Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Norton! Norton! (FF)

FF- Friday Fictioneers
© Vijaya Sundaram
"Norton!  Norton!"

"What is it, Ralph?"

"See the fireworks overhead, Norton? That means The Honeymooners is starting!"
"But, Ralph, the fireworks on The Honeymooners are over Brooklyn, not over a farmhouse in Kansas."

"That's not important, Norton!   Where's Trixie?  Where's Alice?  Bang zoom, one these days, she's going to the moon!"

"But, Ralph, I'm tellin' you this isn't ..."

"Maybe tonight's episode is the one where I try to learn how to play golf in the apartment and you show me how to address the ball by saying Hello Ball! That was FUNNY, Norton!"

"Ralph, just because our names are Ralph and Norton doesn’t mean this is The Honeymooners!”

"What’d you mean, Norton?"

"Ralph, we're actors Ralph Fiennes and Edward Norton!"

"Oh, yeah.  I forgot."


And I forgot to show up the last few weeks for Friday Fictioneers. Ralph and Ed and I are at least back for this week with this vintage TV interpretation of the the picture prompt above.

The other Friday Fictioneers have posted their stories and you can read them... bang zoom! ... by clicking right here.

All right, folks, say goodbye to Ralph and Ed and Ralph and Ed. Where are they going? Boomers, you need ask?

To the Moon!

Monday, August 29, 2016

The (Questionable) Joys of Being an Introvert

It may come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that  there are no regular readers of this blog.

It may also come as no surprise that I am an introvert.

Of course being an introvert can be good or bad. The good kind of introvert is the person about whom it is said "Charles is soft spoken but his thoughts run deep and he is always stimulating to be around." The bad kind of introvert is the one about whom it is said " OMG, I had no idea that tweedy little man in the corner was my husband!"

I am the less desirable kind of introvert, known as shy.

Nonetheless, all you extroverts out there may be surprised to know that there are many joys to being an introvert that you have been too busy running around being overbearing, loud, and obnoxious to pay attention to.  

So pipe down and listen up!  Ooops, did I say that?  

The Joys of Being an Introvert

1) Entertaining friends at home never breaks your budget.

2) Never have arm strain from raising your hand to answer questions in class.

3) Get to enjoy passing of the seasons while working up courage to approach a woman in a single's bar.

4) Hired by Penn and Teller because you always want to have them make you disappear.

5) Rapid heartbeat while talking in front of a group provides great practice for heart attack later in life.

6) Never fraught with indecision over which post-Oscar party to attend. 

7) Always fun to spoon at night with an actual spoon.

8) Just think how wonderful it will be to experience all the things you missed out on in this lifetime in the afterlife!

9) If someone  says "shut the fuck up" to you,  everyone will realize he's the asshole.

10) Hardly ever lonely when Wilson the soccer ball is around.

Here's hoping you're the good kind of introvert and not that other kind depicted above. But if you're not, well, why not give me a call? 

I won't answer, but isn't that what we both want anyway?


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Man on the Cusp III

In less than a month I will be 66 years old.

I doubt very highly I'm going to be getting my kicks on Route 66.

Several years I wrote the line that "I am poised on the cusp of an age that I thought was exclusively reserved for people's parents." Frankly I am no longer poised on the cusp. I am so far over the cusp that I am now at the age exclusively reserved for people's parents even if people are 50!

My name is Perry Block. I am 65 years old, born September 12, 1950. I am a Truman baby. I hate all of these facts.

When I began my blog in 2010, I called it "Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute." But frankly I'm not Nouveau Old anymore. I'm Nouveau like the dinner specials at the House of Pancakes are Nouveau.  I'm Nouveau like striped bell bottom pants are NouveauI'm Nouveau like someone eagerly looking forward to the next Chevy Chase movie is Nouveau.

And I realize that although I am no longer cute, I still have long eyelashes.   What's the point? It’s like somebody pasted them on the wrong person.  Maybe I should donate them so that some eyelash-less young guy can be fluttering his baby blues ---yeah I’ll give him those too --- while I’m feeding pigeons on a park bench and muttering about how I used to have eyelashes and how the government is conspiring to poison our toothpaste

I used to love the classic movies from the 30's, 40's, and 50's, watching Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, and Hepburn (Katherine and Audrey).  But now I can't help avoid the fact that all of the beloved stars I grew up with are ten feet under, maybe more if the soil's been shifting! I never thought Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, and two out of four Beatles would ever be described in the past tense. 

