Posts Tagged ‘humor’


Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Those of you who know me may be thinking I’m so cynical, this is one holiday I  could never embrace.  And you’d be right.  But not because I’m against romance.  I love romance.  I just don’t find love and predictability and crazy expectations compatible.  Or romantic.


            Romance, like art and fashion taste, is subjective.  I cry every time I watch Brief Encounter or read Anna Karenina and I will believe in the love of Meggie and Father Ralph ‘til the day I die.  I think it’s romantic to endlessly browse in a bookstore on a Sunday afternoon or to step out onto a New York street right after it snows and hasn’t yet been slushified.  Cape Cod is romantic.  The Parisian cemetery Pere La Chaise is one of the most romantic places on earth.  Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On” is romantic.  Anything sung by James Taylor oozes romance.  Sinatra’s One For My Baby” is the romantic equivalent of orange juice concentrate.


            Now, for you, walking around with an amusement park stuffed bear the size of a loveseat that your date just won for you, might do the trick.  Or eating spaghetti like “Lady and the Tramp, or sipping those alcoholic neon-colored drinks with more fruit garnish than your Weight Watchers points for a month floating in them – these might spell romance for you.  Clearly, one person’s romance is another person’s laugh-riot.


      Maybe you find it romantic to buy pounds of chocolate or Shari’s Berries or gold chains or teensy diamond chips glued around a sterling silver heart on the same day as 20 million other people.  Perhaps you enjoy the “romance” of your spouse, your girlfriend, your mom, your kid, all having their hands out like Oliver Twist at the orphanage/workhouse, only gruel’s the furthest thing from their minds?


            If you do the math, few of you actually wind up feeling good on Valentine’s Day because:


1)   You’re alone and you don’t want to be

2)   You just dumped someone

3)   You just got dumped

4)   You just got dumped by text

5)   You just got dumped by text and emoticons

6)   You’re with someone and you don’t want to be.

7)   You’re married and you’re pretty sure you settled.

8)   You’re married and you’re positive you settled.

9)   You’re married and you’re positive you settled and the rest of us know it.

10)                 You’re still in love with that girl or guy from camp or college.

11)                 You delusionally think this first love feels the same way and is pining for you on Valentine’s Day.

12)                 You still remember how it felt in third grade when you got two Valentine’s Day cards when the class average was eleven.

13)                 That jerk from Accounting puts red and pink foil chocolate hearts on everyone’s desk, “just because…”

14)                 Your last girlfriend wanted yellow roses and you got her red ones.  Or carnations.

15)                 Your lover expected a box of Vosges chocolates, not a Whitman’s Sampler, you cheap bastard.

16)                 You got her jewelry instead of chocolate because “you think I’m fat—right?  Right?  Just say it!”

17)                 Last year your boyfriend got you that Jane Seymour fugly double-heart atrocity necklace and now you just shudder at the mere thought of the word “Jared.”



So, Happy Valentine’s Day to the believers among you, but just remember….


·      A chocolate rose wrapped in red tin foil is just stupid and you will wind up eating teeny bits of foil along with the low-grade chocolate-flavored lard that thing is made of.



·            *      Valentine’s Day cards that say, “I Love You Thhhisssssss Much” with paper arms popping out when you open them are not romantic  — they’re cumbersome, clichéd and there is no   such word as “Thhhhissssss.”


*    Anyone who gives you a single rose couldn’t afford the whole dozen. 



·                  *If you’re over 12, homemade Valentine’s Day cards are not romantic.  They’re an Arts & Crafts project, made by  the same people responsible for turning the words “craft” and “scrapbook” into verbs.  Those who say they really prefer giving and getting homemade gifts are like the people who say Brooklyn’s a better place to live in than Manhattan. Liars.  Unless you need to borrow some Scotch tape or a glitter glue gun, develop some self-esteem.



·      Any day that ‘s good for the Hallmark Channel has nothing to do with nostalgia or romance.  It has to do with money.  A huge and annoying offshoot of  Hallmark Cards, whose CEO is still sad they can’t come up with cards and paper tablecloths and “World’s Best Memorial Day Celebrator!” statuettes, will flood its television channel with films like “Destiny’s In Love,” “Love Is Destiny,” “A Dozen Roses for Rose,” “Will You Marry Me?”, “Love Will Keep Us Together, “Love Has Torn Us Apart,” “Love Has Torn Us Apart and Now We’re Together.”  All of these will star Lisa Hartman-Black, Kelly Williams-Presley, or Alexa Bledel.  Don’t believe in happy endings?  Hallmark does.  Cha-ching.


·      And while we’re on the subject of Hallmark, how about the Valentine’s Day cards that are “from the dog,” or “from the cat”?  Really?  Really?  I’m kinda thinking that if my cat or dog were granted opposable thumbs, a MetroCard and the chance to do something human, mailing a greeting card would be pretty low down on the list.  “And guess who else has a card for you?”  If you’re going to anthropomorphize your puppy or kitty, why not have them pretend-pick up the dinner check or clean the apartment.  Or better yet, mine.


·      You don’t know me, and, chances are you wouldn’t like me if you did.  So when I walk into your Walgreen’s or Gap, unless your greeting comes with a Cartier tank watch or Botega Veneta Napa Tote, please – no “Happy Valentine’s Day!”  Can I get an “amen”?


·      “Love” is not all you need.  Just ask anyone whose healthcare premiums have just quadrupled.


·      Please – for the sake of every sane person in New York who is not your child’s parents, (think about that for a minute), don’t dress your ten-month old with the Michelin tire-thighs up as Cupid on Valentine’s Day.  We don’t think it’s cute.  We don’t think your child is cute.  In fact, we think you and your partner should have used a condom.  Thanks in advance.


·      Why are you wearing red to work on Valentine’s Day?  If you’re at work, then it isn’t a real holiday because – well – you’re at work.  Also, it’s so predictable.  It reminds us that in four weeks you’ll be wearing that “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” t-shirt and stinking from green-beer-breath.  This year, why not try a “Kiss Me, I’m Bill Gates” t-shirt, which I’m certain would be both unique and more effective.


·      Don’t put giant red hearts on your front door.  No one’s trick-or-treating.  No one’s stopping by for egg nog.  If you and your partner are so in love, why, when I’m waiting for the elevator, must I listen to the two of you shout, “Why did I marry you – you’re a pig!” and “Hitting you would be worth the night in jail – at least you wouldn’t be there!”  Just because the holiday’s a charade, it doesn’t mean you have to be one, too. 


Tuesday, November 13th, 2012


Dear Starbucks,

One would think, with almost 20,000 locations throughout the United States, and the world, coupled with the fact that, as a coffee shop chain store, you have been part of our culture for almost 20 years,  that everything that could be said about you has been said.  Think again.  You’re wildly successful and clearly you don’t need me to re-vamp your business plan.  But then again, maybe you do…


First,  stop calling “small” coffees “tall.”  It’s confusing, inaccurate and stupid.   It’s like calling Lorne Michaels “tall.”   Not only is it deceptive, but your anal-retentive clerks are always compelled to correct me, either directly, by saying, “You mean a ‘tall,’” or, indirectly, by yelling to their co-workers,  “One tall coffee!”  I know the small is the tall.  I just purposely say “small” to fuck with your heads.  I think it’s funny when you look at me like I just said 2+2 = Hungarian Pot Roast.





