Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't Annoy Me in the New Year

Remember when you were little, and the big deal was to stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop? How many of you are now of an age where you go to bed at 10:00 pm on New Year’s Eve confident the ball will drop without any assistance from you?

As kids, we fought sleep with every bone in our bodies, and as adults, all our bones want to do is sleep, which brings me to my secular New Year’s resolution: Get more sleep!

That is the only resolution I will make. All the others are just bull shit; however, I do have a few resolutions that are affected by others’ lack of resolutions.

For example, I plan to unfriend anyone on Facebook who posts more than one political rant a week. In addition, I plan to unfriend anyone on Facebook who comments on my posts, which are mostly jokes, as if they are gospel. Or worse, have to one up me with some ninety-word sermon on why I am wrong.
Rule Number One: I am never wrong.
Rule Number Two: if I am wrong, refer to Rule Number One.

No more humorless friends. I also plan to unfriend anyone on Facebook who sends me messages telling me how he would like to rim me. Do I need to see that first thing in the morning in my notifications folder?

Who says that to a stranger? And let’s face it; if you have never met someone in person, you are strangers. Imagine walking up to a good looking guy on the train and saying, “Hi, I would like to lick your anus.” Better yet, I want to be there when you do that, so I can film it for America’s Funniest Homosexual Videos.

Now, let’s say you finally meet your virtual rim-fantasy friend in person. How do you greet each other? Does he turn around and bend over? Do you?

In the real world, I plan not to engage annoying people in conversation again. This could go both ways I assume. Some of the people who fall into this category are those who get all their news from blogs, written by unattractive people who don’t bathe and have not changed out of their bathrobes since Clinton was getting rim jobs from Monica. Did she send him a notification ahead of time?

For the record, I bathe, and I don’t own a bathrobe. You will just have to imagine what I am wearing.

I also plan no longer to engage with those who are full of negativity. The Eeyores of the world. I grew up with Eeyores. I cannot stand them. My father saw the black soot covered lining in every cloud. Beverly Sills said you should get rid of all the negative influences, and when you really think about it, all you really have are two or three good friends. The rest are acquaintances or sources for a loan.

And while I am on a roll, the ones who when you ask them how they are doing, actually tell you. I don’t care if you had a loose bowel movement this morning, if your cat had a migraine, or if your ass hurts from being in a sling in someone’s basement all night. Wait a minute. That last one might be a good conversation starter.

I went on a blind date around ten years ago, set up by a friend of mine whom I unfriended in the conventional way sometime later. I met my date at an Indian restaurant in Woodley Park. He was very attractive, tall with dark hair and all that. After the usual I’m from so-and-sos and I went to school at so-and-sos and I work at so-and-sos, he told me he was kind of tired from his activities the previous evening. He then went on to tell me how he went to his first sex party and performed oral sex on fourteen strangers. After making a mental note not to kiss him good night, I skipped completely over appalled and disgusted and went straight into journalist mode. Having never attended a sex party (to this day, I have not been invited to one either), I was curious about the logistics involved. Where does one put his wallet and keys? How do you protect the furniture? What do you serve? Who stays to clean up? Do you wear name tags? I received a great deal of information, and I never went out with Mr. Electrolux again.

What I forgot to ask was why he kept count?

Where was I? Oh yes. When someone asks how I am doing, I say, “I can’t complain.” Why complain? No one is going to listen. I do have the advantage of having a blog, so I complain here.

There are others on my list: Whisperers – people who are always huddled in a corner whispering for hours on end. Questioners – people who investigate you (I have to admit I catch myself doing this sometimes, and I find myself annoying when I do; just ask Devon). Awesomers – people who say “awesome” all the time; these people say “whatever” a lot, too.

As you can see, I have no resolutions, but thanks to me, if you want to remain my friend, virtual or otherwise, and be a better person, you have a lot of work to do.

It ain’t easy being perfect. If I can make the effort, so can you!

Have a very Happy New Year! May it be filled with joy, happiness and good health. If it isn’t, don’t tell me about it.

If you took most of the above seriously, before I unfriend you, follow me, get on my email list, and buy my damn books – go to

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Barbie’s Malibu Dream House It Ain’t

I don’t Christmas shop. Big surprise I know, but my nephew is eighteen years old, and he would rather have cash than some ridiculous gift his fifty-year-old uncle thought would be perfect for a young American boy, such as the English Leather gift set, which includes cologne, aftershave and soap on a rope. How ridiculous is soap on a rope? Have you ever tried washing your feet with soap on a rope? If you can, Devon and I would like to make a video of that. Enough said.

Back in my day, there were gifts for boys and gifts for girls. While you may think I was drawn to girls’ toys, you would be sadly mistaken. I liked toy cars and trucks. My favorite was the Fire Truck Pedal Car Uncle Stanley gave me. When I was four years old, my brother and I were watching TV when a commercial for the Fire Truck Pedal Car from American Pedal Cars aired. I told Alex I wanted one. He said, “Go downstairs and ask Uncle Stanley to get you one.” He thought he was funny getting me to go downstairs and ask for a present because if you ever asked my parents for anything, you got the “we grew up during the Depression” speech – which was more like a scream and a yell than a speech – and you were made to feel like the most rotten kid on the planet, and sometimes you were spanked. No wonder three therapists quit on me.

Well, I marched downstairs, interrupted the grown-ups’ conversation, and said, “Uncle Stanley, can I please have a fire truck for Hanukah?” He smiled at me and said, “Sure.”

I went upstairs, and my brother, who thought I would return in tears, was shocked when I was smiling. But then, I worried. I didn’t ask for a Fire Truck Pedal Car; I asked for a fire truck. “Oh fuck me,” I said. However, I didn’t press my luck by going downstairs to clarify my request. I just waited patiently for the Festival of Lights.
Well, Uncle Stanley, who was the polar opposite of his brother, my father, delivered. I had a shiny red Fire Truck Pedal Car. My first car! I drove it around the house all night. The next day, I drove it all over the yard. Around this time, my mother decided to have the shutters painted green, and the painter drove a white 1965 Ford Econoline van. He parked it in the driveway and blocked the path I had created with my first car. I was pissed. I think that was the first time I cussed like a New York cab driver while behind the wheel – “Goddammotherfuckinpieceofshitvan blockingmygoddampath fuckingsonofabitchasshole.” I still yell that when I am in a traffic jam.

Now, I was a car freak from an early age, but there was another toy I always wanted, but I never dared to ask for it. I got my Fire Truck Pedal Car, so I quit while I was ahead. That didn’t stop me from yearning. Remember the little wooden fake kitchenette, complete with oven, refrigerator, sink and cabinet that all the little girls had? I wanted one of those kitchenettes. It would have been perfect in my bedroom, and I would have created the most fabulous studio apartment in the Ivy Farms neighborhood in Newport News, Virginia. Alas, it was not to be because in the 1960s, one didn’t let his son wear a dress to school, call himself Melissa or have a dream kitchenette.

Interestingly, I never wanted to play with dolls. Dolls reminded me of babies and children, and even when I was a baby and a child, I didn’t like them. GI Joe wasn’t that buff then, and my mother thought he was a doll, so I never had one of those either because it would make me Gay.

How is that abstinence education working out for you, Mrs. Palin?

This morning, Hasbro announced they were going to market an Easy Bake Oven for boys beginning next year. Rather than being pink and purple, the boys’ version would be blue and black. Aren’t those the colors of the leather community? Or is it law enforcement?