So I struggle anymore to block out thoughts of the inevitable whenever I watch Casablanca and search the TV listings for movies starring folk who are yet breathing like Keanu Reeves, Nicholas Cage, and Adam Sandler. 

That may be the most depressing fact of all. 

And what kind of legacy am I going to leave behind?  What will they write about me in generations to come?

Well, Perry never burned anything down. Some days he didn't spill the coffee. And remember how Perry took that courageous stand against the smell of cheese, once almost directly within earshot of an Italian? 

So what is a guy heading straight on down Route 66 to do?  Well, for starters …

1) I will set aside all my prior regrets, leaving ample room to create new ones. 

2) I will never again be self-deprecating although this will difficult to achieve for a loser like me.

3) I will take a strong stand on the issues of the day, but cave in on any issues that come up at night.

4) I will rededicate myself to the great traditions of Judaism, especially the ones involving matzoh ball soup and drinking Passover wine until I not only pass over but pass out.

5) I will live my life boldly, unafraid, and with total strength and confidence.  I’d like to talk to you further about it, but you scare me.

6) I will never again take the easy road unless it saves on tolls.

7) I will not give in to fear of any kind except for the kind that involves spiders and anyone with a thick black mustache. 

8) I will no longer worry about the Grim Reaper, although I’m hoping he will be satisfied if I make a significant contribution to the Grim Reaper Foundation. 

9) Recognizing reality, I will only approach women who are in my age range. Then I will ask them if they have a much younger sister.

10) I will strive to broaden myself intellectually and spiritually every day right until it's time to leave for the dog track.

So, it will soon be time to see if I can truly get my kicks on Route 66.  And guess what, Boomers?  Although Martin Milner has met his maker, George Maharis is very much alive.

If only George Maharis had starred in Casablanca.  

My name is Perry Block. I am 65 years old, born September 12, 1950. I am a Truman baby. I hate all of these facts.


Friday, August 19, 2016

The Prisoner of Agenda

Of all of the contrivances of humankind we've stumbled upon since the dawn of civilization, none is more inherently absurd than the prosaic "To Do List."

Why?  Because despite its obvious utility, there is no more quixotic endeavor we will ever embark upon in our lifetimes. That's because no one --- not Leonardo DaVinci, not Albert Einstein, not even James Franco --- has ever completed one.

You probably compile each day's To Do List much as I do mine. You inscribe the day of the week at the top of the page, then begin listing the tasks you hope to complete, setting down the most difficult and challenging ones first, such as ....


1) Complete all work on Kropotkin File. 

2) Learn Esperanto.

3) Write the great American novel, making sure to create iconic characters named Huck, Atticus, and Dr. Sidney Horowitz.

4)  Deliver Ted Talk explicating Joycean imagery and Boolean logistics in both Ted  movies, I and II.

5) Usher in era of world peace and understanding.

Back when I was in school we were taught that when a task was finished you should make a cute little check mark and place it delicately to the right side of the task indicating its completion, then go off to have tea and dainty sandwiches with the duchess.

That is not, however, what I do today. What I do is I grind my pencil on the completed task back and forth and back and forth with a furious vengeance until the item is totally obliterated and forever out of my life. When I am done with all tasks on the page, it looks like a piece of blackened redfish.

The next grouping of items begins to diminish somewhat in importance ...

6) Report status of Kropotkin file to Kropotkin.

7) Terminate under-performing employee, making sure not to dance happy jig during termination meeting.

8) Discuss diction discrepancies discretely with Dickson. Say that fast five times. 

9) Attend fiscal budgeting meeting with Finance,  drinking gallon of Red Bull first.

10) Double Down on something. 

Why do so many of us put so many tasks on our To Do List knowing full well we could never hope to complete them all? Chalk it up as a triumph of hope over experience.

Even though yesterday’s list is as barren of check marks as a Hollywood Squares game board played by contestants totally baffled by Paul Lynde and Charley Weaver, we all have a need to believe about ourselves that tomorrow we’ll be sharper, quicker, and less hung over than ever before, and dad gum!, for the first time ever we’ll get everything on the list done!

The last items on the list are generally on the order of ...

