is and the fact that it's going to be EVEN COLDER TOMORROW made me intermittently sad and angry, sometimes violent, and almost always cold. I call this the "Bipolar Vortex."

They say that we are losing our polar ice caps, since all the snow has migrated down here to my driveway. Every day brings a new snowstorm with it. As the snow fell gently around the property, making nary a sound, a peaceful smile came over my face. "Isn't it beautiful?" I ask my wife. "Our cable's out," replies my wife. "FUCK THIS CRAP!" I ejaculate.

To get back the romantic mood I attempt to start a fire. In a nick of time, I remember to start it in the fireplace. Some crumpled newspaper (I start with the unfinished Monday New York Times crossword puzzle, which was harder than usual), a little kindling strategically placed, some logs stacked to allow the flow of oxygen and VOILA! Nothing. "You have to heat the draft," says my wife, romance still in the air. "I know you have to heat the draft. Or is it the other way around?" I reply, a hopeless romantic.

Of course I forgot to bring the firewood inside to dry. I suggest that we might use one of the kitchen chairs. "When was the last time we had more than three people sitting in there?" I query. By this time I have burned about four months-worth of newspapers, giving the illusion of a blazing inferno and also singeing off my eyebrows.

I remember that there is a ton of dry firewood under the eaves from hurricane Sandy, in the form of a 20-foot uncut tree trunk. My idea is to feed it into the fire perpendicularly, a little at a time, over the course of about 14 hours. My wife gives me a little look with her eyes that might mean that she thinks I am a genius.

Meanwhile I have run out of newspapers and I am burning our past tax returns. You are supposed to save them for ten days. Or is it ten years? Oops. The ashes from the paper have almost reached the top of the fireplace, and our carbon footprint has swelled to Wilt Chamberlain size. Remember when Wilt Chamberlain said he slept with 20,000 women? How the hell would he remember them all? I'm thinking he slept with the same slut maybe 6,000 of those times and didn't even remember. "Wilt the Stilt" they called him, but they only mention the one stilt. How did he stand up, unless....?

So now more smoke is coming out the front of the fireplace than is going up the chimney. "When was the last time we had the chimney cleaned?" I ask. "Sixteen years ago when we moved in," she replies. I remember my wife called a chimney sweep company, and I was kind of expecting a British bloke with a top hat. Instead, this little Spanish guy showed up who looked small enough to scale down the chimney and scrub it by hand. I asked him if he could sing or tap dance, but he didn't seem to speak any English. I broke into "Chim Chim Cher-ee" to get him started. "Chim chim-a-nee, chim chim-a-nee, chim chim che-ree!" I sing, but he looks like he is pointing to his crotch. In retrospect, I realize now that he wanted to use the bathroom. I don't know where he ended up going, but now that I think about it, our damper was damper.

I hear the plow guy outside, so I head out to see if he wants some hot chocolate. But he is already gone, and so are most of our driveway lights. He has plowed the blacktop into a perfect sheet of ice, like a zamboni. So I have to sprinkle rock salt, and as I descend the 45-degree ski slope of our driveway, I realize I am sliding inexorably down towards the mailbox. I am still tossing the salt granules as I go, and it looks like a weird wedding reception.

But here we are in April, and March came in like a lion, stayed like a lion, married, had cubs, and ate the lamb. But at least finally enough snow has melted around our mailbox so that we could retrieve our newspaper from January 3rd. You know what the headline was that day? "Snow Blankets Area!" It sounded so warm in print, but would have been warmer if a blanket had blanketed the area.

Incidentally, the polar vortex is actually a never-ending cyclone that pushes air masses around near the North and South Poles. It represents a constant low-pressure area, so if you can get a job there, not much will be expected of you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Life as a one-armed man in a two-armed world is murder. And I really mean murder- I get the feeling that there is a guy following me around who thinks I killed his wife. Can you see me even trying? "Hold on baby could you turn around? I can't kill you from this side because I need to hold the knife in my left hand." I can't even weild a knife lefty, although I can brandish not too bad.

