Monday, April 29, 2013

The Second Worst Baby Boomer Nightmare Ever

Hello, I'm Bob Dylan.

Y'know, folks our age often find they need some extra income to do all the things they'd like, limited though these things may be.  Often as debts pile up high, people entering the Golden Years find themselves lucky if they can afford bingo and shuffleboard, let alone checkers! 

King me, Judy Collins!

Now there's an answer for folks like you and me and Judy.   The good people at American Friends Happy Face Financial recently asked me to chat with you about a great opportunity called a Re-verse Mortgage.  If you're 62 or older and own your own homes like I do --- I mean, own your own home --- this is a Godsend for you!  And that's whether you're Jewish or Christian, or alternate between both of them like I do.

How does it work?  There must be some kind of way to tell you!

Hit it, Joni Mitchell!

Before the bank makes final demand?
How many payment pleas do they by Jove him assail
Before they grab him by his gland?
Yes, and how many times must they kick his balls awry
Before he's forever de-manned?
The answer, my friend, is Re-verse Mortgagin' 
The answer is Re-verse Mortgagin'. 

Yes, and how many years can bills mounting persist
Before over them you can't see?
Yes, and how many years can some people subsist
Before they're financially free?
Yes, and how many times till you turn your homestead
Into bucks insured by FDIC?
The answer, my friend, is Re-verse Mortgagin' 
The answer is Re-verse Mortgagin'. 

Yes, and how many times must a man fuck up
Before he can see what is why?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear me decry?
Yes, and how many debts will it take till it shows
You're wearing clothes in which people have died?
The answer, my friend, is Re-verse Mortgagin' 
The answer is Re-verse Mortgagin'. 

How does it  feel to get Re-verse Mortgage?  You'll be thinking that  you've got it made! 

So call your good friends and neighbors at American Friends Happy Face Financial right now!  

Joan Baez is standing by.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Well-Read Dude

".... Dickens, Flaubert, James Joyce ... I've always said you have the best personal library I've ever seen, Charles!"

"Thank you, Perry."

"Actually, Charles, I was kind of wondering if  ...  would it be okay for me to borrow a couple of books over the weekend?"

"Sure, I'm always happy to encourage reading in my friends."

"Well, it's not exactly that.  See, I've finally got myself a date Saturday, and I'd like to leave some impressive looking books lying around half open."

"Perry, that's terrible!  But I guess it's okay."

"Thanks, Charles!  Oh, Milton's Paradise Lost,  there's one I'd like to take!"

"No, sorry, can't loan that one."

"Why not?"

"Got myself a date Saturday too."


It's open and shut.  In compliance with the rules of the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers, the week's picture prompt is above and my 100 word story below it.  Only my story is 115 words, so go ahead and book me, Danno!  

And don't tell me some of you guys have never pulled the ploy utilized above, and perhaps some of you women have too.  It was also referenced in Woody Allen's Play it Again, Sam. 

Does it work?  Maybe for Charles!  The rest of us ought to pick out a good book to read for the weekend, or check out the library of other Fictioneers' entries by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Next on Nova: Murray's Universe

Be More PBS!
Next on Nova ...

It's a question that's been asked from the time humankind first began to ask questions. Where do we all come from? What is the origin of the Universe? And is it even halfway as cool as the origin of Batman?

Now startling discoveries suggest that previous theories about the beginnings of the Universe may have been empirically inaccurate, or to use the scientific term, cuckoo banana doodles!  Is all life in the Universe nothing but a dream? It's " Murray's Universe," Next on Nova ...

For years now, the Big Bang has been the prevailing view of the beginnings of our Universe.  But it is a theory riddled with flaws, such as how could Higgs-Boson particles have collided 15 billion years ago and exploded into the creation of the Universe when neither Higgs nor Boson were alive then to name them? 

Dr. Lance Lewitsky  of the University of Havertown PA is an eminent astronomer who has studied the heavens for over 25 years ever since he first realized that if he became an English major the hottest chicks he'd ever be able to nail were spacey lit majors from Sarah Lawrence who'd be nonstop gassing him about Emily Dickinson.  Through the use of one of the world's most powerful telescopes, he has made a game changing discovery.

Dr. Lewitsky ...

"When we look through a telescope, we are actually looking back in time. With this telescope, I can look back almost to the birth of Joan Rivers! There deep in space I have seen a floating shape that when magnified several thousand times appears to be that of a big fat guy sleeping. We have named him Murray, and we believe that he is dreaming the entire Universe!"

