Posts Tagged ‘mollies rules’


Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

In the winter you have your big parkas and long wool coats to cover up whatever atrocities you might be hiding underneath.  But, alas, in the summer, each summer, on the streets of New York, my eyes must be assaulted because Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar or Selena Gomez told you what to wear.   It really doesn’t matter to me whether you are a size-six nineteen year old who’d look good in a potato sack, (um – no, you wouldn’t…), or you’re a 55-year old who hasn’t gained a pound since she was married 30 years ago and has convinced herself she can still rock a mini-skirt and Doc Martens.  You haven’t convinced me or anyone else on the street pointing at you and laughing.


So what follows is this summer’s list of mistakes you’ve already made…



Not even an iota more attractive than a Spandex Maxi Pad.  We wore maxi dresses in the late sixties/seventies.  For the most part, these dresses were 100% cotton and even if they were tie-dye atrocities, at least we were really, really high when we bought and wore them.  Today, I am visually assaulted by Spandex maxi dresses in revolting colors like bright orange and royal blue.  Orange may be the new black, but that’s at Riker’s, not Hudson River Park.  And then there are the maxis in a variety of offending striped patterns.  Even if these assaults-on-fabric don’t make you look like you’ve draped the Big Top around you and sewn in some elastic, they flatter no one.  “Oh, here comes a zebra,” is not a thought I want to have walking down Lexington Avenue.  An Escher lithograph is meant to be hung on a wall, not worn out for cocktails.  Here’s another bummer for large-breasted women– terry cloth is not a support fabric.




Along with Nazis, Limburger cheese and Lederhosen, this is a German product worth putting back the Berlin Wall back for.  Why are you wearing these?  Is it the “they’re-so-ugly-they’re-good-looking” myth?  That’s why they’re called “myths.” One word for Birkenstocks. No.  Not “comfortable.”  “Repulsive.”  “No, Mollie – you’re wrong – they’re so comfortable, it’s like I’m not wearing shoes at all.”  That’s because you’re not.  And, there’s only person concerned with your comfort. That would be you.  I’m concerned with aesthetics when I walk down the street, and seeing shoes only Fred Flintstone could have pulled off is not a pretty sight.  I’m sure shoeboxes would be equally comfortable, as would aluminum loaf pans or swimmers’ kickboards.  They’re great for hiking?  Then fill up your canteen, spray on the OFF!, and get the hell out of Manhattan.  Now.



Please tell me that the thought of the entire “L” train seeing your leopard bra under your gauzy sheer peasant blouse doesn’t make you feel “powerful.”  Where does this “need-to-wear-see-through-clothing-outside-the-bedroom” come from?  I certainly hope it’s not a “Daddy” issue.  Ewwwww. “  Your skirt is sheer but not completely see-through.  What’s that about?  “I want to expose myself but I don’t”?  I’m a little bit whore-ish and a little bit coquettish?  This is the fashion equivalent of the nectarine, (thanks Mel Brooks), – a “little bit peach, a little bit plum.”   How many Dumkinis did you throw back before you thought, “Oh, a maxi skirt that’s sheer from mid-thigh down – now there’s a good look!”   If you want to wear a mini skirt, wear a mini skirt.  Why would you wear one with a “curtain”?  Is this a show?  Are you going to pull it away and a lady will be sawed in half?  Six orphans from “Annie” going to run out singing, “It’s a Hard-Knock Life”?  Don’t tell me you’re a Libra – mini or maxi skirt.  Make a decision.  This is a schmata, not a DNR directive.



Cheaper and more honest to wear sign that says, “My upper arms are too heavy for sleeveless tops.”  You’re not fooling anyone.  Makes a bolero jacket look like a bathrobe.



Pssssssst…. It’s 2014.  You can finally get some frames you actually like because the secret’s out.  We already know you’re a hipster, (which, contrary to what your self-righteousness-in-a-beanie brain tells you, is not exactly an incentive to want to get to know you),  by the SXSW admission bracelet you still haven’t taken off.  It’s covering up your red thread Kabala bracelet, by the way.  Black plastic frames do not make you cool.  Nor do they make you smart or witty, especially the ones with no glass in the frames.  The point is to be as prolific and brilliant as Woody Allen, not to look like him.   I promise you —  If Woody Allen could both master the pithy punch line and look like George Clooney, I’m pretty sure he’d opt for that.



