Saturday, August 31, 2013

He's Leaving Home, Bye-Bye

No summer ever lasts long enough, but this summer has passed more swiftly than the career of a reality star.  That's because this summer --- the one that's just now bitten the dust ---  was the last summer before my son Brandon went off to college.

A child leaving home to begin college years is a rite of passage many parents would rather pass on than pass through.  Yes, we want our children to have an exciting, stimulating, and rewarding college experience which will enrich them for the rest of their lives. We want them also to never leave the house.

"Welcome to Johns Hopkins!" beamed just about everyone we encountered yesterday as we moved  Brandon into school.  "Brandon, we know you're going to love it here!"

"And, Dad, we're spiriting your son away and you're never going to see him again!"

Everything seemed so nice at college.   Friendly faces of students and staff everywhere. Lovely green campus. Promises of courses and activities to suit every taste, talent, and temperament. Special receptions, outdoor cafes,  loads of cute girls! Why would Brandon ever want to return home?  

To watch me color my beard and type blog posts nobody reads?

It seemed such a short time ago I was trundling him off to his first day of kindergarten. All that crying and screaming; I thought I'd never calm down! Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago we were collecting Beanie Babies and watching Rug Rats?  Actually it was, but Brandon wasn't there.  Why hadn't he shown up for any of that fun stuff the last 11 years? 

By the time move-in day was over, Brandon was fully ensconced in his new digs with a couple of new friends in tow waiting for him to eat.  "Now, Dad," he said as I prepared for the lonely drive home, "feel free to come down and visit me any time you like!"  

That's m' boy! 

"Just call for an appointment first.  Maybe a couple of weeks or so in advance."

Fortunately, there were no steep cliffs on the drive back home!

So what do I do now?  Many people have suggested I get myself a dog, an idea which has some appeal.  After all, a dog is man's best friend. Why not get myself a nice Irish Setter or Shetland Sheepdog?

"Here boy, here boy!" I'll call to him. "Fetch the ball and I'll reward you with a discussion  of the latest Coen Brothers' movie!  Come on, here's a milk bone, what books you reading lately? You think the President should act on Syria?  Hey, why aren't you talking?"

Maybe I'll think about a cat instead. 

I guess there's just no way to put the genie back in the bottle or the kid back in the crib, and that's what it's all about. True, I haven't accepted my own aging, but Brandon's aging is different, exciting, full of potential.  Things may never be exactly as they were, but that doesn't mean they won't be good. And much of it, I'm sure, is gonna be great. 

So this is one bit of change I think maybe I can embrace.  I'll try.

Do cats discuss Kurt Vonnegut?


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Goulash at Thunder Grill

Everyone agreed the renovation of the Hopkins Building had been a rousing success, its crown jewels being Thunder Grill and Bouviers Jewelry run by the Lenka brothers who'd come from somewhere in eastern Europe.

Although the Grill was a big hit immediately, the pricey Bouviers was out of range for most of us in the town. But soon it was wildly successful as well, oddly enough just about the time Thunder Grill changed its recipe for goulash. Suddenly people were buying jewelry as if they were dressing for the Academy Awards, and before long some folks couldn't afford to eat at the Grill anymore. There were more than a few bankruptcies too.

As for me, I love the Thunder Grill Goulash! I also own three diamond rings, a sapphire and ruby necklace, and a $10,000 tiara once worn by Grace Kelly.  Damn shame I'm not married. 


Just as I bid Happy Birthday to the Planet Earth in my last post, today I'm bidding Farewell to my money in "The Goulash at the Thunder Grill," my contribution this week to the Friday Fictioneers. 

It took me a mere 140 words (though well over the legal limit of 100) to lose all my money therein, but at least I do have me a tiara once worn by the late Grace Kelly in which I'm sure I'll look stunning!

It won't cost you a cent to check out the takes of the other Fictioneers on the picture of Thunder Grill and Bouviers shown above by clicking here. Just remember to stay away from the goulash!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Planet Earth

"Happy Birthday to you,  You have millions of zoos ...."

This year, by some quirk of the Hebrew Calendar, the Jewish New Year comes early and falls around the time of my birthday on September 12. Since the period of the New Year lasts from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, this year September 5-14, and the New Year celebrates the anniversary of the Earth's creation (just go with it, folks),  in 2013 Planet Earth and I are celebrating our birthdays together!