11) Arrange weekend staring contest.

12) Fantasize about being friends with Samuel L. Jackson.

13) Collect all loose paper clips.

I don’t know about you, but comes the end of the day and what have I accomplished from my list? Well, I’ve got all those paperclips in outstanding order and believe me, Samuel L. Jackson is great to play golf with but you got to watch him carefully around the greens.

So what now? Well, at the top of my list I do as follows:



And this, I’m afraid, will ever be the state of humankind unless and until someday somewhere someone comes up with perhaps the most important invention humankind could ever hope to devise.

The Self-Completing To Do List.

Until then, we are all hopelessly Prisoners of Agenda.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Scientists Hail Discovery of "Trump is an Asshole" Gene

A dramatic announcement was issued this morning by a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Applied Science Department that they have isolated the human gene known familiarly as the "Donald Trump is an Asshole Gene." The discovery is being hailed as the greatest advancement in science since the discovery of virtually everything else.

The gene creates the normal despising of Donald Trump that is innate in all rational human beings. Researchers believe it developed in early man over 600,000 years ago in response to the existence of a creature known as the orange-crested douchebagius, which humankind came to learn was combative, stupid, and known to cover its mostly hairless head with profusions of orange leaves. 

It is believed further that  in some unfortunate modern humans the gene malfunctions causing the afflicted individual to - while realizing that Donald Trump is indeed an asshole -  believe he is a charming asshole. This aberration occurs in a small but vociferous percentage of the population today, estimated to be roughly in the range of "too many."

The race is now on to develop a method to reverse the impact of the mutant gene and restore those suffering from its malicious impact to normalcy. It is important that great care be taken that any treatment developed not impact the functioning of a nearby chromosome which houses the "Hillary Does Lie, But Let's Face It She is Running Against an Asshole Gene."


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Donald J. Trump's Guide to Handling Sexual Harassment

Let Harassment Expert Donald Trump 
Teach You How to Handle This
(I mean, teach the woman how to handle this!)

Sexual Harassment is one of the most serious problems facing the American workplace today, along with ignorant and obnoxious CEOs who think they're vastly smarter than they actually are and want to be President of the United States.  No employee should be forced to work in an environment charged with sexual intimidation, lewd talk, or unwelcome touching or fondling even though I, Donald J. Trump, have gotten very excited while writing this sentence.

Donald's J. Trump's Guide to Handling Sexual Harassment, co-written by harassment expert Roger Ailes with foreword by comedian Bill Cosby, will serve as the definitive guide as to what a woman who believes she has been sexually harassed should do to safely and effectively handle the problem. 

So, at last a comprehensive guidebook for all you babes out there!

Sexual Harassment Defined.  
Did you know that men as well as women can be sexually harassed?  A woman can harass a man, or a gay guy can harass a man, or a very near-sighted straight guy can harass a man.  Or a woman can harass a woman, such as I see all the time in many of my favorite movies on cable TV late at night.

Our focus for purposes of this guidebook, however, shall be exclusively on men harassing women, especially the hot ones.

There are two types of sexual harassment as follows:

1) Quid Pro Quo Harassment --- where the perpetrator offers job or other related benefits to the harassed person in exchange for sexual favors.  (Some of the stupider harassers may ask for party favors.) 

2) Hostile Work Environment --- this takes place when unwelcome conduct by another worker is so severe or pervasive as to create  an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, such as a pattern of unwelcome sexual jokes unless they are funny, running butt-naked through the Finance Department, and smirking at the world "thighs."

Not all offensive behavior rises to the legal definition of harassment.  For example, if a guy grabs your boobies, that's probably harassment unless:

1) He shouts "timber!"
2) You are a B cup or less.
3) No annoying goody two-shoes is around to witnesses the behavior.
4) He is Donald Trump.

What to do When You Believe You Have Been Sexually Harassed.
First, check your company's Sexual Harassment Policy. As regularly as they ignore them, all companies today have a Sexual Harassment Policy.

Sample Corporate Sexual Harassment Policy

At XYZ Company we take a very strong stand against sexual harassment. Whenever we receive a complaint we will investigate as soon as we get around to it and in the most thorough manner possible give the nature of the other more important projects we may have at the time. 

You should then report the offensive conduct to the Company's Human Resources Department. Although Human Resources will keep your comments strictly confidential, they may giggle if they spot you while walking through the hallways.

