Saturday, March 29, 2014

34 More Reasons Why 60 Is Not The New 40

I don't know what Boomer ever came up with the saying "60 Is The New 40," but it is awfully comforting to hear, isn't it,  fellow oldsters? 

Unfortunately it's a load of crap.  And there's no shortage of reasons why.   

Here's 34 more:


1) Before the movie came out, somebody who is 40 thought Frost Nixon was a drink.

2) Unlike somebody who is 60, somebody who is 40 thinks Dinah Shore is a place to vacation for the summer.

3) Somebody who is 60 thinks Vampire Weekend refers to AMC's programming for the Saturday and Sunday before Halloween.

4) "Never had it, never will --- Ah, ha, ha, ha!"  If you want a blank stare, try pulling that one on somebody who is 40.

6) Somebody who is 40 never heard of the Dave Clark Five while somebody who is 60 cannot believe he or she once thought "Wow, the Dave Clark Five are almost as good as the Beatles!"  

7) Unlike somebody who is 40, someone who is 60 does not think Tom Terrific is a male prostitute. 

8) Somebody who is 40 has never heard the expression "you know, it could be the Crest!" while somebody who is 60 can recite "Crest has been shown to be an effective decay preventative dentifrice that can be of significant value when used in a conscientiously applied program of oral hygiene and regular professional care" as if it were the Gettysburg Address.

Unlike somebody who is 60, somebody who is 40 hears America on the radio and thinks "I don't remember a song like that by Neil Young." 

 This is actor Tom Berenger at 40                    This is actor Tom Berenger at 60

11) Unlike someone who is 40, someone who is 60 would never say "how can an unattractive old dude like Jon Voight have a beautiful daughter like Angelina Jolie?"

11) Unlike someone who is 40, somebody who is 60 did not grow up with anybody named Tiffany or Brittany but did grow with someone named Emily before the name Emily became uncool before the name Emily became cool again.

12) There has never been and never will be a movie called This is 60.

13) Somebody who is 40 thinks Donna Read made It's a Wonderful Life and then must have retired from show business because you hardly ever see her in movies after that.

14) Unlike somebody who is 60, somebody who is 40 cannot understand why movies made in the 1940's do not contain bare breasts and people like Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman copulating furiously.

15) Unlike somebody who is 60, somebody who is 40 does not know what Lyndon Johnson's voice sounded like.

Stand up straight?  Stand up straight?  I AM standing up straight!

17) Unlike somebody who is 40, somebody who is 60 crosses him or herself 
whenever a celebrity in his or her 60's dies even if he or she is Jewish. 

18) Somebody who is 40 would never believe there was ever a hip guy on television named Lloyd Thaxton.  

19) When somebody who is 60 mentions that Superman shot himself, somebody who is 40 says "No, Superman fell off a horse!" 

20) "Who is Dr. Zorba?"  Let's see somebody who is 40 pull that one out of the air as the correct response to a clue in the category 1950's Television Shows on Jeopardy

21)  You think that somebody who is 40 who likes you likes you because he thinks you're a cool guy when in actuality that person who is 40 who likes you likes you because he thinks of you as being like his dad.

22)  C'mon, admit it!  You've watched that Florence Henderson Show on RTLV recently and even sort of enjoyed it.

23) Somebody who is 40 never saw the television commercial in which Robert Lamm of Chicago played the piano and sang "Where You Think You're Goin" while a very hot chick looked on adoringly and then the two of them turned to the camera and Robert Lamm said "A lot of our friends and a lot of your friends aren't around any more because they were shooting dope. We miss them."   
Yep, they never saw it.  Don't have a clue about it.

24) Somebody who is 40 can barely remember when Chevy Chase wasn't a bigger joke than anything he's ever said in any of his movies.

25) Unlike somebody who is 40, somebody who is 60 thinks Coldplay refers to the last time he put the moves on a woman.  

26) Who the fuck is that young guy hosting SNL this week anyway?