That is, if you can call my birthday at this fakakta age anything to celebrate.

"Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us .... Hey, Planet Earth, Happy Birthday!

You're not going to wish it back to me? Oh, the awful singing. Sorry!

So you're 5774 years old now, Planet Earth? You don't look bad for your age. A few fissures here and there, you're losing some rain forest, you're a bit flabby in the Governor of New Jersey Department, but not too bad overall.  Definitely better than Joan Rivers.  Umm, aren't you going to repay the compliment? 

What's that? I look like crap for 63? Thank you very much! Y'know some people say you lie about your age, you're actually billions of years old.  Fuck me?!!!  That's not very nice, but what can you expect from a planet that houses ABBA!

Cheap shot?  Yeah, but you deserved it!

By the way, Welcome to Virgo, Planet Earth!  It's the lamest possible sign of the Zodiac for a guy.  Oh! You're a chick! I should have realized - Mother Earth. But Virgo the Virgin isn't such a great Zodiac sign for women either. Why? Because it implies you're .... But you're not, you're not!  I think Europe is especially fetching. Tell me, what kind of year did you have when you were just a kid at 5773?

I see. Middle East. Shootings. No gun regulation. Tornadoes. Hurricane Sandy. Tea Party. Ben Affleck as the new Batman. Jesus, you had almost as bad a year as I did!

So, how do you plan to celebrate your birthday? Having some people over? A couple of million? I'll have to bring out the folding chairs then. Who's coming? Mostly Jews? Why's that? Oh, because they buy into your age fetish.  Gee, guess you don't reminisce too much about the Pre-Cambrian Period when they're around!

Me? Gonna spend a quiet birthday writing.  How's my writing career going? Hey, nice of you to ask, Planet Earth!  Not bad, don't have a lot of fans, but I think I'm on my way to some kind of success. What's that? They'll solve global warming first?  Thanks, you spherical shithead, I hope you fry you ass off! 

After I'm dead of course." 

So I kid Planet Earth.  He's ... I mean she's ... been around for 4 or 5 billion years, or at least 5,000 or so if you're a Jew. Either way, she can take it.

Happy Birthday, Planet Earth!  Hope you have a Happy and Healthy Year!

For all our sakes. 


Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Lone Bar Mitzvah Boy

I recently came across my old Bar Mitzvah record, the large red 78 RPM vinyl disc the cantor made expressly for me back in 1963 to help me prepare for my Bar Mitzvah.  It was stowed away in a box full of other 78 RPM records featuring the likes of  Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and  all the other favorites of  a childhood spent in the 1950s.

The crowning glory of the box, however, was neither bunny nor mouse but  my complete collection of Lone Ranger records. Together they told the entire saga of the Masked Man of the Plains starting with the origin story, He Becomes the Lone Ranger, to the finale, He and Tonto Retire to Play Golf,  or something like that.

My Bar Mitzvah record was also very special. First of all it was red, so it stood out boldly among the other black vinyl 78s that spun around the slender silver needle of the record player so rapidly you almost expected them to fly off into space! Secondly, and most importantly, the cantor referred to me throughout the entire record by my own name.

"Perry," he would intone, "this is your portion of the Bar Mitzvah service.  Practice it carefully!" 

"Perry," he would go on,"repeat after me:  BARCHU ET ADONAI HAM'VORACH ..."

"And now, Perry," he would counsel at record's end, "if you practice every day with the record you will do well at your Bar Mitzvah and honor yourself, your family, and the Jewish people.  If you fail to practice, on the other hand, God will smite you!"

No, that last part wasn't on the record, only in my terrified imagination of possibly screwing up before several hundred thoroughly disgusted friends and family in synagogue. But also in my imagination was the thought that with a record now impressed with my very own name throughout it, I had somehow become a star!  Or even a hero,  just like ....

A fiery horse at the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty 'Welcome to My Bar Mitzvah, Mr. and Mrs. Silvers!' ... THE LONE BAR MITZVAH BOY!

