Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Illustrious Dalai HaHa of Comedy

The Dalai HaHa of Comedy

It was hardly a secret that my humor writing career had been in the crapper
. I had very few readers, didn't get many blog comments, and the last time I'd gotten a "like" on Facebook it had been to a post about my recurrent genital herpes.  Clearly something drastic had to be done.

And that something drastic suddenly materialized right before my very eyes in a conversation with fellow humor blogger Monroe Firth.

Author of a blog entitled Firth's Frivolities, Monroe was often very funny but had failed to find a significant audience on line, much like me except for the being very funny part. Monroe called me to say he was about to be going away.

"Myrtle Beach?" I asked.  

"No, Perry, I go to seek the illustrious Dalai HaHa of Comedy."

"The Dalai HaHa of Comedy!" I repeated in an awestruck manner even though I had never of the Dalai HaHa of Comedy, but then again I had never heard of Taylor Kitsch either.

"The Dalai HaHa of Comedy," said Monroe "is the one and only Grand Master of the Comedic Arts. He knows the secret to Perfect Comedy, and he also validates parking."

"Where does he dwell?" I asked. "Perhaps we could meet him for lunch?"

"He dwells in a place shrouded in mystery, veiled in secrecy, and wedged somewhere between the sofa cushions."

"Then dinner maybe?"

Monroe explained that he possessed a secret map to the dwelling place of the Dalai HaHa of Comedy which he would bestow upon me for safe keeping. In order to make sure it remained strictly confidential, I posted it on Facebook with pictures of a bunch of kittens.  Meanwhile my writing continued to suck so badly that I was declared eligible for Federal disaster relief by FEMA. 

I decided finally to use the map to undertake my own personal quest for the illustrious Dalai HaHa of Comedy!

First I flew to Tibet and boy, were my arms tired!  (That joke alone ought to show you how badly I needed the Dalai HaHa.) Next I took a small commuter plane to the desolate and isolated town of Rudner at the foot of Mt. Ted McGinley, a tiny frigid outpost of 55 villagers whose favorite past times consisted of starving to death, carving ice sculptures in each other's breath, and ballroom dance. 

It was there I secured the services of the only guide willing to travel to the distant dwelling place of the Dalai HaHa of Comedy, a rough-hewn mountain man known as Shecky.

"Know this, my master," said Shecky, "that many seek the path to the Dalai HaHa, but only a few survive the journey. However, remember also that a journey of a thousand miles begins with just a few steps."

"That's reassuring, Shecky," I replied.  "How far do you think I'll get?"

"A step or two, give or take."

Shecky and I set out on dog sled traveling through blinding snowstorms with temperatures well below zero. At night we would keep ourselves warm by setting fire to each other and comfort ourselves with thoughts of a better life being torn apart by packs of crazed wolves. After weeks of arduous travel we arrived at the place shrouded in mystery, veiled in secrecy, and wedged somewhere between the sofa cushions.

"It is here I must leave you," said Shecky.

"You mean because it is only fitting I complete the pilgrimage to the Dalai HaHa of Comedy alone?"

"No, because I haven't gone to the bathroom in six weeks."

Before me lay a Golden Temple with huge intricately carved oaken doors.  That actually turned out to be Applebee’s, but next to it was a tiny hovel with a sign that read "The Dalai HaHa of Comedy -  Grand Master of the Comedic Arts. One Flight Up." 

I entered. 

A bearded gentleman in white robes sat on small divan.  Around him were fresh flowers and the aroma of sweet incense.

"Yes, my son," he said warmly.

"Oh, illustrious Dalai HaHa of Company:  Why are some comedians funny and others are Bob Saget? Who do you like better, Amy Shumer or Louis C.K.?; tell me why in 25 words or less and make sure at least 8 or 9 of them are dirty.  Will there be another season of Curb or can I drop HBO?  I never want to accidentally be subjected to 2 or 3 minutes of The Comeback ever again!

And finally, oh illustrious Dalai HaHa, I long to know....

"What is the Secret to Perfect Comedy?"

The illustrious Dalai HaHa of Comedy closed his eyes and began chanting in some strange tongue unknown to me. I think it was his own tongue, which makes sense. After what seemed to be at least six or seven hours, he opened his eyes and stared straight at me as if he'd known me all his life.  Then he spoke.  

"Pie, my son."

"Excuse me?"

