Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Five Lousiest Posts of 2017

The Worst of Me?  You Ain't Kiddin'! 

This is time of year many critics put together their best and worst lists for movies, books, albums, dog food, lint traps, or whatever you please for the year 2017.

Here at Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute, I am no exception, except with respect to My List of Five Best Posts for 2017. I  found compiling such a list to be a bit of a vexing chore and I'm going to continue vexing until I can at least get up to No. 2.

There's no such problem with my alternative list, however, here curated in order for your condemnation and excoriation below.  

My Five Lousiest Posts of  2017 

5) Disney Presents The Sean Hannity Club

There are few people on the planet more despicable than Sean Hannity. I suspect that if you hit Hannity in the face with a shovel it would bounce right off him rendering him no physical harm, and he would smile his malignant smile back at you, kind of like Oddjob in Goldfinger.

(Note: I am not advocating anyone hit Sean Hannity in the face with a shovel.)

When I heard that Disney was buying the parent of Fox News (even though the phony news channel was not to be included in the sale) I immediately pictured Hannity in mouse ears.

Unfortunately that image as recreated in one of my ill-considered Internet image conglomerations proved to be about as funny as spending five minutes in Hannity's company, as if anyone sane would ever suffer to do that. 

4) Idiot Buys Stupid Gadget That Lets Him Watch TV Channels He Already Receives

Never a great idea to parody a commercial that is (a) already off the air and (b) hardly a blip on anybody's radar even when it was on TV,  but that's what I attempted to so in this lame post. 

This was about a product that you attach to your television that promises to provide you with all the broadcast channels you can normally get anyway without it. Thus you would not have to pay cable charges for all those channels "you probably don't watch anyway."

Not only was the post unfunny and obscure, I had the chutzpah to liken its style to The Onion. The only onion it was like was an actual onion. It made me and the reader cry.

3) Jared Kushner Will Work It Out

The amount of trust Trump places in his near mute and seemingly not too bright son-in-law Jared Kushner has always bordered on the absurd. So I woke up one morning and whipped off a mirthless parody of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders showing the same level of wholly misplaced confidence in Kushner that Trump does, certain he alone can rectify their centuries old problem.

My problem may not have been centuries old, but it was similarly intractable. Neither Netanyahu, Abbas, or Kushner produced any laughs.  Of course the Middle East conflict is not funny, but I think I set back the peace process with this inane post even farther than did Trump.

2) Tea for Rex Tillerson

Back in the day it was hard to find anyone under 30 who wasn't a Cat Stevens fan. There was a long-haired mystical quality to the former Steven Demetri Georgio that fit in perfectly with the early 70's. 

That quality, along with a string of hits from "Peace Train" to "Moonshadow," had his music constantly playing on your and my stereos with the shitty speakers whenever we were sitting around getting high with friends. 

Nonetheless, trying to conflate "Tea for the Tillerman" with Trump's hapless and subservient Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hardly proved to be similarly magical. Downright stupid lyrics - which I kept changing all the time to no comedic avail - was about all this post had going for it, and it wound up as boring as was Yusef Islam himself when he reappeared many years later, shorn of hair and mystical aura, causing us to wonder why the flat-sounding songs without the 70's vibe were such a big deal in the first place.

1) Identical Douche Bags 

The No. 1 lousiest post of the year illustrates what comes of investing your comedy capital in an individual you think will have a lengthy shelf life but who turns out to have the life span of a fruit fly who's a heavy smoker. 

When Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci as the White House Communications Director and we all saw what an incredible douche bag he was in the Trumpian manner, there was little reason to doubt the Mooch would be comedy fodder right up til the time Trump was eventually carted off to jail.

Hence I offered up alleged humor in the form of "Identical  Douchebags" a song in the mode of The Patty Duke Show theme. But the Mooch was out of a job within 10 days and all I was left with was a hackneyed premise, forced unfunny lyrics, and a post far too similar to 2013's vastly superior "Identical Pontiffs."

And to compound the onslaught of unfunny, I had the audacity to push the envelope on the already "Return to Sender" Mooch once again with "I Hire the Mooch for a Very Short Time."  As Trump might tweet, "Bad!"  

