Viewing posts from November 2015

6 Things I’m Grateful for this Thanksgiving

ChiefChiefHeadShotI’m thankful I’m not anybody else. First of all, none of their clothes would fit. I don’t know what kind of bills or ex-spouse someone else has. I know what mine are and that’s enough for me to handle. One down, one to go. The bills.

I’m grateful I don’t have to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a great parade, but I’ve never enjoyed anything for that long in the cold. The only ways I might want to go is if it was June or they held it indoors.

SnoopySpeaking of the parade, I’m grateful that for once all the helium in those big parade balloons won’t go to waste. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that immediately following the parade, the city will be holding the world’s very first Helium Inhalium Party. Get high as a kite. Literally.

I’m grateful for McDonald’s. It’s the only thing I can bring to a picnic that the ants won’t eat.

I’m grateful for antibiotics. I think I’ll just leave it at that.

I’m grateful for politicians. Without them, used car salesmen would still be at the bottom of the Trustworthy Occupations list.

Finally, to all my readers who celebrate it, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. To all those who don’t celebrate the holiday, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving even though you have no idea what I’m talking about. Have fun anyway.

Til next Tuesday

Being Bald

patrickstewartPeople have asked if I mind being bald. Yes, but only when I look in the mirror. Luckily, my eyesight is getting worse so I don’t really notice as much.

The good news, in a way, is that for the past decade or so, shaved heads have been “in.” Shaved heads are sort of like camouflage, you know? If everybody looks kinda the same, then nobody notices “the bald guy.” In an ironic twist, if you have fringe on the sides and back of your head, but not on top, then you look bald. If you don’t want to look bald, shave ALL the hair off your head. This shows that you know your hair can grow back any time you decide to let it, and you’re just being trendy.

UpSideDownFaceThe new thing now is having a fully shaved head while also sporting a full beard. I don’t get this one. I guess the “Hey, My Head’s on Upside Down” look just isn’t me.

And what ever happened to the Hair Club for Men? Are they still around? And what kind of club is that? What could possibly be more depressing than sitting in a room full of guys all checking out each other’s toupees? Once you realize everybody else’s rat skin looks like crap, then chances are your own does, too. Like I said, depressing.

HairClubSo why was it a hair club FOR MEN? Were they planning an empire of Hair Clubs for Women? Of course not. Women have pride. And the fact that not even one women’s rights group picketed the company headquarters demanding equal admittance speaks volumes about the whole idea.

BabyTrumpThe problem with toupees is that they never look quite right no matter how good they are. I mean, when someone comes up to you and says, “That’s a really good toupee. It looks so real!” How “real” could it look if someone comes up to you and compliments you on it?

For me the answer lies in simplicity—get rid of all mirrors in my condo and adopt the stance that I’m wearing a reverse Mohawk or I just have a very wide part.

Til next Tuesday

Bond. James Bond.

danielcraigBond’s new film, “Spectre,” opened this past weekend and, even though I haven’t seen it yet, I’m sure Mr. Bond came out on top. Yeah, the job of being a secret agent looks glamorous on the big screen. You get to sleep with gorgeous women. Not only do you win every fight, but if for some odd reason you don’t, you certainly will have plenty of “revenge time” to more than even the score. And you’ll heal overnight without any residual side effects like broken bones, ruptured spleens, or having to deal with insurance companies.

At least, that’s the way it is on film.

Here are some real-world reasons why I didn’t go to the Be A Secret Agent booth at our high school Career Day.

No matter where you go, somebody’s going to try to kill you. IMHO, this is not a plus. While it does put life’s normal problems in perspective, I don’t want anything to do with a career that has “possible intentional death” in the job description. Another tip off to the lack of career longevity in this field—there’s no 401K.

IRSagentYou have to lie about your occupation on your tax forms. If you think messing with Dr. No, Goldfinger, Ernst Blofeld, Jaws or any other nemesis of 007’s was tough, there is no greater foe to face than that bookworm-ish clerk behind the desk at the ultimate organization of evil—the IRS. Even Q couldn’t come up with a gadget to counter that guy with a pen.