Really?  (beat)  Really?  Because….because Kate Hudson wore one on a red carpet?  Because some drunk one-night stand told you, “Nice shoulders, babe.”?  It’s like complimenting you on your earlobes. You look like a five-piece board puzzle with two pieces missing.  Or like you have a second pair of ears.  I promise you – when you look back at a picture of yourself wearing one of these monstrosities ten years from now, you will deny being you.



This is the dress version of a mullet.  Business in the front and party in the back?  Nice message. Hope you still have the tags and the receipt.



What are you – four?  Whatever made you think you could pull this off?  “Well, Adrianna Lima wore one on the runway during Spring 2014 Fashion Week!”   Perhaps.  But Adrianna Lima could wear a ham-and-bean can on the runway, look great in it and get paid $100,000 for doing it.  Repeat after me.  “I am not Adrianna Lima.  I am not even a hand model, let alone a super model.  I look good in certain clothes and certain colors, as long as certain of my body parts are concealed and I’m not bloated or having a bad hair day.  I am not a fashion trendsetter.  I am a fashion trend follower and often a fashion victim.”   The “Lolita” look looked good on Lolita, and that’s only if you’re a deviant middle-aged man lusting after a twelve-year-old.

If you’re on a beach, I don’t care if you’ve rolled your body in Crustacean shells and salt-water taffy.  But in the middle of Manhattan?  Where the fuck are you romping to here?   Through the crowd of stinky, arrogant Brooklynites who won’t let you get on their crowded F train at West 4th Street?  Thanks to bike riders, pedestrian malls and Halal carts, there’s barely room to walk down the street in the city, let alone romp.  It’s not 1961 – you’re not at Brighton Beach with a bucket and shovel, waiting for the knish man to pass your blanket.  Take out the pigtails.  Wash off the Mercurochrome-and-Johnson’s Baby Oil suntan lotion.  Grow up and put some clothes on.



I know – they have been considered stylish for at least five years.  They’re like the herpes sore you thought was going to lie dormant.  But not only has it erupted – it’s grown exponentially.    Now, it’s not uncommon to see women wearing gladiator sandals that come up to their knees.  This is  visually offensive, even on women with great legs.  They look like the rope wall you have to climb in basic training, wrapped around your calves.  And, of course, because fashion is a choice, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to wear anything, I’ve seen too many chunky-legged women wearing these knee-high gladiators.    If anything is poking through the strips of leather, like, I don’t’ know – calf fat – there should be an internal neon sign in your head flashing, “FLIP-FLOPS!  FLIP-FLOPS!” “You might not mind the fact that your calves look like a trussed-up rump roast, think of the rest of us.  I have to hold myself back from running up to you and trying to pop each square of fat, as though your calves were human-flesh bubblewrap.



This blouse is fine under only two conditions – either you have one arm, or it started out as a two-sleeved blouse and somehow, one sleeve caught fire. Even then, I’d like to see something else on the other side – a hook, pincers, a clarinet, something.  Have you no idea what you look like as you’re walking toward me?  Would you wear pants with one side long and the other Daisy-Duked?  “Well, that’s how much you know, Mollie.  This was one of Olivia Palermo’s “Picks” on Piperlime!”  I’m guessing you’re over 18, I’m guessing you have the right to “reject” Olivia Palermo’s “Picks”.  Did she decide where you were vacationing this year?  Is she picking your breakfast cereal?  Your dish detergent?  While we’re on the subject, who the fuck is she?  I can’t distinguish her from Olivia Munn or Olivia Wilde or Olivia the Pig, for that matter.  I’m just guessing they’re all thinner than Olivia the Pig, which makes their opinions pretty important to you…






Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,


I’m not in your life when it comes to galas and cocktails and dinners prepared by your private chef.  You never remember my birthday, invite me to any of your several palatial homes.  I don’t get special license plates so I can park in front of Radio City Music Hall nor do you offer me a ride to the airport on your helicopter so I don’t have to live in LIE traffic.   So, if you’re not going to help me, Mike, why are you trying to control me?    Choice is something that I’m used to.  You seem to like choice too.


When you became mayor, no one said, “Like it or not – you have to live in Gracie Mansion because NYC mayors have lived there for over 70 years and it’s the official residence of the Mayor of New York.”


We let you decide.  No one told you that if you are really a Democrat you shouldn’t have run on the Republican ticket.  We looked the other way.  Granted, we shook our heads but we looked the other way.

Bike lanes

And though probably everyone told you, “Don’t turn parking spots into bike lanes and make the cars park in the middle of the street, (1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue, 7th and 8th Avenues) forcing cabs to let passengers out in the third lane of traffic, aka “the middle of the street,” you thought, “Hey – I’m the Mayor and why should anyone tell me what to do?”


