Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Worst Baby Boomer Nightmare Ever

It is officially recognized as The Worst Baby Boomer Nightmare Ever.  And some day soon it may happen to you!  

For me it happened in a small neighborhood fruit and vegetable store.  It actually happened more than a few years ago, back in the day when the picture I use on this blog wouldn't even have yet qualified as Exhibit A in a suit for Internet Fraud and Misrepresentation. And it happened at a time when my son Brandon was still of the young sweet voice he was to so inconsiderately drop way too soon thereafter.

The store owner was an older Asian woman who having seen Brandon in the store more often than she'd seen me gave him a warm hello while I set about shopping. There were just a few items to grab in the store, but for me nothing's ever easy starting with opening those little plastic bags that are engineered to be welded shut whenever I approach.

I crinkle the bag.  I twist the bag. I rub the bag vigorously between my thumb and forefinger.  I ask the 80 plus year old lady in the next aisle if she'll help me open the bag, hoping she won't think I'm coming on to her.  Success at last.

Now: which are peaches and which are nectarines again?  Oh yeah, that's why the call it peach fuzz. How do I properly stage my banana purchases for the week?  Two yellow, three green, one drop dead green? What if I don't want a banana every day? What if I want two? Parsley? Is it flat parsley, curly leaf parsley, Italian parsley, root parsley --- I don't even like parsley! Why is there always one strawberry in every box infected with white rot? Will it poison me? Arugula? I thought Arugula was an island in the Caribbean! 

We were at the cash register ready to check out and go on our way.  And the Asian lady at the register, the one who knows Brandon better than she knows me, smiles at him and says:

" So .... you show Grand Pop around the store today?"

Now I'd like to say it isn't so.  I'd like to say I'm better than that.  But the truth is, I'm not.

It is The Worst Baby Boomer Nightmare Ever, and it has left me narrow-minded, intolerant, and bitter.  I'm not proud, but ever since that day I've become an angry raging inconsolable bigot.

I hate fruits and vegetables.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Difficult Can It Be? (FF)

FF-Flash Fiction

Made it!  Just made it to the cross channel ferry, climbed on deck with my briefcase, and parked myself at a table facing France.

Hopefully the sea breeze would ward off any attacks of my old nemesis sea sickness, especially on such a short trip. Damn it, no such luck!

A man in a trench coat sat himself across from me.

"Gee, friend, you look green."

I slid the briefcase under the table to him.

Not five minutes later another man approached the table.

"Gee, friend, you look green."

“Please tell me you're a random guy and the other guy my contact.”

“No, I’m your contact.”

Well, how difficult can it be to enrich uranium anyway?


I had warned M not to assign me to any duty involving  boats because of my tendency to barf on them, but he took it upon himself to work the whole thing into the mission with a smart-ass passphrase. What can you expect from a guy who goes around calling himself "M" when his real named is Maurice?

This heart-pounding tale of espionage is my 116 word contribution to the Friday Fictioneers based on the prompt above for this week.  Unless you're too nauseous, please enrich yourself, if not uranium, by checking out the work of the many other Fictioneers via a right click right here

Well, how difficult can it be to enrich uranium anyway?  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dream a Little Dream of She

 Why can't a 63 year old create a dream girl too?

Last night, I was routing around HBO looking for something to watch for an hour or two instead of doing anything constructive, and I hit upon a fluffy little movie called Ruby Sparks. It's the kind of romantic comedy you kind of feel you've seen before, all about a young writer who through his writing creates his dream girl and then <POOF> magically she comes to life.

He's shocked and amazed, they come together, they love, they fight, they fight, they love, they come apart, they come back together, they love, they fight, and many other adorable things happen and that's just in the first half hour. But as I was in the process of being cuted-to-death, I began to wonder "why can't this be true for me as well?"

Why couldn't a 63 year old guy create his dream girl and have her spring to life just like she does for the young guy in the movie?  I'm a writer too, provided it's possible to be a writer when the most ardent devourer of your writing is the malware attacking your computer.  After all, "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy," even though your name is probably not Horatio unless both your parents hated you.

I switched off the TV and headed upstairs to the PC.

"Her name," I began, "is Gina Goldstein."

I don't really care all that much about her religion, I was thinking, but if I'm to have my total druthers, let's make her Jewish.  Okay, now on to the very troublesome issue of age.