"Pie.  As in the Three Stooges."

"Pie is the Secret to Perfect Comedy?"

"The Stooges, watch them carefully.  Especially Larry."

"Pie?!  Four thousand miles for pie?!!"


"That's it?!!"

"Not quite, my son.  In time you may be ready for seltzer." 

"Tell me, oh illustrious  Dalai HaHa of Comedy, is "pie" the same advice you imparted to another who made the quest here to the place shrouded in mystery, veiled in secrecy, and wedged somewhere between the sofa cushions, a man named Monroe Firth?

"Monroe Firth?"

"Yes, Dalai HaHa of Comedy."

"Monroe Firth did not ever arrive." 

"Didn't arrive!  My God!  Do you know what happened to him?"

"He texted me something about Myrtle Beach."


Monday, December 28, 2015

Your Daily Dose of HR Doings: Insectual Harassment

Your Daily Dose of HR Doings: 
 Insectual Harassment

Human Resources professionals may soon be girding themselves for one of the most difficult challenges HR has faced since the question of whether to allow tank tops at the company picnic.

That challenge?  A new cause of action against your company known as "Insectual Harassment."

A hotly contested legal case is now wending its way through the courts and if it continues wending, it'll soon be wending your way. It began last August when a 37 year old man named Gregor Samsa awoke from uneasy dreams and found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.  In his own words: 

"I was lying on my hard back and when I lifted my head a little I could see my dome-like brown belly divided into stiff arched segments and my numerous legs, which were pitifully thin, waving helplessly before my eyes.  'What is happening to me?' I wondered.  And I must remember to cancel the exterminator for Thursday." 

Mr. Samsa's day did not improve when he went in to work and encountered a number of his co-workers attempting to step on him.  Mr. Samsa was shortly called in to see the HR Manager who told Mr. Samsa that he was being terminated on the spot but at least offered him healthy severance in the form of not squashing him on the way out.

Practice Pointers:  Do not act hastily when an employee comes into work one morning and has been turned overnight into an enormous bug. Take time to speak with the bug.  Offer the bug a cup of smaller insects and remember to banish the word "eeek" from your vocabulary. Do not swat the bug. Try to determine if the bug can still perform his or her job effectively.  If you run a hand modeling agency, well, that may be a problem.

Protected classes of employees under the federal anti-discrimination laws are race, religion, gender, age, nationality, military status, and disability but not being transformed overnight into a giant bug.  Some states have recognized additional classes such as sexual preference, transgender status, and having an innee rather than an outtee.

Samsa v. Shearson Lehman is now poised to add Insectual Harassment to the list. In an analogous case, Lot v. Morton's Salt, Mr. Lot’s wife underwent a similar spontaneous transformation as Mr. Samsa although instead of being transformed into a bug she was transformed into a pillar of salt.  Her anti-discrimination claim was rejected, however, because although Mrs. Lot was tasty, being granules of salt as opposed to a whole person prohibited her from performing her job duties as a spot welder.

Practice Pointers: Being transformed overnight into a bug may well be considered a disability similar to being turned into a pillar of salt, although salt is generally more welcome at your dinner table.  If the disabled bug can yet perform his essential job duties, described as those duties a worker cannot shirk no matter how many times he can convince you his grandmother died, you might have to provide the bug reasonable accommodation such as getting him an ergonomic chair, affording him special hours, or providing him human blood to suck on at breaks. 
  As the case nears trial, Mr. Samsa is sanguine about its prospects although it's hard to tell if he is truly sanguine since he is kind of a mottled brown.  A positive determination would make all Insectual Harassment illegal including the most insidious kind of Insectual Harassment of them all, Quid Pro Quo Insectual Harassment. This is the type of harassment in which  a supervisor or manager offers a promotion, raise or other job benefits to a bug in exchange for the bug agreeing never to have sex with him.

Practice Pointers:  Now is the time to make your workplace "Employee-Turned-Overnight-Into-A-Bug Friendly."  Do not require a human being turned into a bug to sit on the venetian blinds in a meeting instead of in a regular seat. Don't tell a joke such as "What has 18 legs and six boobs?" even if the answer is the Supreme Court. Promise that complaints of Insectual Harassment will be investigated promptly and thoroughly with appropriate discipline imposed for any offenders up to and including stinging the shit out of them.