I am pleased that Hasbro is making an easy bake oven for elementary school safety patrol officers or future dungeon masters, but what about all the little Gay boys out there who also want an oven.

Well, I have a few suggestions for my friends at Hasbro, Mattel and Milton Bradley.

Let’s start with that Easy Bake Oven. They should create one in chrome with black knobs for little Gay boys. Instead of that stupid light bulb, it will have convection cooking, a flat-top range and a plate warmer. And, let’s do away with that nasty cake batter. Gay boys limit their carbs and never eat cake. Instead, provide a quiche mix with a gluten-free crust (for their Lesbian playmates). For families on a budget, you can add the decorator pie plates from the Martha Stewart collection at K-Mart, and for those in the one-percent category, plates from the Ina Garten collection at Lord & Taylor.

While you are shopping for the Easy Bake Oven, look for the Gay version of that miniature wooden kitchenette I lusted after as a young wanker. The Ever-So-Fabulous Kitchenette would feature cabinets in dark cherry with Corian countertops and brushed aluminum hardware, complete with recessed lighting and include a complete set of All-Clad Stainless Steel cookware.

Remember that Fire Truck Pedal Car I loved so much? You should, it was only five paragraphs ago. For the little Gay boys, a BMW pedal car in charcoal, complete with GPS and the premium sound system. Why a BMW? Even pretentious Gay child assholes need toys for practice. For the rest of them, a Volkswagen Jetta pedal car will do. The adult versions leave the factory with a rainbow sticker permanently attached.

A favorite has always been Barbie’s Malibu Dream House, a pink monstrosity if ever there was one. No wonder Ken left her for Italian New Jersey Barbie’s Dream House Down the Shore. Ken needs a little Guidette snatch now and again. That Dream House comes with its own detached free clinic.

For our fabulous boys, let’s create Bruce’s Mid-Century Modern Palm Springs Dream House. All the furnishings would be from Levitz of Southern California, circa the 1950s, with lamps and accent pieces in coral and aqua. Parked in the driveway would be a Sherwood Green 1959 Imperial Crown convertible, and out back by the pool, would be Rock Hudson and Doris Day dolls sunning themselves on chaise lounges.

Due to the nature of this blog, I have to suggest an option for future trailer park queens. For them, I give you Rick’s Mobile Dream Home in Jessup. It would be a luxury double-wide with a gourmet kitchen, sunken living room and two Chevys in the driveway – one a pick-up truck and the other on blocks. Around the side, would be two buff boys sunning themselves by a plastic pool.

Now, Milton Bradley, you need to do something about Monopoly. This would be an easy fix. Instead of hotels and houses, have boutiques and summer rentals. For nine months out of the year, when you land on someone’s property and there is a boutique, you have to buy something. For three months out of the year, if you land on someone’s rental, first you pay rent, and then you have to cause insane drama with anyone else who has landed on that summer rental. If you play correctly, by the end of the game none of you should be speaking to each other.

Finally, GI Joe. Yes, the little soldier my mother thought would turn any boy queer. It is a good thing she didn’t live to see today’s juiced-up GI Joe. Now, that DADT has been repealed, GI Joe needs a new buddy – GI Steve. GI Steve’s body would be a little more cut (that no carb thing again), and his uniform would be more tailored to accentuate his V-shape and bubble-butt. GI Steve would have one additional accessory for when he goes on R&R – a camouflage square cut. Well, as long as we are giving him a camouflage square cut, give GI Steve a penis, too. Make it a nice circumcised one. It is all about the marketing.

I would offer a suggestion for a Gay version of the Barbie Beauty Salon, but I think it already is the Gay version of the Barbie Beauty Salon.

Here’s to hoping that shopping for that nephew who makes you wonder is a little easier this year. While straight girls are difficult when it comes to gift giving, Lesbians are a breeze. If your little niece shows Lesbian proclivities, just buy her a Sears Craftsmen starter toolkit. Every year, buy her a new tool, and when she is an adult, she will be ready to tackle the world … or at least repair it.

Here is to hoping there is an Easy Back Oven in your future.
If I have offended anyone with the above suggestions ... good!

Buy my book, and the royalties will be your Christmas present to me!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


By special request, I am re-running my holiday blog from last year:


I love Christmas with all the songs, decorations and lights, especially the lights, and the tackier and more overdone the house, the better.

When we were kids, our parents would love to take us around in the car and look at all the lights. This is where I first learned the word umbeshrian — which according to my mother, meant overdone.

We even had a Christmas tree in our house when I was little, and when my mother accidentally barbecued the den one December, she was most upset about the loss of her Styrofoam snow man with two elves standing next to him.

Now, that I own my first home, I have also strung up some lights — blue and white of course, to celebrate the season. Before you start in on me about decorating for a Christian holiday, keep reading ...

(About 11 years ago, I gave a drash during Shabbat services on Hanukah, where I presented for the first time my “Eight Myths of Hanukah.” A few years after that, I was asked to present them again. For your reading pleasure, I present them for the third time.)


Many people do not realize that Jesus was not born on December 25. He was born September 11, 3 BCE, which on the Hebrew calendar for that year was Elul 1.

To make a long story short, in the year 380, Pope Damasus I made it his goal to have all Christians in the Roman Empire yield to his authority, and he convinced the Emperor to issue an edict requiring them to practice the religion of Rome, Catholicism. Damasus I was also seeking to lure the people away from the pagan rituals honoring the birth of the sun god on December 25 at midnight by demanding attendance at a memorial in honor of Christ’s death — in other words, the Mass. The people confused this Mass with the pagan solar birth rituals conducted at that same time, and gradually, the Christ-Mass became associated with the Nativity, hence, Christmas. Somehow, many of the symbols and customs remained, most notably, the Christmas tree and fruitcake.

Did you know all fruit cakes were actually baked before the year 380? That is why they are so dense and hard to slice.

In the United States, Christmas wasn’t even celebrated during our country’s first 94 years because in England, it was celebrated with excessive drinking and lewd and lascivious behavior. Not unlike a Tuesday night in my mobile home.

As a matter of fact, Washington crossed the Delaware on December 25, 1776, to attack the British in Trenton because he knew the Red Coats would be hung … over.

Americans wanted to reject all things British, so Christmas and afternoon tea were the first to go. I wish we kept the tea.

Congress met on Christmas day every year until after the Civil War. Americans complained there were no federal holidays, so on June 26, 1870, Christmas was officially made a federal holiday. However, you can thank the Jews for something else. We invented the weekend. You know: God worked all week then rested in Boca.

So, to all my Jewish friends out there, hang up those Hanukah lights this weekend because Christmas is not a religious holiday; it is a federal holiday, and we want to be patriotic!

Now, I present:

The Eight Myths of Hanukah

1. Hanukah is the Jewish Christmas. False. How many times have I been asked, “Is Hanukah the Jewish Christmas?” Let me set the record straight. Christmas is the Jewish Christmas. Mary and Joseph were Jewish, Jesus was Jewish, and at least one of the Wise Men was Jewish — the one that brought the fur.

2. Hanukah is the holiest of Jewish holidays. False. Hanukah isn’t even a religious holiday. The holiest of Jewish holidays is April 24, Barbra Streisand’s birthday. The second holiest Jewish holiday is December 29, the wedding anniversary of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.

3. Hanukah is another Jewish holiday where they tried to kill us, they didn’t, so we eat. True. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the second century BCE, which brings us to ...

4. Hanukah commemorates the miracle that one day’s worth of oil lasted eight days in the Holy Temple. True. But, this is hardly a miracle because I witnessed my grandmother doing the same thing with one tea bag.

