Monday, June 18, 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 soon-to-be-released 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-Stone, 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


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


You Can Also Follow Perry On
Twitter and Facebook


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Remembering Bonanza and The Cartwright Clothing Conundrum

It was a ritual for many Baby Boomers every Sunday night in the late 50’s and early 60’s. First we’d watch Ed Sullivan with his panoply of diverse acts ranging from Elvis and the Beatles to Henny Youngman and Senor Wences to Topo Gigio and the guy who spun dozens of plates in the air with very long thin sticks.

Then came the coup de grace, the fabled horse opera known as Bonanza!

Every Sunday night we thrilled to the adventures of Ben Cartwright, master of the Ponderosa Ranch and the patriarch of the Cartwright clan consisting of his three sons, Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe - adventures that today seem as contrived and pedestrian as the walkway across Main Street in the town where you live.

Hoss (Dan Blocker), beaming a wide friendly “golly gee” kind of smile, sometimes doffing his hat, looking as if he’d lick your face if you offered him a beef jerky.

Adam (Pernell Roberts), dressed all in black was the only one of the four to be wearing a serious expression because what he wanted was to be doing Shakespeare, not Shoot-em-up Speare.

Little Joe (Michael Landon), smiling boyishly who would fall in love in every episode only to have his beloved die by episode’s end so he would be available to fall in love again in the next episode, and

Ben (Lorne Greene), the gracious benevolent father figure, perfect judge of any dispute between the brothers, and the best toupee wearer since Frank Sinatra.

What was truly unique about Bonanza, however, was that every member of the Cartwright family always wore the same clothing in every episode – same color and style cowboy hat, shirt, pants, boots and probably underwear too - presumably to firmly establish the personal nature of each of the characters in the viewers’ minds.

The last few seasons, though, the embarrassed writers could take it no more and finally began to address the Cartwright clothing conundrum right in the show's  scripts:

The Cartwright Family about to sit down to one of their family dinners.

Ben:  You know, Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe, we’ve a got real problem here in Virginia City with George Gilchrist and his outlaw gang.  They’ve sworn to kill us all for bringing his brother, Cookie Gilchrist, to justice.

Adam: With all due respect, Paw, we’ve got a bigger problem with Hoss here. Hoss, you stink!  I haven’t smelled anything as bad as you since eight year old Little Joe fed beans to ol’ Bessie! Take a shower already, dude!

Hoss: Adam, you know none of us have taken a shower in 14 years! We’re not allowed to change our clothes or take a shower until the show’s cancelled. Or until we die in the show, whichever comes first!

Little Joe:  You should talk, Adam!  You smell like the New York City sewer system!

Adam:  And you Little Joe, with that avalanche of dandruff, I could ski down your back.

Ben:  Boys, boys, stop!   I know we all smell like year old cheese and we’ve all been gagging through the last several seasons. But I think the reason is that the money saved in costuming from wearing the same duds each week is producing a bundle of bucks that will be shared with us later in residuals!

Hop Sing (the cook, entering): You stupid Cartwrights!  That’s not how residuals work!  And they don’t even exist yet either! And it really stink in here!

Adam:  Maybe if George Gilchrest does kill us all in the show’s finale ,we’ll finally get to shower and change our clothes.

And this, kind millennials, was our Sunday night ritual.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

What If You Are Hypnotized to Relive Past Lives & Most of Them Turn Out to Be Boring and Uneventful?

“You are getting sleepy, sleepy, sleepy …”

It was true.

I was feeling pretty sleepy all right.

I was fortunate to have been chosen for an experiment by Dr. Lance Lumpkin, a world-renowned expert in the field of regressing people back to experience past lives through hypnosis. Dr. Lumpkin held aloft a watch which he was swinging back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and soon I was in a deep sleep. 

“When I snap my fingers,"  Dr. Lumpkin said, "you will regress to your most recent former life.”


“Who are you?”

“I am Herbie Farkman.”

“What year is it, Mr. Farkman?”


“That’s the year in which April 11 is said to have been the most boring day of the 20th Century.”

“Oh. I thought every day was like that."

“What do you do for a living, Mr. Farkman?”

“I make little bundles of pennies at the bank."

Does it pay well?"


“How did you die, Mr. Farkman?”

“I died?”

“Yes, you did.”

“I haven’t noticed anything different.”

“We are now going to regress you back to a life even earlier.”

“What is your name?”

“Otto the Smelly.”

“What year is it?”

“I don’t know. Guys wear armor a lot around here.”

“Ah, the era of knights, fair damsels, and chivalry. Tell me, Otto the Smelly, are you a great king like Alfred the Great or Richard the Lion-Hearted?”

"No, I'm Otto the Smelly.  I shovel dung."

“Surely you must do something else?”

“I produce the dung.”

“Where do you live?”

“In a hovel with 47 other people.  At night I have group sex with toothless, legless, wart-riven hags named Gretel; want to meet some?"

“What caused your death?”

“Extreme old age.”

“How old were you?”


 "We will now regress you further back to experience one more prior life."

‘Who are you?’

“I am Jesus Christ, the One True Son of God, Savior of all Mankind.”

“Wait a minute!  You’re Jesus Christ?”

“Yes, I was born of a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem to bring hope and joy to all the world.”

“How did you die?”

“I was accused of sedition by the Romans and crucified. The Jews are completely blameless, by the way.”

“With all due respect, Jesus, how can you be Jesus Christ and also Otto the Smelly and Herbie Farkman?”

“I have no idea.”

“Is there no way to find out?”

“You would have to speak directly to my Father, God the Almighty, King of the Universe, and Creator of the Heavens and the Earth."

“How is that possible?”

“You must travel a great distance.”


“And hypnotize Sally Mishkin, of Cincinnati Ohio.” 


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

If Trump Can Pardon Himself, Then He Must Be Able To Do These Things All By Himself As Well ...

1. Steady the ladder while he puts up the Christmas lights.
2. Shoot an apple off his head with a bow and arrow.
3. Have a catch.
4. Dance the Tango.
5. Perform both the Abbott and Costello parts of “Who’s on First.”
6. Rub suntan lotion on his back.
7. Flip a frisbee back and forth.
8. Sing as both Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand on “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Any More.”
9. Do an Alley-Oop.
10. Operate a two-man saw
11. Give a leg up.
12. “Swing Your Partner, Do Si Do!”
13. Push himself from behind on a playground swing.
14. Play Mad Libs.
15. Ride a seesaw.
16. Fight a duel.
17. Tickle himself.
18. Have an actual marriage.
Can you think of any more?