Next, I hate your logo.  A twin-tailed mermaid?  A single-tailed mermaid would be disturbing enough.  And a mermaid has what to do with coffee?  Does Mrs. Paul’s fishsticks have a Keurig K-Cup on the box?  But now you’ve taken the word “Starbucks” off the cup so I can focus only on that fugly iconic sea creature. But maybe that’s a good thing.  From the start, I’d have preferred seeing the words “THERE’S COFFEE IN THIS CUP,” rather than “Starbucks.”  Starbucks is an illogical name for a place that sells coffee.


I know – it’s a whole Moby Dick thing – right?  Do you think your patrons know this?  How many of your lap-topped, IPod ear-budded customers know that “Moby Dick” was a novel?  Out of those, how many know Moby Dick was the whale?

Moby Dick Book Cover


And out of those, that Starbuck was the first mate of the Pequod who acts as a conservative force against Ahab’s mania?   I’m betting it’s less than the number of customers, country-wide, who actually buy those stupid mugs and Pumpkin Spice coffee beans. It is precisely because they aren’t literate that the mermaid isn’t a mind-fuck to many of your other customers.  You could put Gertrude Stein on the cup, or Ren and Stimpy or a braided honey-pretzel and it wouldn’t seem odd.  But I read and am easily annoyed so, it’s a stupid name for anything other than a blubber-fusion restaurant.


Why do your “baristas” ask my name and write it on a cup?  It makes me feel like I’m about to make a new friend that I don’t want.   Oh wait – I think I know.  It’s because even though there are 18 employees behind the counter, it still takes longer than a mani-pedi (with drying) to make my “small” (wink-wink) coffee and by the time it’s ready, there’s a day-after Thanksgiving Black Friday-sized crowd waiting for their coffees too!  And we all stand around waiting for our names to be called, like it’s some sort of raffle or Bingo Night at church and we hope you’re about to call “G49!”and the crowd thickens and there are two customers named “Erik” with a “k” waiting for Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino , the excitement builds.  And oh you psychological geniuses, your Starbuckians, by the time we actually get our drinks, we’re so grateful it’s almost okay that we paid nearly seven bucks for a small/tall latte.


Students gathered for the grand opening of Starbucks


And now, let’s get to your tip box.  Right in front of the cash register, next to the CDs, which seem as out of place in a coffee shop as they would in the shoe department at Nordstrom’s.  Not sure that I’d ever be interested in purchasing “The Unstoppable Rhythm of Reggae and Ska but am positive I’m not buying it a Starbucks.


But, back to the tip box which, if memory serves me correctly, is the first “tip-us-or-feel-like-the-cheap-bastard-we-know-you-are” tip box which all of them, by mere definition, are.  And a special thanks for making it out of Lucite so that even if we are guilted into dropping a few coins into it, everyone can see exactly what we’re dropping in.  As far as I’m concerned, you’re lucky it’s not Canadian nickels and those slugs you use to play Ski-Ball.  Here’s a tip: stop telling me a “small” is really a “tall,”and I might be more inclined to throw in a buck every now and then.


Next, please stop bragging about your “fair trade” Sumatran beans and your green coffee bean extracts and your commitment to sustainability and the environment.  I have two criteria – 1)  is your coffee hot and 2)  does it taste like coffee?  I don’t care if trained poodles crushed the beans.  It’s 8 am, I’ve had five hours of sleep, and I want my coffee.




Looking at huge posters of Guatemalan orphans smiling, as they concentrate on picking coffee beans,  makes me feel sad.  For about a second.  I think, “those poor children should be in school right now, learning about the solar system and reading Laura Ingalls Wilder and multiplying mixed fractions.”  But in the end I’m glad that I’m not the one sweating for a dollar a week, and that my office is air-conditioned, and start thinking about whether I should poach my salmon fillet for dinner or grill it.


You’re selling coffees and foods that are wrapped in cellophane or covered with plastic lids, i.e.,  foods that, with a drink, should be able to be consumed in a reasonable amount of time.

Taste Test: New Starbucks Items



Therefore, I would appreciate it if you stopped letting people move in.

  Starbucks Office Coffee photo



Be they hobos or crackheads, future screenwriters of America or IT start-up dorkazoids, many of your customers seem to be deluded into thinking they’re in a bed-and-breakfast.   Get them in, get them out or have them sign a lease.   How long can one linger over a Ham-and-cheese panninis, multi-grain bagels and yogurt parfaits if, in fact, one buys into the myth that a handful of granola and three blueberries transforms yogurt into a “parfait.”

And yet I see hipsters hunched over laptops for what seems to me to be an entire season.  Really.  It’s like I come in and they’re wearing Elmer Fudd hats and cashmere scarves and by the time I get my coffee they’re in sundresses and sandals.   No one should feel so comfortable in your place of business that I feel like I’m walking into their den.


Finally, what’s up with the deceptive Disney World-like wrap-around lines?  Am I going to get on the Dumbo Ride when I get to the end?  Maybe – just maybe – I’d stand on line for a Sophia Coppola-less “Godfather” prequel.  But for a Café Misto?  Really?  Don’t think I don’t know this is a ploy to get me to buy Starbuck’s merchandise like mugs and tea tumblers and that horrible instant coffee that tastes like – well, instant coffee.


I have measured out my life on Starbuck’s lines.


In the room baristas come and go,

talking of Caramel Frappuccino

I think that it is time to go

No more Machiatto



Sunday, March 25th, 2012


Okay.  First things first.  Whether or not I agree with you, I will always defend your right to free speech and free assembly though, I get the feeling that if you don’t agree with me, you’ll bring me to the Tower Hill in London.  Just a vibe.  Anyway, prior to your little hijinks many months ago, I’d never heard of Zucotti Park.  Then I saw a photo of it. Really?   Okay. You want to call it a park, call it a park.  It’s like calling pineapple in its own juice a dessert…  I’ve had enough time to digest what I think went on there and yet I have some questions and some observations.  Who doesn’t?

Tourists flocked to Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan where members of Occupy Wall Street have been protesting for the last two weeks.


*     Why are you back?  Because we really didn’t have a winter?   Because “The Artist” won “Best Picture”?   Because you can’t afford a jitney to Occupy the Hamptons?