You chose to do this  – a little meshugah, no?  That there aren’t body bags lining the streets yet means you’ve been as fortunate at obstructing pedestrian and automobile traffic as you have been in finance.  And then let’s not forget that air quote third term.


Where is the disconnect, Mayor Mike?  You don’t seem to see the lack of logic in what you want, what other people want, and the fact you can’t always get what you want. But you still want it and plan to get it.  Is it because, as a billionaire, you feel entitled?  Is it because you are so politically infused and connected, you feel powerful?  Or, is it that, as a relatively short guy, your chief goal in life is to make the world pay for your lack of heightitude?     First, it was cigarettes.  I don’t smoke, they’re terrible for you and they irritate those around you.  But I like choice.  Even though I think your heart was in the right place, most of us have had, or have a Mommy and Daddy and we were pretty pissed when they told us what to do.   And the cigarettes were just the beginning – we were Neville Chamberlain and you just “wanted” Czechoslovakia.

Picture of Adolf Hitler greeting Neville Chamberlain upon the British Prime Minister's arrival in Munich in 1938.


Then came the pedestrian plazas.

  • What gives with all the people? Where's the honking traffic?! Not anymore at the Crossroads of the World, as Broadway is now folks-only from 47th to 42nd Street, as well as down at Herald Square. >

No vote, no say.  Maybe I’d like to catch the M104 or M7 bus and get from 47th Street to 14th Street in less than a fortnight.  Maybe looking at tourists from Kansas City or Alpharetta, Georgia in their Dockers and Crocs and fanny-packs is nauseating enough when I quickly zip by them as I walk.  But to display them like county fair exhibits, sprawled out on, for all practical purposes, lawn chairs, is neither aesthetically pleasing nor emotionally soothing.


And now of course, your ixnay on the 64-ounce Supersize drinks.  Again, I don’t drink sugar-soda, but my theory is that you are doing this because the 64-ounce cup is huge, mammoth-size, physically imposing.  And you are not.  We both know that people who still want those 64-ounce sweet drinks are now going to buy two 32-ounce cups because you will not change their behavior.  You will only change their economic status because they will have to pay more for two-32 ounces than one 64-ounce cup.  And they will do this because you have to have your way, Kim Jong Mike.



You make me want to run for mayor, Mike.  I’d hate the parades and the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and getting those sanitation trucks to prep for a blizzard.  Oy. But you’ve made being mayor look like fun because it seems you just kinda get to do whatever the heck you want to.  Like Eloise at the Plaza Hotel, or most members of the Kennedy family.


And so, as Mayor Mollie, here are just a few of the things I have in mind.  I hereby do decree:

1. Whole Foods is changed to Hole Foods, selling only food items with holes –   bagels, Fruit Loops, donuts, Cheerios, Swiss cheese, Ecstasy candy necklaces, Lifesavers  – a funny thought I once had and now, as your mayor, can implement.

                                                                               types of bagels



2. I get to live in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Because I can.

Am Wing plaza view



3.   I don’t like Mexican food.  No more Chipotle Grills or Tex/Mex franchises.  You like guacamole, mole sauce, tostadas?  Go to Oaxaca.





A)Pedestrian plazas – mowed down along with any pedestrians left gawking at Jumbotron.  Car lanes restored.  ABSOLUTELY NO BIKE LANES – Honk your Harpo Marx bike horn if you’re bummed.  Awwwww.


B)”Mamma Mia!”– Ciao!  Get out of Broadway and take Newsies with you.

Disney's 'Newsies' Is Broadway Bound


C)Madame Tussaud’s –Returned to Marylebone Road, London.  She’d have wanted it that way.


D) Naked Cowboy – clothe him and roll him out, Rawhide!



E) M&M store – Why is there an M&M store on the corner of Broadway and     49th Street?    Why not an Almond Joy store?  Okay – no one likes Almond Joys… An entire store of M&Ms?  Like we need another reason for 3rd world countries to hate us…


F) “TKTS” booth to be renamed “TICKETS” in the interest of not reducing every English word to a tweet.


G) Flatotel banished til it comes up with a name that doesn’t make me think, “WTF?”

Flatotel - Rooms


5)    The New York Yankees will now be known as the New York Mollies.  Finally, I am in charge of Andy Pettitte:)


6)    Bike riders can ride anywhere they want, as long as it’s Riker’s Island. 



7)   Duane Reade will now be Reade Duane.  Again, because I can.


