Archive for July, 2009

Very Good Writer at Lousy Writer Prices

Friday, July 31st, 2009


I’m bored. Not just take-a-nap bored – but all out, full-tilt, black hole bored. Clients are on vacations and the ones hanging around aren’t starting any new projects until fall.

What’s a very good commercial writer?  Someone who’s  fast, creative, agrees to a price before beginning, a person who works on a project basis as opposed to an hourly charge, someone who’s not a prima donna, fun to work with,  and gives you a guarantee of satisfaction.

What will I write?  Just about anything from resumes to ads to notes for your paperboy.

What do I cost?  A lot less than you think during the lazy days of summer. And it isn’t even August.

Call (585) 546-3244

Don’t Pity Carla, Help Her

Friday, July 31st, 2009


Comments here over the last few days have sparked some discussion of Ms. Carla Bruni.  I was surprised some people didn’t know who she is – nor of  her unfortunate physical deformity.

Carla Bruni is the First Lady of France. Before becoming President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s 3rd wife last year, Ms. Bruni was a supermodel, a singer, and an outspoken advocate for sexual freedom. She’s been quoted as saying, ” I’m monogamous from time to time, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry.” This 1993 photo of Madame Bruni recently sold for $91,000 US at Christie’s auction house in London and is now embroiled in a multi-million dollar copyright lawsuit.

Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the nude print has overshadowed a serious physical deformity in the Prime Minster’s wife: she suffers from intoeing, or, as we call it in America – being “pigeon-toed”.

There are three causes of intoeing in healthy children. They are metatarsus adductus, internal tibial torsion and excessive femoral anteversion.

Intoeing usually doesn’t cause serious problems but children with intoeing have trouble getting shoes that fit because of the curve of their feet. This fitting problem plus the fact other young children sometimes laugh at those who are pigeon-toed, often causes a lack of self-confidence in the intoed child.

Tax-deductible contributions to the “Carla Bruni Pigeon-Toe Fund” may be sent to:

Straight Toes Tomorrow!

Box 1807 Andrews Terrace

125 St. Paul Street

Rochester, New York 14604

The MOST Stupid Criticism of Obama

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

He Wasn’t Born in America


Right-wing paranoids have been whining for over a year that President Barack Obama was NOT born in the United States and therefore ineligible to be President.  When I heard this rant last week from a man whom I formerly thought intelligent – although misguided – I decided to look it up myself.  I went to the following respected site and through another link viewed his birth certificate. You can too if you like at: and read all of the related rumors dispelled by facts.

Of course some nitwits will say the certificate is a fake blah, blah, blah.  I think they might be right – IF it was forged by a living Elvis who was taught to type by space aliens.

I have ENOUGH legitimate concerns about Obama.  This isn’t one of them.

“These Boots Were Made for Gawking”

Monday, July 27th, 2009


In the late ’80’s I gave a series of speaking seminars to bankers in Victoria, Texas.  That’s south of Houston – waaay south of Houston. In those days, South Texas had so much oil and gas money, they didn’t know what to do with it – so they hired me.  They wanted to learn presentations from a “fast-talking, New York Jew boy” (to them, EVERYONE in New York was fast-talking and Jewish) because they were invited to talk to Wall Street financers and didn’t want to seem like hicks.

I liked these guys and they liked me.  In those days, I was making stupid money and spending it stupidly – so I told them before I left Texas, I wanted to buy some real cowboy boots.

“Lucchese!” they just about said in unison, “They’ll measure you up, help you choose the leather, and ship your custom-made boots in a few weeks.”

OK, then! I went to Lucchese, skipped by the snake, ostrich, eel, and turtle leathers – slipped by the color patches of leather and embroidered patterns and settled on your basic black, cowhide, custom-fitted model.  The “booter” looked bored. We ambled on back to the measuring room and then I remembered to ask him the price of this fashion statement.

“Three thousand dollars,” he said and continued ambling. I stopped.

“Pardon me – what did you say?”

“Three thousand dollars – including fitting and shipping.”  Seeing the stunned look on my face, he said, “But these are Lucchese boots. They’ll last almost a lifetime.”

I remembered my first car cost $600 and lasted 2-years. I could have bought five of the damn things and driven barefoot for the same price for a decade!  Then I thought of Rochester winters.

“They might last a lifetime in the dust – but do you know what salt slush can do to them for five months out of a year?”

“Nope,” he said.  Now we were both embarrassed – for me.