*     Today I saw a petite Asian woman wearing what looked like a $1200 Yohji Yamamoto designer blazer, Maramoto jeans and Christian Laboutins, sprawled out by the Black Cube sculpture at Astor Place, finishing up a sign that said, “OCCUPY EVERYTHING.”  I’m sorry.  You can’t occupy everything.  Most of you have a problem occupying a comb or a toothbrush.  I know that we Baby Boomers raised a generation of people who feel entitled to any and everything they want, and not getting everything makes you very, very angry.  But if you or your parents took out loans to pay for your $50,000-a-year Ivy League degree in Renaissance Studies, please don’t blame those big bad bankers and guys who work in Mergers and Acquisitions for the fact that you can’t find a job to pay back your loans.  Michelangelo laughs at you.


*     Who dresses you?  I’m sorry but, given a choice between the investment banker in the Hart, Schappner and Marx suit or you in the busted-up twin sleeping bag, the 1%er wins every time.


*     This is going to be more difficult to swallow than the New Zealand wines donated to you, but the 1%ers are never going to share with you. Never.  I’d call Queen Elizabeth a sort of British 1%er  — do you think she’s going to call someone in Brixton and say, “Pardon but my diamond-encrusted scepter would look absolutely brilliant with those rags you’re wearing.”?     Keep dreaming, keep your ideals whole, but please – allow me to burst your bubble.  The reasons the 1%ers are never going to share with you are as follows:

1) They earned it

2) They stole it

3) They inherited it

4) They want what they have and this isn’t pre-k – they don’t HAVE to share.


*    Um….. some marble slab benches surrounded by some sorry looking trees isn’t a park.  I think that was the biggest problem I had with your shenanigans.  At best you were not in Zucotti Park but more like a sort-of-plaza.  Setting up tents and peeing where you feel like doesn’t turn an outside space into a park.  Call me when you get the bike trails and carousel and Bethesda Fountain – okay?

Zuccotti Park in Manhattan

*    The amount of courage you showed by banding together and keeping those $30,000-a-year administrative assistants from entering their office buildings to earn a modest living is truly staggering.  The woman in the Easy Pickins’ polyester suit is one of your 99%, the part of the 99% who has to work for a living and I’m sure she really appreciated standing around in her Payless pumps for two hours while you blocked her from her cubicle and coffee break.  She is definitely going to be part of the 44-½ % that is going to kick your skinny-jeans-sad-looking-hoodie asses after she fumigates you.


*     You guys certainly are certainly unshakable, intractable, steadfast in your beliefs. It was just that one woman who went from your side to accepting a bank job faster than an Ethiopian marathon runner over a hot bed of coals while being chased by a pack of hyenas. Right?

NICE JOB! Tracy Postert went from Zuccotti Park to Wall Street, where she was hired by Thomas Belesis and Wayne Kaufman.



*      Your bravery was surpassed only by your vigilance in keeping those disgustoid-filthy homeless people away from the gourmet food being prepared for you by professional chefs who “felt your pain.” Those icky homeless people probably wouldn’t appreciate the salmon cakes with dill sauce or tomato with fennel and red onion or the Spaghetti Bolognese and sheep’s milk cheese salad.  In fact, fine food would make probably make them feel uncomfortable.  How would they know which fork to use, or which wine went with what entrée?  It was nothing but a selfless decision on your part to save the gourmet stuff for yourselves and keep the homeless on a stick-to-their-ribs diet of brown rice and nothing. Kudos, Occupiers of Gouda Wheels and Puffed Pastries.

FEEDING FRENZY: Occupy Wall Street organizers say legitimate protesters like these are being overrun by released Rikers inmates and derelicts who come to Zuccotti Park for the free gourmet meals.



*     STUPID ALERT!  STUPID ALERT!  Though he certainly looks slovenly enough to be one of you, Michael Moore who was there only because he thought “zucotti” was a type of pasta.  Find a park named “Cannoli” or “Hearty-Beef-Stew-SautéeD- in-Lard,” he’s there, filthy baseball cap and all.

Michael Moore

*     Joan Baez says, “Thanks for making me relevant again, even if it was on some shitty little plaza for a few shitty weeks, singing songs that were older than me.  Don’t forget – I knew David Crosby when he was thin and had hair.  I still can’t convince him to get rid of the suede jacket with the long fringy-sleeves.  But really – it was groovy getting to sing “We Shall Overcome” again.  But keep those protests coming and next time occupy something bigger than some little park-wannabe down the block from Century 21 Department Store.  And oh yeah – don’t eat the brown acid.”


David Crosby











THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT????????? This one’s for you, Jack…

Monday, February 27th, 2012

I am old enough and wise enough to know that we all have different taste in everything from climate to automobiles, from wine to food to fashion. “That’s what makes a horserace,” some codger older than me said at some point in time somewhere. But when it comes to entertainment, like them or not, there are people whose talent is incontrovertible:

The Beatles
Meryl Streep
Laurence Olivier
Placido Domingo
Michael Jackson
Bill Cosby
Aretha Franklin

Just to name a few. In the end, we may differ on who we like or don’t, but there exists an elite group of performers, many earning millions of dollars a year, who just don’t entertain me. Make your own list. Let’s see who articulates it better…


If Frank Sinatra came back to life, walked into New York’s Loew’s Regency and heard Michael Feinstein singing “Luck Be a Lady Tonight,” he’d say, “Okay, I lied – I was in the mob,” then filet Feinstein like a brook trout. Why is it “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook?” Did he write the songs? Did he make them famous? Maybe I’ll put some shit together in one of those 5-subject college-rule spiral notebooks and call it, “Mollie’s Lennon-McCartney Songbook. “ Can he sing? Okay enough, I guess. If I want to hear Cole Porter, there’s Ella Fitzgerald. “Puttin’ on the Ritz”? Benny Goodman, Fred Astaire, even Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle in “Young Frankenstein. “Cheek to Cheek”? I’d rather hear Ricky Ricardo. I know he’s a gay icon and rich blue-haired dowagers who still slug back Apricot Sours and Rob Roys and stain cigarette filters with their Hazel Bishop crimson red lipstick are still convinced they can get him to “play for their team,” hurling tarp-sized panties at him. Strike three. You’re out. Finally, nowhere in the Torah is it written that once a Jewish person becomes rich, famous, or otherwise successful, that he must change the pronunciation of his last name, Michael Finesteeeeeeeeeeeeeen. Amen.


I cannot be the only person who’s picked up on the fact that, other than Ross, the gay intern from Jay Leno’s show, the rest of the dregs sitting behind that table are as funny as a colonoscopy prep. Okay, Chelsea – maybe in the beginning you were feeling insecure, so you had to surround yourself with this odd mixture of these mostly homely anorexic white women and fugly men of every race and, pretty much insult them to get a cheap laugh. Don’t get me wrong – I would insult them too, especially if vodka was my favorite food group. But this is like high school, when the cute girl would go to the school dance with the fat girl and the gawky girl and the acne-girl and suddenly “cute” became “Angelina Jolie.” If you’re really confident, Chels, load that table with Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Larry David instead of these props with a pulse.