As the Samsa litigation wends forward, Your Daily Dose of HR Doings will continue to keep you fully informed, provided you continue paying the $49.99 a year subscription price. With careful planning, sensitivity, and training, you too can handle Insectual Harassment like a Human Resources pro!

Even though HR still won’t get no respect.

Tomorrow: The case of Gilligan v. Skipper   ---   It was supposed to be only a three hour tour.  Is Mr. Gilligan entitled to overtime for all time spent on that dopey island?


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Trump for Santa Claus 2016

"Good Evening. I'm David Muir and this is my hair. Tonight on 20/20 I'm pleased to be interviewing the Republican Party front runner in the race for Santa Claus 2016, Mr. Donald Trump.

"Ho, ho, ho, David, that is some nice haircut!  Joy to the World, and let's get right down to praising the shit out of me!"

"Certainly, Mr. Trump.  Now as you and our viewers know, we've been electing Santa Clauses for the past 27 years ever since the original Santa died in a tragic accident trying to save grandma from getting run over by a reindeer."

"Yes, very tragic, but I prefer Santas who don't get run over."

"Mr. Trump, why do you want to run for Santa Claus?"

"Because we have the worst Santa Claus we've ever had in office in the North Pole! Talk about leading from behind, he hitches the reindeer behind the sleigh and goes backwards!"

"That's not true, Mr. Trump. Santa always manages to get all the toys delivered on time and on Christmas Eve.""

"Sure, David, but how is he on lumps of coal delivery? We're way over budget on lumps of coal and his management of The Naughty and Nice List has people who don't like me listed as "Nice!" 

"Okay, Mr. Trump. Now one of your controversial proposals is that if you are elected Santa Claus you will build a wall to keep all undocumented elves out of the North Pole. What will this accomplish?"

"The illegal elves that come to the North Pole are not the best. They are pimps, drug dealers, chewers of gum that four out of five dentists recommend they don't chew.  But, David, the wall that I build will include a great big beautiful door." 

"And elves who become legal go right through that door?"

"No, I go through that door. That what makes it beautiful!"

"Mr. Trump, it's been pointed out that you have no experience at being Santa Claus, unlike some of the other candidates who have at least dressed up as Santa Claus at parties and for children."

"You mean Governor Christie?  I heard he says to children 'What do you want for Christmas, little boy? Cake? I'll get it for you,' and he never comes back."

"How do you rate the other candidates for Santa Claus?"

"Rick Santorum - Good Guy!  Ted Cruz - Good Guy!  Vladimir Putin - Best Guy! If he's elected Santa Claus he's promised to give me the Ukraine for Christmas next year."  

"What about Ben Carson?"

"Ben Carson?   Go ahead and elect him Santa Claus if you want to turn every child under the age of 8 in America Jewish!"

"Mr. Trump, you've made some strong statements about your Democratic opponents. You criticized Hillary Clinton for going to the bathroom during a debate, calling it disgusting. Mr. Trump, is going to the bathroom disgusting?"

"It is if you're going over the side of the sleigh above Indiana."

"You've also been highly critical of Bernie Sanders."

"This bleeding heart curmudgeon wants to give everything to everybody.  Free healthcare, free education, free tickets to Judy Collins Look-a-Like Contests. There's no end to what he wants to give to people."

"So you don't think Mr. Sanders is qualified for this job?"

"Of course not.  Who does he think he is --- Santa Claus?"


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Ages

Glass of warm buttermilk, Mr. Ford?

I don't go to the movies much anymore, but my son Brandon was back from study abroad in Amsterdam and home on winter break, so we decided to go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"That will be two adults for the Star Wars movie," I said. 

"Two adults?" said the young woman behind the counter quizzically.

"I know what you're thinking," I replied. "But my son is in college so I believe he is over the age for the child rate." 

"Sir, your son is over the age for the child rate in human years, dog years, and light years. What I mean is, it's one adult and one senior!"

"Senior?!" I  scoffed, "There has to be a mistake.  To be a senior you have to be practically..."

"65 years old and up, sir, which I believe you are."

Damn that accursed word "senior!"  I've avoided it as long as I could, but now that I'm 65 I qualify for the senior discount in even the most johnny-come-lately-to-give-a-senior discount establishments. Some of them start as early as 55, some at 62, but nobody later than 65.  

There's just no escaping it now. I've sunk to senior status even at my friendly neighborhood movie house!