27) Somebody who is 60 is cheered that Harrison Ford is still playing action heroes.   Somebody who is 40 wonders when Harrison Ford is going to stop playing action heroes and start playing grandfathers like he's supposed to.

28) Somebody who is 40 does not remember Les Crane.

29) Somebody who is 40 not only doesn't remember the reunion of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis on the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon in 1976 but also doesn't have the slightest idea why anybody gave a shit.

30) C'mon, admit it!  You've watched that Florence Henderson Show on RTLV recently and actually enjoyed the hell out of it!

31) Somebody who is 40 has jumped on the current bandwagon and is taking selfies. The only selfie somebody who is 60  knows anything about is pretty much the same selfie he's been doing all his life.

32)   Somebody who is 40 has heard about a television show named  My Mother the Car, which was one of the stupidest TV shows ever.  You religiously watched My Mother the Car every week and were mega-upset when it was taken off the air.

33) This is Sally Struthers at 40                                  This is Sally Struthers at 60

34) Sorry. Unless you come across somebody who is 40 who is very undiscriminating, somebody who is 60 --- namely you --- can cross sex with somebody who is 40 totally off your bucket list! 



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Wood Sprite

Every afternoon almost without fail, Samantha would run into the forest to meet Clarence the wood sprite and the two would play for hours until Samantha had to go home for dinner.

Samantha would try to talk to her parents about Clarence but they didn't believe in wood sprites, and so Samantha gradually stopped talking to them about him.

One afternoon Samantha ran into the forest and found Clarence crying.

"Why do you cry, Clarence," said Samantha

"I must go away, my precious Samantha," cried the wood sprite.

"But why?" asked Samantha.

"Because you have grown older," replied Clarence, "and soon you will no longer believe in me."

With that Samantha fed Clarence into the wood chipper.

"You moron!" she snarled. "I'm  37 years old!  I'm so gullible I could have played with you forever!"


There's nothing like a charming fairy tale to bring a special feeling to your heart, but it's likely this fairy tale will bring a special feeling to your stomach much more readily than your heart. 

This is my weekly Friday Fictioneers offering based on the prompt that Rochelle Wisoff Fields is now offering so early in the week that anymore we're likely to get the prompt before the Friday before the Friday for which the prompt is for!  Anyway just say "I believe in the Friday Fictioneers," click on them here, and you will have each and every one of their weekly stories, no matter what the grown-ups believe.

BTW, just to close the loop, Samantha is doing hard time now for wood chipping Clarence. In my fairy tales, there is always justice!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Little Lens Lost

Yeah,  it might even be here ...

I've been wearing contact lenses since I was 13 years old. Back in those days they only had hard contact lenses  - no soft lenses, disposable lenses,  solar powered lenses, gilt-edged, or anything else they have today - so hard contact lenses were what I got.  And what I still wear today. 

And hard contact lenses were great for me.  I saw better,  I looked better, and I could much better identify the bullies beating me up in seventh grade.  Life with contacts was and is good. 

Except when you drop one.

The logical thought for finding a dropped contact lens would be to look where you dropped it, but contact lenses are anything but logical. Their secondary calling, beyond providing visual amelioration, is to confound and amaze. To that end, you have as much chance of finding  a dropped contact lens anywhere near the spot where you drop it as you have of finding news on CNN.

I was taking my contacts out in the bedroom one night about a week ago when one flicked off my long (!) eyelash, ricocheted off the bureau (I could hear it) and took off for points unknown. So, I got down on my knees and began searching through the carpet where I was standing. 

No Little Lens Lost.

I got a flashlight and widened the search throughout the room. Parsing  carefully through virtually each one of the carpet fibers, I found pennies, dead bugs, and enough dust to give a can of Pledge nightmares.

No Little Lens Lost.

I patted down my clothing to see if it had alighted upon my person as sometimes does happen.  I patted down my clothing so thoroughly I became aroused. 

Still No Little Lens Lost.

I next widened the search almost throughout the entire house.  For the lens to have been in some of the areas of the house I was searching, it would have had to ricochet into a cannon about to be fired.  