"She is 44 years old .... no .... she is a well-preserved 48 years old .... no .... astonishingly young-looking for her age, she is 52 .... no ...."

I was trying, of course, to make this part realistic.  I wanted someone younger than me but not so young it'd be ridiculous to believe she'd want to hang with me short of every guy on the planet 60 and under being wiped out by some later day Bubonic Plague!

"Every guy on the planet 6o and under having been wiped out by some later day Bubonic Plague, she is...."

Nah, can't write that! What if it did come true? I could never deal with the guilt even if Gina did come walking out of the post-apocalyptic haze and into my life!  

"She is 35 years old and has always had a thing for older men,  finding young men superficial and callow."

That's it!

"Gina has beautiful eyes of the deepest blue, so blue you could practically swim in them ..."

Wait a minute!  What if the paranormal powers-that-be take that literally?  What if she winds up with chlorine in her eyes and a lifeguard on duty?   But I like the line.  Whatever it is that creates women out of thin air is just going to have to be widely enough read to process metaphors!

"Her mouth is full and upturned, with a smile that makes you feel like the sun just came out. She is as loving as Mother Teresa,  as funny as Jon Stewart, as sweet as Tupelo Honey, and has breasts as large as Sofia Vergara's."

Uh-oh!  Every non-gay guy she meets will be staring at her boobs, coming on to her, trying to take her away from me! I better go back and UNDERLINE AND CAPITALIZE THAT PART ABOUT HER LIKING OLD GUYS and, and ...  calm down now, dude, calm down! Okay, I think I've got it.

"Although she has spectacular boobs, they look much smaller and nondescript in the modest clothing she wears each and every day."

Perry, you are pure genius!

Just then the door bell rang.  I leaped up from the PC, my heart pounding like the Ringo Starr drum solo on Abbey Road, and tore for the front door! 

"I'm coming, Gina!"  I called out.  "Darling, I'll be right there!"

Fully out of breath, I reached the door and flung it open!

"Who the hell are you?"

"I'm Al Rothman,  head of the synagogue men's club."  

"You'll have to leave, Mr. Rothman.  You see, I'm expecting ..."

"You're expecting me. You only get one of your characters come to life, and you created me first.  Five or six posts back. Remember?"

"You're my one character?!!!"

"That's it.  Say, got any blintzes here?  I'd love me some cream cheese!

Well, at least I got the Jewish part right.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Then Fall Caesar (FF)

FF-Flash Fiction

Scene:  Rome, the Capitol, the year 44 BC.

Caesar:  Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!

Cinna:  Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead! 

Cassius: Uh, not so fast, Cinna.  Now that I think of it, Caesar wasn't all that bad a guy.

Decius:  Now you tell us!

Cassius: He was always buying us drinks, handing us free tickets to the Coliseum, fixing us up with friends of Cleopatra ...

Casca: Maybe we can glue him back together?

Lepidus: What do we do, Brutus?

Brutus: I've got it!  When I address the rabble, I'm going to say "Friends, Romans, and Countrymen, lend me your ears.  I'm also going to need a torso. And some legs. And a head."


Above is a rare reproduction of the first draft of a key scene from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar which only goes to prove that even with Shakespeare, as with all writers, the first draft is always shit.

I was fortunate to find this excerpt so as to be able to avoid writing my own contribution for Friday Fictioneers this week based on the prompt above. There are many other noble contributors to the Forum this week proclaiming their own works for the prompt, however, and you can beseech them all by clicking here.

As for me, well, humor should be made of funnier stuff!   I'll try not to lean so much on the Bard next week and endeavor to develop my own personal very shitty first draft instead. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Your One-Stop Shop for Obamacare:!
Exclusive to Nouveau Old Formerly Cute!

I am delighted to present!, Your One-Stop Shop for Obamacare.
This is the first ever fully functional 100% ready-to-use Affordable Care Act Information and Election Website, and it's yours exclusively to take advantage of as a reader of  Perry Block -Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute!  

Please do not reveal the location of this website to any mommy blogger.