I accepted my discount, we entered the theater and settled into our seats, and the movie began. And no sooner had I read 

"A long time ago in a galaxy far far away" 

than I heard a voice anything but far, far away whispering at my side.

"Excuse me, sir, would you like something from the snack bar?"

"Well, yes, I was going to get some popcorn in a little while."

"No need for that sir. This is a special service for seniors. I can also take you to the bathroom when you're ready and wait for you in the adjoining stall."

"Thanks, but I don't need this," I spat out.  "I'm not infirm or anything."

"I know that, sir, but you may want to conserve energy for checkers tomorrow."

"Checkers?!! I don't play .... okay, okay, bring me a coke!" .

"Are you sure you want a coke?  We serve warm buttermilk now."

Two hours passed.  The First Order and the Republic were locked in fierce and furious space-born battle,  and  I learned I really hate warm buttermilk.

Again there was a voice at my side.

"Sir, this movie gets kind of violent the rest of the way. Would you like to go in the lobby, I'll tell you the ending, and our senior shuttle can take you home?"

"Why ... why ... why," I barked hoarsely, "do you know that two major actors in this movie are so-called seniors and another one is close behind, and that's not counting Max von Sydow?!"

"Well, you don't see them watching the movie, do you?"

You know that kind of made sense. And to be honest, although I like Star Wars I think seven of these movies may be three or four too many. The shuttle turned out to be kind of comfortable, and the ending wasn't half bad as recited dramatically to me by 17 year old Rodney Thistle from Broomall PA.  

As a senior, maybe the Force is no longer with me. 

But I'll sure be pumped for checkers tomorrow!


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Man in the Mist (FF)

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
FF - Friday Fictioneers

The gaunt figure could plainly be seen slowly making its way through the mist towards the castle.

"Is it him?" gasped Lady Chumley.

"How can it be?" exclaimed Lord Chumley. "Why we've all been given to believe Dennis was ..."  Lord Chumley's words dropped off.

The figure was now almost to the castle door. All the other guests stood riveted, anticipating what would happen next between the Chumleys and the man in the mist.

At once the castle door flew open.

"Surprised to see me, Chumley?"

"Yes, Dennis, of course. "We thought you were dead ..."

"Well, you can see that I'm not!"

"So you're not dead tired?  Good, glad you made it. Did you remember to bring the little hot dogs?"


Well, all's well that ends well.  Dennis is no longer dead tired, the Chumleys' party is a success, and everyone gets to enjoy the little hot dogs provided someone thought to bring mustard.

To enjoy what the other Friday Fictioneers brought to the party based on the picture prompt above, click here.  You won't even need mustard.

Lord and Lady Chumley wish you a happy holiday.  And hope you're neither dead nor dead tired in the year ahead.

To My Younger Self

Now there's a younger self 
I'd like to communicate with!

One of the current trends in our culture is the concept of going back in time to speak directly to our younger selves. That is, after first killing Baby Hitler, saving Abraham Lincoln, and learning the secrets from Benjamin Franklin on being a 60 plus year old babe magnet. 

The latest celebrity to join the trend is Jane Fonda, who in a recorded letter to her prior self urges young Jane
not to make Barbarella, to stop marrying such widely diverse husbands, and to limit face lifts to fewer than one per meal.
It seemed to me that sharing my wit and wisdom with a pint-sized Perry would be pretty cool too, especially since no one else will listen to it. So I suspended my disbelief, climbed into the Way Back Machine, and traveled way back to 1962. 


"You're 12 year old Perry Block, aren't you? 

You see, I'm Perry Block too.

Perry, I've come here to share some important thoughts with you.  Please hold your applause until the end.

1) Remember to always follow the path of Judaism, because it will lead you to deep spirituality, great Chinese food, and well-to-do Jewish girls. Also I wouldn't want God to squash you like a bug.

2) Do not waste your time or effort with argumentative or difficult persons. They are vexations to the soul. Just let them steal your lunch money and move on.

3) Find your passion.  Maybe you left it in the car.  Check the couch cushions next.

4) Do not get involved with mind-altering drugs!   After you thoroughly ignore this, never settle for twigs and seeds.

5) Be kind to others on the way up. On the way down, feel free to be a shit.

6) Don't waste much time watching television. Instead, do whatever it is you see on television that looks like something you'd like to try. I wouldn't go dueling with Zorro though.