“I’ll have to think about this,” I said trying to slip him a ten spot for his trouble.

He looked at me like I grew an ostrich head before his eyes.

“Cain’t take that,” he said, amazed.

I quickly left the store.

Let’s Take a Lesson From the Jewish People

Monday, July 27th, 2009


Puerto Rican Pride Week is over and I couldn’t be happier.  If you know me, you know that I hold equal disdain for St. Patrick’s Day, Kwanza, Oktoberfest, Columbus Day and any other day that celebrates taking too much pride in someone’s heritage.

How can you be proud of something that was merely an accident of birth? What did YOU do to take such credit? So you swum faster than the million other spermkickers to pierce the floating egg.  So what? All the contestants came from the same place.  So Juan, if you petered out, Jose would have grabbed the golden ring and the result would STILL be Maria.  Is that something of  which you can be proud?

When it comes to ethnic pride, I think we can all learn something from the real Kosher Kickers, the Jews.  There is no American “Hebrew Day” when all the descendents of Moses parade through the streets waving lit menorahs, flags of Israel, and dancing the Horah behind a float of Barbara Streisand impersonators. The Jews are proud of Israel (as they should be) but first they are AMERICANS and why cause trouble by shoving Yiddish down goyim throats? And anyway, that would be bad for business since capitalism is the 2nd true foundation (after Freedom) of the United States.

Remember when America was the “melting pot” of the world?  When all cultures could take pride in their heritage after first pledging allegiance to THIS country and LEARNING ENGLISH (like all four of my grandparents had to learn BEFORE going to school here?) They knew that LANGUAGE is the glue that cements together different cultures.

It’s time once again to focus on what brings America together – rather than concentrate on the ethnic differences that keep us apart.

“Once in Love…” With Amy

Sunday, July 26th, 2009


Not my beautiful, “twin” Amy (whom I’ll love always), but Amy Alkon, “The Advice Goddess” now syndicated in over 100 newspapers nationwide.

Ms. Alkon delivers pleasantly-snarky, hilarious, and psychologically sound advice to stumbling nitwits cluelessly in love. Her common sense psychology principles come from the brilliant Dr. Albert Ellis, inventor of Rational-Emotive-Thinking and the only god I ever worshipped (“So your Mother breastfed you through a straw 45-years ago. Who cares? You’re screwing up your own life today!”)

Here’s a taste of Amy (so to speak):

Some doofy guy writes that he sees his ex-wife (for over 10-years) now has long hair and beautiful nails. Those are things he asked her to grow while they were married but she wouldn’t because she couldn’t get them past the “awkward stage”.  Of course the now “happily-married” nitwit wants to call wife #1 and ask why she couldn’t do that for him?

Amy’s reply?

The “awkward stage” is what you enter when you ring up your ex-wife and ask why she was such a nervous, nail-biting hag back when you were together.  Sometimes a hairstyle is just a hairstyle and not a coded message: “L’Oreal, because I’m worth it. Short hair and all-you-can-eat nails? Because you’re not.”

Men, across cultures, seem hard-wired to prefer long hair. Sure, Natalie Portman can shave her head and have men drool.  But it’s the rare man who’d throw her out of bed if she slipped in with a big, rotting ham hock balanced on her skull.

If you truly are 10-years into a happy marriage, you might just accept that while hair and nails do not continue growing after death, they often grow like crazy after a divorce.

Could any nit truly be this dumb? You can hear questions like that just before closing time in any gin joint in America – but you can hear answers like that only from Amy Alkon, the “Advice Goddess” (sometimes pictured kissing a glass toad).

For readers here in Rochester, NY, you can catch Amy every week in the “insider” our cool entertainment guide.  Let them know how much you enjoy the lady.

A collection of her columns?

For all my overseas readers (especially those of you in the UK who appreciate my tongue-in-cheeky humor) tell your editors about her.  You can reach her at: We’ll be glad to share her with you.

“Gamblers’ Quicksand”

Friday, July 24th, 2009



I thought of this term yesterday day when I was arguing with someone about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suggested we leave ASAP just protecting our people as they exit.

“We can’t do that.” he babbled, “That would mean over 4,000 of our troops died in vain.”

I cringed. That was the same argument we heard in 1968 when Nixon ran for President. At that time, our losses were over 25,000 soldiers dead and countless maimed. “These brave troops will not have died in vain!” he rumbled and shook his fist. You know the rest. 1975 – America lost a war we never could have won because there was nothing for us to win. Death toll by that time? 57,000 brave American troops – dead – ALL in vain.