Harassment Investigation.
A prompt and thorough investigation will then be conducted by HR and all juicy details will be explored. HR staff will be hosed down if necessary.

Human Resources will make a final determination as to whether harassment has taken place, which is usually based on whether a reasonable man would want to harass you given what you got. If harassment has been found at the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate disciplinary action will be imposed upon the offender up to and including a week of having to clap out the erasers. 

Should Human Resources find there has been no harassment and/or the conduct does not stop, I would like to think you would find another career or find another company if that was the case.

Make sure and ask your billionaire father to help.

About the Author

Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther, and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims  -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


He's the man, the man with the mindless touch
A spiteful touch,
Such a short finger
Beckons you to become his Wife No. 4
Better to marry Al Gore!

All the "best words" he will pour in your ear
But his serial lies can't disguise what you fear
For a Wharton grad who's certainly no brainiac,
With orange hair, he's a major megalomaniac!


Better run from this man real quick
This guy’s a dick!

He loves only him
Only Him



James Bond will be back in Drumpfinger.  Watch him battle Drumpfinger and his henchmen, Chris "Bodjob" Christie and Newt "Necks" Gingrich!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Sort of a Hoarder (FF)

FF- Friday Fictioneers 
copyright - Ted Strutz

"All these bottles and trinkets ... Clark, you're sort of a hoarder."

"I prefer collector."

"Okay, whatever. But please look for it already.  I've been dreaming about that special bottle of liqueur ever since the last time we drank it together."

"Well, let me see.  Is this it?   No, that's the Ginger Abdullah I brought back from the Isle of Krotsky in 1987."

"I know you can find it, Clark."

"Ah, this is it!  Nah, I'm wrong. This is the Absinthe of Absence from the Kropotkin Vineyards in Landesburg."

"Clark,  you gotta find it."

"Well, I'm not sure where it is, it could be almost any ...."

"Clark, how could you lose the Youth Potion we drank together 45 years ago?!"

"I dunno.   I guess I am sort of a hoarder."


And I guess I'm sort of a hoarder too. I've hoarded this story until Friday, which is late for an entry in the weekly Friday Fictioneers extravanganza (which somebody still has to explain to me how that all makes sense!), and I'm also continuing to hoard comments on your stories each week due to present concerns far beyond those of mortal men.

But despite that, you should read and comment on the stories of the other Friday (Wednesday?) Fictioneers , which you can access by clicking right here.

Meanwhile I'm going to go look for that potion. Oh, boy: Hair, virility, single's bars! See ya!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Top Ten Hillary Clinton E-mail Excuses

For these suggested excuses, Hillary: 
 No Charge!

It's no surprise to many that Hillary Clinton has a bit of a reputation for mendacity. It's also no surprise that I am trying to obscure this fact by using a word like "mendacity" that I hope you don't understand.

Clinton's occasional lack of candor is concerning but is rendered somewhat less so since she is running for President against a walking turd who hasn't told the truth since he filled out the application for Hair Club for Men.  Still, one wishes Hilarity would play it a bit more down the straight and narrow;  sadly she was just awarded Four Pinocchios by the Washington Post for recent statements to Chris Wallace regarding her e-mail controversy.  

Hillary, you can do better!  Here are some suggested excuses you may use right away to slam E-mail Gate shut once and for all:

Top Ten Hillary Clinton E-mail Excuses

10) Dog ate her e-mails.

9) Distracted by constant amorous advances from Bill. 

8) According to top writing experts, all adjectives are best removed from the sentence "Extremely careless in the handing of very sensitive, highly classified information."  Revised sentence "careless in the handling of information" plays a bit better.

7) "Must have left those e-mails in my other pants suit!"

6) "I relied on and had every reason to rely on the judgments of the 300 professionals with whom I exchanged e-mails,
 each of whom I could incinerate instantly with my heat vision."  

I had a "short-circuit" so strong when I was talking about the e-mails it curled Debbie Wasserman Schultz' hair!" 

4) "Server problems?  Absolutely. His name was Bruce and the quail he served me was decidedly under cooked!"

3) Too many evenings spent strummin' the ol' banjo and regaling staff with patter and song.

2) "All that happened during my drinking days."

1) "Frankly, Bill and I can do whatever the fuck we want!"