Archive for June, 2011

satire for the literate — JULY 4TH RULES

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Fourth of July

First, please understand that the title of this piece is “July 4th Rules,” as in rules you might want to follow on the upcoming holiday weekend, not
“July 4th Rulz!” as in “ wow – it’s such an awesome holiday!” That would be an opinion and an illiterate one at that. Maybe replacing an “es” with a “z” doesn’t feel “off” to you anymore because you’ve been desensitized — Hippie-Creative Spelling-Curriculum in grade school, texting, Hip Hop but — here’s a spelling rule of thumb — most English nouns and verbs don’t end with the letter “z.” Square businezz….

So, this is not about celebrating July 4th. Oh sure, it’s great we got away from England, particularly because they’re the reason for Scotch eggs, warm beer and Camilla Parker-Bowles.  And who doesn’t rejoice in the fact that on July 4th, and the summer in general, the Hamptons serves as an Electrolux-Vacuum-for-the-Rich and Acquiring, the Juvodermed and the Laxatived, the Overly-Tanned and Vajazzled-at-all, depositing them like so much debris and dust, onto the shores of Eastern Long Island?


July 4th is a day to reflect, to count one’s blessings for the freedoms this country has afforded you. So stop the hatin’ and ask yourself, is there anything I can do to say, “I love you, America and thanks!”? I think so…

Call it what it really is – a longer weekend where you can wear white to make your tan look tanner. You’re not patriotic. You’re not celebrating the birth of this nation. You’re celebrating the fact that there’s a sale at Blue and Cream,  or the fact that the Kardashians will be “Kardashing it out of your town soon, or that Shia LeBeouf has no plans of summering in the Hamptons.  And that his last name is something you can grill.


Despite the abysmal economy, refrain, at all costs, from buying the Old Navy five-dollar July 4th t-shirt. You may as well wear a shirt that says “I Heart Cheap Polyester. That Pills. Before I Even Wash It.”

Cheap Shirt

If you are in the city, please understand that just because a patch of grass has pushed its way through some concrete, this is not an invitation to set up a hibachi, pig-roasting spit or aluminum table big enough to seat all of the original colonists.

You don’t have to eat red white and blue foods in order to demonstrate your patriotism. Those gross greasy dessert shells filled with berries and Cool Whip don’t say, “Happy July 4th.” Ditto a sheet cake with red and white frosting stripes and blueberry stars. They just say “I’m white.” I’m so, so, so white…

Blueberry and Raspberry Cake

You can’t sing “Star Spangled Banner.” You don’t know the lyrics. Even if you do, you don’t have the vocal range. And even if you do, you don’t know which war this was written during, and unless someone yells, “Play ball!” immediately after, no one, but no one wants to hear you sing this. Or anything else, probably.


I’d rather someone wish me a canker sore than “Happy Independence Day!” Did I just win Mega Millions? Is every irritating person I have to deal with going to magically be surgically removed from my life? Why are you wishing anyone “A Happy 4th?” At best it’s a 4-day weekend, at worst, it’s a traffic jam on the Jersey side of the GW Bridge. Ft. Lee’s nice – when you’re driving it through it at 50 mph.


The Uncle Sam pants and hat. Don’t. Not on a dare, not because of a threat, not if promised a handsome financial reward. Just say no.

Uncle Sam Costume

Do you like your hands? Both of them? All ten fingers? Is your last name “Grucci Brothers”? Please ask yourself these questions over again before EMT wends its way to your house, and your friend has to tell the emergency worker, “It was just some cherry bombs and I think his thumb is somewhere over by the hydrangea bushes. Ka-ka-ka-BOOM!

Kid Holding a Firework

Fireworks Hand Burn

satire for the literate: A COUPLE OF INCHES GOES A LONG WAY…

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

One of the things I’ve admired about your mayoralty is that you’ve always come across as a no-nonsense, call-it-as-you-see-it kind of guy. That’s something we have in common. And this is what I see. Beyond your business brilliance, beyond your billions, beyond your benevolence – let’s face it, Mike (may I call you ‘Mike’?), you’re a short guy. Not Helen-Thomas-short, not Verne Troyner short, not Weeble-short. But if one were to describe you to one of those police sketch artists, the adjective “short” would certainly come to mind. And that would explain a lot. You’re a short guy. I know “Napoleonic complex” is such a trite explanation, such an over-simplification — fewer inches = tyrannical behavior. Yet, I must point to Ghengis Khan, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Kruschev, Lorne Michaels and –well, yes – Napoleon.

