Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Cut-off: To Sing or Not to Sing?

As every Boomer knows, as we grow older we face an ever increasing array of Cut-offs. 

That is, we reach ages at which it no longer seems appropriate to talk, act, or dress in ways we once found natural long ago and far away when the world was young and we were younger. 

All sorts of Cut-offs swirl around we Boomers as we age, from the Cut-off for wearing a baseball cap backwards (22) to the Cut-off for growing hair that completely covers your ears down to the lobe (47) to the Cut-off for walking around in public audibly bopping to and singing a song (?).
And yes, this last Cut-off is the one Cut-off for which I haven’t yet come up with the Cut-off for.
It’s undeniably true that although singing Southern Man while walking across the quad doing your best Neil Young may have been deemed bordering on adorable at age 22, walking across the parking lot at Target doing the same at age 62 is more likely to be deemed bordering on abominable.
What’s worse, my singing voice has a vocal quality similar to that of comedian Gilbert Gottfried were Mr. Gottfried attempting to sing "Feelings" while gargling.
Carry a tune?  I’d need to call a moving company.
Perfect pitch? That’s something I always seemed to attract whenever I played softball.
Next to my singing, ABBA is music.
And yet still I sing.  Often in public.
You’d think this singing fool were a happy-go-lucky guy, but you’d be wrong.  Actually I’m  more of a curmudgeon filled with regret over many of the  actions and decisions I’ve made during my lifetime including my failure to put the moves on the retrospectively recognizably willing Samantha Curran which would have secured for me nothing less than glorious golden-haired beautiful bosomy heaven on earth.
Yet still I sing.  Often in public.
And when I do, the world often does seem a little bit brighter, even if I don’t.
Today I walked into my local Wawa Convenience Store vocalizing me some Van Morrison, perhaps a little bit too loudly . People looked at me like the sound of a nuclear weapon being dropped by Kim Jong-on the Wawa deli counter would have been preferable to hearing me warble: 

"Ding a ling a ling
Ding a ling a ling ding

Ding a ling a ling
Ding a ling a ling ding ..."
Oh God, I was so embarrassed!  I toned it down to a decibel level which would more appropriately register with Max and Victor than Roger and Justin, even though I have no idea which are the dogs and which are the people in this sentence. 
But now folks in the store looked at me as though I might be singing a soft duet with my good friend, Harvey the Rabbit.
Yet still I sing.  Often in public.
As I walked out of the Wawa Convenience Store, I found myself breaking into Awaiting on You All by George.
"You don‘t need no passport, and you don’t need no visas …"
But I certainly do need a passport, a visa, a voice, a sense of pitch, and multiple decades less in age. 
I rounded a corner and came face to face with an African American woman,  a bit older than I.  She smiled.
“Just keep singin’!” she said.

So what is the Cut-off for singing in public?

I’m going with none.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Easier Trumped Than Done


“This is more work than in my previous life,” said Trump in an interview yesterday. “I thought it would be easier.”


Thought it would be easier to be President of the United States and leader of the Free World than running a reality show? That’s like expecting it to be easier to lead your team to consecutive Super Bowl victories than to purchase Madden18 and successfully install it before your 2:30 PM nap.

Oddly enough, however, Trump is not the first President to make similar comments about the unexpected difficulties of the job of being President of the United States.

“This is more work than in my previous life,” said George Washington in an interview yesterday. “I thought it would be easier.  I’ve been so busy of late I haven’t had a moment’s time for proper dental care!”

“This is more work than in my previous life,” said Andrew Jackson in an interview yesterday. “I thought it would be easier. Next thing you know they'll be yanking me off the twenty!”

“This is more work than in my previous life,” said Abraham Lincoln in an interview yesterday. “I thought it would be easier.  I thought all I’d have to do is grow some whiskers, bind up the nation’s wounds, and then take in some really great off Broadway theater!”

“This is more work than in my previous life,” said Theodore Roosevelt in an interview yesterday. “I thought it would be easier. Lemme see: Speak Bigly and Carry a Soft Stick.’ Oh, shit, I’ll never get that right!”  

“This is more work than in my previous life,” said Barack Obama in an interview yesterday. “I thought it would be easier. One day as President of the United States is like two as a Community Organizer! Maybe three, if the community is in Texas.”