How did  I manage to put this together when the United States Government is still trying to figure out how to underline and indent in Microsoft Word?  Simple. I paid the entrance fee to Philadelphia Comic-Con 2013 for two 14 year olds.   Two or three days later we were open for business!
4 Ways to get Health Insurance

Four Ways? Forget 'Em All! is your One-Stop Shop to: 

1) Review all health care plans available to you from a range of fine companies like Blue Cross, Aetna, Humana, Bill and Ted's Excellent Health Care, the Kathy Ireland Collection of Health Care Plans,  and Three Gobs and a Gal in White. 

2) Obtain the price of each plan and any available subsidy, the net cost to you, and a free copy of Kevin Trudeau's Free Money They Don't Want You to Know About to help you pay for it all.

3) Select the plan you want, enroll instantly, and receive a basket of fruit, a complimentary script for medical marijuana should it be legal in your state or should you be very well connected, and a welcoming letter from me. (It's a bit dirty.)

Find Health Coverage
That Works for You

Covers virtually all parts and labor. You can take all plan deductibles and co-pays, place them in the navel of a fruit fly, and still have enough room for three caraway seeds and the heart of an agent. (Good thing nobody remembers Fred Allen these days).  Should you evolve additional organs, they'll be covered too.

Similar high level coverage but with a few modifications.  Male patients receiving a proctology exam are now required to stick their own fingers up their asses, and women undergoing annual mammograms can expect a gallery of the doctor's male friends to be in attendance. Deductibles and co-pays are a bit higher, but it's your choice to eat every day or get that boil lacerated.

Some organs are excluded from coverage including liver, spleen, and left ventricle of the heart. At least one doctor in your network must be named Sluggo, and patients are required to bring their own magazines to the waiting room.  Tap dancing by primary care physician is not covered at any time. 

Coverage now features exclusion of a few additional organs including heart (100%), lungs, brain, and penis, especially if you are a woman. Deductibles and co-pays are such that you must pay out enough to hire and equip an army for Xena, Warrior Princess before plan customer service rep will even get on the phone with you. Doctors are not required to cure stuff.

Covers the procedure known as "Saying AHH."

Your Existing Policy
Now you can keep it thanks to President Obama (see Bonus Feature below), even though all it covers is a bucket of warm spit.  


Special Bonus Feature!

Personalized President Obama 
Apology to You

Name  ______

1) Do you want Mr. Obama to weep during apology?

Yes __               No __              Start to Break up but Control Himself __

2) Special strongly self-deprecating apology for conservatives?

Yes  __              No__             I'm a Tea Partier; Make It Rock!__

This post also appears in the Broad Street Review, December 3, 2013  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Notes on a 400th Post

I still can't believe it!

This is the 400th post of  Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute.

It seems like only four years and 400 posts ago that I began this blog.  Back then never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that one day I'd have written 400 posts and would be just as obscure and unsuccessful as I was right at the beginning!

And yet somehow it all came true.

There are so many people to thank.  First, I have to thank all my fans from the bottom of my heart!  There aren't that many fans at the top of my heart either.

Then I want to thank my high school English teacher Miss Schoendeinst for having had zero interest in me or positive influence upon me such that I am today unable to scribble even the most rudimentary sentence of the most microscopic interest or amusement whatsoever.

Thank you, Miss Schoendeinst!

Finally I'd like to thank my gene pool for providing me virtually no discernible sense of humor such that each and every unfunny post  in this blog has been about as entertaining as spending an evening with Carson Daly.  And I have managed this while being Jewish, despite the fact that most Jewish people are funny! 

As is my custom on anniversary posts (I've now done it twice),  I'd like to answer a few questions that have no doubt been burning in your minds. OMG, your minds are on fire!   I told you to give up smoking nine posts ago!

How did this blog begin?
Actually I was looking for a job in human resources and thought I'd go on Twitter as the funny human resources person. I soon found that image limiting and broadened my humor, which ultimately led to the blog. 

That answer was unfunny.
Odd.  I worked on that one a long time.

The central theme of your blog is the aging angst of the typical Boomer. What do you actually think about the aging process?  
It's the one process for which nobody is ever going to win a Nobel Prize by figuring out how to speed it up.

Do you prefer writing the posts about yourself or the other parodies and satires? 
I can't stand writing them all just the same.

Is the flawed, insecure, and neurotic character you write about actually you?

You use a picture on your blog that's obviously not current. How old is it anyway? 
My picture is nearly ten years old.  If it were a person, it would be masturbating by now. 

Why don't you change it? 
 The day it begins aging instead of me is the day I'll change it.