Bloomberg Comedy

Mayor Bloomberg at Podium

For your first two terms, (and FYI, two terms was supposed to be the maximum ), I liked you. You made mistakes, but we all do. And then you insisted on this third term, which you denied Guiliani when many New Yorkers, following 9/11, wanted him to stay). I think the third term did it. That totalitarian thing kicked in.
So whether it’s your fat wallet or your short stature or a combination of both – this third term you seems to have gone a tad overboard. I don’t want to use the word “dictatorial,” but you do seem to be getting your way an awful lot. Except for that Cathy Black debacle, it seems to be working well for you. So as you spend the next 3 years banning this, and adding that, depending on mood or simply the fact that you can – here are some other autocratic moves you might consider:

* You have banned cigarettes everywhere – you started with restaurants and bars, then moved to pretty much all public spaces. How about banning perfume and cologne use in public spaces? I’m pretty sure I speak for many New Yorkers when I say I’d rather have the smoke of an entire pack of Marlboros blown directly into my face than be in the same zip code as anyone wearing Shalimar.

From this day forward make it a felony in all five boros for any woman over the age of 35 to wear jeggings, whimsical rainboots or feather hair-extensions.

* Please make it a crime in our fair city for Trader Joe’s to carry those incredibly bizarre frozen foods you’ve never seen anyplace in your life except maybe Phnom Penh. Trader Joe’s is like the OddLot of food stores. A good barometer for me is, “Have I ever seen this at Food Emporium?” I’ve lived without tiramisu frozen in a cardboard box for many decades and will continue to do so. Also, could we possibly fine Trader Joe’s for their sad sort of Western theme which belongs anywhere but New York City? Howdy??? The Disney World-like lines are bad enough – I don’t need to rounded up like cattle and herded into a branding pen.

* Ban all strollers constructed so Super Mom can simultaneously jog and take her baby for a stroll. Ban all moms who chat on their jewel-encrusted cellphones while nanny from Caribbean pushes baby stroller. If you can hold the phone, you can push the stroller. That’s one of your super-powers.

* Men who wear lip balm. Really? I don’t think so. I won’t laugh at your chapped lips. I will laugh at your Blistex.

* Declare Williamsburg its own city-state. Build a moat around it, thereby making it inaccessible by bicycle. Fill moat with SmartWater, so it’s a really tough decision – “Do I drink the moat or swim across to get to my condop?”

The Baby Snugli that allows parents to place the baby facing forward toward pedestrians instead of snuggled to parent’s chest? Um… no thanks. Outlaw. Now. No one wants to look at your dangling kid, who is cute, pretty much, to you and your immediate family. To the rest of us, he looks like Michael Chiklis.

*Ten-year mandatory prison term for anyone selling those sugar-coated
cashews. Life without possibility of parole for those buying and eating them.

*Set up a bunch of those metal lawn chairs on 64th Street between Madison and Park Avenues. You know – outside Daniel Restaurant. Not far from the Regency Hotel. A cough away from Park Avenue condos and co-ops only… well, pretty much only you can afford. I’d like to take off my sandals and pick my toenails as you descend the steps of your multi-million townhouse that – you know – makes Gracie Mansion like the refrigerator box homeless people live in under the FDR Drive. If it’s good enough for Herald and Times Squares, it’s good enough for the people who live in zip code 10021. Oh wait – nothing’s good enough for them…

* The Mets. Not the Met. Not the place where you go to cocktail parties at the Temple of Dendur, or sail through the American Decorative Arts Collection and think, “Nice Duncan Phyfe sideboard – think I’ll take six.” And not the opera house at Lincoln Center. No – I speak of the New York Mets. You’re the mayor – trade them. Give them away. Or, at the very least, change their name to the New York Madoffs. Then you could change the atrocious team colors from royal blue and orange to prison stripes

* I don’t smoke, but even if I did, I can’t smoke anywhere in this city, yet Duane Reade is allowed to sell chicken Ceasar salads and yogurt parfaits? Get your health code priorities in order. Please.