5. During Hanukah, children get a gift every night for eight days. False. If you grew up in my house, you got a gift the first night, then for seven nights, you heard about how awful it was to grow up during The Great Depression. The ritual of gift giving is actually very American, since Jewish children in this country are totally exposed to Christmas customs.

6. Hanukah is a holiday when Jewish people eat bland, colorless foods that are fried in oil and difficult to digest. True for ALL Jewish holidays. On Hanukah, we eat latkes (potato pancakes) or sufganiot, if you are Sephardic. Sufganiot are similar to jelly donuts. I am part Sephardic, so I like donuts, just not jelly ones.

7. There are many popular songs about Hanukah, and Jewish people know the words to all of them. False. Other than “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,” there are no other Hanukah songs we can sing, except for “The Hanukah Song,” by Adam Sandler, which brings us to Number 8 ...

8. Steve & Eydie and Barbra Streisand have recorded Hanukah albums. SO NOT TRUE! Would you believe Steve and Eydie have recorded a Christmas album, and Barbra has recorded not one but two Christmas albums?! And all those Christmas songs we hear on the radio are mostly written, and oftentimes performed, by Jews! Oy vay! This brings us back to myth Number 1, proving once again that Christmas is the Jewish Christmas!

So, from my Trailer Park to Yours, here is wishing you a very Happy Jewish Christmas and a Merry Hanukah!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Oy in Ohio

As you know from my prior posts, I am not your typical Gay man who makes a big deal out of every birthday like a five year old. You know the ones. They invite all their friends out for their big birthday celebration or make a big dramatic event out of their thirty-seventh birthday, so they can get free drinks and lots of gifts – and attention!

However …

This year, I turned fifty on Thanksgiving, and after spending a year telling everyone I was forty-nine (and I wrote about that, too), I really didn’t want to spend another birthday standing over my sink eating a bucket of fried chicken and throwing the bones down the disposal. I know that sounds dramatic, but it is only dramatic if you have a witness … or a reality show – two things I need!

I made up my mind last year after spending Thanksgiving alone, along with Hanukah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, the Fast of Gedalia, Martin Luther King Day, Tu Bishvat, Valentine’s Day, Shavuot, and St. Patrick’s Day, that I would go away for my birthday. I mulled over a few destinations, being this would be my first non-working, non-volunteering vacation in five years, and Devon suggested we go to Cleveland.

So, to Cleveland we went.

Cleveland, as it turns out, has a lot to offer. For example, they have the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, which I hear is great. I say “I hear” because after booking the trip, I found out it was closed for renovations. They also have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which I can tell you is the biggest rip-off in the country (I really wanted to go to Dollywood!). It costs $21 a person to go in plus $11 for parking, and after ten minutes, you realize you are in the most poorly organized and ridiculous tourist trap in the Midwest. We should have known better when we arrived fifteen minutes after they opened and people were already leaving. Even the employees were bored; they also never left their kiosks, so I think they were chained to their posts.

But, those are the lowlights. Oh wait, there is one other. Our motel. While researching luxury lodging on Priceline, we stumbled upon the motel with the highest rating, even higher than the Stouffer Tower Plaza and the Wyndham – the Motel 6 in Willoughby. It wasn’t just the highest; it was the highest by two points. We booked it.

We knew the minute we pulled up that the reviews and ratings were the result of the owner’s inbred cousins. For starters, the Wifi turned out to be “pay-by-day-by-device.” They cut out slips of paper and scotch taped them to a card with the passwords to get on the Interweb and go on Facial Book. The Internet connection was slower than dial-up, and Devon declared the place the “Motel Sucks.” Even better was maid service. The maid exchanged your towels (I am not sure the new ones were clean), emptied one basket and left. She did not clean the bathroom, vacuum, or make the bed. Did I tell you they did not have Kleenex or even generic tissues? None! I asked, and they said, “We don’t provide those.” By the third day, I procured my own linens and towels and proceeded to do the maid’s job. Get a queen on caffeine, and she is either cleaning or cooking. When they went around with the leaf blower, the leaves blew under the door into the room. I mentioned this to the front desk urchin, and she said, “Oh yeah, that happens in all the rooms.”

The best part was we had a view of the Courtyard Marriot whose room rates were three times ours. Too bad they were booked. The second morning, someone had thrown a pizza crust out of their room and hit my truck with it, splattering pizza sauce on the paint. From that point forward, I would look out the peep hole to see what other leftover Italian food was being tossed at my vehicle. Of course, by the end of the trip, the story of the pizza crust had evolved into someone dumping a seven-course, Italian meal on my truck.

Thanks to great company and a sense of humor (on both our parts), we made the best of the motel, and let’s face it, a vacation is about the sites and adventures and not the motel. I will keep telling myself that. The optimist in me takes this view: Had the motel been perfect, I would have had nothing to complain – or write – about, and if I didn’t kvetch, I wouldn’t know what to do with my free time!

Cleveland does have some great attractions. We visited President James Garfield’s Memorial at Lake View Cemetery. Considering he was shot less than a year into his first term and died, his memorial is … how shall I put this … a bit much? It is fucking huge! I imagine if he served a full term, there would be an entire section of the city devoted to his memory. From the top, and yes, you can climb to the top, you can see the Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie or touch the hand of God. The cemetery itself, which still has some lovely property for sale, is amazing. One monument out gaudys the next. I loved it. Then again, I love obituaries and cemeteries and the gaudier the better.

There is also the Cleveland Museum of Art. If you have never been there, you have to go. It is the most amazing art museum I have ever visited. We spent five hours there, and we still missed an exhibit. We returned on the Black Friday to see the feature exhibit on the Wari people, and it was packed. As it turns out, that is their busiest day of the year. How nice to see people taking in culture rather than pepper spraying each other over a pair of Nikes.

The people of Cleveland are very nice and very helpful. When you walk into a CVS, they greet you. Everywhere you go, they are friendly and helpful. It is a shame most will be lucky if they live to see their fortieth birthdays. I discovered the official dish of Cleveland is macaroni and cheese, and apparently, they eat a lot of it with one exception – middle to old age women at Bally’s Health and Fitness.

God forbid a Gay man should go a day without working out, so we worked out while on vacation (you have to do something to work off the mac and cheese). Gym choices are limited, and I don’t have to tell you that the Motel 4.8 did not have a fitness facility, and if they did, it was probably a rusted out Soloflex with a cat skeleton on it.

I have not been in a Bally’s since it was European Health Spa, and judging from the age of the equipment, this one started out as one, and they never upgraded. But, I am an optimist – who also loves to complain – so I was determined to make the best of it. Funny how that works. I ended up having the best workouts there, and so did the women. The women who ranged in age from forty-five to seventy-five were hard core and in phenomenal shape. They weren’t wasting their time on cardio equipment; they were squatting, benching, pressing, etc. Our favorite was Sylvia Goldfarb (not her real name). She was Moses’s prom date. There she was in full make-up, big hair, sports bra, spandex pants, and a gold belt. She had the face of a seventy-year-old drag queen and the body of a twenty-year-old cheerleader. She became my new hero. The men their loved her, and they should. She was working out harder than Arnold Schwarzenegger at a Beverly Hills Housekeepers’ Convention. I want to be her when I grow up; some say I already am.