And that's this year's Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute Hall of Shame.

Long may they suck. 

At least until I delete them.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Psychoanalyzing My Muse

I’ve had a fairly bad case of writer’s block for the past several weeks and that means one thing.  

It’s time to seek out the Muse, the lyrical and poetic spirit born of ancient Greece whose raison d'etre  is to provide inspiration and creativity to enhance and enrich my writing. 

Unfortunately I don’t have one of those. I have a muse who took an on-line course in Inspiring the Hack Writer and provides me with ideas like “suppose we remake Get Out with Jewish guys instead of black guys as the victims.”

“Muse, would you come in here please?”

“Just a minute, Boss. Ha, ha, ha! The Stooges are on – that Curly Joe is a master of physical comedy!”

Yep, that’s my muse.

Fat, bald, slovenly, he’s the kind of muse a guy like me gets. If you’re looking for Sharon Stone as the Muse, better check with Joyce Carol Oates.  Or Paul Krugman, depending upon what kind of reading you’re in the mood for.

“Muse, I’m afraid I have writer’s block. I hate to tear you away from Moe gouging out Larry’s eyes, but I need some help.”

“What a coincidence!” exclaimed the Muse, appearing in my office with half an Entenmanns’ marble cake, which he promptly dispatched down his gullet.  “I have writer’s block too.”`

You have writer’s block?  What good is a muse with writer’s block?”

“Don’t worry, Boss.  I’m taking active steps to address the problem.”

“Like what?”

“Applying for disability. Happen to know if there's disability benefits in Pennsylvania for mythical beings?”

“If you get disability, Muse, you’ll just lie on the couch all day drinking beer.”

“Yes, but at least I’ll be able to pay you for the beer.”

“How did I ever get stuck with a muse like you?

“Norman Mailer had just passed away and I migrated over to you.”

YOU were Norman Mailer’s muse?!”

“No, I was working for a guy who wrote fart jokes. I was just using Mailer as a point of reference.”`

“I’ve been thinking, Muse.  Perhaps some therapy could help you with your writer's block. You know, I go to therapy myself.”

“Go to therapy? You're the Poster Boy for Therapy!"

"Well, I need some help now and then."

"Now and then? How long you been seeing Dr.Kropotkin?"

“Since he was in medical school.  But I think I'm about to make a major breakthrough."


“That I’m out of money.”

“Well, Boss, I guess I could try it.  I’ve got one question?”


“Does Kropotkin have a comfy couch?”

And so the Muse trotted off to see Dr. Kropotkin.  Within a week he came into my office with a new fire in his eye and what appeared to be a new enthusiasm and lust for life.

“You were right Boss!" said the Muse.  "I’ve learned so much from Dr. Kropotkin!”

“Great! So you're ready to help me now?”

"No, but I'm ready to charge you $300 for a 45 minute hour, yawn while I scribble on a note pad, and talk about your lack of a sex life all you want!"  

Yep, that’s my muse.

And, by the way,  I still have writer's block.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Welcome to the Most Lenient Company in America

Gaylord Cornwallis Company

Welcome to the Most Lenient Company in America  

We are the Gaylord Cornwallis Company, the most lenient company in America.   This handbook has been prepared to introduce you to our Company’s human resources policies and procedures, but don't worry too much about it.

Short of sexual harassment, pissing in the coffee pot, and goosing the president, we'll forgive most anything. 

We wish you good luck in your new position, not that you'll need it. Now take the rest of the day off. 

Your Salary

Remember what we said your salary was going to be?  Ha! We just doubled it! 
We love to do shit like this.  Remember, we're the most lenient company in America. 

Now take the rest of the day off.

Your Benefits Program

Gaylord Cornwallis Company is happy to provide you with a Benefits Program that will knock your socks off including:

1. Fully paid health insurance for you and your family including any children from prior lives.  Drug coverage includes most major hallucinogens and your choice of Viagra or Cialis.

2.  The Gaylord Cornwallis 401 (k) Plan, managed by Warren Buffett.  Provides a 3% company match, meaning we match 3% of the Gross National Product.