Perdóneme? Mark Consuelos? Mr. Kelly Ripa? An entertainer? As anyone who’s observed the ratings of” Live with Regis and Kelly” since Regis’s “demise,” despite her fame and riches, (some of which come from a TD bank commercial where she pretends to bring her loose change to a coin-counting machine which is, in fact entertaining in a most pathetic way), it’s a stretch to call her an “entertainer. In fact, after all these years, she still hasn’t convinced me. Being famous for saying, “I don’t know what that means, Rege,” is not quite the same thing as being famous for saying, “We’ll always have Paris.” I can hear her grating mouse-voice in my head right now saying, “What do you mean – ‘You’ll always have Paris’? How can you ‘have’ Paris? Isn’t that a country in Europe? Well, I guess the Germans ‘had’ Paris for a couple of years. It was the Germans, right? I get them confused with the Scottish. Was it Hitler who said that, Rege….?”


If someone is one of the world’s best-paid actors but I have to turn away from the screen every time his face is on it or suffer alternating waves of nausea and incredulity, am I truly being entertained? Sorry, but I call dibs on being creeped out by Nicholas Cage since “When Peggy Sue Got Married.” I didn’t have to wait until the IRS was after him or for him to be accused of spousal abuse or finding out he bought a Bavarian medieval castle for no apparent reason, or that he named his son “Kal-El,” or that he claims to have created his own acting method which he calls “Noveau Shamanic.” Any of the above by itself is either reprehensible and/or insane. Is this entertaining? Maybe in a very cruel, giggle-when-no-one-is-looking kind of way, like dwarf tossing or Monique’s “Fat Chance” televised beauty pageant for plus-sized women who she called “ Phat-and-Phabulous.” I just can’t look at Nicholas Cage’s face. He’s unattractive enough to have been a character actor. But he always plays the leading man. I’m not just talking about Coen Brothers leading men, who can run the gamut from George Clooney to John Turturro. He was the leading man in “Moonstruck,” and “It Could Happen To You,” and “City of Angels.” When I want anyone else to “get the girl,” even the lifers in “Con Air,” that’s a problem.


Yes, I know – she whines and says “vagina” a lot. Whining is never entertaining. Vaginas can be entertaining but certainly not by just repeating the word as if one were singing “A Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” I believe many of you were tricked into thinking she was a brilliant comedian when she was the girlfriend of someone who is truly funny, Jimmy Kimmel. And you used to refer to her as the “really pretty comedian,” which I suppose holds an element of truth in relative terms – when held next to Lisa Lampinelli or Heather McDonald or Corey Kahaney, I guess you can call her the “really pretty comedian.” Otherwise, she looks like every girl I went to sleep-away camp with who had a brother named Ira or Seth, an upper lip she had to bleach at 12 years old, and a habit of asking, “Do these shorts make my legs look fat?” And, 35 years later, may I say, “Yes. Yes, they do,” and “And I don’t give a shit that you don’t have to clean a bunk at home – pick up your filthy laundry until you marry some guy who hires a cleaning lady for you.” Thanks.


Leonard Cohen was old when I was 17 and I am many decades past that age. Now he’s older. He couldn’t sing when he was 70. Oh that’s right – he’s not a singer, is he? He’s a songwriter. I defy anyone reading this to name five songs written by Leonard Cohen. I can name five songs written by Carole King and she’s not looked at as anything but an old hippie with a good voice. If a song falls in a forest and no one hears it, are you still a songwriter? Often, and by only the most pretentious of human beings, I am corrected. “Leonard Cohen isn’t a songwriter! He’s a poet!” Oh. Really? Shelley was a poet. Emily Dickinson was a poet. If she were alive today it’s unlikely she’d be releasing “The Best of Emily Dickinson” CDs. “Now, for the first time on the same album – ‘I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died’ and ‘Because I Could Not Stop For Death’ – the Remix.’” Did you know that Leonard Cohen’s last album, “Old Ideas,” was released in January 2012? Neither did anyone else.


I’ll admit. You had me fooled there for a while. You played Henry Hill’s wife in
“Goodfellas” with such authenticity and ease, I sat in my seat thinking, “Best Supporting Oscar.” But then I watched you in “Getting Gotti” and “Rizzoli and Isles” and, of course, “The Sopranos.” And I finally realized this was pretty much it. You may have been older, you may have worn serious suits and “smart” glasses on “The Sopranos,” but all I could think of every time I saw you was, “Wow – Henry Hill’s wife got her doctorate.” That, and the fact that the camera always focused on your calves and I still don’t know why. It would be like back-lighting Bobby Baccalieri’s stomach or Silvio’s hair. And here’s the thing of it – I know shrinks are supposed to sound calm and objective, but you sounded like you were on Propofol. You are not entertaining me and therefore, you are not an entertainer. You have no range. Okay – wait – that’s cold. You have the range of – well – of a range.


Okay – you have a voice. You may even have THE voice. The voters and the judges goofed big-time when they voted you off “American Idol,” but look who had the last laugh. And that’s what bothers me. Well, the first thing that bothers me is that you have those really crazy eyes. They were crazy-crazy on “Idol,” but maybe one of your managers advised you to take them down to just one-level crazy. But the other thing that bothers me is that you are an incredible entertainer yet what you are going to be remembered for is wailing, “…And I’m feeling good!” on those Weight Watchers ads. Stop! You’re thin. You’re rich. Maybe you lost the weight doing Weight Watchers, maybe you did it by eating grapefruits and steaks every other Thursday, maybe you puked after every meal. Don’t care. Just stop – stop the hawking, stop the singing duets with your “fatter” self. Stop being so elated, especially because the odds of keeping the weight off over a 5-year period is roughly – well – slimmer than you are now.


You are pretty. Beautiful, even. But Beautiful is to Entertaining as Tangy is to Bookworm. In other words, they don’t necessarily have anything to do with one another. Just because you say, “It’s time for the Quick Fire Challenge,” doesn’t make you entertaining. You were hired on “Top Chef” for the same reason the former Mrs. Billy Joel was – you’re easy on the eyes. I’m not fooled into thinking you are anything other than the pretty gift-wrap just because you say “that lime infusion gave the dish just the right bite,” or “I can still feel those chili flakes on my tongue.” Perhaps if you tap-danced while saying, “Please pack your knives and go,” I’d be mildly amused. But until then, nothing you say about food holds any weight for me. Although he’s too old for a glory patch and holds a fork like a spaz, I believe Tom Collichio because at least he’s a chef. Same reason I believe Eric Ripert. I find Gail Simmons mildly amusing, pretty much because she really believes she’s a celebrity chef even though she’s a magazine editor who really should think twice about wearing sleeveless dresses. Marrying famous apostate literary authors who have fatwahs placed on them by the Ayatollah Khomeini also makes you famous. But it still doesn’t make you entertaining.


Please note that there is a difference between “talented” and “entertaining.” There’s no question Ms. Zellwegger can act and kudos for keeping your kooky long last name. But there’s something creepy here and I know I’m not alone. I’m not sure if it’s the squinty eyes or the fact that she thought the weight she put on for both “Bridget Jones” films made her appear “whale-like,” just because she couldn’t see her thoracic vertebrae through her down parka. Amusing? For sure. Entertaining? You decide.