Yep, you got it.

So, I called the eye doctor's office to have a new lens made.

"Hi, this is Perry Block.  I need to have a new left contact lens made." 

"I guess you dropped it, huh,  Perry?"

"Yes, that's it."

"Too bad!  It could be anywhere then."

"I know that."

"Did you look in Center City Philadelphia?"

"Don't be cute!"

"They do turn up there, just sayin'."

"Well, I was nowhere near there!"

"As if that makes a difference. But don't worry, sometimes when they slip into parallel dimensions, they actually return."

Several days later, my new contact lens was ready.  As I finished dressing on my way to go pick it up, there - right at the spot where I had dropped it the week before - was the long lost contact lens.

"Little Lens Lost!" I cried out. "I searched that spot a dozen times and you weren't there!  Where have you been?''  

"I'm sorry, Perry, I cannot tell you," answered Little Lens Lost, now Found. "But I do have a message for you."

"What's that?"

"Your random socks say hello."


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

L'Ascenseur de Paris

Albee had been living in Paris that summer, working for L'Etoile and staying in a rather shabby pensionne.  It was seven flights up and down every day but Albee loved Paris so he hardly minded.

"What is that, Madame Le Fouquet?" he had asked when he moved in, pointing to the metal cage suspended by wires between floors.

"Oh, cette chose, Monsieur?" answered his new landlady. "It hardly works, a little bit de temps en temps.  Forget it."

And so Albee forgot it until one very hot day just before his internship was about to expire, Albee returned to the pensionne exhausted. Unable to face the stairs, he climbed into the cage and began pushing buttons.

"Madame Le Fouquet, what is this?!!"  he cried out. "The walls are closing in on this elevator!"

"Ce n'es pas un ascenseur, Monsieur Albee! shouted the landlady. "It is a giant electronique cheese grater! Don't forget, c'etait France!"


I thought maybe going a little cosmopolitan  might help boost my  Friday Fictioneers readership this week, especially after bombing royally in last week's effort to make a link to a Beatles' song the capper to my post. 

That's why this week, folks, we're all wearing turtlenecks and sipping wine in a cafe in response to the picture prompt,  courtesy of Nouveau Old Formerly Cute. What's not to love here?  Where will the elevator or stairway above take you when it comes to the other Friday Fictioneers? Cliquez ici pour en savoir.  

Now, pardon me,  I have to get Albee out of the cheese grater before he winds up atop a Ritz Cracker. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hangin' Haman

The holiday of Purim is a relatively minor though fun Jewish holiday that comes in March. There's dress-up in costumes like Esther and Mordecai and the other characters in the Purim story, a carnival with games and prizes, and a delicious pastry called hamantashen shaped like the hat of the villain, Haman, who is hung at story's end.

One additional tradition of the holiday is the amusing game called  Hang Haman, the Jewish version of Hangman.  Through this charming custom, Jewish children the world over have fun while experiencing the unvarnished delight of bloodthirsty revenge and learning all about the joys of capital punishment. 

It's Purim now in a home somewhere in America:

"Hi, Joel! Hiya, Max!"

"Dad, Happy Purim!"

"You too, boys.  Ha, ha! You guys killing Haman again?"

"Yeah, Dad!  Joel's been missing a lot of words at Hang Haman, so we've been stretching that bastard's neck all afternoon!"

"Wonderful! Look at those rope burns! And what have you done there, Joel?"

"Max missed one word so badly that hanging seemed too good for Haman. So we changed the game so that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson worked over Haman until Max got the next word!"

"Coooool!  Looks like he beat the pulp out of himWhat word did you miss, Max?"

"Decapitation, Dad!" 

"That's a common word, son.  Missing that might have warranted castration of Haman instead of Dwayne Johnson knocking his head in."

"If only we thought of that!  But at least we used the word castration earlier in the game."

"Dad ... what's that?  A tear in your eye?" 

"I'm just so proud of you guys and the wanton and vicious manner in which you hang Haman!"

