Archive for April, 2009

“Allo? Nobody home.” Click.

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009


Since my Grandfather hated the telephone, every caller heard those words and hang-up every time he ”answered”. My Mom and her sister could barely get Grandpa to answer the phone, much less take a message. Once his brother Angelo, who lived six blocks away, walked to Grandpa’s house to tell him he was going to call so Grandpa had better pick up the phone. He then walked back to his own house to call. I think he was just making a point. I hope he was just making a point because the alternatives are too strange to consider.

One reason Grandpa hated the phone was because he was afraid of it – a lot of people were in the old days. He thought you could be electrocuted through the earpiece and no amount of explanation could shake his belief. He thought that if sound traveled through the wires, electricity could too. Of course, this is the man who refused to teach his children to swim because “only kids who know how to swim, drown. Kids who don’t know how to swim, don’t go near the water.” It’s hard to argue against that kind of logic.

I don’t know how much Grandpa influenced me but I almost never answer my own phone. Every caller has to talk through my answer machine and I’ll either pick up or call them back later when I want to – sometimes. People are now shocked when I answer my phone. I always hear, “This is you? I was expecting your machine.” Some sound quite disappointed.

Is screening calls inconsiderate? Well think of how many people call you to whom you’d like to talk – or talk at that moment. Once I figured my percentage to be about 1 in 5 or 6. Those aren’t great odds.  Certainly not good enough for  me to pick up.

Rude? Well give me a call and we’ll talk about it.  Right.


WARNING: Swine Flu Pandemic!

Monday, April 27th, 2009


The Center for Disease Control stated that Swine Flu  is passed by a person touching a surface that’s been contaminated with the virus  – and then touching his eyes, mouth, or nose.  The CDC recommends washing your hands much more frequently with soap and hot water for at least 20-seconds.  Paolo recommends keeping your damn fingers OUT of your eyes, mouth, and  nose.

Presented as a Public Service Message by “EVERYONE’S ENTITLED TO MY OPINION”

Marilyn Chambers said it best:

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

“You can stab a breast in an American film, but you can’t kiss one.”

April 22, 1952 – April 12, 2009

Kennedy Should’ve Been So Lucky

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

A Mobile, Mississippi woman – who was shot in the head on April 14th, not only survived – but immediately made herself tea and offered some to an astonished police officer, authorities said Friday.

Tammy Sexton, 47, remained hospitalized after being wounded by her husband, who killed himself after he shot his wife. She is expected to fully recover.

The slug from a .380-caliber handgun struck Ms. Sexton squarely in the forehead, passed through her skull and exited through the back of her head apparently striking no vital organs. A deputy arrived within minutes and was greeted by the woman. Ms. Sexton was conscious but appeared confused about what happened. `What’s going on?’ she asked.

Hospital officials would not comment on the report that Ms. Sexton was immediately contacted by ex-Vice President Richard Cheney’s office offering her a position as his new Chief of Staff.


$5000 to Prevent Unwanted Pregnancy

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Letter to the Editor published May, 2006 by the Democrat&Chronicle

Although I applaud Judge Marilyn O’Connor’s “no more
kids until you can take care of them” ruling (May 8 story),
I’m wary of the government making those decisions for
anyone. I believe I have a better idea.

I suggest we pay a one-time $5,000 cash benefit to
anyone older than 21 who voluntarily has a free,
nonreversible tubal ligation or vasectomy. The savings
in future welfare costs would be staggering. And, one
suspects, the couple cited in the article might well be
first in line.

Over 20 years ago, I was told I was one of the first men
in Monroe County to have had a vasectomy before ever
having children. I have never once regretted that decision.
Until this society recognizes that “child-free” is a
respectable option for many people, we will be paying for
unwanted and unloved children. Kids deserve so much
more than that.


Charlie says:

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

“You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something.

Nowadays everybody’s crazy.”