But it has been hard. I'm ostracized at clandestine "business meetings" because one hand won't wash the other. I'm scoffed at in the ballgame bleachers when the wave goes all the way around the stadium, makes it through my left hand then comes to a screeching halt at my right hand, and they have to start the thing all over. At Gospel revivals when it comes time to Put My Hands Together, Jesus is looking down from the stained glass window, rolling His eyes.

My life right now is like that episode of "Flipper" where Flipper gets his ventral fin caught in a propeller and has to learn how to masturbate with his dorsal fin. Was Flipper a boy or a girl? I don't suppose it matters much.

All of a sudden I'm a southpaw. I used to be a northpaw, but my slip and fall pulled it southeast, and the surgery yanked it back northwest. I tried to write lefty, and discovered that it really didn't make much different to my handwriting, which either way is read from bottom to top, like Chinese, only taller. Typing isn't much better; I have to avoid certain words altogether, which has stunted my vocabulary. Words that I use often, like "lumpy," I have to type with one hand.

My right arm is in a sling, which I usually keep tucked underneath my shirt so I don't have to remove it to get dressed (the sling not the arm). So my right sleeve hangs limply at my side, causing people to think the injury much worse than it actually is. Until my hand pops out of the bottom of my shirt like a rogue Muppet. Sometimes it retrieves the mail like "Thing" when I am asleep.

I was hoping that I didn't need "Tommy John" surgery, since I would rather have it performed by a qualified doctor than an aging ex-ballplayer with one bad elbow. I even fantasized that I could pioneer a NEW type of procedure, and have it named after ME! Can you imagine the glory? My OWN infirmity! I pictured an operation that grafted tissue from my ass and had it implanted into my elbow, thereby reducing the need to distinguish one from the other.

I went to a dinner party recently, and it became apparent that I could not cut my food and might do something gross. My friend Matt had to cut my food, and offered to feed me if I promised to do it like in "Clockwork Orange."

No matter how hard I try I can't use a scissor lefty. Try it yourself sometime and you'll see what I mean. I remembered that you're supposed to use a PAIR of scissors, and that was twice as ineffective.

I'm finding it hard to blow my nose. I never realized it was a two-handed operation- I only have one nose; am I using one hand for each nostril? Or putting on my socks- I get them almost all the way on, and on the final pull the heel ends up on top. I have to leave my shoelaces tied in a double knot so I can slip my sneakers on and off.

I couldn't live upstairs with the grownups so I had to make do downstairs- my wife calls it my "nest." It consists of a pullout couch, a phone, a TV and a computer. The pullout couch is kind of a cheapo - if you lie in the wrong spot it starts to fold back up into a couch, so you need to plan an escape route.

There really isn't a hell of a lot to do with one hand. I did do a lot of gambling- me and the one-armed bandit are basically both in the same boat. I had to find one that was righty. I was going to try poker but didn't want to lose the only good hand I had left.

I'm in physical therapy three times a week. My physical therapist used to work on some of the Knicks- Patrick Ewing, Bill Cartwright, etc. She is big on stretching, and she must be good at her job because look how tall those guys are?

In my spare time (which is the only time I have right now) I am fabricating a better story than that I was walking along and all of a sudden I was on my back like an upside-down beetle. Tearing up your shoulder just by being a pedestrian is so... well, pedestrian.

So if you happen to be a fugitive, and you are wanted for murder, and you need to find a one-armed man to clear your name and avoid the death penalty, it really isn't that hard. Just look for a guy with a runny nose and sloppy arts and crafts who swallows food whole and can only do half the wave at the ballgame, and arrest him on the spot.

Incidently, people who are left-handed process emotions differently than their right-handed counterparts, according to the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Much more fascinating is that there is no more Life Magazine, but we have a Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Speaking of right-handed counterparts, that reminds me I need a new washer for my cold water faucet.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


So I was slipping on the ice about a month ago and on the way down I decided to take the opportunity to launch into a double axel followed by an immediate triple salchow. I did not stick the landing- in fact: quite the other way around.