"We had a good teacher, Dad."

And the delightful  tradition that is Hang Haman doesn't stop there. There are various other versions of the game played around the globe such as Draw & Quarter Haman,  Play ABBA Over & Over for Haman, and  Governor Christie Sit On Haman

Now Haman truly was a bad guy.  In addition to trying to destroy the Jewish people, he was never around when you needed help moving  and would frequently hog the sports section even after you told him you just wanted it for a second!  He deserved what he got. 

But doesn't making his death into a spectator sport perhaps sends a bit of a wrong message? And in truth Hang Haman is just a tiny part of Purim that hopefully has been de-emphasized in recent years.  So for me,  I'm content in 2014 to forgo battering the living daylights out of Haman and just eat his hat. 

Maybe this time around, sans chapeau, he'll simply catch cold and die.  


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Straight to Her Door

"Hey, John, why so down in the dumps?"

"It's Shelly. I really love her, but I'm not getting anywhere. All these moods, changes, twists, turns ...I just can't find the road to the door to her heart!"

"No problem, man, I can help you." 

"What can you do?"

"I can tell you how to get right to where you wanna be in no time."

"What's that?"

"I said I can put you on the road to her door that's just as short and straight as the way to the pyramid at the end of the boardwalk." 


"With the Beatles.  And just the right song."

"What's that?"

"This one, of course."


And what aren't the Beatles right for?  They influenced us in every way --- music, thought, culture, style, and more.  Even though today I can't stand Paul McCartney, I would still die for him. 

Well, this straight to the heart romantic advice represents my weekly contribution to the Friday Fictioneers.  Click here for the straight and effortless path to the other Fictioneers and their many thoughts, musical and otherwise, on the picture prompt above.

Remember, all you need is love .... of my blog posts! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Ides Have It

Well, this has been a terrible day!

The Ides Have It
from Julius Caesar
Act III, Scene 1
(a/k/a The Gory Part)

(A crowd of people are on the stage, among them the Soothsayer.  Enter Caesar on his way to the Capitol. Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Decius, Cinna, and other conspirators are already at the Capitol awaiting Caesar.)


Caesar:  Ah, you are the soothsayer who didst tell me previously to "Beware the Ides of March," are you not?

Soothsayer:  Aye, Caesar, you have a memory for grimy and misshapen faces like mine, I'll say that much.

Caesar: Well, looks like I'm in the clear now, grimy and misshapen! The Ides of March are come. 

Soothsayer:  Aye, Caesar, but not gone! 

Caesar:  'Aye, Caesar, but not ...'hey, you've got a point there!

Soothsayer:   You've got 15 hours to kill, Caesar, til the end of the day.  Oh, gee - 'kill Caesar.' Poor choice of words! 

Caesar:  Ya think?

Soothsayer: Sorry, Caesar.

Caesar: Maybe I'll take the scenic route today to the Capitol .... by way of Carthage!

Cassius:  (calling from the Capitol) Caesar, hurry up, we're waiting for you! We've got a murderous schedule today. 

Caesar:  Another wonderful word choice!  Just a minute, Cassius; say, why don't you grab some coffee and a doughnut first? You have a lean and hungry look today.

Brutus:  Hurry up, Mighty Caesar, we have an important vote scheduled on Octaviuscare

Caesar: Et tu,  Brutus? Well, I'm still thinking Octaviuscare over.Tell you what, I'll go home, bone up, maybe watch Foxhunt news, and come back tomorrow.

Brutus:  The vote has got to be today, Caesar. Gaius Cruzus doth oppose us.

Caesar:  How much time have I used up, Soothsayer?  Five or six hours?

Soothsayer: 47 seconds, Caesar.

Caesar: Oww!! Owww!!! There's a pebble in my sandal the size of the Rock of Gibraltar!  I can't go to work today.

Soothsayer:  No, that's just the size of a very small pea, Caesar.

Caesar:  You're helping me, right, Soothsayer?