The men were another story. All they did was walk around in shorts that were too short for Bill Clinton in 1992 and gossip with each other. I never saw one lift a dumbbell or use a machine. Worse were the two personal trainers. Each would have to lose forty pounds to be qualified as obese, and they were hit hard with the ugly stick. There was one exception. We nicknamed him Daddy. This hot fifty-five-year-old did more for tank-tops than Mario Lopez. He seemed happy to see two other men actually working out – very happy. I haven’t been cruised like that since Nancy Reagan was standing behind Ronnie telling him what to say.

The aerobics instructor was another site to behold. After he borrowed an outfit from Richard Simmons, he slapped on his wig (not a toupee, a wig), and made everyone sweat to the oldies, including a suspicious number of songs from the Supremes, Abba, and Liza. Yes, Virginia, there are old queens in Ohio, and they teach Jazzercise.

Again, everyone was very nice.

We had a fantastic time, and we enjoyed everywhere we went with one exception. OK, two, if you include the forty minutes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I needed some Lactaid milk and my newest treat, Lactaid cottage cheese. I know; I have a Jewish stomach, and I live a full life. This is why we ended up at the Giant Eagle – the grocery store of the Zombie Apocalypse.

It was a sea of huge asses, motorized scooters, and extras from Deliverance. This is where the not so nice Clevelanders go to shop. They bang into you, cuss at you, block aisles, and if you are not careful, eat your brains. Apparently, they have already eaten everything else. I usually don’t like crowds anyway, but this was the scariest place on earth. I kept telling Devon, “I need to get out of here; I need to leave; they are going to eat us.”

What we also noticed was that Cleveland is very segregated. Rarely did we see Blacks and Whites in the same building or restaurants and specifically the same neighborhood. I also did not recall seeing any Asian people. With the exception of Daddy and the restaurant manager at the Cleveland Museum of Art, we didn’t see any Gays either. Devon said that one of the night managers at the Motel 3.7 was a lesbian, but I never saw her.

However, our Gays would soon be found. After our second trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art, we began our journey home to Jessup and stopped at the Double Tree in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, halfway there. The desk clerk assumed we wanted a king bed, and we knew we had arrived in a special place. So, other than Felton, Pennsylvania, the town where all the male Log Cabin Republicans live, Monroeville is Pennsylvania’s official gay couples’ capital. At dinner, we noticed the sparsely populated restaurant had only two-tops and all were same-sex couples. Even our server was a lipstick lesbian.  

In spite of the Motel 2.3, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the grocery shopping expedition to the Giant Eagle, whose organic aisle had a four-inch layer of dust, this was the best vacation and best birthday I have ever had, which had a lot to do with the company as well as the destination.

I wonder whom Daddy at Bally’s is cruising today? What color spandex is Sylvia wearing?

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sex and the Single iPhone App

It always amazes me that a group of people who can get laid more easily than a bonobo monkey have more avenues for finding sex than any other species on the planet. I am, of course, talking about Gay men.

Do you know the real reason many straight men cannot stand us? We can get laid anytime, anywhere, anyhow. For them to get laid requires a lot of planning, a bit of swagger and plenty of liquor, unless of course, one wants to nail a skank, which only requires a Marlboro Red and a Chevy.  
Now that I have my iPhone, friends of mine are telling me I need to download this app and that app for finding tricks. But, it all didn’t start with the iPhone or the Droid or even the Palm Pilot. I am not sure where it started, but I think it began with AOL.

People think AOL was invented so friends could stay in touch and email each other on a regular basis. AOL was invented by a Gay man who wanted to lie about his stats and get laid with other Gay men who lie about their stats.

I still find it hard to believe AOL has really been around for more than twenty years? That twenty years will be significant further down.

My first exposure to AOL was when we had a computer installed at the restaurant I managed in the Jewish gateway to Heaven, Delray Beach, which is one stoplight from Boca, which is the actual location of the Jewish afterlife. We just haven’t had the heart to tell all the blue hairs in diapers and their senile husbands, who don’t know where to hang their sport coats, that they are actually already dead. This should answer the eternal question (no pun intended): Is there an early bird special in Heaven? Yes, and it includes soup or salad, dessert, and coffee or tea.

Anyway, the owner’s “business partner,” showed me this new thing called AOL and the AOL chat room, where he met men. This my friends is where AOL inches were born. I found it odd that every man in an AOL chat room was five-ten and 165 pounds. In addition, all of them had eight-inch penises. I never joined AOL because I thought I didn’t meet the requirements. I exceeded them. I am six-four. What did you think I meant?

Before, during and for a time after AOLs birth, phone chat rooms, where “men are waiting to meet you in your area right now” were the way to find tail in the comfort of your own bedroom. Those were scary because you had to rely on your future trick’s honest self-assessment to get laid. I met my third lover that way. Ironically, he was, and still is, five-ten and 165 pounds.

I soon grew tired of this gay non-contact “speed dating” approach, so I abstained for a few years until M4M and later Manhunt came along, or was it the other way around? A friend insisted I try one or the other, I forget which. I tried each with little luck.

I missed the days of pursuing a guy in a bar, taking him home, having your way with him, making him breakfast, and sending him home with a fake phone number. Ahhh, the good ole days.

And this is where Gay world’s youth obsession reared its ugly head. With AOL, you had to post a picture of yourself. Since it was new, so were the pictures. But, something happened along the way. While all Gay men aged naturally – and some not so naturally – their profile pictures never did. I am not kidding. Just for shits and giggles, I went on Manhunt for an hour while I still lived in that armpit of Maryland – Rockville. I saw the same guys with the same profile pictures and the same stats that I had seen two decades prior. What do these guys do when they actually do hook up? The lights can only be turned down so much. Do they hope they will hook up with another dishonest, elderly queen, who last had a six-pack when Lady Bird Johnson was planting daisies on Route 175?

Sadder still are the ones who don’t realize they have aged and continue to wear club kid clothes into their sixties! These are my favorites. They always say, “I still wear the same size jeans I wore in high school.”

Honey, you may still wear the same size, but that doesn’t mean they fit!

I have an acquaintance, and his partner – a couple of pretentious queens who think their vintage cars are the cat’s meow.

And no, Mikie Barchi, this is not about you! I will use your last name if I refer to you, so you will know when I am talking about you!

Where was I? Oh yes. I have an acquaintance, and his partner who has no personality. When I met him, and his cardboard cut-out of a partner, fifteen years ago, he was hot, and so was the animatron he was dating. He is still an attractive man, as is his comatose bedmate, but he and his used to be equally as hot partner, aren’t built the same as when I met them. Who is? But, don’t tell them that. They still wear tight little shirts and jeans. The problem is things are drooping and falling all over the place, so they look like Gumbys after too much time in the desert heat – one with an annoying personality, and one with no visible signs of life. What they don’t realize is if they were to wear clothes that actually fit in a style more befitting their maturity, they would still look hot, one of them very boring, but both hot.

Please note that when a non-fashionista like the writer of this blog points out your need to update your wardrobe, you are in trouble.

Which brings us to Mikie Barchi. This is about you, but not really! Mikie surprised me with a visit on Halloween, when all spooks come out to play, and he lit into me about how I called him a drunk and a complainer in my blog. I have never mentioned Mikie in my blog, but he thinks all I write about is him. Well, my dear, I hate to inform you that I don’t.

Mikie was on his way to New Jersey from Norfolk. His aunt’s home was devastated in Hurricane Sandy, so he was going to help her. Mikie is nice like that.