While I was waiting for the scoring from the judges I noticed a searing pain in my shoulder- I must have used my oustretched arm to break my fall (AGAIN- quite the opposite was true).

I assumed it was a separated shoulder, or maybe just a trial separation, since we've been trying to work things out. We used to do everything together, and now we aren't as attached as we once were.

For a few weeks I tried to ignore it, but when my shoulder refused to play tennis with me I knew it was time to act. So I performed a soliloquy from Richard the Third, but still nothing.

The orthopedist (he started calling himself an orthopaedist and my co-payment went up 5 bucks) said to press against his hand as hard as I could.
Me: "I've been pressing against it for five minutes already."
Doctor: "Jesus you are weak."
Me: "if you think that's bad wait till I use my injured shoulder."

The MRI confirmed the two things my doctor already knew: that I had a torn rotator cuff and that I was frightened of loud noises.

I was considered a good candidate for surgery, since I was not a republican. The anesthesiologist came by with a gown for me to wear (It was no Versace, but it really showed off my ass nicely).

They repaired my rotator cuff, and also shaved my labrum. I said to the doctor that the shaved labrum sounded hot, but I thought those were "lady-parts?" He assured me that that was true only in my case, so I felt good about that.

The operation went well, and my wife was told that I was resting comfortably. Translation: He is in a drug-induced coma, is weak, nauseous and has a tube coming out of his ass that may or may not be related to the surgery. She assumed that I was still under anesthesia, since I was saying stupid things. You can go ahead and stick your own joke here, I don't mind.

She had already told the staff that my wish is not to have any heroic measures to keep me alive in the case of a tragic mishap such as having shoulder surgery. I was worried that she might consider the act of making me dinner a heroic measure, and end all life-support.
Wife: "What seems to be the problem officer?"
Police: "someone called to report you trying to kill your husband."
Wife: "He would have wanted it that way- Look at his quality of life- He can't function normally and in fact never could."
Police: "the hospital staff saw you smothering him with a pillow."
Wife: "Come on- we were just having a little fun."
Police: "But he's dead!"
Wife: "Okay- a LOT of fun."

The doctor said my arm would be in a sling for six weeks. SIX WEEKS! That's over FIVE WEEKS!

I thought the procedure would be fairly easy; if you watch any western movie you'll see the "good guy" get shot at least once in the shoulder, and he laughs it off as if he just stubbed his toe. "The bullet only grazed him!" they cheer. Well that is exactly what it is like: a herd of antelope grazing on your shoulder. And by the way stubbing your toe is no fun and games either.

The pain was so great ("great" hardly describes it) that I could only sleep for about 10 minutes at a time. And it was not the deep, satisfying sleep that I used to get in high school trigonometry class.

It was like constant torture. At least now I know that if the enemy ever gets hold of me, I will have NOTHing to say to them. Mostly because we probably don't share the same interests.

My wife heard about animal therapy and she thought, wouldn't it be healing to leave our 16 year-old dog with me to cheer me up and help me convalesce? We had a short non-verbal conversation of whistles and stares that went like this:
Dog: "Who the hell are you?"
Me: "Come here my little friend!"
Dog: "What did you say?"
Me: "I want to pet you! Nice Doggie!"
Dog: "I'm coming over there since someone just took a crap over here."
Me: "Ahhhhh, Nice Doggie! I knew you'd come to your Daddy!"
But instead he just stood there until a stiff wind blew him over, then it was time for his nap.

So I've been sitting here alone at home, my arm immobilized, with plenty of time to collect my thoughts. The first thought that I collected is that the collection probably will not go up in value.