Anyone who fills in “occupation” on a form with “equestrian” should be exiled to Connecticut immediately. Especially if she fills in, on same form, under “parent’s occupation,” “Mayor.” Ought to be a law.


Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

There are families, love ‘em or hate ‘em, who are celebrated because they actually accomplished something. The Wright Brothers, the Marx Brothers, the Roosevelts and jeez – even the Kennedys. Each did something and then they became famous. After. Even if what they did was become a bootlegger, womanizer, anti-Semite and get dead people in Chicago to vote for their son for president, at least that required action verbs. When your only claims to fame are:

1) Your dead dad helped get O.J. Simpson off
2) Your mom married a former Olympic medal winner who, as he ages,
looks more and more like a mom
3) Sorry. Even when we look at the action verbs – “helped get” and
“married,” note that the subjects of these actions are “your mom”
and “your dead dad.”

But kudos to you kharasmatic Kardashians – you are the human equivalent of
alchemy. Klearly you don’t mind inviting kameras and strange kameramen into your private living space to watch you do and say things that are neither worth doing nor saying , and certainly not worth watching and listening to.

Harsh. You’re thinking, “Mollie– you’re just jealous that you’re not
young and tan and part of this Turkish harem. I’ll admit, youth is cool. Not always literate, but definitely cool. Whiter-than-white teeth are – well – they’re really really white. Especially against a really, really fake tan.

Here’s what I find most disturbing – Mark Twain was dead for 100 years before his autobiography was published and that got about eleven minutes of media attention. Yet unless you are in a coma, an isolation tank, or cryonically frozen, you can’t get away from these Khardashians. They’re reality television stars, actresses, models, retailers and “authors.” (Mark Twain called – he wants his autobiography back). And oh yes – they’re perfumers. As if the French didn’t feel superior enough…

And here’s what else…

* Your parents klearly placed a higher priority on making sure all of their daughters’ names started with the same letter than they did on teaching them to maintain a scintilla of privacy, dignity and/or modesty. Clearly they thought it would be kute if all their daughters’ names, like mom’s, started with the letter “K.” Not very klassy. But if you are going to do this, at least choose names that really begin with “K.” Kelley or Kendra of Karen or Kate. Stop highjacking other letters of the alphabet! And although you, mom Kris, have as much chance of conceiving another child as Madame Curie, here are some other names you kould consider:

Kansas City, (Kansas or Missouri)
Kafka (influential German novelist)
Kanye (not-so-much)
Khartoum (place AND name of horse in The Godfather – 2 for price of one ☺)
Krypton (will kill Superman)
Kidney (will not kill Superman)
Killer (you know, as in O.J.)

* Another thing, mom Kardashian – there is nothing kool about a 50+ year old woman being friends with her kids. It’s Kreepy. Word.

* Um – not for nothing but if my dad helped acquit one of the most brutal, vile and notorious killers of the 20th century, I would stay under the very expensive rock daddy provided for me. And – if I crawled out, I wouldn’t keep throwing his easily identifiable name in the face of the civilized world.

* Bruce Jenner. Ewwww. But I will admit – the transition from Olympic triathlete to June Cleaver is positively kaptivating. Yet icky.

* Putting your daughters to work and then giving yourself the title of “business manager,” when in fact you are living off of 15% of their earnings is pretty Kalculating, Krafty and Kalifornian. Kongrats!

* More kudos, ladies, for making smart, capable, hard-working educated women feel like “what’s the point?” – fat lips, fat butt, fat wallet.

* What is the likelihood that all of your middle names begin with the letter “K”? Because that would be oh-so-offensive yet oh-so-funny and oh-so-probable, all at the same time!

* As your reality TV “cousin,” Kountess Lu Anne de Lesseps sings poorly, “Money kan’t buy you klaa-assssss.” But maybe it kould buy you the ability to be embarrassed. You kould share.

* Here’s what seems to make your family happy: the letter “K,” athlete boyfriends and black athlete boyfriends. When it comes to love it’s often hard to find the whole package but I think I’ve solved that for you – Kobe Bryant, Ken Griffey, Jr., Kareem Abdul Jabaar. Sort of like buy-one, get two for free.

* Kim Kardashian broke up with Reggie Bush and is now engaged to Kris Humphries. KRIS Humprhies. Konfidentially, kwite a koincidence…