Sidebar. One of our sister car clubs sent out an email blast making sure everyone was OK after the hurricane. Most responded that things could have been worse and they were thankful they were alive and well. Except one. One self-absorbed queen lamented the loss of her 2004 VW and how she loved that car and would never park in “that” garage ever again.” My friend Mikie’s home town of Ships Bottom, New Jersey, was practically washed away, and this tire old … I almost said the “f” word … was crying over a car! Not even a nice car. It took everything in me not to respond.

Where was I? This adult ADD is hell.

Mikie wanted to grab a bite, so we went to that five-star Jessup establishment, Frank’s Diner. At dinner, Mikie showed me a couple of apps on his Droid for finding men in your area. There is one for twinks, one for bears, one for daddy’s, one for … I am running out of categories here, but you get the idea. The best part is they tell you how far away they are. Someone could be sitting at the next booth. He handed me his phone, and I decided to scroll through the pictures.

Guess what I found within three miles of my home? A bunch of horny Gay men, all of them five-ten and 165 pounds with eight-inch penises, and the best part: none of them had aged a minute in the last twenty years!

I think I would have better luck picking up a trick in the dairy aisle at Weiss Supermarket on desperate singles Sunday afternoons.

If you haven’t changed your wardrobe or headshot since 1989, follow me, join me, tell your friends, or buy my book.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Take a Kid to a Car Show

I like cars, new, old, not so old, but especially really, really old, and the more original the better. However, I get bored at car-related events. After two hours, I am ready to leave. Then again, I bore easily. Sometimes, during sex, I am ready for a sandwich before my pants hit the floor. As I said, I bore easily.

Recently, I have been to two big car events, one was a swap meet and car show, and the other was a car show, and I observed some really odd behavior at both. Well, for those of us who go to car shows, the behavior may not seem so odd, but for those who have never been, you would immediately notice how self-absorbed some car collectors can be.

I, for one, am not self-absorbed, which is why I have a blog where I talk about myself all the time. Only one thing holds my attention for a reasonable amount of time – Milton Stern.

For the first time, I went to Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the 2012 AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet, but for those in the car world, we simply say “Hershey.”

“Did you go to Hershey?”

“I didn’t see you at Hershey this year?”

Before I go on, Pennsylvania seems to have more car-related events than any other state in the region. They have Spring Carlisle, Chrysler Carlisle, Simon Carlisle, yet they have the worst roads in the country. When I was doing the research for my book, Harriet Lane, America’s First Lady (shameless plug), I remember crossing the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania and immediately hitting a pothole. Even the color of the pavement changes from a lovely black to a sort of beigy-gray – the same color of a cadaver that has been refrigerated for more than three days.

How do these guys in pre-war cars stand it? My father said that if you ran over a nickel in a car from the 1930s, you could tell if it was heads or tails – the nickel not the car. Can you imagine driving a car with a solid axle, leaf-spring suspended front end over a highway in Pennsylvania? They do it; they drive from near and far. Ironically, when they arrive at the car show, they will not park on grass or let anyone touch their cars. I am surprised they make it there without knocking off the headlights and all the trim or losing a few fillings. But, don't go near that car!

Back to Hershey. Now, Hershey as we in the know call it, is held in a Giant Supermarket parking lot that is about twelve acres square. Actually, it is Giant Center, but I swear that looked like a supermarket. You park across a highway in a field that belongs to a man sitting on his porch holding a shotgun. Police direct you as you park your car, but that old man doesn’t take his eyes off you or let go of that shotgun. His bloodhound sleeps through the whole affair.

Then you walk across the street to the world’s biggest vendor fair and car coral. OK, it isn’t the biggest, but to me it was the biggest I had been to in a long, long time.

While many car nuts love vendor fairs, I don’t. They are like giant flea markets selling crap I don’t need and cannot use. The problem is I am an independent car guy. Yes, big surprise that the kid whose mother said, “Why can’t you be like everyone else?” is more interested in independent makes like Nash, Hudson, Studebaker, and Willys, and the older the car the better. I especially like cars from the late 1920s to early 1930s. Therein lies the problem. Ninety-nine percent of the vendors deal in GM, Chrysler, Ford parts, and a great deal of them sell Mustang parts. Oy vay.

Want to turn me on? Tell me you are into cars.

Want to turn me off? Tell me you always wanted a Mustang.

How original. How creative. How nice for you.

A lot of thought went into that choice. You want to piss off a Mustang guy? Tell him after driving his Mustang that it rides and handles just like a Falcon, which in reality it is. For the record, I love Falcons. I have owned two of them. And yes, I told a Mustang guy that once after driving his car. He still is not speaking to me, and that was thirty years ago.

I have a friend with more than thirty Cadillacs along with several Lincolns and Imperials, and one Nash Rambler. The first time I went to his house, I walked past all those luxury cars and toward his car port to see the Rambler. When asked why, I said, “Any queen can own a Cadillac.”

So, I managed to see the whole vendor section in about forty minutes. I know people who walked the vendor section for eight hours a day for three straight days. Oh my God! You know how quickly I shop (and if you don’t, buy my book). If I go to a vendor fair and stay for more than an hour; it means I died in there. Call my brother. He has all the paperwork for my pre-arranged funeral. As they clean up after the event, they will find my skeleton the same way they find every hoarder’s cat skeleton.

I then walked over to the car coral, where every make of car is available for sale. This is also where all the weirdoes are. Not the spectators, the owners. Naturally, I walked past every Ford, GM and most Mopars, and walked right up to every independent make. If you think spending eight hours a day for three days looking at vendors is a bit much, these people selling their cars sit either behind them or in them for the entire event, so they won’t lose a potential sale. They don’t move. You have to tap some of them to see if they are still alive.

You have to be pretty fucked up in the head to sit in your car or on a lawn chair behind your car for three consecutive days. I wouldn’t do that for Barry Manilow tickets, and I absolutely love Barry Manilow.

Let me tell you about a couple of them. Please, allow me. There was the guy with the 1963 Rambler American 440 Hardtop. This is a one-year only and very rare survivor. I looked inside his car then proceeded to ask him a few question since I own a 1959 Rambler American (or at least I think I do since it has been in the process of being restored for last three years). He answered every question with a grunt. Granted this was Friday, and he probably hadn’t moved from his car the entire time, shitting and pissing himself in the process, so he wouldn’t miss a sale, but he had serial killer written all over him. For once, I did not ask to look into the trunk.

Have you ever noticed that when someone with a luxury car opens the trunk the first thing people ask is, “How many bodies can you fit in there?” Why is that? Do all of us have a secret fantasy about committing a mass murder and stuffing all the bodies into the trunk of a 1958 Lincoln? Apparently, so.

My favorite, however, was the family in the Studebaker Scotsman. This was a car Studebaker manufactured in 1957 and 1958. Today, a name like that, especially for a totally stripped down car, with painted bumpers and hubcaps and paper upholstery that sold dirt cheap, would be considered offensive, but this was the age of the Dodge Royal Lancer La Femme, a car that came with a lipstick holder, matching pink umbrella, and maxipad dispenser, or something like that. To see a Scotsman in person is a rare occurrence indeed, and everyone who walked by wanted to check out this car for sale, but no one would dare go near it. Why? Because the entire cast of Deliverance was sitting inside the car looking at everyone with suspicion. I swear I heard banjo music when I walked by that car.

Now, I will forgive the Hershey folks for sitting next to their cars and never looking at anyone else’s cars because this was a used car lot if you will, but the next event was unforgiveable.

The Rockville Antique and Classic Car Show is an event that draws more than 500 cars a year, and while there is a car coral area with some vendors, the main focus is the show itself, and here is where I get annoyed.