Incidentally, the rotator cuff is actually a group of four muscles, and the tendons associated with them. They attach the scapula, or shoulder bone, to the top of the arm. The arm bone is the humerus, unless you break it, then it's not so funny, is it? If you have a dislocated shoulder, don't immediately go running into surgery. If you really can't locate it, do what my mom used to suggest to me, and ask yourself, "Where did I last see it?" I used to say, "Mom, if I knew where I last saw it, I'd go over there and get it."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Now that we have rung in the New Year and the holiday lights have been taken off the tree, it’s time to take a look back at the year that was. Also, that reminds me to take the holiday lights off the tree. Now, a review of the weird stories of 2013, and remember, all of these stories are true:

In January, Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o revealed that the death of his girlfriend in a car accident was indeed a hoax, and that the girlfriend was imaginary. I have certainly imagined many women, many times, specializing in many things. They all share a common bond: a deep-seated relief that they are not real. It was later acknowledged that the ruse was perpetrated by his former friend, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who also was imaginary.

In February, an article appeared that a growing number of wildlife experts have begun to question whether the endangered giant panda is really worth saving. I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment; where are we going to put a bunch of giant pandas? I can’t even find enough counter space in my kitchen for the coffeemaker. Further, the panda is an herbivore. We should be concentrating on species that are more important to the ecosystem, such as the Argentinean Boa constrictor, which could potentially be trained to eat Republicans.

In March, women’s clothing maker Lululemon recalled its popular line of yoga pants amid complaints that people could see through them. The company tried to insinuate that the pants might not be suitable for fat women, but people saw right through that excuse. I also recall those pants- I saw them on a girl and for a moment I thought I had X-ray vision. I did notice that she had a hairline fracture on her hairline. On the plus side, if I get trapped inside a pair of these pants at least I would be able to see out of them, provided I remember to bring my glasses.

In March, a NY city police officer was convicted of plotting to kill and eat women. Officer Gilberto Valle was accused of this behavior by his wife, whom he called “tasteless.” (I made that last part up) His lawyer, Julia Gatto, called the verdict “devastating,” whereupon Officer Valle popped her in his mouth like a tic-tac. (I made that last part up too, although it was written about in Law Digest) It does prove the old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

In April, Henry Gribbohm from New Hampshire lost his life savings of $2,600 playing "Tubs of Fun," a game that involves tossing a ball into a tub so that it does not bounce out. From my limited experience with tubs, I can tell you that your balls should NEVER bounce out. What is even more shocking is that during his 30 years on Earth he managed to save only $2,600. Even though he did spend all that money, he did win a prize: there is a picture on the internet of him with a huge stuffed banana that wears a permanent facial expression that says: "HAHA! I may be a stuffed banana but at least I have my dignity!" The banana should look great Mr. Gribbohm’s new home, a refrigerator box.

In August, the IRS was accused of requiring Tea Party-related groups to fill out extra paperwork to apply for non-profit status. My sisters had tea parties all the time when we were kids, and we never once filled out extra paperwork. Then again, they were never very profitable.

In August, a baby giant anteater was born at a Greenwich zoo. Sometimes when a baby is born the parents send a card in the mail that says how much it weighs, so you know right away if the baby needs to hit the gym and maybe give up blintzes. Well they didn't even bother with that in this case. It could be that this is an animal that eats baby giant ants- the article doesn't say.

In October, ancient cave art was discovered in Paiui, Brazil, dating back 30,000 years. They have been able to pin it down exactly, since some of the fashions depicted are hopelessly out of date: some of the animals are wearing animal prints- really??? Get with it! Some of the drawings showed people having sex, proving that porn was freely available even in pre-historic man-caves.

In December, 2,000 dead mice were dropped onto the island of Guam, each gently falling to Earth using a parachute of cardboard and tissue paper so that the fall didn't kill them even more than they already were. The mice were laced with acetaminophen so that they might in turn kill the excess population of brown tree snakes, an invasive species. It was not considered "cruelty to animals" since the acetaminophen cured their headaches first.

Incidentally, 2013 is the first year since 1987 that contains four different digits.