Here is the best enhanced image we have of Murray, and yeah, I know exactly what you're thinking, ladies and gay men worldwide, but keep in mind nobody's asking you to have sex with Murray, just to be housed within him."

The so-called Row, Row, Row Your Boat Theory, says Dr. Lewitsky,  explains a great deal we've never understood before.  Why is there  evil and injustice in the world? According to Dr. Lewitsky, Murray is a bit of a jerk.  Why does your spouse look like a female version of actor John C. Reilly? Murray hates you, explains Dr. Lewitsky.   

And why are there earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters? Dr. Lewitsky's calculations indicate Murray rolls over a lot and snores like a son of a bitch!  One has to feel sorry for anybody he might be sleeping next to.

But who is Murray? Where is he from? Is he Jewish? Why couldn't we be dreamed by somebody lots cooler like a guy with a dashing mustache and an eye patch named Count Maximilian de Boisier?  

Again Dr. Lewitsky ...  

"All these questions yet beg for answers, and frankly you're kind of annoying me now. What we do know for certain is that Murray began dreaming our Universe about 6,000 Earth years ago and dreams in creationism.  He actually believes everything's controlled by some imaginary superhuman being on a mountaintop with a long white beard and doesn't even realize he's DA MAN!"

Of course, the most important question of all is: What happens when Murray finally wakes up?

Dr.  Lewitsky: 

"When Murray eventually awakens, it's postulated that the Universe will implode, mountains crash into the sea, and in an immense ball of gaseous fire and destruction everyone and everything  will perish for all time!   So please, folks,  SHHHHH!!! "  

What's next for the Row, Row, Row Your Boat Theory?  Dr. Lewitsky has recently begun a project to study possible methods for influencing the happenings in Murray's Dream.  If successful, such an endeavor could have stunning, immense, and sweeping implications for the future of all of humankind!  

And you and I might be able to induce Murray to dream we are fucking Scarlett Johansson.

So,  g'night, Murray!

Sleep well!

Next Time on Nova:  Scientists today are exploring new ways to reverse climate change by undermining the climate's confidence and convincing it that change is always unpleasant and way hard.  "Fucking with Climate's Head," next week on Nova.

This is PBS

If you liked this post, you might also like Next on Nova: Whatever Happened to the Dinosaurs?,  Next on Nova: The Artist Dimension,  and The Mystery of Adnan and Evie.  If you hated this post, I hope you are just about to have sex with Scarlett Johansson and  BAMM! 
Murray wakes the hell up!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Inception 2013, Featuring Raymond Burr

(Note:  If you've never seen Godzilla or Inception, you'll hate this post and should pass it by. Frankly, most people who have seen either or both of those movies hated this post and wish they'd passed it by.)


In 1956,  fearing American audiences could not relate to a movie with an all Japanese cast, American producers took a Japanese monster picture named Gojira and strategically inserted actor Raymond Burr playing reporter Steve Martin.  The result was a new film named Godzilla in which Burr reports on all the action in the movie and interacts rather clumsily with the characters from the original footage.

In 2010, the movie Inception directed by Christopher Nolan opened with one of the most complex and confusing plots ever presented in a major American motion picture. To help audiences better comprehend the film, Hollywood moguls had the bright idea to try the Godzilla approach once more.

And so, we not-so-proudly present:

 Inception 2013  

Steve Martin:  I was greatly looking forward to seeing my old friend Dominic Cobb again. I'd heard he'd been experimenting with techniques to enter the dreams of other people to extract secret information from them.  How fun!  My name is Steve Martin.  I'm a reporter. Not the comedian.

Cut to shot of Cobb looking up. Oddly, whenever Steve Martin's face is seen on camera, you only see Cobb's back.

Cobb: Why, Steve!  Steve Martin!  I haven't seen you since your excellent reportage on the Godzilla rampage in Japan.  What can I do for you?

Steve Martin: I'd like to do a piece on Inception, the manner in which you implant ideas in people's minds while they sleep. I think I can sell it to Christopher Nolan.

Cobb:  Great, Steve!  We are working for a businessman named Saito to implant an idea in his competitor Fischer to destroy everything Fischer’s father worked tirelessly for all his life. 

Steve Martin:  And what will you gain from this, Dominic?

Cobb:   I'm wanted for the murder of my hauntingly lovely wife Mal, which I didn't do, and can't get back in the United States to see my two lovely children until Saito arranges for me to get past U.S. Customs.  

Steve Martin: Sounds like a case for Perry Mason!  But tell me, Dominic, how do you know when you are sleeping?