First, let’s change his name to Merlin for escaping all of the bad press and/or blame for the “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” debacle. Okay, okay – we read reams on how Julie Taymor’s “vision” was to blame but jeez – it’s not like Bono was off running Africa during rehearsals, though word has it he thinks he was. He’s been honored by NBC News for “Making a Difference” in the world. What difference would that be? Given the choice between Bono and Sonny Bono, I’ll take the latter every time. He wore furry vests and massive bell bottoms and had shaggy hair. And, a sense of humor. This U2 Bono guy — looks like it would take a lot to get him to crack a smile. Always so serious trying to save the world and humanity and mankind and such. Yes, he co-wrote the Band Aid little diddy, “Feed the World,” back in 1984 but, last time I looked, much of the world was still pretty hungry. I know he talks about Africa a lot and I know that the U2 2007 tour, Vertigo, grossed over $389 million but I don’t think much of that if that money made its way from Ireland to Swaziland, particularly with Bono’s exorbitant sunglasses bill. Bono is extremely wealthy and I know that that must be entertaining to his band members, immediate family and accountants. Unfortunately, I do not fall into any of those categories.


Thursday, January 5th, 2012

There is great debate among young and old, city folk and country folk, east coasters, west coasters and everyone in between over what is the greatest natural disaster of our time. The argument is over – without question, the answer is the PEMUF – Privileged Educated Mom Under Forty. It’s hard to reach them because they are always texting as they wheel their infant or toddler over my toe, so I will address them in the following open letter:

Dear Privileged Educated Mom Under Forty, (heretofore known as “PEMUF”)

I know that you have quite a busy life now that you’ve given birth to:

a) Stella a) Liam
b) Ava b) Jackson
c) Sophie or c) Aiden
d) Isabella d) Parker
e) Harper e) Hunter

or perhaps you’ve given birth to one of each at the same time which, in the 1960s, were referred to as fraternal twins but are now just a walking billboard that says, “We had fertility problems.”

Of course, PEMUF, now that you’ve brought that baby into the world, it’s your job to raise him. Unfortunately those of us who live in your city or town or village must share the streets, the shops, the parks, the restaurants with you and your “little miracle.” Mostly due to your unrealistic over-expectations for this child, coupled with a self-absorption rivaled only by Madonna, you do not make this an easy task. Perhaps there are just some things you are unaware of. Perhaps your body is so full of breast milk that somehow this has adversely affected your perception of manners, consideration and a world that consists of more than you, your henpecked metro-sexual husband and your spoiled-as-a-
12-day-old-banana-like child.

* Yes, there is a chance you’ve given birth to the next Einstein or Bill Gates
or Mother Theresa. But there is an astronomically larger chance that you’ve given birth to the next Snooki (pre-fame), or Rupert Pupkin. So wipe that smug smile off your face – the ADHD won’t show up for at least a couple more years.

* You don’t need a Prada diaper bag. Your child, as brilliant as I am sure he is, doesn’t know the difference between a Prada diaper bag and a shopping bag. In fact, since it is probably your Jamaican or Filipino nanny who does all the diaper-changing, you really don’t need a diaper bag at all, do you? And, since you can afford to stay at home after the baby, you don’t really need the nanny either, but then you wouldn’t be the PEMUF you are.

* No one has to get out of the way as you push your McClaren Techno XT stroller down Broadway. If I step aside for you to pass, I am doing this because I am being nice, not because it is a felony if I don’t. Therefore, keep the eye-roll in your head, refrain from telling the person you’re yapping to on your IPhone, in that snotty, entitled annoying voice of yours, “Can you believe it – we’re walking down the street and someone won’t move to the side so we can pass!” I can believe it and next time I’ll put up a police barricade.

* I’m as interested in the fact that you’re nursing as I am in David Hasselhoff.

* Your child has no place in a high-end sushi restaurant. Your child doesn’t know the difference between sashimi and a stumpy Fisher-Price Little People figure. I’m sure your two-year old has already mastered the Cyrillic alphabet. I am equally certain that his chopsticks will be used as an implement of nose-picking rather than tools to dine with. Here’s a hint: if there isn’t a Bouncy Ball pen, plastic indoor slides and Animatronic teddy bears, order in. Or get those fab grandparents, who refuse to be called “grandma” and “grandpa,” because they can’t deal with the fact they’re O-L-D, to babysit.

* Moses parting the Red Sea was a miracle – your two-year-old reciting his ABCs is annoying.

* You’re applying for pre-schools that you think will ensure your child a place at Yale or Princeton. You just gave birth to the Third Coming – chill!

* Other than Jessica Seinfeld, who might “appropriate” your recipe, and put it in her next cookbook, (or might never appropriate anyone’s recipe ever – I’m not sure the Seinfelds have a sense of humor when it comes to the Seinfelds), no one cares that you can prepare squash to make it taste like flourless chocolate cake.

* You can grow all your vegetables and herbs in your backyard, herbicide-free, organic garden – your three-year old will take the Lunchables nachos and Capri Sun fruit drink over your Bibb lettuce/goat cheese salad with raw baby carrots every time.

* Go back to the Baby Snugli where the baby’s face is toward your belly, not aimed at my face. I don’t want to look at your kid. I don’t want to watch your kid drooling or sucking back a pacifier. I don’t think your kid is so cute. He’s bald. He’s wearing socks and no shoes. His head moves around like a Derek Jeter Bobblehead. And p.s. – you’re not a Wallaby.

* No your toddler doesn’t look cute with his play IPhone and his play Kindle and his playITouch. He looks like you. (beat) Ewwwww….

satire for the literate – OH REALLY?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

I have put this off but when really great material taunts you, year after year, eventually one must give in. And, as this could be the end of the road for The Real Housewives of New York City — in six months these women will be as relevant as The Jonas Brothers — this could be my last chance. And I’m taking it.

Let’s deconstruct the title: The Real Housewives of New York City.

Real – These women are about as real as a piñata. There’s less skin-stretching, filler and stuffing in the Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Mammals. You know those beverages that have to be called “juice drinks” by law because they don’t have enough actual juice in them? Think of them as the human equivalent of “Sunny DeLite.”

Housewives — Back in the 1950s, my mother was a housewife. My dad went to work, and my mom stayed home and raised us. She took us to school, went on school trips, shopped at the butcher, the baker and the fruit market, prepared the meals, sewed, did laundry, helped us with our homework, read to us, watched “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” with us.