Why on this night do we eat reclining?
Don't be cute.

You write about how old and terrible you look.  Don't you ever look good?
I look best in a low light.  If you saw me in a graveyard at midnight, then you'd probably want to have sex with me. 

What are some of the advantages of having fewer fans than there are bi-partisan Republicans?
The one major advantage is that I am able to carefully hone and craft my humor writing without the disruptive intrusion of readers.

What's ahead for the blog?
Oh, there are many surprises ahead!  I have no ideas so I expect to be surprised.

Well, we'll be reading!
You have to. You're me.

And for those of you do read Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute who don't have to, thank you! 



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Come on in! The Coffee’s Cold and the Bagels Mummified II

Oh, you made it!  Nice to see you, thanks for coming!

Welcome to the Temple Boray Perry Men’s Club Sunday morning meeting, a/k/a “I’m so desperate to get out of the house I’d come here even if I weren’t married to a Jew!”

I'll be kicking off the formal meeting in a minute.  Damn it, I hate it when I use the expression "kicking off!" At my age, I'll be depressed all day.  

Okay, may I have your attention please? I'm president of the Men's Club Al Rothman and I just want to take few moments to welcome one and few. 

Now all of you feel free to grab yourself some coffee and a bagel. Unfortunately the coffee is about as hot as a date with Martha Stewart and the bagels feel as if they were formerly property of the National Hockey League. That’s the last time I pick up our Sunday morning nosh from a place with pictures of Ted Cruz on the wall. 
As you all know, this year we will soon be celebrating the holiday of Thanksgivukkah as Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall together for the first time since 1888 and the last time for thousands of years. Other than Abe Vigoda, there are few Jews who will experience it all three times.

In honor of  Thanksgivukkah, I'm delighted to announce that this Friday after shul there will be a special Men's Club pageant entitled "Mayflower Mishigoss," in which the story of the first Thanksgiving will be presented with the Pilgrims portrayed as Jews. Frankly it would have been easier to put on a Christmas Pageant with everyone portrayed as Jews because 
at least in that scenario everybody was a Jew!

It is my privilege to play the role of Governor Bradford, the leader of the expedition. This is ironic because in real life I get nauseous playing with the boats in my bathtub. Had I been on the Mayflower, fifteen minutes out of Plymouth Harbor I would have been hanging over the edge of ship hastily reconsidering my criticisms of the Church of England.

"So I'll be a gentile!" I'd be saying to myself. "Beats barfing for the next three months!"

And so the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock and immediately begin starving to death just as they'd been practicing for months before leaving England. Then one day into their midst strides Squanto, and
 Squanto teaches the Pilgrims how to feed themselves by tilling the soil and working the land.

Lessons which save the colony but didn't stick with most of  us Jews all that long.

Thanks to Squanto, the year's harvest is as rich as the doctor I hope my daughter Gretchen will marry, and the Pilgrims decide to have a celebratory feast, fully catered.  The feasting lasts days and ends only when everyone present, Pilgrim and Native American alike, is plotzed-on-the-sofa-in-front of-football-on-TV-open-mouthed-snoring-like a-son-of-a-bitch! 

Crap!  Guess I should have announced a Spoiler Alert.  Oh well, come for the free nosh anyway.

Thanks, gentlemen!  

Say, anybody wanna run out to Wawa and get us some real coffee?  


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hottest Board Game on Earth (FF)

FF-Friday Fictioneers

It looks like a village out of  the dawn of history, but it is actually Feringie Way, the hottest board game on Earth now literally being played all over the planet.

"Seven!" shouted Fred. Now I have 24 Chieftains. You roll, Kevin!"

"Hah!  A nine!" laughed Kevin. "I'm going to begin moving my 640 Archers to Bas Plateau. I'll mow your Chieftains down!"

"Not with my 3,000 Horsemen and Desert Fighters. Here goes: a five!  Moving my Sun Chieftain to Sirkhan Ramp.”

"Harry! Harry! The giant hand is grabbing me again! We should have never let the new arrivals play. "

"Just shut up and let Fred Xontar move you, Blanche!  Humankind has no choice."


So?  Been moved to any interesting places lately?  I tend to prefer Sirkhan Ramp because there are frequently hundreds of Buxom Goddesses positioned there, although I'm not particularly enamored of Nebbish Row where everyone is a guy named Murray.