“Gamblers’ quicksand” occurs when a player has more hope than sense. Here’s an example: a poker player is dealt a medium-good hand and antes $10. Someone bets and he calls it for another $10. Another card is dealt – exactly the card he DOESN’T need – and his hand turns into mud. The bettor throws in $10 and now it’s up to our player to decide: “fold?” or “bet the $10”?

Of course he should fold! What is he, an idiot? He now has a handful of doo-doo and he knows it. Any poker book, professional player, odds chart – EVERY logical ANYTHING tells him to “FOLD, Dope!” But the little fairy of luck he remembers from years ago whispers in his ear and he steps into “gamblers’ quicksand”.

“If I just fold now,” he thinks, “I’ll lose $30!” So he throws in another $10 and a raise for $10 and now he’s up to his hips for $50 with a terminal case of “hopeatitus”.

Another card is dealt – and the dolt’s hand turns from doo-doo to mush and just about drips on the table. The bet is now $30 and, “what the hell?” he says and throws it in with a pretend confident look on his face.

The bettor confidently lays down a full-house and our nitwit shows his lousy pair of nines which never got any better. “What the hell were you thinking, dummy?” says a friend as the winner rakes in our guy’s $80. “Just DEAL!” says Johnnie Quicksand as a blinding large “L” (for LOSER) starts flashing on his head. “I’ll win it back!” Right.

Johnnie High Hopes just lost money. America should be so lucky.




Wednesday is a Scaredy Cat

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


Wednesday the Cat doesn’t have a brave bone in her body. If there was a war among all the pets in Manhattan Square, Wednesday would be the first to surrender. Even the goldfish would fight longer.

Since there’s nothing to be afraid of in my apartment, her fear is pathetic – but a little funny too. She’s like a miniature version of the Cowardly Lion, whining her fear to me or her sister Tuesday. When she does this (at least once a week) I always pick her up and talk to her softly. Tuesday just ignores her. I really think she’s a little embarrassed for Wednesday so she pretends not to pay attention.

Wednesday has many secret hiding places but she most often crawls under the black comforter – not moving – hardly breathing – until she falls asleep. I try to tell her it’s really a dumb hiding place because anyone walking by can see a big, cat-shaped lump in the middle of the bed – but she feels safe there.

Wednesday is frightened by knocks on the door, dropped silverware and a friend’s toddling baby who just wants to play with her. And even though our smoke detector has gone off exactly once in three years, Wednesday suspiciously looks at it every single day as part of her regular routine.

Although many things scare my Cat, she is absolutely TERRIFIED of thunder and fireworks. Last Fourth of July, we had BOTH on the same night and Wednesday fled to her ‘ultimate bomb shelter’ – a small crawl space beneath the dishwasher behind a trash can. Here she lay quivering for hours refusing to come out and be held. She kept her eyes tightly closed and I knew she was saying to herself, “It’s the end of the world! Oh my God, I know it! It’s the end of the world!”

We’ve Got “Talent” and We Don’t Care

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009


I don’t pretend to understand all the issues around Obama’s national health care plan. Sounds like a great idea if we could afford it – which we can’t. But we always seem to be able to find the money for a new war misadventure.  Hey, maybe the President got a call from Iraq saying they’re paying us back a few hundred billion for helping them out. Right.

Anyway, Obama’s address to the nation was going to start at 9:00 pm EST like they always do. But the networks balked at blowing all of that prime time commercial space over something as trivial as national health care.  Especially NBC -which protected viewers from switching hours for its hit show “America’s Got Talent”.  Of course 8:00 pm in Washington means 5:00 pm on the West Coast – right when most people are getting out of work.

But really, who cares?  California is broke and has already given us enough health advice to last into the next century.  Washington State and Oregon?  I think we sold them to Canada – it doesn’t matter – at least we’re flush with “reality” shows.  So look at the bright side: in the future if you’ve got some disease that’s killing you because you couldn’t afford health care, you can still watch quality television programming to take your mind off the pain.

Do I think America’s priorities are due to ignorance or apathy?  I don’t know and I don’t care.

The Bride Wore Polka Dots

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009


I saw my first short sleeve suit yesterday.  It was not hot – neither the day nor the look.  As a matter of fact, it sucked (the look – not the day).

At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, there are some items of fashion apparel that should remain traditional.