 "Twelve year old boys in the West faced many dangers," the staunch and stolid-voiced narrator would intone. "There were savage beasts, unfairly treated Native Americans (cleaning up the original language), and the Butch Cavendish Gang, whose sole purpose was to disrupt the Bar Mitzvahs of nice Jewish boys throughout the West, and in the Philadelphia suburbs as well!"

Butch Cavendish would then shout out "Stop that wagon train of Bar Mitzvah Boys! Don't let them practice for the service!"  And the Cavendish Gang rode off leaving the six Bar Mitzvah Boys for unprepared!

That evening, a Native American surveyed the ambushed Bar Mitzvah Boys. He muttered "Five Bar Mitzvah Boys unprepared. But this Bar Mitzvah Boy know part of the service!" Tonto, the Native American, would thereafter chant every day and every night to the Bar Mitzvah Boy: 

"Now, Kemosabe, repeat after me: BARCHU ET ADONAI HAM'VORACH ..."

Finally, after many days and nights of arduous practice, the Bar Mitzvah Boy was prepared. He said to Tonto: "Thank you, Tonto, I'm completely ready now for my Bar Mitzvah service. There's just one thing."

"What's that, Kemosabe?"

"From now on, I must always wear a mask!"

"Why is that, Kemosabe?"

"So that I can go after Butch Cavendish and he won't know who I am. Also in case I do happen to screw up before several hundred thoroughly disgusted friends and family in synagogue."

"I see, Kemosabe.   Meshuga, but I see."

"Yes, Tonto, from now on I'll be: 


And the Lone Bar Mitzvah Boy went on to capture Butch Cavendish and to not screw up at his Bar Mitzvah service, although he didn't exactly come off as any High Rabbi at Jerusalem either.

And then, not too long after all of that, my large red 78 RPM Bar Mitzvah record got put away in a box along with my complete collection of Lone Ranger records and the other 78 RPM records of Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and all the other favorites of a childhood spent in the 1950s.

Sure wish I could play them, but 78 RPM record players haven't existed for many years. But then it doesn't really matter.  Because in my mind and in my memory I can still hear it all:

"He's riding off," the synagogue folk would say, "who was he? We wanted to thank him."

"Why, no need for thanks," the rabbi would tell them. "He's the LONE BAR MITZVAH BOY!" 



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Knave of Scones

So certain was the network that its upcoming series Knave of Scones would be a ratings blockbuster that no expense was spared in bringing it to the small screen.

Five of the world's foremost medievalists were hired as special consultants, including Sir Ramsay Corningwall of Oxford University.  A full-sized Norman cathedral was built to conform in every detail with precise specifications established by Sir Ramsay. Casting directors took excruciating pains to ensure that only the finest actors who could speak in appropriate accent, tone,  and cadence were cast in even the most minor roles.

Knave of Scones premiered  on September 12, 2013 and was cancelled the next day. 

Somebody had forgotten to tell the producer it took place in Omaha, Nebraska.


Okay, so Knave of Scones turned out to be a show about a guy who bakes lousy pastries in the Midwest.  That doesn't mean it wasn't funny!  Anyway, it represents my 123 word story based on the prompt above for this week's Friday Fictioneers.

More takes on the very same prompt from the other Friday Fictioneers are available by clicking here. Some will no doubt transport you back to the days of twelfth century cathedrals and castles and knights and lords and ... or at least back to the days of TV shows that don't get axed after just one episode!

Say, why don't we remake Knave of Scones with Kevin James and a laugh track?  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fare Thee Well, We Tweet

Within the past few weeks, three young television performers sadly passed away and they were duly mourned, as people are these days, via Twitter. They were Corey Monteith, Gia Allemand, and Lee Thomas Young, and though I can't claim to even know who they were, it's nice to know they were given a proper sendoff by those who loved them and cared about them. 

Here's just a small part of it: 

  1. Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love & support. Cory will forever be in my heart.
  1. And a very dear friend. My heart goes out to her family during this very difficult time. We have lost angel today. I miss you Gia... 😢

Now, I'm sure the sentiments expressed by these three on the Twitter are heartfelt; after all, Janet Tamaro  is holding big red fake lips in front of her face and Jake Pavelka is smiling as though even he thinks it's funny he's a hunky guy with a name like Pavelka. But many of us remember a time when celebrities actually had to come forward and appear in public to express their sorrow at the death of someone they cared about. And in those days you actually saw and felt actual emotion and bereavement.