Strange Facts Known by Few

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Jack Ruby, killer of Lee Harvey Oswald – accused assassin of John F. Kennedy, could not understand why JFK even wanted to be President. In an interview with a prison psychologist he stupidly said, “He needed that job like he needed a hole in the head.”

Guilty Pleasures: Ellen

Friday, April 17th, 2009

I don’t watch much TV. It’s on in the background in the morning – usually starting with the “Today” show – but that’s about it. Lately I’ve even forgotten to turn it on sometimes. I compare it to the telephone. There are far fewer people to whom I’d like to talk than call, so I just have the machine record them all and get back to the ones I want. Maybe.

I know you won’t believe this – but I never once remember sitting down to watch an entire episode of a television series. Of course this drives other people nuts but a lot of people will watch any moving “anything” that drools before their eyes. I especially never watch “talk” shows because they suffer from a toxic sameness made from homogenized mediocrity. It’s almost always some goof sitting behind a desk talking about nothing to people whom I don’t know and about whom I don’t care.

In the ‘80’s I used to watch shows filled with stand up comedians. The truly bland – like Seinfield, Leno and Letterman – pissed off the fewest number of viewers and made it to the network level. Once there, any poignant rough spots were polished off so they could sell more useless junk to more dull Americans than their competitors. The ‘truly twitchy’ like Judy Tenuta (The “Princess of Panty Shields”), Emo Philips, and Gilbert Godfrey – the ones who made people like me laugh – might as well be on milk cartons labeled ‘Missing’.

But one ‘SUC’ (Stand Up Comedian), Ellen, always impressed me. I thought she was smart, very funny, and sexy. I still do. Her show has a lot of silly, original bits in it. And even if half of them fall flat, they’re still about ten times funnier and more fun than most of the crap you see after your local news at 11:00 pm. I think it’s remarkable her humor can make me laugh and still not piss off the average TV-addict. Maybe I’m getting older. So is Ellen but she’s getting better.

No Lack of Characters

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


My ex-wife and I were talking about ‘characters’. Do you know any?Characters are people who live in their own colorful definition of reality and have a hard time fitting into the black and white world most of us share. I know a number of characters – a guy who was one of New York’s best safe crackers in the ‘60’s – a woman who believed she was John Kennedy’s illegitimate daughter – a man who became a pet groomer to find the reincarnation of his dead dog – well, the list could go on. I LOVE characters! But the discussion took an unpleasant turn when T. said I was a character. Me?

“You’re kidding!” I said, “I’m not a character.”

“Characters never think they’re characters.” she said.

“Wait a little minute here, “ I said trying to get my thoughts together.

I thought of Johnny, a 65-year old guy who moved to Washington Square Park in Manhattan in December so he could be homeless and live in a cardboard box. When I asked him why, he said, “Franco – that’s New York! If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!”

Then there was Christine, an ex-dancer with whom I was talking about “looks”. I said, “I know I’m no Brad Pitt.” She immediately sat up, seriously looked at me and said, “Why did you bring up Brad Pitt?”

Of course I said, “You know Brad Pitt?”

She laid down again and said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Now THESE people are characters! I’m not a character.

“Don’t worry about it,” T. said, “There are a lot of good people who are characters. Think of your Father.”

“My FATHER? He’s one of the kindest, smartest men on Earth!”

“I know that – but it doesn’t mean he’s not a character. How many old men, who are fairly well-off, wear the same cheap, light jacket, every day, summer or winter, for THIRTY-FIVE YEARS? And when he got a stain on it last year, he DYED IT!”

“Well,” I said, “he’s no slave to fashion.”

“He’s a character! And so are you. It doesn’t mean you’re bad.”

“Yeh, well – what about YOU? How many people walk around deciding who’s a character and who isn’t, hmmm?”

“I see we can’t talk about this any more,” T. said. And then she stood up and walked out of the room. What a character!





Strange Facts Known by Few

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

The password to get backstage at Woodstock in 1969 was, “I forgot.”