When I meet a Buxom Goddess I actually like, I make sure to tell her that this week I brought in my contribution to the Friday Fictioneers based on the picture prompt above at 100 words, just like a good little game piece should!

You can check out the work of some of the other Chieftains, Desert Fighters, and Buxom Goddesses by clicking upon them here. But you better hurry, it's Kevin Klingon's turn!  Ouch, Kevin, not so rough grabbing my tuchas

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Dinner with Dick (Nixon)

He was this close!  
Minus the hand gesture and the helicopter

This is a story about me and Dick.

 No, it has nothing to do with sex.  Not directly anyway.

It is rather a story about me and former President of the United States Richard M. Nixon and the evening we had dinner together at a restaurant in Philadelphia in the mid 198o's. Those of you who regularly watch Fox News can stop salivating.  I didn't get to meet the man, share ripostes, or lovingly wipe his chin of butter sauce, although I was close enough to profoundly admire his bridgework.

I am somewhat of an autograph hound.  That is, I am interested in celebrities (at least those born before 1970) and possessed of a keen desire to feel in some way connected to them. Unfortunately I am not overly blessed with THE GUTS TO APPROACH THEM!  And therein lies the tale.

"That's Richard Nixon!" said my date Elise as a familiar foursome walked into the restaurant in which we were seated in the midst of our second date that evening.  Looking up, I recognized the former President of the United States, his wife Pat, his daughter Julie, and her husband David Eisenhower being led to a table not 15 feet from us. 

"Let's get his autograph!"  Elise cried. "C'mon, Perry let's go!"

"No, no, no, no!" I shot back. "He's a crook and cheat and we don't want or need his autograph!" I said firmly, lying my ass off --- not about Mr. Nixon ---but about my reason for keeping said ass planted securely in my restaurant seat.

"Perry,  he is a major world leader of the twentieth century!"

"Ellen, he's probably surrounded by secret service men. We'll be grabbed and whisked away for exhaustive interrogation by two sadistic cops straight out of central casting!  Trust me, they won't let anyone get near him!"

Now I've used this excuse many times before, including the time I failed to pursue the autograph of Rupert G, the guy who runs the deli next to The David Letterman Show. But it seemed to quiet down Elise, who thereupon settled into her French Onion Soup and our dinner conversation, the former hopefully a bit warmer than the latter.

An hour and a half later as we received the check and Mr. Nixon and his entourage rose to leave, two sweet little blond girls, about four and six years old respectively, ran up to the former President and asked for his autograph.

They were not grabbed. 

They were not whisked away for exhaustive interrogation by two sadistic cops straight out of central casting.

They didn't even look like Republicans.

Mr. Nixon flashed his jowly smile so broadly it appeared he was about to shoot his arms into the air and make the patented victory sign so often dispensed during his Presidency.  He seemed truly delighted, almost as if he now felt vindicated at long last in the eyes of history, his fellow man, and the two little girls, for whom he graciously signed autographs. They beamed with happiness.

My dinner date was not beaming so happily.

"Well, Elise," I stammered, "it ... uh ... looks like maybe we .... did squander a bit of an opportunity here."

"That's not the only opportunity you've squandered here, buster!" she said.

And that's the story about my dinner with Dick.  And though I didn't actually get to meet the 37th President of the United States,  I do have this to say about him: 

Damn you, Richard Nixon! 

On that particular evening, you really were a crook!

A shorter version of this piece was published in the Broad Street Review under the title Foiled by Tricky Dick.   And I was.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's a Forbes World After All

"They don't build 'em like that anymore," I thought as I approached the ornate building to which I'd been directed in the help wanted ad. Each section of the building featured the carved face of a Greek deity over its respective doorway. 

"So lifelike," I thought. "Why, that one looked almost like it just moved!

"Mrs. Forbes," I said,  entering the room designated in the ad, "I'm here for the job. And may I say, what a building!"

"Thank you," Mrs. Forbes replied.

"About the job ..."

"Well,  I would have preferred someone a lot younger and better looking, but you'll do."

With that, two burly guys entered the room from either side and wrestled me to the ground.

"The job pays $8 an hour and the white make-up is non-toxic," said Mrs. Forbes. "You will be standing on your feet for a very long time."