Cassius:  All of us will come down and carry you to the Capitol, Caesar!

Caesar:  No thanks, fellas! I get nauseous when being carried by a pack of guys, especially if I'm riding on the two or three guys carrying me in the back seat. 

Soothsayer:  They're coming, Caesar.

Caesar:  No, no, no,  guys! Think I'll go to the hospital, they'll probably want to keep me overnight for observation, my foot is swelling like the word count in a Shakespeare play. 

Soothsayer:  They raiseth you aloft, Caesar! 

Caesar:  Yeah, and I'm already nauseous.  How's all this going to work out f or me, Soothsayer?

Soothsayer:  Let me put it this way: it's going to makes Tarantino look like Disney.

Caesar: Farewell, good Soothsayer! Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once.

Soothsayer: That's beautiful, Caesar.

Caesar: Thank you. The  problem is that I'm about as valiant as the guy who surrenders to the French Army the day before the war begins.

Cassius: Caesar, we thought you might like a haircut and a shave before the Senate convenes.

Caesar:  Okay, just take a little off the top but leave the internal organs long.

Casca:  Speak, hands, for me!

Caesar: Casca, does that mean you've taken up signing? 

(BrutusCassiusDeciusCinna, Casca and other conspirators move in with daggers drawn.) 

Caesar: Nope.  Looks like I'm wrong about that one.

Soothsayer:  Caesar, do you have any messages you'd like me to convey before you're turned into chopped chicken liver?

Caesar: Yes, Soothsayer.  Tell Shakespeare I hope he at least gets a hit out of it.

The End


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Afternoon at the Oasis

Steinmetz and Jurgen had trekked nearly 2,000 miles. Hopelessly lost and out of water and food, they despaired that they would ever see civilization again.

"There up ahead!" cried Jurgen. "There's greenery on that plateau! Could be an oasis! Could be an answer to our prayers!"  

Shedding their gear, the two raced toward the plateau, As they  rounded  the jutting rock before it, the gazed upon an incredible sight!

"Actor John Travolta!" exclaimed Steinmetz.  "What are you doing here?"

"After that performance at the Academy Awards," said Travolta, "I had to find some way to make money. Got me a refreshment stand here."

"What are you selling?" asked Jurgen.

"Snwo cenos, oht gods, and monleade," replied Travolta. 


That's snow cones, hot dogs, and lemonade, to help Mr. Travolta out a bit. Remember when he was the hottest thing in show business (some of you)? Now his toupee gets more attention than he does.

Anyway, I thank John Travolta for his special appearance in my Friday Fictioneers offering this week. To see what guest stars and other excitements the other Fictioneers have in store for you, click here.

Hope you have a happy and healthy week, with no Saturday Night Fever. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Madness!

According to the weather forecast this weekend, the old adage "March comes in like a lion" is about to be proven true. A big snowstorm is predicted for the Northeast on March 2.

But after that, everything's changed.  Forecasters have advised that instead of "going out like a lamb," March this year is set to go out "like a  badly scuffed pair of brown wingtips which need repair but are not yet ready to be disposed of.

Why?  It's the impact of climate change.   Many predictors think that next year March will come in "like comedian and actor Tracy Morgan" and go out "like somebody talented." Others believe March will come in "like a plate of cold lasagna" and go out "like sex with Renee Zellweger," which may not represent that much change.

"It's anybody's guess what happens," says Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel. "All the computer models differ based on the flow of  the Gulf Stream, the dew points on the Equator, and the number of Baby Boomers who think Channing Tatum is a girl.  It's my personal belief that we're due for a succession of years in which 'March comes in like a set of Louis Vuitton Luggage and goes out like my cousin Milt Vanderberg, who hasn't held a steady job in years.'"

And what has happened to the Lion and Lamb? 

"Looks like the Lion and the Lamb have laid down together,"  says Cantore. "And next year it's quite possible 'March will come in like a wholly new breed of half lion/half lamb and go out like the Lamb's attorney chasing the Lion as fast as he damn well can!'"


