Sunday, August 12, 2018

Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute


The First Book 


I may dig a pygmy, but these folks dig
Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute:

"Perry has the wit, wisdom, voice timbre and cadence of a young Dick Cavett. (To call Perry a "young" anything is my gift to Perry.) I knew this about Mr. Block 40 years ago when we first met. And his writing reconfirms it." - Andy Cowan, comedy writer for Seinfeld (including the iconic episode The Opposite), Cheers, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and more, and author of the comedy memoir Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writer's Guide to Seeing Starsforeword by Jay Leno.  

"This book was totally relatable, funny, and yes, really poignant ... I appreciate Perry's wit and fight. He's not going gently into that good night. Neither am I. Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute is a great read!" - Michele Young-StoneSimon & Schuster published author of The Handbook of Lightning Strike Survivors, Above Us Only Sky, and Lost in the Beehive (selected by Oprah's Book Club) 
  
“Perry Block offers up his ideas about advancing age in a funny and clever series of delightful musings … Perry brings his wit and wisdom to some everyday situations which will guarantee that you'll not only relate, but you'll be laughing out loud… By all means, buy it, read it, laugh out loud, and enjoy." - Joy Ross Davis, author of Emalyn's Treasure, The Devereaux Jewel, Mother, Can You Hear Me?, and more.

“Perry Block has gathered a collection of his hilarious articles and essays on the joys of being a Boomer in the 21st century. He takes his readers along a desperate path of trying to turn back the clock. Seriously, you will laugh until your sides ache.”- K.D. McCriteauthor of the Confessions of April Grace and Further Confessions of April Grace series of books, and more.

A funny (often laugh out loud funny) charmingly self-deprecating series of short pieces about aging, modern culture, pop culture then and now, and an eclectic variety of other topics … I felt like I got to know the author (who would likely make a highly entertaining dinner companion) while I read. Really enjoyable." - Debra Snider, author of Lost Wyoming, A Merger of Equals, and more.

"Perry Block hates cheese.  If that’s not enough reason to read this collection of humorous essays chronicling the inevitable life of an aging 67 year-old Baby Boomer then I don’t know what is. Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute is a laugh-out-loud cautionary tale about not taking creeping old age lying down (unless it’s nap time)."- Don Holley, screenwriter of National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon and author of Half-Loaded: A Humorous Hollywood Memoir.   


Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute
  The Book

Like you, Perry Block is a Baby Boomer who turned around one day in 1978 and suddenly found himself 40 years later at an age he always thought was exclusively reserved for people’s parents. 

Through a series of often hilarious essays, Perry tries to make sense of it all, aided by his son Brandon and a host of other real and fictitious characters, including Batman, Cupid, the Legendary Jewish Vampire Vlad the Retailer, Richard Nixon, Moses, and more. 

Every Boomer concern is here - aging angst, fatherhood, the singles life, friendships, fading looks and physicality, social trends, the1960’s, drugs, religion, Judaism, the writing life, parody and satire, self-deprecation, and the nagging worry that not only has he measured his life in coffee spoons, frequently the coffee hasn’t even been hot.


Available at Amazon & Barnes & Noble

Now also Available at the Narberth  Bookshop
in beautiful Narberth PA

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I'm Ready for My Close-up, Mr. DeMillions of Readers
Perry's Interview is clickable here.

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You Can Also Follow Perry On
Twitter and Facebook

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Another Visit from Vitiligo

How does this picture from a 50's television show fit into a post about a medical condition called vitiligo?  Read on!


About 20 years ago I acquired a medical problem known as vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a condition in which some of your skin loses pigment and causes you to look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. Except there's nothing friendly about vitiligo!

I sure didn’t need another medical problem when I got vitiligo.  The older I get the more afflictions I seem to acquire; I’m up to double figures now and that’s not even counting the sexual ones.

Vitiligo is especially perplexing because it can rest dormant for a bunch of years and then suddenly return with a vitiligo vengeance.  On its most recent vitiligo  visit I literally woke up and found my left arm looking like it had been dipped in white paint!

I knew this had to be vitiligo because I’m a Jew and I’m not handy enough to even dream I’ve been painting.      
 
That day I went out in short sleeves to pick up some items at the supermarket.
Why not long sleeves to hide the condition?

It was 90 degrees at eight in the morning.   It was predicted to be 105 degrees by noon.  Incineration of the planet by fire and brimstone was scheduled for 6.

So I went with the short sleeves in hopes I would not run into anyone I knew.

My hopes, however, were dashed.

“Umm... hi, Farbman, how I are you, “I stammered as I entered the store.

“Hi, Perry… HOLY SHIT!”

“Oh, yes, you’re probably referring to my vitiligo. It’s a minor skin condition wherein a bit of pigment is absent from my skin.”

“A bit of pigment!  You left arm looks like an Oreo cookie dunked in milk.”

“Oh, I don’t think it’s that bad.”

“Are you kidding?  "You remind me of 101 Dalmatians only without the dalmatians."

"Thanks, Farbman."

"Remember the TV show Father Knows Best in which Robert Young wore arm patches with all his suits. Your arms look like his, only without the suit!”  (See picture above.)

When someone's willing to date themselves back to the 50's to make a joke at my expense, I'm clearly not about to be enjoying the conversation.

I went to see my skin doctor, Dr. Joy Davis.

“I knew you’d be back,” smirked Dr. Davis.  “They all come back.”

“But you said some people don’t get any worse and don’t need to come back.”

“Some people, sure.  But you?  A specimen such as yourself who has afflictions in double figures…"

“Hey, just barely in the double figures!”