7) In college you will meet a blonde girl with blue eyes and a great bod named Alice Bernstein.  Even if you have to invoke Satan, summon the guts to ask her out!  Make me some memories.

8) There will be a comedian on television named Bill Cosby. Tell people you think he sucks.  It may take a while, but I promise this will pay off for you. 

9) Coke, not Pepsi.  Although be prepared  to weather an unbelievably whacked time in the late 80's with something 
called "New Coke."

10) Democrats, not Republicans.  If there's any doubt about this wait till you see the asshole they're planning to run for President in 2016.

11) Mary Ann, not Ginger.  I know it's counter-intuitive, kid; just trust me on this.

12) Exercise regularly. Once a year every year without fail.

13) If at first you don't succeed, try try try again.  Then quit.

14) Do not waste time being jealous of others. Get right to undermining them. 

15) Remember: You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.  Thank God this only applies to hockey.

16) Remember these names: John, Paul, George, and Ringo. They will change your life.

17) And say goodbye to that goofy pompadour. They will change your hair too.

18) Become proficient in a sport because it will make you popular. I recommend curling.

19) Become a humor writer for your Great Second Act in Life. You will at long last fully indulge your creative and aesthetic spirit as you slowly starve to death.

20) Don't leave anything on the table, kid. Do what you want to do, go where you want to go, follow every dream you have. You won't be young forever.  

And Perry, this is the most important thing I have to tell you. Don't take for granted those people around you who are important to you.  I know you won't really understand this now, but they won't always be here.

Okay, kid, I'm headed back to 2015.  When will you see me again?

In 55 years.

When you're the one traveling back.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The World's Only Singing Bird (FF)

©Luther Siler
FF-Flash Fiction

Henry Squawkster was disillusioned, dejected, and half passed out on the floor of his backstage dressing room.

"I cannot do the act as the World's Only Singing Bird one more time," thought Henry. I cannot face another audience! Every day's an endless stream of cigarettes and magazines ..."

"Get up and get yourself together!" barked Henry's manager, Herbert Cohen. "The audience is depending upon you."

Cohen shoved Henry onstage with his guitar. Near feverish with booze and exhaustion, Henry gazed through the wire mesh fence into the audience of calico, Siamese, and alley cats, all licking their chops.

"If only I could perform in front of an audience of humans," muttered Henry, "instead of this damn social media world of cats!"


Yes, Henry tawt he taw a puddy tat and he did, he did taw a puddy tat!  A whole audience full of them too. True, Henry has a lot of fans, but most of them are fans of his flavor, not his musical favorings.

Henry hitting the bottom is what I saw this week in the picture prompt above as part of the Friday Fictioneers Weekly Traveling Variety Show & Concert. Offerings of the other Friday Fictioneers are available by buying your ticket, taking your seat, and clicking here.

Good for Henry, he made it through another performance. No, Henry, don't give autographs!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fine Female Voices

If there's one thing we're not in short supply of in the information age, it's  fine female voices. Sweet and pleasant voices of the non-masculine persuasion are programmed into almost every electronic medium short of your toaster these days, and it's not difficult to see why.

Most of us straight guys --- whether married, single, or of "it's complicated" status  --- don't get to hear an alluring non-judgmental woman's voice anywhere near enough or for many of us, anywhere near at all. "You left the toilet seat up, you don't do anything to help me around here, and you better stop having sex with the neighbor" are much more often the auditory fare that greets the typical male ear in his daily existence.

Fortunately there are electronic women of no shape, size, or description other than oscillating sound waves to provide the solace and companionship most of us lack.

The most obvious of these women is Siri, the automatic assistant on Apple phones and tablets. Siri will pleasantly answer any question you can conceive, and I can conceive of quite a number of them just to hear her charming if robotic voice:

"Hey, Siri!"

"Hello, Perry."

She knows my name!  And says it so nicely. How many women anymore say my name without the word "Yuch!" following immediately thereafter?

"Siri, what won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1953?"

"That would be From Here to Eternity, Perry," she electronically coos. "Would you like me to read you a little bit about the movie including the names of the actors and inside dope on which ones hated each other?"

Isn't that wonderful?  Siri wants to do even more than I asked her to do. She wants to earn extra credit. Where do I meet a Siri in real life? 

I don't imagine there's any guy in the free world other than those who are psychologically normal who hasn't asked Siri at one time or other "Siri, are you hot?" 