These women may be a lot of things, but “housewives” isn’t one of them. So “girls” – which is what you refer to yourselves as even though you haven’t been girls since Central Park was a cow pasture – please find another common noun that describes you more accurately. And really – what’s up with “the girls” thing? Does it make you feel younger to call yourselves “girls”? I wouldn’t feel wealthier if I called myself The Beatles, so I’m not sure how that particular delusion works. Do you think that the power of suggestion will somehow fool us into thinking – “no – they’re not pushing 50. No, they aren’t Spanxed from their ankles to their necks. They’re really quite coquettish.”? Hmm…. (Oh, and Jill – Spanx – Skweezed? Screech at Bobby to call your lawyers…)

Real and Housewives — Perhaps Bravo’s Andy Cohen’s crossed eyes served as an impairment when casting this show.

Had he looked hard or harder or at all, he might have discovered authentic “real” New York City housewives, maybe even women who don’t down Pinot Grigio like it’s “The Last Supper” or wear earrings the size of light fixtures or record “disco” songs when their “vocal stylings” make me miss Madelaine Kahn’s “I’m So Tired,” from Blazing Saddles.

Next, note that part of the compound word “housewife” contains the word “wife.” Is it possible to be a real housewife if you aren’t a wife? That’s like saying you’re a real starfish only you’re a bagel. So, now we see that not only are none of them are housewives — half of them aren’t even wives. Let’s look closer. Closer…

Ramona Singer

Okay, she does have a husband, which technically and legally makes her a “wife.” But she’s a wife who married someone name “Mario,” whom she insists on calling “Mourrio,” and is about three cases of wine away from a stint at Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. The Upper East Side’s Scary Spice.

Vajazzle Brazil-Wax Queen Cindy Something

Did this show really need another woman as in touch with her chronological age as Dane Cook is with his entertainment value? “Housewife” Cindy is actually closer in age to social security recipients than the mommies at “Mommy and Me” classes and seems to be more interested in ridding the city of female body hair than raising those twins who will be sophomores in college when Mom is 75. She has at least one nanny per kid, a very annoying brother and very, very old parents. But a husband? I think you need one of those to qualify as a wife…

AlexandandSimon, a.k.a “Silex

Remember when the expression “They’d go to the opening of an envelope” was used as hyperbole? Well, Alex and Simon actually would. No. Really — manila, #10 envelope, Jiffy Bag, glassine, one of those envelopes with the cash-card you give at a Bar Mitzvah or christening? They’d be there and he’d be wearing something inappropriate, cringe-worthy, and probably made of animal skin and glitter. In their case, it’s clear that neither of them are “real housewives” because I’ve seen their sons, you know – the ones with the ridiculously pretentious names? Johann and Francois? The ones they force to speak French (for god-knows what reason as they live in Brooklyn), one of whom threw a fit and smashed around someone else’s thirty-dollar hamburger at “The 21 Club”, both of whom, I am guessing, wear Speedo mankinis when dragged to St. Barts in the off-season? Maybe when they make a show called SOCIAL CLIMBERS WHO LIVE IN CARROLL GARDENS AND MISTAKE THEIR CHILDREN’S ADHD FOR ‘GIFTED,’ they can have their own show. And wouldn’t that be special?

Sonja Morgan

First, isn’t “Sonia” spelled “S-o-n-i-a”? What’s up with the “j”? Is that because she thinks it looks fancier? It doesn’t. It just looks more Scandinavian-er Sonja is also not a wife, but a woman in her forties who thinks she is in her 20s, divorced from the 80-year-old heir to the J.P. Morgan banking fortune. Anna Nicole Smith with better table manners and no Howard K. Stern. Stop showing me your thighs and your ass, Sonja. Stop dressing up in Marie Antoinette shit and Caberet burlesque shit because real housewives don’t have the time for that shit. But I would like to see you weep again about the possibility of your losing your $14 million dollar townhouse because 1) it really wasn’t ever yours and 2) I want to feel financially superior to you. I already feel morally and ethically superior – just wanted to go three for three.

Bethenny Frankel
Even though you “spun off” into the egocentric center of an unwatchable show, (except when you berate your house-husband and his small-town parents), The Real Housewives of New York City catapulted you into the reality star you’ve become. Actually, you began on “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” which you’d hoped, everyone had forgotten. You were a caterer living with a long-haired dog, hawking Skinny Girl Margaritas, but you were not a housewife. You still really aren’t, but your husband is, so I guess that’s something.

Kelly Bensimon

Ah, Kelly – you’re kooky but that’s the worst I can say about you. You’ve grown on me. You’re the most genuine, most sincere, most attractive one on this train-wreck of a series. I like Kelly and she’s a real mom but not a real housewife. So, when they do “The Real Housemoms of New York City,” she’s a natural.

Countess” Luanne de Lesseps

First, aren’t the words “Luanne” and “Countess” mutually exclusive? “Luanne” is a name as in, “Luanne, go check the still to see if the moonshine’s ready,” or “Luanne – Go see who moved into the double-wide next door,” or “Luanne – there’s company– go and fetch us some vittles.” At best, she’s n she’s an ex-wife of an old coot of a “Count” less attractive than The Count on “Sesame Street.” She now dates a Frenchman named Jacques, who, she’s revealed, her –ex would never approve of because, “well…you know…Jacques is…well – he’s a Jew.”

Also, Luanne, darling, please note that we are not living in pre-Revolution France and therefore we are not only unimpressed with your title, we snicker at it. We know that even you think it’s important, we know it’s a made-up title that you got by merely marrying someone. It doesn’t really count, “Countess.” And after “The Count” divorced you, his next wife he takes also gets to be called “Countess,” and so on and so forth. And eventually, after so many Countesses, the title has about the same value as the Rolexes they sell on Canal Street. And stop singing. You can’t sing. Even if all of your rich sycophant friends say that you can. Marlena Deitrich, dead, has a better voice. Word.

Jill Zarin

Oy. What can I say about her that hasn’t already been said by her? Okay – at least I can say it more softly and without the cackle. Who thought I’d ever miss Whitney Houston shouting “Bobby!” It seems that every ethnic group and minority has some of its own that make the majority of the group cringe. As part of your ethnic group, Jill Zarin and, on behalf of all twelve tribes, I implore you – STFU.

So there you have it. Not real. Not housewives. And…

Q: If all of the Upper West Side moves to Park Slope and Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights, and they open up cheese shops and hipster boutiques and Fairway Markets and Whole Foods, when does Brooklyn become Manhattan?

A: It doesn’t.

Not New York City. Thanks, Alex and Simon. Maybe next season you’ll social-climb your way out of bridge-and-tunnel status. Now, there’s a story arc…


Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Dear Time-Warner Service Rep:

This wasn’t what I wanted to write about this week, but following our anything but brief encounter last Sunday night, I’m afraid you are, how shall we say, my “muse”?

It was a hectic week and I needed to relax and decided to kick back and order “The King’s Speech” on Movies-On-Demand.

Not something I do too often. $4.99. I’m sure I spend more than that a day on coffee and Diet Pepsi and newspapers, but the $4.99 for Pay-Per-View, the commitment to push the little yellow triangle on the remote that says, “Accept,” has always been a problem for me.