My car was one of two AMCs at the show, one of which is always an AMX. Being a vintage four-wheel drive and an independent and not a particularly pretty car (yes, it’s ugly, clean but ugly), it generates a bit of attention from the some of the more curious and dubious attendees. One guy actually insisted he have his picture taken next to it. He was pretty hot and made my car look a little more attractive. However, I don’t sit by my 1983 AMC Eagle waiting to give its history and thanking its many adoring fans. I have to look at my wagon every day, and I drive it at least twice a week. I have seen my car. I know what it looks like – a tarted up Concord in stilettos. I don’t even bring a lawn chair.

I go to Rockville to see all the other cars. Have you noticed I have not referred to Rockville as the armpit of Maryland? That is because for this one event, Rockville shines brightly. It reverts back to armpit status the following weekend.

I like to spend a couple of hours walking down the aisles, looking at all the cars and taking pictures. I managed to get pictures of every car, mostly group shots. What amazes me is how many people never leave their cars. Seriously? Are you that self-absorbed? Do you really think your 1978 Dodge Coronet is that special that everyone will ask you about it? I like your Model A, but there are sixteen others just like it.

Want to teach your kid how to be a narcissist? Take him to a car show.

Of course, these are the same car people that know no other makes except their own. Walk up to a Corvette guy and ask, “Did you see that 1962 Studebaker Lark?” He won’t even answer you. How can he? He's been sitting in a lawn chair next to his yellow Corvette for six hours. Never mind the fact that there are five other yellow Corvettes parked next to his. I will bet he doesn't even know what a Studebaker is. I’ll tell you this. A Studebaker is a far better built and easier to drive car that is less expensive to maintain than a plastic sports car with transverse leaf springs.
Oh no, she didn’t!

Do you really want to have fun. Say in your loudest voice, “I don’t understand the appeal of Corvettes. All of them look alike. I’d rather drive a Falcon.” No need to run. Corvette owners have bad knees and backs as a result of driving a car that sits two inches above ground with the visibility of a turtle shell covered by a shower curtain.

Before I sign off, I have to share the funniest thing we heard all day. A guy around my age looked inside an absolutely gorgeous custom bodied 1931 Cadillac (yes, even I liked this Caddy) and said in a voice whose volume would make Ethel Merman proud, “What do you know? This car has a manual transmission.”

For the love of God, buy that guy a book on the history of the Hydra-Matic, and don’t let him attend another car show until he reads it and passes the quiz!

Do you sit by your Chevrolet Cavalier all day hoping someone will ask you about it? If so, follow me, join me, and buy my book about a home with axles and wheels.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We Will Flush It for You

As Mrs. Carmichael said to Mr. Mooney on her way to London in 1965, “Oh the age we live in. Jetting here and jetting there.”

If she only knew …

I am old enough to remember when one had to remember phone numbers. Remember when you had to remember phone numbers? Now, I have to look in my contacts to remember my own number. The other night, I called to order Chinese take-out, and I could not remember my home phone number. Seriously. So I said, “What number is showing up on your screen?” They told me, and I said, “Are you sure? I guess that’s right.”

What is happening to us? I am all for progress, but soon we will be like the humans orbiting the earth in WALL-E. We will no longer have to do anything for ourselves.

Mrs. Carmichael, Mr. Mooney and WALL-E in one post – now that’s progress.

For me, the beginning of the end was the introduction of the automatic sink. This was also the moment when I discovered I was a vampire. I was shopping at the White Flint Mall, and I had to pee, which is no surprise since I always have to pee. My mother always called me the Official Bathroom Inspector. I once went for two hours without peeing. It turned out my kidneys had shut down, and I was experiencing multiple organ failure. I’m kidding.

Where was I? Oh yes. Well, I went to wash my hands. I pressed the soap dispenser, lathered up my hands then looked for a handle on the sink. There was none. There was a sign that said, “Hold your hands under the faucet, and water will automatically cascade down.” No, there was no sign. There were no directions at all. I witnessed someone else washing his hands, so I held my soaped-up hands under the faucet in the same manner. Nothing. I tried another faucet. Nothing. I tried three more before I asked someone to show me how to make it work. I did what he did. Again, nothing. I ended up dry rinsing my hands with paper towels. Needless to say, I was pissed.

Apparently, vampires cannot see their reflections, nor can they make automatic sinks work.

Following this wonderful invention was the electric paper towel dispenser. This I could make work. The problem was I couldn’t make it stop. I have large hands, which as you know means … large gloves. So, when I grab the electrically dispensed paper towel, another dispenses immediately, and this keeps happening until I walk at least ten feet away from the dispenser. I feel like Lucy Ricardo in the chocolate factory.

But, the worst of all is the electric toilet. These were installed in the building where I worked previous to where I work now. I remember the first time I sat on one. I sneezed. It flushed. Then I shifted my large ass I inherited from Nana. It flushed. Then I reached for toilet paper. It flushed. It sounded like fucking Niagara Falls in that bathroom. To make it more annoying, the toilet would splash up on each flush. I thought I was sitting on a possessed bidet.

ATM touch screens are another enemy of mine. As with electric sinks, my vampire hands apparently do no generate any human electromagnetism, so I end up punching the screens with my thumbs in an effort to get cash. This does get me a lot of free meals. “Can someone spot me on this? I couldn’t get the ATM to work, so I am a little short right now.” However, when I drive up to an ATM at the bank, I hear beeping from the cars behind me for the ten minutes I spend trying to get twenty dollars out of the machine. It would be easier and quicker to rob the bank.

Why do we need touch screens? I miss the buttons. The other issue I have with touch screens is how they are not convenient for those of us who suffer from gigantism. You should have seen me the first time I tried to use a GPS. “954 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD” became “980546435 Ghfibvsd Wsttyreet,, Rpocxkjvbiolllw, MNSD.” Would you believe the Garmin found that address? It was in Chechnya. The weather was a bit cold, and the food was bit heavy for my taste, but I never tasted vodka like that before or since.

With touch screens, automatic toilets and possessed paper towel dispensers come more gadgets, devices and programs that do for us what we use to do for ourselves.

My favorites are spell check and grammar check. As an editor (and you wouldn’t believe I am one by what I have written so far), I laugh at spell check and grammar check. How many times have you typed a word and MS Word underlines it in red? So you try every which way to never to spell it, and you can’t. In my day, we consulted the dictionary, which is ironic because if you cannot spell the word, how can you find it?

Look up epitome. When I was ten years old, I spent three hours looking under “o.”

Now, you go to Google, type in the word, and Google corrects it. How many of you can spell “hors d’oeuvres”? I just had to go to Google to figure out how to spell it.

But, this is what most people don’t know. Spell check and grammar check are only as good as the person who inputted (is that a word) the words in the first place. Yes, a human typed in all the words, which is why in MS Word, grammar check incorrectly replaces “its” with “it’s.” For example, MS Word thinks this sentence is correct: “Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” And this one, too: “It’s smell is worse than Milton after he visits an all you can eat spaghetti bar.”
If you have the latest version of MS Word, they finally corrected it. However, it’s correction only took two decades, and they are convinced its right now.

There are a host of other problems with grammar check, and the sad thing is even I, a former English teacher, will second guess myself when a sentence is underlined in green. By the way, MS Word does not understand the use of the reflexive pronoun, so myself is underlined in green in the previous sentence ... and this one.