Unfortunately her response is a clipped "I can't answer that."  Is it too damn much to expect Apple to program her to say "Yes, I am very hot and I want you to fuck me, Perry?!" 

Microsoft, take note.

At the supermarket, we encounter another fine female voice, the one who helps us check out our own groceries.

"Welcome to Kropotkin Markets!  We're so happy to see you here, press start, then begin scanning your items ...  ahh, plums, nice choice, juicy and good."

Gee, she's so pleasant! Maybe we could one day share a plum together. But then I start fumbling.  

"No, no, no, scan that one again, it didn't register! Please bag all your items promptly; you missed one there!  No, moron, you weigh that one, you don't scan it! Ohhhh, don't do anything else, wait for the attendant!"

I guess even the finest female voice in the supermarket has her limit when it comes to male shopper ineptitude.  But the longest term use of fine female voices has no doubt been on business phone answering systems. 

"Good morning,  this is the Rogers Company.  Although I am automated, I am very pretty."

That's a good start. 

"Press 1 for a menu of options, press 2 for a directory of company personnel, press 3 for a history of the company recited by Morgan Freeman, press 4 for a bunch of weird sounds made by tickling livestock .... press 26 for readings from the Torah, and press 27 for a history of linoleum. There is no way to reach a real person ever. Goodbye."

Fine female voices --- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Tardy for the TARDIS (FF)

© Roger Bultot
FF means Friday Fictioneers

"I still can't believe I got the part," I exclaimed to the director Mr. Nelson on my first day on the set.

"Oh, no, Mr. Block, you’re just what we were looking for."

"And to think I'm playing Dr. Who," I rhapsodized, “the 47th actor to play the role!"

"And you’re joining the exclusive ranks of folks like Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee, and the last doctor, Jennings Moosh.”

"Excuse me, Mr. Nelson, but why is that flame thrower setting fire to the TARDIS and rolling in towards me?"

"Well, you see, we're ending the series and finally killing the good doctor off."

"Killing the ... then why did you need me?!!"

“We needed an actor so incredibly annoying the audience would be thrilled to see him go.   You, sir, are perfect!"


Truth to tell, I'm not even particularly a Dr. Who fan, but since I was kind of late to Friday Fictioneers this week, I took the easy road and went for the obvious. And since I was tardy for the TARDIS, I went for the double obvious and threw a Perry standard issue self-deprecating ending to the piece as well.

The other Friday Fictioneers have other interpretatirons of the picture prompt above and you can travel through time and space to see them by clicking here. 

"Okay, well then where's my stand-in, Mr. Nelson?  Yes, where's my... ?  What do you mean, there's no ..."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Coca-Cola Cold Turkey, Part II

  This time I mean it. This time I'm not fooling around. This time next time I pause for refreshment my paws are going to be wrapped around something other than the refreshment I have historically paused for. (Whew!)

This time I'm going Coca-Cola Cold Turkey.

I've written before about my love of Coca-Cola and that clean crisp delicious kick to the the throat that only Coke has, and I've written about my prior attempts at canning the Coke, all of which have gone as belly up as my belly has remained full of Coke. 

But this year there's something different, a new motivation impelling me to kick the can and its contents as hard and as far down the road as possible. Sometime during the past year the following infographic hit the Internet which purports to show what a can of coke does to your body. 

To summarize, when you first drink a Coke, ten (10) teaspoons of sugar hit your system, which is enough to turn virtually anyone into Kathie Lee Gifford. This is 100% of your recommended daily intake of sugar, which daily intake recommendation was established by Patches, one of the Keebler elves.  The only reason you don't throw up now is because, disgusting as this all is, it isn't a blind date with a female Steven Tyler.

After 20 minutes, this sugar surfeit turns to fat and many coke drinkers notice their bodies will now make an audible BOINGG! sound should they trip or fall over. Caffeine now suffuses the brain, leading most Coke drinkers to stay up all night to write term papers, usually getting an A.

Next your body ups your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain in the same way heroin does.  Most Coke drinkers now have fabulous sex with gorgeous partners who just happen to materialize out of thin air the way they often do in Coke commercials. The sex is heightened, passionate, and the best of their lives.

That part isn't so bad, I guess.