“Aren’t you’re forgetting something?”

“What?”

“The sexual ones.”

Dr. Davis prescribed a cream that can sometimes improve the condition.  I skulked home with my short sleeves and the known world visibly gawking at me and slathered on the cream like I was basting a turkey.

So we’ll see what happens. Hopefully I don’t wake up one day, look in the mirror and see the Joker staring back at me.

I’ll know that it’s vitiligo. 

How?  Because I’m a Jew and I’m not handy enough to even dream I’ve been battling Batman for control of the future of Gotham City.

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Father knows Best -  If I haven't ruined my chance to connect with millennial humor before, I sure have now. Even I can't believe I'm old enough to remember a time that a television show could have such a sexist title as this.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Comment Allez-Vous? Pas du Tout!*


It is said that there are only three constants in life:

1) Death,
2) Taxes, except for rich friends of Trump, and
3) That I will get no comments to my posts.

It's true. 

I get comments about as often as the Katherine Heigl Fan Club meets. If you were to look at the end of most of my posts you will  see the big bold words "NO COMMENTS,"  which translated into blog language means "Why are you here, idiot, go read a better blog!""

Meanwhile there are no shortage of humor blogs where each post regularly garners 47 laudatory comments such as:
  • Janice, you always tickle my funny bone!
  • You're too funny, Osgood!
  • Bruce, you are much funnier than that schmuck Perry!
Now  in truth there is something of a problem in posting on Blogger. I'm told that sometimes people type out a post only to have it vanish before their eyes. Sometimes they also receive a small electric shock and/or the song "You Get What You Give" starts playing.  

If so, Blogger's comment function needs an oil, filter, and lube at minimum  .

Even so,  when I was in a Flash Fiction group a year or so ago where members comment on each other's posts, I routinely received dozens of comments. That almost all of them were negative indicates that there must be yet another serious distortion in the system.

I called my friend Russell, one of the few people who does comment on my posts, to get his thoughts.

"Russell, you haven't been commenting lately on my posts."

"I know.  I've been busy working, doing community service ..."

"Yeah, right!  You've probably been busy commenting on Janice's posts!"

"What are you talking about?"

"Why aren't you commenting on my stuff?"

"Maybe you haven't been that funny lately.  Your post on The Lighter Side of Double Entry Bookkeeping wasn't exactly a howler."

"But what about some of the recent better ones?"

"What recent better ones?"

"But what about everybody else who reads my posts?"

"Everybody else?  Who?"

Good point, Russell.

So what about you, Dear Reader?  I'd love it if you would comment on this post.  C'mon, this very post! 

Please.

Or are you hurrying over to read the latest gem by "Too Funny" Osgood?

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*"How are you? Not at all." Which doesn't mean anything. 


Be the first to comment on this post.  
Don't worry, you won't have much competition!   

Thursday, August 2, 2018

I Need Me A Course in Writing Millennial


I may not be the greatest humor writer in the history of the world, but I’m not exactly the ABBA of humor writers either.

But today in 2018 I am facing an inconvenient truth. 
`
I am a Baby Boomer.

Please someone:  I need me a course in how to write millennial!

Just as styles do in clothing, automobiles, and music, styles of humor change and evolve over time  too.

I was born in the Milton Berle era of the 1950’s when  Uncle Miltie got laughs just by putting on a dress. Then came the “Here’s Johnny” era, and I loved staying up late with Carnac the Great, the Tee Time Movie, and the show bizz banter grinning Johnny Carson purveyed with folk like Sammy Davis, Steve & Eydie, and sometimes, yes, even the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Francis Albert Sinatra.

As I trotted off to college, humor morphed again with the emergence of cerebral social and political commentary from the likes of Robert Klein, David Steinberg, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and (like him or not) Woody Allen, all of whom were perfect to get stoned to and marvel at our very hipness with.

Seemed just an eye blink later and David Letterman - a guy considered so off beat at the time he was passed over for host of the all-American Tonight Show - ruled the CBS eye with his top ten lists, tossing bowling balls off the top of buildings, and his patented "it’s so stupid it’s funny brand of comedy."

And I was totally down with all of this.

Then the millennials cometh.

And now I've been down so long it looks like up - way up over my head! - to me.

What is millennial humor?  I think it's kind of absurdity married to hipness married to modern and obscure  cultural references expressed though memes.  Lots and lots of memes.

I have no idea what I just wrote.

No millennial is ever going to author posts like:

 "How I Beat Last Summer's Crab Grass," "Don't Leave the Toilet Seat Up! and Other Wacky Tales of Modern Marriage," or "Oh, that Trump!"

What they will author are:


15 UNIQUE things you could say to James joyce if you met him on Bloomsday on your way home from a festival of david lynch movies about passover

if jane austen didn’t take her medicine and learned to firewalk but not particularly well until she had a torrid affair with alan cranston, who taught her how to yodel

running backwards dog first bite holy mechanic furbank norbert keehuby OHCOKC BYGOS


I have no idea what they just wrote.

Millennials have their own words and phrases as well, like:

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It's lit - must refer to joints, I guess.

Throw Shade -  a beach umbrella?  Or to be politically incorrect, former NJ Governor Christie?

Woke - Nah, Boomers don't wanna be this until at least 11:00 A.M. each day.

bae - Somebody bet on the bay!

Kendrick Lamar - Is that firm as good as Progressive? I'm going to call them right away and get a quote on car insurance.

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So, please someone:  I need me a course in how to write millennial!

Until then, I'll be over here in the corner, putting on a dress.

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