8)    I love cats and dogs more than people most of the time but shit – those Sara McLachlan public service announcements for the ASPCA, Willie Nelson’s “You Were Always On My Mind” playing over one-eyed cats and abused puppies – outlawed.  I’m depressed enough.



9)   Selling and/or eating sugar-coated cashew nuts on NYC streets – felony. (Hey, Mayor Mike — how’d you miss that one?  I’d rather swim in an above-ground pool of Sierra Mist than come within a foot of those nuts and their vendors).



10)   H & M back to Sweden.  Having a clothing store that is the fashion version of an impressionist painting, (looks great from afar- close up, confusing, often heinous), helps our city only in the short-run.  When the sparkly mini you bought for that party splits down the middle while you’re standing, you’ll see why $9.99 buys a better burger in NYC than an outfit. 


11)  Selling of fake designer bags now legal.    Until Hermes can explain why there’s a longer wait-list for their Birkin bag than for a kidney, banned.  Non-negotiable.  That’s how Mayor Mollie rolls.


12)  Skorts, nautical-wear, any fringed article of clothing – boots, vests, David Crosby suede jackets – public execution.  Herald Square is now Tower Square.



13) Everyone can smoke cigarettes in the city, but only at Mayor Bloomberg’s townhouse.  Time to start bringing back conch shells from Bermuda, Mayor Mike – they make great ashtrays!



14)  High Line II – Will run through Williamsburg, Red Hook and Park Slope.  We’ve finally come upon a structure that draws noise, foot traffic, pollution and tourists – none either individually or collectively more annoying than hipster bikers, food co-operatives and children named Atticus, Romy or Sadie.  Bringing them together?  P.R. magic!

So there you have it.  There’s a new sheriff in town.  And she can reach the medicine chest without standing on tippy-toe.










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.


Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Once again, I grant you – it’s a tough economy. Jobs are hard to come by. Or, maybe you were partying too much in high school to pursue your dream of being a lawyer or orthodontist or CPA. I am going out on a limb here and guessing that most of us, as kids, didn’t say, “I want to answer questions from irate Time-Warner customers when I grow up! ”It’s a respectable job and I am the last person to judge anyone by what they do or how much money they have. But working with the public, even if it’s not face-to-face, is something you’re either cut out for or you’re not. How to know? Here are some guidelines…

* I didn’t aks you a question any more than you are going to attempt to asneswerr one. We both know that it’s pronounced “ask,” and it’s not like switching around the “s” and the “k” is as Herculean a task as stopping smoking or learning Mandarin, or comprehending anything that comes out of Keith Olbermann’s mouth. I can buy the “it’s a cultural thing,” if you are – I don’t know – nine years old. Once you’ve gotten through, at the very most, the eighth grade, it is no longer a “cultural” thing; it’s an “oppositional” thing. It’s not like you haven’t heard the word “ask” pronounced correctly by teachers, some family members and friends, on film, on television, on the subway, the bus, the street. Do you “baks” in the sun? Do you have several “taks” to get done today? On Halloween, do you wear a “maks”? I don’t thikn so…

* When, merely because I can’t see you and don’t know whether you are in Milwaukee or Manila, and you are extremely rude to me, I might ask you for your name. You think you are smart and particularly clever when you give me only your first name. Then, I ask for a badge number or any other sort of identifying information and you tell me you don’t have to tell me. Then I ask what city you are in and you tell me, “Kentucky.” Then I remind myself that I don’t have to wear a headset all day and I don’t live in “Kentucky” city or state. 1 – me. 0 – you.

* Just because Gateway’s corporate offices are located in South Dakota doesn’t mean that every tech support person coincidentally has a “Wild West” name. Maybe the Apple tech support folks aren’t really “geniuses,” but at least they don’t answer with, “Hi, this is Granny Smith,” or “Gala” or “Golden Delicious. “ I’m a born-and-bred New Yorker, which means I find it ridiculous if your name really is Dakota or Montana or Cody or Cheyenne. Don’t make it so easy for me.

* Why are you asking me, “How are you today?” You want to know this as much as I want to know how old you were when you lost your baby teeth. I have just been through 2 minutes and 18 seconds of an obstacle course of automated questions to get to someone who breathes and has a blood type –how do you think I am?

* “Please listen carefully because our menu has changed” is only appealing if your menu has changed from automated prompts to Northern Italian cuisine.