It's kind of not the same when bereaved individuals can tweet how upset they are while sitting on the crapper!

Does it even sound appropriate to tweet your grief and sorrow? Frankly, the rather childish word tweet doesn't have sufficient gravity to convey emotions as serious and important as grief and sorrow.  If you can tweet your grief, shouldn't you also be able to twinkle your condolences or biddy debop your angst?  

And there's little doubt that new social networks will continue to proliferate.  Soon we'll all be turning to the HuffPost for obituaries very much like:  

Former Secretary of State
 Harry Truckman Dies
Obituary - March 23, 2021

          It was announced today that Former Secretary of State Harry S. Truckman, who served two United States Presidents and is credited with being the first Secretary of State to successfully locate Burkina Faso on the map, has died.

         "I am greatly saddened by the death of my dear friend Harry Truckman,"  President Hillary Clinton merrymounted today on the social network Merrymount. "All of us owe Harry Truckman a great debt for his stellar service to the nation," President Clinton additionally tweeted as well as flamboozled on Flamboozle

          Praise for Harry Truckman was tweeted, merrymounted, and flamboozled from round the world.   "Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I are truly distraught over the passing of our friend Harry," flamboozled former President Barack Obama, with whom Mr. Truckman also served. "He was a true statesman of the first rank, here, here, tut, tut!" merrymounted and tweeted young Prince George from London, and both of his parents sent similar messages via Flamboozle.

          "I feel lousy about poor Harry as well," deedledopped Vice-President Joe Biden on the relatively little used social network Deedledop.  It was Mr. Truckman's widow, Mrs. Mary Truckman, however, who best summed up the feelings of the nation  Harry Truckman loved:

           "There will never come another like him this way again," Mrs. Truckman gigglefarted on Gigglefart. 
          Truer words were never gigglefarted.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

I'm Going Freelance!

No Doubt it's Gonna Happen!
It's all up to you

Yes, I'm going freelance!

I realize going freelance has nothing to do with the Who song I've linked above, but the joyful spirit of the song seemed appropriate to express the uptempo feeling I hope to create in you so YOU'LL HIRE ME TO WRITE CRAP FOR YOU!

Let's face it:  my humor site has failed to conquer America.  Even though I'm every bit as unfunny as the guy who writes ShitMyDadSays, he has millions of followers and scored a TV show with William Shatner while I'm so unpopular my blog posts are often returned for insufficient postage. In fact, last year when I was awarded the Nobel Prize for ending world hunger the Facebook post I put up got two likes and one comment: "Sure!  Pick the easy ones!"

So, my freelance website, Humor for Hire, is now up and running and I've placed myself on writer websites like Elance, Guru, and Craigslist,  just in case someone who wants to kill me could also use a brush-up on his resume.

But in the end, though, it's all up to you.  Here's why you should hire me for all your writing needs: 

1) I naturally write at a fifth grade level. 

2) I am always there for you! You'll never find me hanging out in bars, running around with hot women, or carousing til the cows come home (which is about 4:00 to 5:30 A.M, depending upon how udder-whipped the cows are.)  Why?  My life sucks!  You reap the benefit morning, noon, and night!

3) I save you money with plagiarism!  I'm as  lazy as a hound dog in a red state on a Sunday afternoon after a full morning of squirrel chasing, so if I can find something on the web to copy, paste, and slightly rearrange that will meet your needs --- as opposed to writing up new stuff --- you can bet your ass you'll get the worked-over, warmed-up leftovers!   (Legal Disclaimer required.) 

4) Never a charge for the Oxford Comma!

5) I'm generally ignorant of most things. With no expertise of any kind to draw upon in my writing beyond the approximate value of the Showcase on this morning's The Price is Right, it would take mega-hubris on my part to charge you what smart guys do.

6) I'm available at low group rates!  Got a Rotary Group, mess of Shriners, or  a secret society of dudes named Larry? If everyone in the group hires me, I can provide even cheaper rates through the magic  of VOLUME and POOLING!   I have no idea what that means, I think it has something to do with Obamacare.