Now, I have my second smart phone. I had a Droid for two weeks. The problem was my vampire fingers could not unlock the screen. Literally, I couldn’t answer calls. No matter how many times I did the drag-queen-finger-snap-in-a-Z-formation over the screen, it would not unlock. I returned it for a regular cell phone with a keypad. Apparently, touch screen technology has improved because I can unlock the screen on my iPhone. But, the iPhone has another feature I am beginning to loathe. Autocorrect.

Yes, Mark Sleith, you were correct – it is all about Autocorrect!

But, let’s back up. Why do we need Autocorrect? I remember my first electric typewriter with spell check. It was a Brother, and there was a tiny screen above the keyboard that would display the words you were typing as you were typing them, which was kind of redundant. Every time it thought you misspelled a word, it would screech. If you were typing up term papers, that was OK. But, I was writing a screenplay with character names and Yiddish words, so it was like having your work reviewed while in process. Then Rona <screech> walked across the room and said, “Oy <screech> kevault <screech>, vas <screech> machst <screech> du <screech> dorton <screech>?” I would have been better off with Rex Reed looking over my shoulder.

When MS Word first came out, you had to run a spell check to see what you missed. Now you get those lovely red and green underlines I mentioned above. The drawback is everyone thinks their documents are error free if they have no red or green underlines, and you should see the crap that gets published on blogs these days … Ahem.

Back to the present, my iPhone has the ever lovely Autocorrect. Now, Autocorrect is as far from correct as you can get. It doesn’t correct; it suggests and changes words to the point where nothing makes sense.

For example: The other night, a friend texted me to see if I could chat, and I was in the middle of something, so I texted back what I thought was, “Give me five,” meaning give me five minutes. Autocorrect changed it to “Give me fibrous.” Needless to say, he was very confused.

Remember, Autocorrect and any of these functions were first inputted (still, is that a word?) by a human. So, somewhere there is a person who thinks when one types “five” he means “fibrous.”

According to my friend, Ed, “song” is changed to “thong,” which explains why my friend, Devon, is still wondering how I intend to write him a thong.

Let’s just hope these aren’t the same people who programmed those cars that drive themselves.

And yes, MS Word just underlined themselves.

Do you thing a thong, thing out loud or thing out throng? Follow me, tell your friends, or buy my book!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We Have You, So Screw Yourself

If there is one thing we will all learn in life, the fun is in the hunt. Once you nab your prey, well, all you have left to do is feed the entrails to the dog and chow down on the flesh, eating the face first of course.

You may think you know where this is going …

This morning, I was thinking about how much easier it was for our grandparents, or even our parents. They had a gas bill, an electric bill, a water bill, a mortgage, a car payment on the 1967 Mercury Monterey, and a bill from Ma Bell. That was it. Now, we have a cable bill, a cell phone bill, an internet bill, a landline bill, a creepy neighbor named Bill, etc.

Nana and Grandma leased their phones and kept them for at least twenty or twenty-five years. We buy a phone and traded it in every time Apple announces a new iPhone. What are they up to now? iPhone 9? If not, they will be by the time you finish reading this.

The only disadvantage Aunt Min and Uncle Is (yes, his name was Is) had was paying per call, both local and long distance, whereas now we have unlimited calling. Remember the days of scrutinizing the phone bill?
"Who is Feel Good Fanny? And, why does it cost $2.95 a minute to talk to her?"

Another thing they did not have to ponder was “bundling.” Bundting yes. That is when you bake a Bundt cake. I like Bundt cake. Good luck finding a Pillsbury Bundt cake mix with the the cream filling these days. I love baking a Bundt cake … then eating the whole thing in an hour. I don't even pop it out of the pan.

I learned the curse of the bundle a few months ago, when I had to replace my modem, which also brought up the question of how breaking up Ma Bell was really a benefit to any of us.

I have Comcast for my home phone, internet and cable. They have the worst customer service of any company. They cannot outsource to India because even in a country with millions of people needing a job, they cannot find anyone who wants to be associated with Comcast.

My modem went on the fritz, so I drove over to their office and exchanged it. When I got home, I followed their instructions then sat on hold for two hours while I waited for them to connect my new modem remotely. However, reconnecting the landline would require my setting up an appointment with a technician. Or, so I thought. Nineteen phone calls later, no two people gave me the same answer.

“We can connect it.” “No, we cannot connect it.” “We can connect it.” “No we cannot connect it.” “You need a technician to come out.”

I received three phone calls – on my cell phone because my landline was not connected – asking if I was pleased with my experience with customer service. When I relayed the situation with no one being able to connect my landline, they hung up on me. Seriously, they hung up on me.

I considered going with someone else, but apparently where I live nothing else is available except for the Dish, and only in a limited capacity because you have to use Verizon for a landline and internet, which is DSL, not Fios.

Explain to me why Ma Bell was broken up? Apparently, Comcast has a monopoly where I am. Competition means there are other companies offering comparable services, not other companies offering compromised services.

Are you still with me?

Meanwhile, I still had no landline. The technician finally made it to my home two weeks later, and do you know what he did? He wrote down the number from the back of my modem, called headquarters, stayed on hold for two hours, and the phone was connected – remotely!

Do you know what he told me? They can connect it remotely, but for some reason, they send out a technician because no one knows that, yet the technician calls the same stupid number customers call and goes through the same process of being on hold and punching random numbers and speaking to a flaming moron for two hours.

Were they serious!?! For the two weeks I didn’t have a landline, I could have had a landline. What do they care? I am already a customer. As far they are concerned, I can go fuck myself.

During that dark two-week period with no landline, I called Comcast and requested that the landline be disconnected (ironic when it was dead anyway), for I did not want to pay for a service I did not have. Get this, thanks to bundling, if I disconnected my landline (which was dead anyway; yes, I know I said that already), I would pay an additional $50 a month. In other words, it costs more to shoot a dead horse than to let it rot in your living room.

What the giant fuck!

Did Aunt Honey with her rotary dial phone go through this bull shit?

The only person I knew to have this much trouble with the phone company was Doris Day when she shared a party-line with Rock Hudson. Then again, who wouldn’t have wanted a party-line with Rock Hudson, or for that matter, Doris Day, in 1959?

In 1973, we upgraded to call waiting, and with call waiting, we got beige a push button phone, which was required if you upgraded to call waiting. Not the color, the push buttons. However, if we discontinued call waiting, they didn’t charge us more, and we kept the push button phone.

Ma Bell may have been a monopoly, but unless Ernestine was your operator, you didn’t get any bullshit. An itemized bill, yes, bull shit, no.

Which brings us to my cell phone provider.

I was the last of my friends to get a cell phone when I went wireless in 2004. I started with T-Mobile, and thanks to new phones every two or three years, I have been with them since. Again, every two or three years, I have needed a new phone because the old one broke or couldn’t keep up with the limited technology of a cell phone.

I would have been better off hanging a rotary dial phone with an antenna around my neck. At least it would have lasted a couple of decades. And yes, it would be a princess phone. Did you get a visual?

Being the last to get a cell phone means I am also the last to get a smart phone. Here is where that other aspect of communications today bites you in the ass.

“Special Offers.”

Have you noticed that once a company has you hooked and in a contract, they have no more reason to make you happy? Think Cuntcast.
Curiously, it is like any of my relationships.

T-Mobile advertises new smart phones for $1.99 as well as other promotions for new customers, but God forbid a customer who has been with them for eight years wants something. I wanted a smart phone, so I went to their store to ask about one of these offers. While waiting, I looked at smart phones ranging in price from Free to $199.99.

And, this is what I was told. “Mr. Stern, the offers are not available to existing customers. You will need to pay full price for a smart phone, and the service will be an additional $39.99 a month.”