Cobb:  You spin this!

Steve Martin:  A dreidel? 
I never knew you were Jewish!  

Cobb: No, Steve, it's a top which keeps spinning if you are in the dream state and topples over if you are not.   By the way, Steve, you are in the dream state right now!

Steve Martin: I awoke in my elephant print pajamas needing desperately to go the bathroom, both No. 1 and No. 2. Then I got a call from Cobb telling me to meet him and his new dream architect in a nearby cafe.

Cut to shot of Cobb and Ariadne sitting in a cafe talking.  Oddly, whenever Steve Martin's face is seen on camera, you only see their backs.

Cobb:  Ariadne, I'd like you to meet my friend, reporter Steve Martin.

Ariadne:  Steve!  Steve Martin!  Nice to meet you.

Cobb:  Steve, Ariadne will design the multiple dream levels to be dreamed by each of the members of my team. We're somewhat concerned that Fischer's mental projections may battle us, thereby adding a lot of wanton violence to the movie.

Steve Martin:  Good,  I love reporting on wanton violence!  And your thoughts, Ariadne? 

Ariadne:  I'm worried that Cobb's projections of Mal will screw up everything, especially if we land in Limbo, the bottom level of dreams where 24 hours of awake time plays out like 50 years, or even longer if you're stuck watching a movie by the Farrelly Brothers. Watch out, Steve, that fruit stand's about to explode on you!

Steve Martin: Escaping from the terrible mixed fruit carnage, I joined Cobb and his team aboard a plane with Fischer and Saito. Oddly, whenever my face is seen on camera, you only see their backs.

Cobb:   Sandman's comin', Steve!  Want a drink of water first?  Or a story?

Steve Martin:  I joined the team on their manifold adventures at multiple levels of Fischer's maze-like dream.  Cobb told me the only way back to waking state was through a kick, the experience of something horrible like dying in the dream, getting blown to smithereens, or listening to ABBA. 

Cobb and Ariadne:  Watch out, Steve! We're falling into Limbo!

Steve Martin:  Now it seems Steve Martin, like Tokyo, has no defense!

Cobb:  Steve, down here we have to finish implanting in Fischer the idea to decimate his father’s legacy, locate Saito who’s now 147 years old, and - by the way - kill Mal.  

Steve Martin:   Sounds like a plan
, Dominic.

Steve Martin:   Cobb and I found Saito wearing a latex mask which made him look like Abe Vigoda’s father.  I haven't seen such cheesy special effects since Godzilla! Cobb and Saito killed each other, and I initiated a kick based on some sausage I ate before I went to sleep. Oooohhh!! I still feel it!

Steve Martin:  And then we were all back on the plane. But was this reality or still a dream? Am I nothing more than a portly unemployed rather bland actor who only dreamed he hit the jackpot with Perry Mason and Ironside?

Cobb: Steve, once I get past Customs thanks to Saito why don't you come home with me for lunch? I'll spin the top and we'll figure out whether we're real people or just stuff to sprinkle on oatmeal. 

Steve Martin:  We returned to Cobb's house and were greeted by actor Michael Caine who looks even better than I do, but of course he's not dead! Then Cobb at last saw his children.

Cut to shot of Cobb's two young children.  When Steve Martin's face is on camera, you only see their backs --- not so oddly, because that’s all you saw of them in the original movie!

Cobb's children:  Steve!  Steve Martin!

Steve Martin: The top is spinning round and round, however will it stop?!  It's teetering, teetering, teetering!  I'll get back to you with an update soon, but first:  

Word out of Hollywood is that Inception 2013 has bombed so badly that Godzilla has asked his name be taken out of the credits!

This is Steve Martin reporting ....


Oy!  This may be the stupidest post he's ever written!

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Phobia

"Best honey I've ever had!"  said the woman as she paid at the register.

"Oh, thank you," I replied.  

"So you raise the bees and harvest the honey right here?" she asked

"Yes, been working with bees all my life," I told her. "They're  sort of ... umm ... like my friends." 

"Not me!"  she laughed. "Terrified of 'em, terrified of being stung,  I scream if one even comes near."

"I've got some phobias myself," I said, "but bees simply isn't one of them."

"Goodbye," she called, taking her package and closing the shop door behind her.

"YAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" I screamed as soon as she left the shop.

Been terrified of people all my life.


What's the Buzz?  The picture prompt provided by the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers is above, and below is my short story take thereupon.  The post flew in at 115 words this week which is above the allotted 100, but not so terribly above as for one to get hives over either.