Btw, I’ve always felt Q was playing both sides of the fence. Whatever device he creates, it’s exactly what James is going to need! Curious, no? Not once can I remember Q giving James a weapon that he didn’t require in order to save his own skin. Which is why you never heard James Bond berate Mr. Tip or whatever Q’s last name was, with “Hey, jerkhead. For the last month I’ve carried this stupid brick that turns into a car when all I needed was a damn lock pick. Get your #$@% together, assh-le!” Very un-British.

Stunningly beautiful women are not common among spies. And for a good reason—spies are supposed to blend in, otherwise they’re too easy to identify, right?

SofiaVergaraM: The Queen wants you to bring in Susan Anderson.

Spy: The one who looks like Sofia Vergara?

M: That’s the one.

Spy: Can you get me a photo of her in a bikini?

M: The Queen?

Spy: NO! Not the Queen! Sofia Vergara.

M: What for? You already know what she looks like.

Spy: I know. I just want it for, uh, you know, personal reasons.

You have to constantly check for hidden explosives, poisonous snakes and insects, and poisoned food. Again, these are not pluses for any job I’d be interested in. I’d be so paranoid that I’d be afraid to use the damn toilet. It might have some super suction thing on it and I’d never be heard from again. Not a good way to go.

bondgunbarrelYou’ll never be in a fight with six guys and come out the winner. When in real life has this kind of thing ever happened? Only in the movies. Why? Because the bad guys never gang up on the good guy. They fight him one at a time. That’s like believing Killer Bees take turns stinging you to death.

You have to fly coach. The glamor never stops with this job. Then, of course, you have to wheel your own luggage through the airport to the car rental place where you’re gifted with not a brand spanking new Aston-Martin, but a Diesel-powered VW instead.

I’m glad James Bond is still around in movies. But with cyber warfare being the threat to big business, I’m not sure I’d be rooting for Mr. Bond, James Bond.

Til next Tuesday…

Autumn Leaves

AutumnTreesNothing says autumn in New England like the early Sunday morning serenade of neighbors cranking up their leaf blowers. Doesn’t that remind you of the good ol’ days? Me, neither. This year’s bountiful crop of red, orange, brown, and green foliage has, as expected, turned lawns everywhere into the Picture of Dorian Gray, Red-Brown and Black.

Thank God for evergreens.

But that’s the price we pay for living in this stunningly beautiful part of the country. Every year we get to enjoy the thrilling parade of our glorious autumn colors. But, like any parade, there’s always a ton of crap to clean up afterwards.

New England’s trees are magnets for carloads of weekend visitors from arboreally-challenged New York City and other uber-urban areas. They come to be awestruck by our blazingly brilliant foliage. What they don’t realize, though, is that once the leaves are on the ground they have to be picked up so the lawns don’t die from lack of sunlight.

To all my city-dweller friends, that means extra work.

What visitors are also totally unaware of is exactly what was all too clear to me as a kid raking the yard—the leaves don’t fall all at once. So after spending the whole weekend cleaning up the yard instead of playing with my friends, I’d head to school on Monday morning only to find the stupid lawn is covered once again with more stupid leaves.

This goes on for about three or four weekends every year until all the trees are bare and the leaves are disposed of. Then and only then did I happily call the season “Fell.”

The great thing, though, about those pre-leaf blower days was that you could rake the leaves into a pile on your property and get rid of them by setting them afire. Everybody did it. For decades. And if you were a kid, jumping into a monstrous pile of leaves was great fun provided dad’s not tossing lit matches into the heap at the same time.

BaggedLeavesSomewhere in the ‘70s, I think, it dawned on city and other environmentally-aware officials that the smoke from our fire combined with a few million other homeowners doing the same yearly ritual, created considerable amounts of air pollution. The practice was then banned. A much more eco-friendly way to dispose of leaves had risen to the occasion just in the nick of time—big plastic bags! Yes, put the leaves in the plastic bags and the city could pick them up and dispose of them in some unknown, and in retrospect, not fully thought-out way. No fire, no pollution! Woo-hoo!

And we all know how well that turned out.

So here we are in 2015. We’ve come a long way since those days of raking leaves. We traded in the crackling and wonderful aroma of toxic, air polluting burning leaves for the green choking gasoline fumes and bleeding ears.

Yes, there’s nothing like New England in the Fell.

Til next Tuesday

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