Sunday, October 29, 2017

I am the Eggman, WOO!

I'm old enough to remember when milkmen and egg men came to our doors once or twice a week offering us milk and eggs that were fresher than any that could be provided back in the day from the regular grocery store.

I miss them.

They were always congenial and their regular visits always welcome. I wish we could have someone like the milkmen/egg men of old visiting our homes today.


"Who's that knocking at the door?"

"Good Morning, Mr. Block. It's Bob, Your Amazon Man!"

"Hi, Bob! I forgot it was Tuesday."

"Yep, I make my rounds in your neighborhood every single Tuesday!"

"Really raining outside, isn't it, Bob?"

"Nice weather ... for ducks!"

"Ha-ha-ha! Got anything special in your cart today?"

"Yes, got some really good wireless mice."

"Are they fresh?"

"Just squeeze' em and you'll see!"

"Wow, they're clicking like a tap dancer on a hardwood floor! How long do they last until they stop working when you're up against a deadline?"

"When you're up against a deadline."

"I'll take three."

"And I've got some tasty updates for your I-phone that Apple hasn't released yet."

"What do they provide?"

"The camera has much sharper resolution and a setting that makes everyone look Jewish. Siri says 'fuck you!' whenever you ask a stupid question. And there's an automatic anti-nausea feature that kicks in whenever you have to talk to someone from a red state."

"I'll take that last one for sure! Any new shitty self-published books?"

"Always! There's a book about a boy wizard named Mnuchin who battles evil princes, dragons, and ogres with a magic wand that diminishes their investment portfolios. There's so many typos the word Mnuchin looks normal!" 

"Anything else?"

"Perry Block's humor book: it stinks so bad I may have to fumigate my entire cart!"

"I'll pass on both." 

"Any electronics, lamps, blow-up ..."

"Nope! But thank you for coming by, Bob. It's great to have home delivery of Amazon products."

"Thank you, Mr. Block! And by the way, we're expanding our home delivery services. Next week we begin some additional deliveries on this route." 

"What's that?"

"Milk and eggs!"

"What a great idea! Where did that come from?"

"Haven't a clue."


Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Bed, Bath, & Beyond Blessing

I was on my way into the local Bed, Bath, and Beyond when I encountered a young Orthodox Jew. He was sporting a beard, yarmulke, and tzitzit, the fringe at the bottom of his prayer shawl. 

That’s the fringe at the bottom, not on the fringe on the top.      
“Excuse me,” he asked “are you Jewish?”

“Yes, I am. How’d you know?”

“Oh, I had that sense.”

Ah, Jewdar is a many-splendored thing!

“My name is Ari," he said. "Would you like to perform a mitzvah with me?”

“But why here?” I asked.  “Is there some special religious significance about a Bed, Bath, and Beyond?”

“It’s where the bus lets off.”

Mitzvahs are acts of kindness or reverence generally thought of as “good deeds," which may benefit individuals or the world at large. There are 613 formal mitzvahs in Judaism.

I haven't even yet performed the Top Ten. I’m way behind on my mitzvah bucket list!

“Yes, I would,” I said. “But I should tell you that I’m a Reform Jew. Frankly if we had ‘Instant Judaism,’ ‘Quick Judaism,’ or ‘Mix and Pray Judaism,’ like speeds of Cream of Wheat, I might be one of those too."

“Oh, that doesn’t matter,” he laughed. “We’re all Jews.”

I liked his attitude!

“Now what we’re going to do,” he said “is wrap tefillin and say some blessings.”

No, tefillin is not a kind of fish.

Tefillin are two small leather boxes containing Hebrew prayers attached by leather straps which very observant Jewish men wrap around their head and left arm. 

This “Mix and Pray” Jew hasn’t wrapped tefillin since his Bar Mitzvah.

I began to wonder if Ari had an ulterior motive. Was he using tefillin to tie me up to prevent my escape while he tried to sell me timeshares, futures in a matzoh ball mine, or …

OMG, what if he’s a ….

“Ari,” I said “you’re not a Jew for Jesus?”

Jews for Jesus are “Jews” who believe Jesus is the messiah even though they generally practice Jewish customs. Most of them try to convince you that without Jesus you’re headed straight for the bargain basement.