The rules of the Friday Fictioneers are just a click away along with a link to the stories written by the other Fictioneers, many of which I'm sure are pure honies.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm terrified of all of you so I have to go!  Hope you have a sweet week. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why Can't He Be Eight, or Alley Oop!

This coming April 25 will mark a major occasion in the life of my son Brandon Block.

On that very day, Brandon will celebrate his 18th birthday, a watershed moment in the life of any young person.  No longer a child by any stretch of the imagination,  Brandon will soon be heading  to college and on to new adventures, experiences,  and the start of a whole new independent life for himself.

Just one thing.

Why  can't he still be eight?!!

"Brandon," I said, "take a look at this picture I just found of you and me!"

"Just found, Dad?  It's by the front door.  And there's one in the den, and another one in my room, and it's on your Facebook page too."

"I hadn't noticed.  But look at us here:  you riding on my back, me taking you all kinds of exciting places! How come we don't do that anymore?"

"Well ... one reason might be I'm not a toddler.  And also, in that picture your back is not  minutes away from throwing itself at the mercy of Medicare!"

"Let's try it one more time."

"I'm not so sure that's a good idea.  I've gained a few pounds since then."

"I'm going to lift you and carry you like Jean Valjean carried Marius through the sewers of Paris!"

"Yeah, and let me hear you sing like Hugh Jackman too." 

"Okay,  I'm bending at the knees.  CHECK!  Next,  put your legs around my shoulders.  CHECK!  Now,  I place my hands on both your shins!  CHECK!

"Next,  take 15 years off both our respective ages.  NO CHECK!" 

"Okay,  Brandon, here goes ...  ALLEY OOP!"

"Alley Oop it is." 

"OH MY GOD!!!"

"What is it, Dad? " 

"Bran ... umm ... could you by any chance reach that phone book over on the bureau?"

"Yeah, sure.  Why?"

"Don't ask.  Just alley oop over to Dr. Hans Kropotkin, the chiropractor, and read me ...."


If you liked this post, you might also like Bedtime Story, Why Can't He Be Seven?, and A Cosmic Case of Role Reversal.

If you hated this post, I hope your kid comes home from college with a tattoo the size of Panama! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Of Mammaries and the Movies, or My Take on Tits

At no point in the classic Hitchcock film “Northwest by Northwest” do we witness star Gary Grant’s bare butt writhing and thrusting on top of a naked Eva Marie Saint as he caresses her undulating breasts.

That's because “North by Northwest” was made in the 1950's, before people began having sex.

Or at least began having sex in the movies.

What the audience sees instead is the train they’re traveling on roar into a tunnel, the sight of which impelled me to beg my parents for years to take me on train trips that included lots of tunnels.
Back in the 50's and early 60’s, the epitome of celluloid sex was a profile shot of the rapidly maturing Mouseketeer Annette Funicello turning sideways or a glimpse of Barbara Eden's navel on a day the “I Dream of Jeanie” makeup man ran out of putty.

Nowadays I know every square inch of Anne Hathaway's anatomy almost as well as does the Jewish guy she married!  

It was 1968 when naked boobs first came to neighborhood movie screens. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what looked like eyes when a hot young blonde nonchalantly peeled off her top in the movie “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.”

I raced home and threw my entire collection of National Geographics in the trash.

Boobs thereupon began bouncing abundantly anywhere and everywhere on the silver screen.

Nowadays everything goes in the movies including any sense of propriety.  It's a rare film that doesn't feature Mark Ruffalo hammering Julianne MooreNatalie Portman switching teams with Mila Kunis, or Paul Reubens responding in kind in the audience.

But these days except when either the film - or my mood - truly calls for sex, I’d just as soon watch “Frozen.”

No, I'm not suggesting we return to the days of Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint acting like saints until the rapid approach of a well-timed tunnel. There were layers of reality and story-telling lost due to the sensitivities of the times. But there was also something discrete and respectful that’s missing today that helped make many of the older films classics.

It has never been my burning passion to turn on Turner Classic Movies and see Ethel Barrymore or Margaret Hamilton frolicking nude on a beach. The great screwball comedies starring the likes of Gary Grant and Katherine Hepburn are better without the alternate connotations of “screw” and “ball.”

And as for classics like “Casablanca?” 

"Did you leave me for Lazlo because he had a bigger penis?"

"No, Rick, I left you because Victor Lazlo is my husband.  Because he’s a great man and a great leader of our cause. And he has a bigger penis."