3. Life Insurance in the amount of twice your annual salary as your annual salary is projected to be $200,957 at the time you may drop dead. Pays double indemnity if you die in any manner other than a blow to the head by Steven Seagal.

4.  Dental Plan covering your teeth (naturally, how silly of us!), Tuition Assistance provided your course of study is related to your job and/or anybody's job, and Disability Coverage even if you are faking it.

        5. Socks to replace those we have just knocked off you.

Your Company Holidays

We realize that the 11:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. grind every other day can get to be tedious, and for that reason we offer several Company recognized holidays to help you chill:

  • Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve & Day
  • Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day,
  • Martin Luther King's Birthday
  • Martin Luther's Birthday
  • Lex Luther's Birthday
  • Columbus Day (even though we now know he was a son of a bitch!)
  • March Madness Days 
  • All Jewish Holidays, including Anniversary of Founding of the Friars              Club
  • Your Birthday (up to four times a year)

 If for any reason there is a holiday that is important to you that is not listed above, you may make a written request to Human Resources to take the holiday in question. Then crumple up your request and just take it.

Your Vacation

Just take it. 

Your Drug and Alcohol Policy

 GCC has a crucial interest in ensuring safe, healthful, and efficient working conditions for our employees.  And sometimes getting zonked is exactly what's needed for all of us to feel mellow enough to maintain this copacetic status.

Drinking, using, possessing or selling intoxicants or controlled substances while on Company premises will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination in the event it exceeds more than half a dozen such instances in a single day. We hate to crack down, but at GCC we believe you should be able to stay straight at least part of one day.

Your Dress Code

At GCC, every day is Casual Dress Day except Wednesday, which is Rocky Horror Picture Show Dress Day.  

Again, We Welcome You

We are as pleased as punch (spiked, as in the lunchroom) you've decided to join us at GCC.  

If you have any questions about the company or your job, please let us know and we will endeavor to answer them for you promptly.

You may not always agree with the answers you receive, but in such case please ask your questions again and we will adjust the answers until you are just as happy as a pig in fucking shit.

Employment at Will Disclaimer

The Gaylord Cornwallis Company is an “AT WILL” employer and as such we are free to unilaterally terminate our employment relationship with you at any time, with or without notice and with or without cause. 

 That means we can fire your ass whenever we want and you can't do a damn thing about it! 

Now that we've had our fun, just you try and take the rest of the day off, fucker.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Microsoft Phony Phone Call II

A Short Playlet  ...

VOICE ON PHONE (odd indistinguishable accent):

Good evening, this is the Microsoft Company. I’m sorry to tell you there is a terrible, terrible, terrible problem with your personal computer!

Terrible problem?


Terrible, Terrible, Terrible! You don't want to know!


What I do know is that you are not Microsoft, and this is the Microsoft Phony Phone Call Scam!


That's not true!  And whatever you do, don’t hit “control, alt, delete” if you’re pregnant or nursing a child. 

I know the drill. You con me into letting you get on my computer, you plant a virus, and then charge me an arm and a leg to fix it.

VOICE (slight pause)

Ahh, you’re right. You’re one smart young man!

CHARLIE (modestly)

Well … thank you.


I’ll be hanging up now.  You have a nice day.


Wait a moment.  I’m curious, if you don’t mind.  Why do you do this? Do you need money that badly?


Not, not really. I got a buck or two.


Then, why rip people off in such a cynical way?


Well, my son said I needed a hobby.


Your son said you … wait a minute.




Where do you live?


Boca Raton Florida.


Whereabouts in Boca Raton?


416 Lumley Drive, APT 7A.  A lovely garden apartment with a tasteful mezuzah by the front door.


CHARLIE?  What a surprise!


Ye-ah, what a surprise for me too!

And here we usually only have the opportunity to talk after Sunday nosh.  


Dad, how come you have a cheesy foreign accent?  


It’s the first thing they teach you in Phony Phone Call Scam School.

There's a school for this?


Not only that, I was in the top half of the class!  


Dad, why are you doing this?


You told me I needed a hobby, remember?  Would you rather I be playing bingo?


I’d rather you not be committing felonies!