If there is anything after life, I’m sure we’re all going to the same place, although I hope I’m not sharing a room with Ivan the Terrible.

“No, I’m a Jew,” he said. “No worries.”

Ari guided me through a number of Hebrew prayers, culminating in the Shema, the central prayer of Judaism:

“Sh'ma Yis-ra-eil, A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu, A-do-nai E-chad.”

Which - roughly translated - means:

“Hear o Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one."

The mitzvah only took about 30 seconds to perform and then Ari unwrapped the tefillin. No ulterior motive. As Ari probably intended, I now felt more in touch with my Jewish roots. 

I also felt like I wanted to perform a mitzvah for somebody or group of persons in particular, not just for the planet.

I had a few ideas.

We took a selfie and I said goodbye and entered the store. Although a mitzvah is not necessarily supposed to provide a tangible benefit to the person performing it, my mitzvah did.

“I’m sorry, I forgot my 20% off coupon,” I said to the sales associate, as I stood in line with a food processor in hand.

“No problem, sir,” she said. “I’ll get you one!”

How about that?

Not only did I help repair the world, I wound up with a Bed, Bath, and Beyond blessing too.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If We Got Orgasms from Things Other than Sex

Oh Yeah!  Oh Yeah!  That's it! 

Evolution knows what it’s doing.

Orgasms in human beings evolved so that the planet could be repopulated. If there were no such thing as the orgasm, people would find breeding about as exciting as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Earth would be as barren as Mars.

The orgasm is such a good idea it’s a shame that evolution did not imbue it in other important tasks to incent people to do them as well.

Paying bills for example:

“Time to to pay the PECO, PGW, and Mastercard bills.

This first one is from the PECO.  OMG, how can it be 135 dollars for the month? Screw me, PECO! Screw me! Ohh, God, screw me every way you can!

Now you, PGW! ... Oh yeah, bill me, bill me good!  I just can't resist you!  I’m writing the check now... That's write! That's write! 


Wait a minute! What is this charge for a hot tub? And an accordion? And a vacation in France? I’ve been hacked!

OH, shit. Billius interruptus!"

On second thought, maybe orgasms for everyday endeavors isn’t such a good idea.

If mundane tasks like opening the pickle jar or making toast brought on a crushing orgasm, then who’d want to bother to have sex with all the attendant hassle involved? 

In time we'd all become extinct. 

But until then we'd sure have fun paying all the bills. 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Implied Thank You

From the time we are small children we are taught that the magic words are "please” and “thank you.” We are also taught that you can hardly say these words enough times in the course of a day if you are a nice person.

You have been taught LIES!

Almost every day I go into my local Wawa convenience store to buy coffee.

When I enter I hold the door for someone exiting with coffee.

“Thank you,” they say.

“You’re welcome,” I reply.

When I leave someone holds the door for me.

“Thank you,” I say.

“You’re welcome,” they reply.

If I go several times to the convenience store in the course of a day that can equal three or four “thank yous” I’ve had to muster. Not to mention the “you’re welcomes” that must inevitably follow.

What a ridiculous waste of time and energy!

Why not simply imply a "thank you” whenever the door is held for you rather than your having to verbalize it?

Wawa could post a sign in the entrance:


Then you and the door holder could remain blissfully silent while gratitude and acknowledgment of same would yet be warmly and fully pulsating between you.

The only time you would have to speak is when some asshole doesn’t hold the door. Then, and only then, you would be required to move your lips, exercise your larynx, and pronounce:

“You fucking piece of shit!”

Unfortunately this can’t be implied.

But people are pretty nice. The times you’ll have to go to this extreme are few and far between.

Pretty good idea, don’t you think?  You don’t have to thank me.

Your ‘thank you’ is implied.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Serious Case of Premature Bonging

Simply lovely. 
Except when there's premature bonging!

I tend to be late sometimes.

Oh, let’s be honest. I’m chronically, perpetually, pathologically late almost all the time since I was 5.

But even when I'm not late for yoga at 12:00 P.M. three days a week, there’s a sound that fills the air that fills me with dread that I'am late and about to get yelled at. Of course everyone’s mellow at yoga and nobody has yelled yet, but there’s always a first time.

That sound is church bells bonging from a nearby church that bong two minutes before the hour.