Full price was more than $500. The additional $39.99 a month would be $50 more than a new customer would pay for the complete service.

In other words: We already have you locked in a contract. We have no reason to make you happy anymore. Roughly translated: Go fuck yourself.

I asked when my contract was up. They said eleven years. Do you know how old I will be in eleven years? Not forty-nine!

Then the salesman said, “You could buy another phone from another provider and have a new number, taking advantage of one of their offers and pay an early cancellation fee by ending your T-Mobile contract.”

I couldn’t believe it. I have been a loyal customer for eight years, and the salesman is telling me to go elsewhere?!?

Imagine if the salesman who sold me my truck said, “While this truck suits you perfectly, you should go across the street to that other dealer because he can make you a better offer, and we really don’t want your business. Besides, I was watching the game in the back room when you interrupted me to test drive that truck, and I don’t feel like doing the paper work today.”

Fortunately, I have overpaid my T-Mobile bill every month, and my early cancellation fee equals what is the credit on my account plus a month.

I left the store. I went to AT&T’s website and bought an iPhone for $0.99. And get this. My monthly bill will be twenty-five percent less than the one from T-Mobile for a cell phone … until it starts creeping up after a year the way they always do. But by then, they will no longer work to keep me as a customer, and eight years from now, I will cancel their contract …

For now, T-Mobile can bundle this!

Now, if I could just find a suitable replacement for Cuntcast.

If you are bundled or stuck in a lifetime contract, follow me, get on my mailing list or just buy my goddamn book.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Drinking Game

I have always had a strange relationship with alcohol because I grew up around alcoholics and other addicts. While some with my background become alcoholics themselves due to the addiction gene that Liza talks about, others take the opposite path. I took the opposite path. I am the Lorna in the family – without the voice or the talent.

For years, I feared that I could easily become a drunk if I took that second drink. So, if I ordered a drink, I would nurse it all night. As a result, my Jewish liver never developed fully, and now it only takes two drinks to make me three sheets to the wind.

Nana, my maternal grandmother, whom I look like in drag, would drink a Miller High Life with her dinner because her doctor wanted her to put on weight. I guess he never noticed her big tits and ass, two physical traits I also inherited from her.

Don’t get me wrong. I did get falling over drunk once. In 1982.

My friend, Chris, took a bottle of Scotch from his father’s liquor cabinet, and we mixed that whole bottle with a Big Gulp of Coca Cola. I was a mess. The next morning, I felt as if I had slept in a rat hole, and my brother suggested I drink a big glass of milk. That was one of the rare occasions when I threw up. I had food from my bar mitzvah coming out of me. I also swore that day never to get drunk again.

And then, I became a drink counter. Well, actually, I was always good at counting drinks – a talent I inherited from my diet-pill addicted mother. My brother and I were on a fishing trip with our father in Cape Cod in 1973 (my brother loves stories about Dad), and we watched as he went from sober to drunk via two six packs of Budweiser in two hours. I think that was the first time we saw the progression. By his own admission, my father started drinking at age fifteen, and he didn’t stop until age fifty-six. His drink of choice was Scotch, but he was not adverse to beer, wine, rum, crème de menthe, etc.

That may have been the moment when I became the Rain Man of drink counters. He’s had seven beers; must not take another; he’s had eight beers; I count nine beers; must watch Here’s Lucy.
There is a picture of us on that trip, and the looks on my brother’s and my face were priceless. You would think some wino asked to have his picture taken with two young boys in Virginia Squires t-shirts.

Do you watch Jerseylicious? On there is a character named Tracy, and she does this look that if it had a subtitle would be “what the fuck?” I invented that look when out with friends who were ordering too much booze. Did this stop them from hanging out with me? Hell no. I also became the designated driver, which in my car obsessed world is sooooooooooo much better than being drunk. Their parents have no idea I drove ALL their cars. Lincolns, Cadillacs, Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and the occasional Chevrolet.

However, there were the few times when I drove my car, and someone got sick in the backseat. Our friend, Bob, got dirty drunk one night when his girlfriend dumped him and threw up all over the back seat and door of my 1965 Ford Falcon Futura. I had to power wash the inside of my car at 1:30 am at the car wash on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Harpersville Road in Newport News. I wonder if that place is still there.

As a mature adult, if I ever actually became one, I perfected my skills at dinner parties and other social gatherings. I could, and still can, tell you how many drinks anyone in the room has had. I am the Miss Busy Body if imbibing. And on your fourth drink, you get my Jerseylicious look.

Unfortunately, I developed a few hang-ups. As I got older, I quit hanging around people who got drunk regularly; though it didn’t stop me from dating them – which is between me and my therapist.

For years, I wouldn’t even have that one drink. I also developed this issue with people who drink alone. The thought of someone coming home and having a drink alone was a sign to me that he or she was an alcoholic. I dated a guy my friend, Christian, said looked and smelled like death. He would come home every night and drink a pitcher of martinis by himself in the dark. He was also a snide drunk. Not a mean one, just snide. He would say insulting things to you when he had a few and wasn’t happy until he made you cry. More fodder for the therapist.

I ran into him a few months ago. He still looks like death, and he smells like formaldehyde. Maybe he is a zombie now?

My father was a mean and sometimes violent drunk. My long-term ex was a mean violent drunk. Every time he got drunk, he would tell me to leave his house then pass out. I would just sit there and watch television.

My old friend, Mikie, was a happy drunk. But, even happy drunks get annoying after a while. How many times can you listen to, “I love you, man. I really love you, man. You’re beautiful.”

The only thing I knew about my being tipsy is that I start channeling Bette Davis and do quite a good impersonation. Not sure if that is a happy or snide drunk?

With all this concern over drinking to excess or drinking alone, at age forty-four, for reasons I would rather not divulge, I found out I didn’t inherit the alcoholic gene. The OCD gene, yes, but alcoholic gene, no. However, I still had the big tits and ass gene.

I was “free to be me” as Marlo Thomas told me long ago when I was just a little girl and obsessed with Doris Day.

It was at this time that I allowed myself that second drink (as long as I wasn’t driving), and I discovered that drink number two made me silly, drink number three turned me into Bette Davis, and drink number four turned me into Joan Crawford – in a good way. I have only twice gone to drink number four, which is a shame because I worship Joan Crawford and feel she did her children a great service. If she were a Donna Reed-like mother, Christina wouldn’t have made a dime on her book.

Now, don’t misunderstand. I still go months without a taste of the spirits or moonshine, and I never ever drink alone until ….

Something happens when you move into a trailer park. I always liked beer. I am not a liquor drinker, and wine, with the exception of Manischewitz, tastes like vinegar to me. I am trailer trash with class.

I always keep beer in my fridge in case a guest wants one, and I have thrown away a lot of beer because they just sit there for a year and go bad. Yes, beer can go bad. This past summer was very hot, and one day after mowing the grass, I was very thirsty. I opened my fridge, and there was a six pack of Sam Adams. I thought for a long minute before I grabbed one, popped the cap, and poured it into a glass.

You didn’t think I would drink it straight from the bottle did you? What do I look like? A lesbian?

Then, I hesitated, put the glass to my lips and took a sip. It was delicious and refreshing. I was drinking alone. Oh my God! One hang-up overcome.
But, not so quickly. I only had one, and I did keep looking out the window to see if they were sending over the shuttle from Betty Ford.


If you have a Jewish liver or you are a drunk, follow me, join me, tell your friends, and buy my goddam book.