And …

“This is more work than in my previous life,” said the Lord God in an interview yesterday. “I thought it would be easier. Here it’s been 100 days already and I haven’t yet been able to remove that idiot Trump from being President!”


On the whole, guys, it's a hell of a lot
 easier to be here than President!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Called George Foreman's Friends at InventHelp

“Good Morning.  This is InventHelp.”

“Good Morning,” I said to the gentleman on the other end of line in return.  “May I please speak to one of the friends of George Foreman?”

“Excuse me, sir?”

“My name is Perry Block and I have an invention that I’d like to speak to one of George Foreman’s friends at InventHelp about.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t know a George Foreman.”

What?! For months, George Foreman had been telling me regularly on television that if I should need help with a new product idea or invention I should “Call my friends at InventHelp.” And now I had finally put together a contraption I believed some people might find a bit useful, and it seemed George Foreman’s friends were nowhere to be found.

I called my invention the BlockMaster 1000 Time Machine. I’d given it a dry run back to the Renaissance to meet Leonardo Da Vinci, stopped off in 1889 to spike Baby Hitler’s formula, and though you won’t fully understand this reference, isn’t the second President Clinton doing a heck of a good job?

“George Foreman is a famous boxer and celebrity,” I explained to the gentleman on the phone, “and a very likeable trustworthy guy. He’s sort of like the Tom Hanks of Boxing.”

“Fine, sir. But we have many well-trained specialists here at InventHelp who can also help you.”

“No, thanks. I only want to speak to one of the friends of George Foreman.”

“Well, I don’t think we have any here.”

“Really?  Well, do you have any acquaintances of Mr. Foreman there?”

“Probably not, sir.”

“Anyone there who ever got a selfie with him?”

“I doubt it.”

“An autographed picture then maybe?”

“I don’t know how I could check, sir!”

“An autograph on plain paper then? Even one on heavily coffee stained yellow note pad paper which is already smearing?”

“I don’t know, sir!”

“Ah, heck!  I guess you just can’t believe everything you see on television.”

“I’m sorry sir, but we have many InventHelp specialists here to help you.”

“Thanks, but no thanks. It's not that big a deal anyway.”

“Goodbye then, sir.”

“Who was that on the phone, Roger?”

“It was odd. A guy who only wanted to talk to somebody who was a friend of a boxer named George Foreman.”

“George Foreman! I know you’re new here, Roger, but you should know George Foreman does our commercials telling everyone to ‘Call my friends at InventHelp.’”

“I’m sorry, Fred.”

“Did you get the guy’s name?”

“No, I didn’t and our system is down and didn’t record his phone number either.”

“That’s okay, Roger.”

“How come?”

“Most of these inventions don’t amount to a damn thing anyway.”



Thursday, April 20, 2017

"O'Reilly, Trump, & I Got What We Deserved," Says Billy Bush

“Bill O’Reilly only got what he deserved,” former TV celebrity Billy Bush commented yesterday, “just in the same way that Donald Trump and I have been forced to endure the consequences of our thoughtless and disrespectful actions.”

“I’m sure all three of us have learned our lessons,” Mr. Bush added, “only we’ve learned them too late to prevent our lives from being destroyed.”

Mr. Bush has been out of a job since revelations of crude sexually explicit talk with Mr. Trump were exposed in October 2016.  He has since sold his home, most of his personal effects, and cannot find employment. “I can’t even get a call back from anyone in the industry,” Mr. Bush said “and I’m looking at perhaps doing some local radio in Iceland.”

“Now we hear that Bill O’ Reilly is out of a job as well, and as I well know nobody in the business is going to want to touch someone so toxic. However many millions Fox is willing to pay him will quickly dwindle down to nothing.”

“But Mr. Trump probably has it the worst.  As President of the United States he is constantly in the public spotlight, and I’ll bet a day doesn’t go by that he isn’t torn with guilt and apprehension as to what people are saying behind his back. And when he’s no longer President, who’s going to want to hire him?”

“Steve Bannon?!!”

“Ten billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, but I can tell you it flies out the window like dust in the wind when you have no steady income to back it up.”

“Broke and unemployed --- that’s us! And we three richly deserve it," added Mr. Bush ruefully, as he finished shining my shoes.