7) This is 100% American made humor!  All  jokes are conceived by an American, written by an American, and bomb with wreckage for miles around by an American.  Your jokes will never originate from somebody hastily re-named Shecky sitting in a factory in Canton next to a guy working 140 hours a week busily contemplating suicide while assembling your I-Pad. When you get a Jewish joke, you have the comfort of knowing it was written by a duly circumcised Jew --- moi! 

8) Yes, I do bar mitzvahs and weddings!

9) I am a liar who hates conflict. I'll tell you whatever you want to hear whenever you want to hear it. Now you too can have an unvarnished yes-man at your beck and call just like a big company CEO, but at a fraction of the price!

10) I can write a little.

So whether your writing needs involve all humor, a sprinkling of humor, or no humor at all (I'm probably best at that one), check out Humor For Hire and call me today!

Or tomorrow or the next day or last week in August, as  you prefer.   It's okay.

As I said, I'm awfully lazy too.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Does It Make A Sound?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Scientists recently found out.

First an old broken-down Nissan Maxima was towed directly below a large oak tree about to fall in a dark and desolate part of a forest. The theory was that more potential "noise" would be created if the tree fell on an object as it would in a populated area rather than simply fell on the forest floor. Even an ersatz "road" was constructed beneath the car.

Super sensitive audiolaters and noise-matrons were stationed around the tree as scientists listened hundreds of miles away.  Yesterday, August 13, 2013, the tree finally fell. 

The tree made no noise.

The car screamed:  "WHAT THE F**K!"


There you have it, folks: mystery solved:  You should be scared to death to drive in a Nissan Maxima. No results yet about other cars, but keep watching the Friday Fictioneers for further prompts similar to the one above upon which this 127 word news item is based.

If you want to hear lots more interesting scientific results, strap on your audiolater and check out the other Friday Fictioneers by making a loud audible click right here.

So glad I have a Toyota and ... what's that?  What did you say? Who are .... HOLY CRAP!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Malveo, the Social Network for Arch Villains

The Social Network for Arch Villains

Lex Luther 
Woot!  I am not a morning villain!  Up half the night trying to think of a way to kill Superman. Any suggestions?  

Ernst Stavro Blofeld    How about constructing a giant Kryptonite Ray? Ever tried that?

Lex Luther     Only about 50 billion times, asshole!  How about something original?

Ernst Stavro Blofeld     Well, I haven't had my coffee yet .... Wait, I know! Kidnap Lois Lane and don't let  her go until Superman does your bidding!

Lex Luther  Jesus H. Christ! No wonder James Bond is still alive after 50 years and 25  pictures!


Fuck George Takei!

Khan How did you get in here, Shatner?
George Takei  You should know by now, Khan.  He's everywhere!


Ernst Stavro Blofeld
              My little tabby Ernestine posing with Roger Moore as James Bond just               before he single-handedly destroyed the fourth or fifth of my nuclear                 facilities geared to take over the world.  Isn't she a cutey-wootey! 

Emperor Palpatine    What an adorable doll-baby!

Lex Luther    Love her to death!

Voldemort  Personally I've always felt Moore was a bit too jovial & light weight in the  role; Connery was the quintessential Bond.  But what a cutikins!


Emperor Palpatine
Woo Hoo!   I  Breaking Bad!


In retrospect, do you think maybe I should have left a guard in that Middle Eastern prison to watch Bruce Wayne?

Professor Moriarty   No shit, Sherlock.

Voldemort   Ya  think?

Emperor Palpatine  Woo Hoo!   I  Honey Boo-Boo!       

Richard III
Now is the Winter of our Discontent at these further changes to Malveo! Hate, hate, hate all the ads on right side of the screen! And I already have myself a chiropractor, thank you!

Lex Luther Damn straight, Dick!   If I wanted to be on Satanist Mingle or Slay Date, I'd be there already!

Richard III   Don't call me Dick.   I'm not that evil.
Bane  Personally I like the ads.  Where else can you find a maniac-friendly hotel in Gotham City? 


Professor Moriarty
Anybody got a good recipe for guacamole dip?


James T. Kirk    


George Takei   Like I said. Fucking everywhere.