So? I have issues. So do you. You don’t have to write about them – maybe you can’t leave your house without orange-flavored Tic-Tacs or you have to hum Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” before you unlock your front door; maybe you have to put on a sock and a shoe and not a sock and a sock, then a shoe and a shoe – trust me – the fact that I know my issues gives me a decided advantage.

But I’d seen “The King’s Speech,” and was hankering to see it again. Cell phone off. Dog sleeping. Comfy position. Can of Diet Pepsi Cherry by my side. And, after minimum hyperventilation, I hit that little yellow “Accept” triangle.

And, for a little more than 40 minutes, I was back there in the 1930s Britain– the clothes, the music, the acrid smell of war in the air, (to everyone, apparently, except heir apparent and the Royal Nazi Dunce of Windsor). And then suddenly – freeze-frame. Colin Firth, and Helena Bonham Carter in a beautiful satin understated robe that was clearly not chosen by Helena Bonham Carter.

No matter which button I hit on my remote, the frame remained frozen.

Mollie, you’re thinking – big deal. You saw the film. And even if you didn’t, big deal. All you had to do was call us and we’d have taken care of it. Wait. I haven’t stopped laughing yet. Okay. Just one more “Ha!” and I’ll respond. I did. I called you, Time-Warner. And though, finally, after approximately an hour and 38 minutes, two reps who hung up – (I’m sorry – accidentally disconnected my call), and several other inconveniences the problem was solved, I wanted to finish watching the film that night like I wanted to stick push-pins in my eyes. You “hoped you’d solved my problem,” Time-Warner. But I’m not completely satisfied…

*When I call you from my home phone and my name and number come up on your screen and you ask me my name and phone number, isn’t that just a tad kooky? And then, when I tell you my full name and number and you ask, “And who am I speaking to?” Is that a trick question? Are you writing a dossier? Isn’t that kookier than Ramona Singer’s eyes?

*After we finish the above nonsense, you know I’m me and I know I’m me, I have to verify my address, which – surprise – I know! – but this is not enough. Now you need my 16-digit account number, which you think I’ve memorized like a geometry theorem. It’s my paid bill stub, which is stuffed in a “Paid Bills” shoebox that’s about as organized as an orgy. Clearly we are not on the same page – I think I’m calling because my cable is out and YOU think I’m calling to get Pentagon clearance. So then you go for the cherry on the icing on the cake – “What is your PIN number?” Do you think that I think I have a Time-Warner Cable PIN number? Even if I believe you, do you think I know that PIN number?

Oh wait – I just remembered it – 3825 – 968! You do the math…

*Do you think I went to Time-Warner Cable School? Do you see a tool-belt around my waist? Then why do you think I want to start working when I call you? I call you because my cable isn’t working, not because I want to learn a trade. And yet before you will agree to send a service rep out, you have me unplugging my cable box, locating a coin or screwdriver to take the back off of some box, reading serial numbers smaller than rice grains to you, checking all every outlet in my house, counting lights on modems – sheesh! Look — I already worked this week. I know I did because I got my paycheck and was tired on Friday. You do it. “Well, ma’am, if the service man comes out and finds that the problem could have been solved on the phone, there will be a service charge.” Oh really? I think that for almost $150 (plus inexplicable-and-probably-made-up taxes and tariffs), for phone, broadband and cable, you can send one of those ass-crack-showing repair guys over. Leave the cable box; take the staple gun.

* When I become sufficiently outraged and ask for your supervisor, don’t tell me, “I don’t have a supervisor.” Unless your last name is Time-Warner trust me – you have a supervisor. Why not be truthful and say, “I only gave you my first name, made up my extension and badge number, so I could tell you to kiss my ass and you’ll never be able to track me down and report me. Of course I have a supervisor but I’d sooner date Seth Rogan than connect you to her. Click.” I’d still want to pull your eyelids over your knees. But at least I’d respect you.

* Finally, it’s really nice that you offered to let me re-order “The King’s Speech” for free, which only means I’ll have to sit through the first part again, but it’s the thought that counts. And you gave me a free month of HBO, which I cancelled a few years ago because I didn’t think it was worth fifteen bucks a month to watch “Bridge to Tarabethia,” “Superbad,” or “Good Luck, Chuck” even once, let alone every time I put HBO on. For a micro-second, Time-Warner, I felt like I just won something, even if the mere sight of Bill Maher makes me dry-heave.

Who cares — woohoo – I got HBO for free! For a whole month! So, thanks a heap for “Jennifer’s Body,” “Bad Boys II,” and “Rollerball.” I’d almost forgotten why I’d cancelled HBO. Just so that I don’t forget again, I wrote “The Best of Katie Morgan” and “Pornacopia II” on my fridge.

And now…

Please hold. Someone will be with you in just a moment…. Mwahahaaaa.


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…


Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

It’s almost Labor Day. That’s right. The summer is almost over. The long days. The hot nights. Summer breezes. Summer romances. Baseball. Or the New York Mets. You decide. Soon the days will become cooler, shorter, the rich and the desperate will return from the Hamptons and the same people who complained about the heat and the humidity will soon complain about the cold and the wind.

But for those of you who dread the winter, who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, (yes it’s in your head, not any more of a real disorder than Bettheny Frankel is a “real” housewife), – I‘ll indulge you. I’m s-a-d for you. But I’m happy for me because I love the cold weather; I love it when it gets dark early. And I’d like to enjoy the falling leaves and the change of seasons. But let’s face it. Really. It’s in your hands…

* Don’t ask me “How was your summer?” What could I possibly answer? “Oh, it was great! How was yours?”? Then I have to listen and pretend to care. Because here’s the thing of it – I’m not interested in a bike tour through Tuscany unless I’m riding the bike. Spent August in Bar Harbor? I didn’t. Couldn’t get away at all? Sucks for you. Other than “Could I write you a check?” or “Would you like my Yankee play-off tickets?” don’t feel like you have to ask me questions just because we haven’t seen each other for a few months. I’d prefer the awkward silence.

* Don’t tell me that you “summered” anywhere. Nouns are not verbs. Even if you want them to be.

* Unless you enjoy watching someone projectile-vomit and/or attempt to pull the skin off of her face, please don’t tell me you “went sailing,” because then I might infer that you know the difference between a “schooner” and a “yawl,” or that you might be adept at rigging, tacking, mast-hoisting. You are not a sailor. You know as much about sailing as I do about vascular surgery. Why not just say, “Even despite the horrible economy, we have so much disposable income and I did get that new Dolce & Gabbana tankini and my husband looks so hot in his yachting cap – (no he doesn’t – he looks like the Skipper from “Gilligan’s Island”), that we hired a ship that came with some really hot, ripped, tan sailor guys who did all the work while we sat on the deck and drank Mojitos.” P.S. — What’s that irregular-shaped mole on your forearm? Next time, leave the cocktail onions, take the SPF 45.

* Don’t refer to Martha’s Vineyard as “the Vineyard,” or Cape Cod as“the Cape,” especially while you are there, unless you enjoy having the locals refer to you as “the douche bag.”