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Warthog Day

The Long Awaited Sequel

The untimely loss of writer/director/actor Harold Ramis this week has caused many of us to take another look at many of this films, and in my view none is greater than Groundhog Day

This intensely original and perfectly rendered motion picture tells the story of self-centered weatherman Phil Connors who finds himself living the same day over and over again - Groundhog Day - and eventually comes to use his plight as an opportunity to better himself and those around him.* 

All of us dream of the chance to do over those things we've messed up, but somehow if given the opportunity I doubt things would turn out as well for you and me as for Bill Murray in the film.  Let's check out a few scenes from the long awaited sequel to Groundhog Day entitled .... 




"Good morning, Tawneykitaen PA!  As we all know, today is March 13 ---Warthog Day --- when our nationally famous warthog Tawneykitaen Bill emerges from his cesspool and predicts the future.  If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of existential angst throughout all the peoples of the world; if he does not, it'll be kind of cloudy."
"Perry, over here, we're setting up for the shot of Tawneykitaen Bill."

"Here you go, Rita and Larry!  I've brought you coffee and danish!" 

"Take your coffee and danish and shove it, Perry!"

"Why, Larry?"

"It only took you 83 Warthog Days to think to bring it, jerk!" 

"But, Larry ... Rita ... how do you know that?"

"We know you're living the same day over and over again! Say, who'd you have to shtup to get that deal?"

"Well, I don't know, Rita ..."

"Why you?  Why not someone deserving like Abraham Lincoln? Why not Mother Teresa?!   Why not Elvis?!!!
"It's Ned Ryerson, the insurance man!  Come on over, buddy!"

"Perry Block?  Gotta go."

"But why, Ned?"

"It's been 126 Warthog Days until you finally acknowledged me! And only because at this point most people in this town are sick to death of you!"

"All right, Ned, I'll buy insurance! Life. Health. Pet. I'll insure a boat and I don't even have one, I get seasick!"

"Yeah, and when are you going to pay me for the policies you already bought, creep? Let me guess: Tomorrow?"

"Here you go, old timer.  Hope this helps."

"Two bucks, fifty! What kind of lousy cheapskate are you, Block?"

"How do you know who I am?"

"Everybody knows you! I suppose I should be grateful, you didn't give me a damn dime for the first 253 Warthog Days you lived through!"

"You're choking me, old timer!  You're choking me!"

"I got a lot of strength left in me when I get riled up! Who did you shtup to get this do-over deal?  Satan?!" 

"I have to say your piano playing is terrible, Mr. Block.  It makes ABBA sound almost like music."

"But this is just my first lesson with you.  I can't be expected to..."

"First lesson? Try 347th lesson, schmuck! Everyone knows you get to repeat Warthog Day over and over again."

"Yes, but I'm trying to better myself each day by...

"By playing lousy piano? Why aren't you doing something worthwhile? You should at least be Batman by now, you've had plenty of time to prepare!"

"Well, I tried that, I looked bad in the tights."
"Look, Rita, I've made a lovely ice sculpture of your face!"

"Terrific, Perry.  You've received the greatest gift ever bestowed upon a human being in all of eternity ... and you play in the ice and snow!"

"But it's for you! I love you!"

"Pathetic.  1,258 Warthog Day do-overs and you're building snowmen! Why aren't you at least Batman by now?"

"Because I look bad in the .... oh, never mind!  At least I saved Brian Doyle Murray from choking to death earlier in the film!"

"Big deal. What movies has he been in lately?"



Well, I was right. Sure doesn't look like things are going to turn out as well for you and me as they did for Phil Connors.  Or that Warthog Day is going to be nearly as big a hit as Groundhog Day

Of course, there's a reason for that.

We need Harold Ramis.


Yeah, maybe for Bill Murray. 
 But for you and me, dude, ... 

* If you haven't seen Groundhog Day, don't wait until next Groundhog Day to do it. Also don't read the rest of this post, because it will make even less sense to you than most of my other posts.