Nah, gimme my film classics straight - unabridged, crotch-less, boob-free and with a minimum of writhing.

I'm glad I got to
see Isabella Rossellini's tits in “Blue Velvet.”

But I'm even gladder I never got to see her mom's.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Born to be Wild

I dunno,  for some reason when I rode with the Hell's Angels, I didn't quite get the respect I was hoping for.


Couldn't be shorter, couldn't be sweeter and like a true nature's child, I brought her in at 22 words, meaning I've got 78 words credit on a verbose post in the near future. 

When you're ready to head out on the highway looking for adventure, click the link below to find a thundering herd of takes on the above prompt by the other hard ridin' Fabulous Friday Fictioneers

Did you know I was  Born, Born to be Wild?  

Neither did I.    

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Walden, Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Written By Henry David Thoreau
                          Directed by Quentin Tarantino

When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond in Concord Massachusetts.  I lived there two years and two months, immersing myself in nature, self-reliance, simple living, and personal introspection.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.  But my life is anything but quiet or desperate. You see, I'm in the killin' Nazi business, and cousin, business is a-boomin!

It all began shortly after my arrival at Walden Pond. I was pondering the indescribable innocence and beneficence of nature and the notion that time is but the stream I go a-fishing in when my reveries were interrupted by a strenuous knock on the door of my small but thoroughly amenable tightly shingled and plastered cottage perched within the New England countryside. 

"Are you Mr. Henry David Thoreau, the transcendentalist?" called a voice through the cottage window from the direction of the bean field I had diligently and gingerly planted and was so tenderly nurturing. "I am Colonel Hans Landa, the Jew Hunter."

Now I think that I love society as much as most and am ready enough to fasten myself to any full-blooded man that comes in my way, so I welcomed Colonel Landa as proudly as Chanticleer into my humble yet fully self-sufficient dwelling abode.

"May I smoke my pipe?" inquired the Colonel.

In the spirit of fellowship and conviviality, I nodded in the assent. 

"So you're the Jew Hunter?" I asked of the Colonel.

"That's a bingo!" replied Colonel Landa with churlish frivolity. 

"Colonel Landa," I offered in deepest sincerity, "I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor."

"Mr. Thoreau," retorted the Colonel with brusqueness of a most crude and acute nature, "I must now search your house for Jews, unless you have something to tell me that makes the conduct of a search unnecessary."

It was a propitious moment for Colonel Hans Landa to meet his transcendental maker.  

"This will make the conduct of your search unnecessary!" I shouted, quickly reaching under the table and pulling out my Glock 34 Semi-Automatic Pistol, a present from Emerson.  I blasted Landa all the way to Walden Pond, where his blood drenched pulverized remains scattered into fish food for the random pickerel, perch, and pouts which local industrious fishermen are wont to catch in its expressive translucent waters.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. What I learned, what nature had to teach, was that I wanted me 100 Nazi scalps real bad! And I did not want to discover when I came to die that I had one Nazi scalp less.

After that my life became a 24/7 Kill Wilhelm-A-Thon!

I destroyed Nazis by bashing in their brains with baseball bats, choking them with wild hickory nuts, slicing and dicing them with a machete, and reading them the first draft of my chapter on Economy with special emphasis on the accounting and bookkeeping details. Once I dispatched a Nazi by reading him the entire First Series of Emerson's Essays after which I carved a giant likeness of a loon landing upon Flint's Pond on his forehead. 

I think this just might be my masterpiece!

The day is an epitome of the year: the night is the winter, the morning and evening are the spring and fall, and the noon is the summer.  I prefer the winter for killin' Nazis because I hate to get up early.  If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.  But if the music be Wagner, shoot him right through the head!

I finally left Walden September 6th, 1847 as it seemed to me that it was time to look onward to the morrow. I do not say that John or Jonathan will realize all this, but only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.

When the next day dawned I asked Marsellus Wallace for a job, and I turned out to be one hell of a hit man.  

I even got to work with John or Jonathan Travolta! 


My Life in the Woods,or 
Die, Nazi, Die!
                                                                                                            Where I Lived

     What I Lived For                       

Brute Neighbors                        

Former Inhabitants (Very Former)


If you liked this post, you might also like Rhinoceros Impoceros, 1984 Once More, Slight Club, and The Metamorphosis, The Musical. 

If you hated this post, I hope you spend the rest of your entire life sitting through a lecture on Walden by an Associate Professor at a third rate university with only occasional short breaks to watch Kill Bill Volume 1 and Kill Bill Volume 2 over and over and over and over!