This week's piece is notable for two reasons:  1) The title has nothing to do with the story since I wrote it first and then couldn't fit the story to it, and 2) I've really thrown caution to the winds with the word count at 160 or so, but that's nothing new for me.  I just pushed it even a bit more this time.

I'll bet most of the other Friday Fictioneers were a lot more on the mark on both counts this week than I was, and you can check them all out here.  If any one of them has been as bad as I have, please let me know.  I'll feel less guilty.  

Now if you don't mind, I've got me a new job and I don't want to be late.  You see, I've got a pretty long shift to get ready for.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Here Comes Thanksukkah/Hanusgiving!

As most of you now know, this year through some bizarre confluence of the Hebrew Calendar with the Western Gregorian Calendar, many people are looking up the word "confluence." Additionally for the first time since 1888,  the usually close-to-a-month apart holidays of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will strikingly coincide.

This unique situation presents a singular opportunity for two traditional underdog holidays both regularly overshadowed by Christmas to team up and take on the champ. Think of it as Rocky times two vs. Apollo Creed.  And together as one, Thanksukkah/Hanusgiving* have more than enough seasonal goods to give Christmas a run for its over commercialized money.

There's 12 collective days of holiday if we count Thanksgiving as four, great food, presents for the kids, interesting backstories, spinning dreidels, shoes with adorable buckles, Hannukah Gelt, lots of pie, and a common and well resonating message of religious freedom and tolerance.   The only drawbacks are the six or more days of leftover turkey forced feedings associated with Thanksgiving and Hannukah Gelt itself, which tastes only marginally better than the gold wrapping in which it comes.

Interestingly enough, there have been at least five other relatively recent instances in which  two usually widely time-disparate holidays have managed to coincide:

1)  Christmas and the Fourth of July.  Of course many of you aren't old enough to remember when Christmas and the Fourth of July fell together on the same date for the first time in 56 years in 1974.  It was a banner year for the City of Philadelphia as pilgrims worldwide converged on the Quaker City and led light stick processions to Independence Hall, many of them wearing small replicas of the Liberty Bell around their necks.  The Pope that year held a special Christmas Eve Mass in which he mentioned all four Philadelphia sports teams by name.

It seemed in 1974 that there were carolers on every street corner favoring seasonal fireworks shoppers with old favorites like "Rudolph, the Red, White, and Blue Nosed Reindeer," and '74 was the year that Santa Claus and Uncle Sam --- long suspected to be one and the same --- were finally outed when Uncle Sam  forgot to tightly fasten his 490 pound fat suit before diving down the chimney of one Ralph Merkle of Jersey City NJ, as captured in the now mega-familiar photo at right.

2) Mardi Gras and Labor Day. When these two holidays fell as one in 1952, Labor Day with its ever depressing augury of the end of summer knocked Mardi Gras for a loop from which it almost never recovered.  Jazz bands remained unbooked, drunk and disorderly arrests were down sharply nationwide, and many people reluctantly went out to buy notebooks for the new school year.  In New Orleans, the bars were closed.

Memorial Day and New Year's Day.  These two holidays have already coincided three times in this century alone but it being that both holidays fell the day after New Year's Eve, no one ever noticed.

4) Groundhog's Day and Valentine's Day. The unusual confluence of these two holidays in February 1911 proved a bitter pill for their two putative iconic symbols, Puxatawney Phil and Cupid, rumored to hate each other almost as much as Adam Sandler hates being funny. Tirelessly working the small town of Puxatawney for 24 hours in 11 degree weather in an effort to show up his laconic rival, Cupid had to be treated for severe hypothermia and partial loss of a wing after producing only a handful of engagements and one lukewarm seduction while Phil for his part saw his shadow and promptly received over 7,000 proposals of marriage.

5) Simchat Torah and Shavuos.  Simchat Torah normally takes place in the early fall and Shavuos takes place in late spring.  Unfortunately no Jewish person other than the most extreme among the Orthodox knows enough about them to write a halfway decent joke here.

So will Thanksukkah/Hanusgiving come out swinging this year and finally deck the holiday that "decks the halls?"  I dunno.

We'll have to see what Santa has up his sleeve. 

 Or Uncle Sam in his fat suit.

*aka Thanksgivukkah  (I actually wrote this piece before I heard that term.)

This piece also appeared in the Broad Street Review on November 6, 2013.  They went with my original title even though they knew better.