* Here’s a list of those who care that you improved your tennis game this summer:

1. You
2. The tennis pro you pay $300 an hour to, who laughs at the cellulite on the back of your thighs whenever you run to recover a missed tennis ball.
(I left room just in case you can think of anyone else to add. You won’t.)

* If you spent time with your parents, please remember they are your parents. “We spent August with Mother and Father,” means nothing to me. John Updike is dead. “Annie Hall” was a movie. I’m sure you and “Mother and Father,” spent a wonderful August in your khaki pants and Topsiders, playing golf, drinking vodka gimlets and suppressing any sign of human emotion.

* Don’t show me photos of ANYWHERE you’ve been this summer because I will nod out like a junkie in a subway car. There is a certain arrogance in assuming that anyone wants to look at your vacation photos. Nice mountain. Nice beach. I’ve seen the Parthenon. I’ve been to the Coliseum. By force-feeding your vacation photos on me, you’re confirming what I already know – you’re a lousy photographer and I’d rather see Quasimodo smiling in front of Notre Dame Cathedral than you and your family in plaid shorts and “J’taime Paris” t-shirts.

“I love it when everyone leaves the city on the weekends.” No you don’t. You’re angry you barely make enough money to buy a medium Tasti Delite, and spend your Saturdays walking aimlessly through Duane Reade for the free air conditioning.

See you in September ☺


Saturday, August 14th, 2010

You live in New York. You work in New York. In order to get from one to the other and then back again safely, you must spend some time on the streets of New York. Songwriters and poets have romanticized these streets, television and film have made them as familiar to the world as their own backyards. And yet, unless you traverse these mean streets, you just don’t know what’s out there. For shizzy…

When they said “go big or go home,” they were not referring to the size of the giant clear blue jug sitting on your bridge table in the middle of the sidewalk. You are not collecting money to save the world’s children. You are not even collecting money for your own children. I’d feel more inclined to throw a rolled-up buck into that plastic jug if you hollered, “Gimme my crack allowance, biatch!”

When I’m walking on the street, I am coming from someplace, which means I could be tired, or I am walking toward somewhere, which means I’m in a rush. Don’t approach me. Not for any reason. Not if my leg is on fire, there’s a French bulldog on the corner shooting craps. I don’t want to “check it out,” buy your crappy bootleg and/or more probably blank CDs, and don’t shove a Walgreen’s flyer in my face unless you want me to shove my fist in yours. If you see someone who refuses to make eye contact with you and walks so far away from you that she’s practically walking in the windows of the storefronts, take a hint. You’re not that interesting. You’re not that compelling. You are probably the short balding guy from high school who always asked out the statuesque model-type and were shocked when she spit on your head before laughing in your face. Yes there is a time and a place to give up. The time is now and the place is anywhere you see me.

I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal. I like to buy my books in bookstores, not off of some busted-up picnic table. When Barnes and Noble is charging $27.95 for the new E.L. Doctorow novel and you’re selling it for six bucks – well – what’s wrong with this picture? First, I feel like I need a shower just looking at you. Next I’m not used to buying serious literature when it’s stacked up against “Dora the Explorer” bath books, sports socks and vinyl placemats in the shape of the United States. Finally, purchasing literature from someone who doesn’t seem to have read a book since “The Berenstain Bears Get Their First Haircut!” just feels wrong.

For a smell to stand out among all the smells that permeate the crowded streets of New York, well, that’s impressive. An impossible feat? Close your eyes. Think of a smell just made for the Food Court in Hell. Bourbon Chicken from Ragin’ Cajun? Close. Just worse. Sweeter than cotton candy wrapped in cotton candy dunked in corn syrup, a smell that makes diabetics say, “I have diabetes – yay!” Sugar-coated cashew nuts. I have been on many streets in many neighborhoods at various times of the day and night and have yet to see anyone actually buy these. In fact, I have seen more people buying weed in the middle of the day in mid-town in full view of police officers. A summons and posting a bond vs. a lifetime of ridicule – is there really even a decision involved here?

“Hi – do you like children?” Hmmmm. I’m going to tell you what other people are really thinking but would never say out loud. “I love my own. Those Gap kids can be kind of cute. Ditto those Benneton babies. Oh… you mean starving children? You mean starving third-world children? Like starving third-world children with huge eyes and swollen bellies? And flies flitting about their heads? Sure. They’re fine. I’d like to like them but I don’t really know them. You want me to help them? Those children? Do I look like the type of person who’d give up my Chai Soy Mochachino for a three-year-old Somalian orphan? I mean, I hope I do look like that because I like to appear caring without having to do anything. I have to go now. If you come any closer, I will press charges. I’m – I’m not kidding. So go away. Now.”

You are a white rich college kid who perhaps feels guilty that your parents can send you to a $60,000-a-year college and it’s your first time living in New York and you’re young and idealistic and you want to give back. You can’t. Accept that. What’s that? You can’t? You’re young and idealistic and you know you can make a difference? No you can’t. And here’s why: 1) You can’t “give back” when you’ve pretty much just “taken” your whole life. 2) Harassing me by shouting carbon footprint facts and figures at me is not going to get me to give to Greenpeace and I’m betting that, without glancing down at that smug little clipboard of yours, you don’t even know if it’s Green Peace or Greenpeace or Green Piece and 3) Is that a World Wildlife Federation tote bag on your shoulder? Oh. No. No it’s not. It looks like – why, its a Balenciaga hobo bag, which looks really good with your Marc Jacobs cropped blazer and Christian Louboutin platform pumps. Sell a shoe. Save a whale. Now, don’t you feel better?

Incense sellers – even if you were in a store, with doors and display windows and security detectors, I’d wonder what you were a front for. You are a picnic table laden with stinky oils and incense sticks, and there aren’t enough people on earth who can stand the smell of patchouli oil for you to make a living. NEWS FLASH: It’s not the 1960s and most parents can’t be tricked with the “I’m only burning incense, Ma” line to conceal the fact that they’re sucking down blunts in their bedroom because their parents invented that scam decades ago. Today, most people today can’t make a living with a real job – no way you’re paying rent and a Con Ed bill selling sandalwood and jasmine stink-sticks. How much patchouli oil do you have to sell to buy a limitless MetroCard? When you do, use it and please get on the next available subway car. To Hell. Make that Smelly-Hell.

Don’t ask me for the time, spare change or an “extra” cigarette. I don’t wear a watch, “spare change” is oxymoronic and unless things changed since I stopped smoking years ago, there’s no such thing as an “extra” cigarette. The pack comes with 20. It’s not like the mutant peanut you get once in a while with three nuts in the shell, or “Buy 20 – Get One Free.” No extras. No kidding. No smoke for you.

Mr. Fruit and Vegetable guy – Glad I can buy fresh produce from a cart, but the filth under your fingernails makes me think that either you harvested the crops with your bare hands, or your hands have been places whose natives would never get past U.S. Customs without a full body-cavity search.