I could go on to describe further what Coca-Cola does to the body, but frankly I don't understand the rest of the infographic with all its chemicals and formulas and hazmat warnings.  My brain is too busy trying to scope out what happened to my quota of fabulous sex with gorgeous partners and why I got a C minus on my term paper. 

So how to go Coca-Cola Cold Turkey?

Just drink a lot of water?  Water is the beverage equivalent of Wonderbread. Orange juice then?  Well, OJ may be fine for breakfast, but if you're drinking it morning, noon, and night your esophagus will soon be fit only for sausage casing. 

But I have found the solution.  A drink that is smooth, delicious, non-irritating to the stomach, and even healthful.  And I have former television talk show host Larry King to thank for it.

Now I've always wanted to be exactly like Larry King except in every way possible other than the succession of hot wives. Not long ago I heard Larry on the radio extol the virtues of drinking red grape juice.  Did you know that grape juice is rich in flavonoids and catchin, which are extremely heart healthy substances? And did you know that no one drinking grape juice has ever spontaneously combusted into Kathie Lee Gifford?

So I reacquainted myself with grape juice and I like it just fine.  And the grape juice I prefer is Kedem's, made in strict compliance with rabbinical standards which means I got the Big Boy pulling for me too.  Frankly grape juice has it all --- except that clean crisp delicious kick to the throat that only Coke has.

The time has come. Tomorrow there will be thirst. Tomorrow there will be temptation. Tomorrow there will be Coke v. Kedem, Caffeine v. Catechin,  and yes, Flavonoids v. High Fructose.

I am strong. I am resolute. I am ready!

Wish me luck.

May I have one last kick to the throat, please ....


Sunday, November 29, 2015

All the World’s a Stage Productions

We're standing in a small off-Broadway theater in New York City. The marque out front says "All The World's a Stage Productions." 

Perry Block:   Umm, Mr. Shakeman, sir?  I was ... told to introduce myself to you.

Director William Shakeman:  And you are?

Perry: I’m your new assistant, Perry Block.

Will:  Oh, hullo, Perry.  Welcome to All the World’s a Stage Productions.

Perry:  Thank you, sir.  If I may, Mr. Shakeman, I'm afraid I don't really know what kind of show you put on here.

Will: Oh, sure.  What we do here, Perry, is write, direct, and produce everything that goes on in the world everywhere all the time.

Perry:  What?  Gee, I always thought all that stuff just ... kind of happens.

Will:  No, Perry, nothing  just kind of happens.  

Perry: No?

Will: No.  For example, today we’re going to be presenting a short scene in Kliman’s Bar, Abilene Texas on June 15, 2016.  I’ve just gotten the script in now.

Perry:   Gotten the script in now?  Doesn't everybody just speak for themselves?

Will: Of course not!  Remember: All the World’s a Stage.  

Perry:  I always thought that was just a metaphor or something.

Will: No, not at all.

Perry: Well, who writes the dialogue?

Will: Aaron Sorkin, of course.  But all the dumb people on Earth are written by the Farrelly Brothers.

Perry: That does make sense.

Will: Now, everybody, hit your marks and let’s do the scene!

Bar Owner Ernest Kliman:  You’ve had enough hootch, Sidney.  I’m shutting you off.

Sidney, the Town Drunk: Horsefeathers!

Will: That’s it. 

Perry:   That’s it?

Will: That’s all that happened that day in Kliman’s Bar.

Perry:   Let me get this straight: you cast all the roles for everyone in the whole world, produce everything that happens everywhere all the time, and bring it in on time and on budget? You must have a lot of investors.

Will: Seven point three billion, to be exact.

Perry:  But... but ...this has all gotta take an incredible amount of time!

Will: Tell me about it:  hey, what’s a weekend? What’s getting home before 12:00 AM?

Perry:  How do you do it? Direct everything that happens involving everybody in the entire world!

Will: I must modestly admit I’ve got me a bit of a knack for multi-tasking. 

Perry:  Mr. Shakeman, I mean no disrespect, but all of this, every scene, everywhere in the world. This will never work!

Will: Been working for thousands of years.

Perry:  What?

Will: You think Alexander the Great conquered the world by himself?  We had a cast of thousands and one terrific makeup man.

Ralph:   I can’t believe it!

Will: Remember: All The World's a Stage. You should see the scenes of your life. Always get laughs! 

Perry:   So that's why I can’t make it with chicks? 

Will: Yes, Perry, that's why.  But it's great to leave 'em laughing.