It's a serious case of premature bonging!  

I know. Premature bonging sounds dirty. But that's the official term.

Not only does premature bonging terrify me that I’m at late for yoga, it probably terrifies everyone for miles around that they’re late wherever they’re headed as well. 

So I went to see Reverend Trumble, top guy at the church in question to complain. I think “top guy at the church” might not be his official title.

“Reverend Trumble,” I said, “I want to talk to you about a case of premature bonging.”

“Premature bonging, Mr. Block? That sounds dirty.”

“That’s exactly what I thought! I hesitated to say that to you because as a man of God, I thought you might banish me to - you know - hell.”

“No, I generally don’t do that kind of thing anymore.”

“Things really have liberalized with you guys lately, haven’t they?”

“Tell me about the premature bonging.”

"Your bell tower bongs routinely at two minutes before the hour. It makes me feel like I’m late for yoga and I panic and desperately start to think of excuses for being late.”

“Seems to me it serves as a worthwhile notice to you that you’ve got to hurry to get to yoga.”

“If it bonged a half hour in advance it would! That would tell me to turn off Let's Make a Deal, grab my yoga pants, and get out of the house! At two minutes to the hour all it does is give me a shrek!”

“I know the term. All right, Mr. Block, we’ll adjust the premature bong to a timely bong if you'll do one thing.”

"What's that?"

"Be a little early from now on. For everything."

"Right! I've been meaning to do that ever since I was 37."

"Good deal."

“Thank you for handling the problem, Reverend! Thank Jesus too.”

“I don’t think Jesus had much to do with the premature bonging, Mr. Block.”

“Y’know, I didn’t think he did either.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because it sounds dirty.”


Saturday, October 7, 2017

I Love the Seagulls

I was walking by the bay and there she was:   slender, pretty, and not a day past 35. She was sitting with her sketch book, drawing multiple poses of the seagulls as they splashed and stretched near the shore.

“I love the seagulls,” I said softly as I walked by, hoping for a response.

"Oh, yes, the seagulls are positively enchanting!"' she replied, jumping up and extending her hand.

"Enchanting,” I repeated warmly. “Yes, they are.”

She held my hand and squeezed it.

“I’m so happy to meet you,” she said.

"And I, you!"

Still got it, I thought!  

“May I see your drawings of the seagulls?” I asked.

“Oh, sorry, I don’t have any drawings of my grandparents, just of these ocean birds.”

“Your grandparents?”

"Yes, Herbert and Elsie Siegel. I’m Jane, I’m visiting this week.


“You must be one of Grampy's oldest and dearest friends!  I’ll tell him I saw you schlepping down the beach."

Know what?

I hate the fucking seagulls. 


Friday, October 6, 2017

I am a Distinguished Author

Image may contain: 1 person
Distinguished. Sophisticated.  Exploitative

Yes, the  picture above is indeed me.

My prose is lyrical, my thoughts are profound, but I am not wearing any pants in the picture.

This fall I will be publishing a new book called "Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute." It chronicles the tale of a neurotic, ill-adjusted, self-deprecating Jewish Baby Boomer consumed with aging angst whose life veers from one catastrophe to the next.  

It's quite a stretch for me, but I can handle it. I'm hoping it gets picked up as a musical.

I am proud to say that my first book "My Friend Moshe: the Story of a Horse and the Boy who Hated Him" was reviewed by the prestigious New York Review of Books which pronounced it  “excellent kindling.” 

It was also the first book ever to feature an intra-book salad bar. The whole concept would have worked too were it not for the croutons, which kept insinuating themselves into the plot. 

My second book, "Wayne's World," concerned an invasion of Earth by a planet of Wayne Newton impersonators. This was my first foray into the World of Science Fiction; unfortunately as soon as I was caught by Security it booted me out of the World of Science Fiction and posted a guard.

It's true that "Wayne's World" was published by vanity press, but there is no truth to the rumor that the publishing company has since gone bankrupt for lack of self-confidence. 

I hope you will look for my new book later in the fall. If you find it, please let me know where it is. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sit back in my sumptuous leather recliner here in my comprehensive library, and fill my pipe. 


I'm out of bubble fluid.


The picture above is actually Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Maybe I'll take him under my wing.