Oh, Charlie, this is a nice little pastime.  You don’t have to leave the apartment, you get to meet all kinds of interesting people, and then you get to rob them.


But you didn’t bring me up this way! What does Mom think of all this?


I’ll get her.  Charlotte, guess who I was about to rip off?  Charlie!


Charlie!  How nice, I’ll be right there! I’ve got a real sucker on the phone!


Oh, no!  Mom, too?


She graduated higher in the class than I did.

MOM (getting on the phone)

Charlie, darling, how are you?  What a schlimazel I just had on the line.  I was looking at his hard drive; he had pornography of Judi Dench!


Mom, Dad, what are you both doing?!  You guys didn’t bring me up this way!

There’s a reason we didn’t.

What’s that?

There was no internet then.


But conducting phony Microsoft phone calls, ripping off innocent people, this just isn’t Kosher!


You know, Charlotte, the boy’s right. What would Rabbi Schwartzman say?


Not much. He’s been dead ten years now.


Mom, Dad, stop this Phony Phone Call Scam right now!


Do you think we should give back the money, son?


Of course you should!  Now how much have you ripped off from people so far?


Oh, 80, 90 thousand, give or take.


Okay, 80 or 90 …. WHAT?!


80 or 90 thousand, dear.  Probably closer to 90.


Yes, that’s about right.  We’re rounding

CHARLIE (breathless)

How long have you been doing this?


Two or three months. 


Eighty, ninety thousand dollars from two or three months?!!

Again …  rounding.


In that case:  Good evening, this is the Microsoft Company.  I’m sorry to tell you there is a terrible, terrible, terrible problem with your personal computer.


That’s not a bad indistinguishable accent there, son.


Thanks, Dad.  Can you guys float me an application for the Phony Phone Call Scam School?

For sure!


Maybe I’ll move down to Boca and work the system with you guys!


But, boychik, what about how you said we didn’t bring you up this way?


That’s right, Mom and Dad, you didn’t.  But don't worry.




I forgive you!


Friday, December 15, 2017

Presenting: Age Blindness!

It should only really exist!

"It’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard of, Professor Kropotkin!” said graduate student Maya Majoun.

“Yes, Maya, that’s true. We’ve all heard of color blindness and face blindness, in which someone cannot distinguish between different people’s faces. But this is wholly new!”

“Can we view the videos again, Professor?” asked Maya.

“Of course we can. Here we see a baldish overage guy with dark circles under his eyes who is completely unappealing. His name is Perry Block. Now watch this!”

Hi, umm ... May I sit next to you at the bar?”

“Of course you can!  You can buy me a drink too and talk to me for hours on end!”

“Sure. Uhhh, what can we talk about?”

“We can talk about your place or mine! Then we can do a lot more than just talk!”

“Incredible, Professor! That beautiful young girl is actually attracted to this nondescript fossil!”

“Yes, indeed, Maya!  It’s called Age Blindness. She can’t perceive his age. She thinks … get this … he’s young and attractive.”

“Thank god it’s extremely rare! Poor, poor girl! Let’s view the next video featuring Mr. Block.”

“Excuse me, miss. I’d like to check out this book.”

“And I’d like to check you out, beefcake!”

“Professor, I can’t look! That sexy librarian digs him too! Age blindness must be a horror for any woman unfortunate to be afflicted with it!”

“Absolutely, Maya! But if you want to see raw horror, wait til you see this exchange of letters we’ve discovered as part of our study.”

Dear Ms. Johansson,
I think you are a fine actress and I would like an autographed picture. I have enclosed a picture of myself so you will know what a big fan I am.
Perry Block

Dear Mr. Block,
You are so hot! I’m arranging to fly you to Hollywood where we can spend virtually every second together! I hope you find me physically attractive as well because looking at you makes me very sexually aroused!
Scarlett Johansson

 “You see, Maya, even a famous celebrity can be age blind.”

"Professor, I might puke!"

"I understand, Maya."

“Is there no hope for these women, Professor? Is there no treatment?”

“Only one. It's a long shot, but we must expose these poor afflicted ladies to another older man who could conceivably take their minds off Mr. Block.”

“Who is that?”

“George Clooney.”