* Don’t lie to me. “Would you mind holding for a minute?” is a lie. You know it. I know it. At least if you said, “Would you mind holding for 18 minutes and 33 seconds, hearing an automated monotone woman order you to “Please wait,” (beat), “Please wait,” (beat), “Please wait,” and then being disconnected, which you will only realize after hearing several cacophonous beeps, followed by a loud dial-tone,” I’d respect you. I’d still want to travel through the optic fibers or whatever connects me to you and squeeze your neck until you stopped breathing. But I’d respect you.

* When you frustrate me, or are unable to address my problem, I may ask to speak to a supervisor. Please do not insult my considerable intelligence by telling me that you can’t find one or, even better, you don’t have one. You can’t find one because you are doodling or working a WordSearch puzzle book or admiring your French manicured acrylic nail tips while we are talking. If you stopped doing any and/or all of these things, and looked around, I’m betting you’ll find a supervisor. She’s the one who was actually helpful to customers and got promoted and doesn’t have to sit in a row of other customer service reps, wearing a Bluetooth and saying 2500 times a day, “Thank you for calling American Express. How may I help you?” And, unless your last name is Verizon, Macy, or Bed, Bath and Beyond, I’m betting you do have a supervisor. There must be several people between you and the CEO. But wait – maybe you are running the company and that’s why my cable is out/ my electricity bill has tripled for no reason/ the $3,000 cabinet-width refrigerator I just bought keeps my food as cold as my armoire would. I hope I have been of service ☺

* If whatever I ordered or bought from your company was in the condition I’d hoped it would be in, I would not be calling. If I am calling, chances are I am pretty upset.
Chances are, out of every 50,000 calls you get, maybe one idiot calls to say, “ Just wanted to let you know how much I love Sanyo products!” Everyone else is calling because there’s a problem. So, when they get you on the phone, there may not be that “lilt” to their voice; they may not want to engage in idle chatter with you; in fact, they are wondering why they ever ordered that couch from West Elm, that computer from Best Buy, or anything from IKEA. The last thing a disgruntled customer wants to hear from you is, “if you continue to raise your voice and disrespect me, I will have to terminate this call.” Say what? I’m the one who bought the $800 cappuccino maker that makes worse coffee than Sanka and now you want me to talk to you like you’re in first class and I’m the flight attendant? You come over and figure out why my HD TV has less definition than a mound of PlayDough. Then I’ll respect you. Maybe. Probably not. Nah…


Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

New Yorkers, despite our reputation for being cold and uncaring, can be pretty outgoing.  As a lifelong resident of this city, I have noticed that the extrovert in the New Yorker rears its head at particular times.  For example, if you board a bus and then realize you don’t have a MetroCard and ask, “Does anyone have change for a dollar?”, other passengers will do anything, even attempt to follow “The Talk of the Town” column in The New Yorker, to avoid making eye contact with you.  Yet, if you are walking down the street, minding your own business, people are somehow compelled to get into yours.

I have put up with decades of perfect strangers talking to me, asking me inane questions, commenting on the weather, asking for directions, the time, spare change.  Here’s my rule of thumb – unless you want to give me your winning Power Ball ticket, or my kidney is hanging out of my back and I haven’t noticed, chances are I don’t want to talk to you.  If I do, I will initiate the conversation.  I’m not smiling, I’m not making eye contact and I always hope that my aloof attitude and consistently cold shoulder will invite you to not approach me.

This seemed to work pretty well. Until I got a pug.  A chubby pug.  A chubby, happy, beautiful pug who, despite strangers’ unsolicited theories, is not overfed, gets plenty of exercise and is quite healthy. He is who he is.  He’s a big boy.  But for some reason, you cannot leave us alone.  You are compelled to tell us things either I know or he doesn’t understand.  He doesn’t know he’s a dog.  He knows he likes rolling in the fall leaves, peeing in the snow and “America’s Next Top Model” marathons. He’s just happy he’s not a person, I’m sure.

And yet, like some small-town anchor person or town crier or big-mouth yenta, you must stop us, take us out of our moment of bliss to say:

“Your dog is fat.

“Wow – I bet he’s a good eater!

“He’s panting.  Maybe if you cut down on the dog biscuits, he’d breathe better.”

“I’ve never seen such a fat pug.”

“He’s like Frank in “Men in Black.”  Only fat.”

So here’s the deal – Johnny is getting pretty pissed. He can’t talk like that formaldehyde-filled, stupid stuffed  cat on “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”  But like most dogs and the people who love them, we communicate. I know what he’s thinking. He’s tired of hearing your unsolicited comments. Really. Both Johnny and I know that if we don’t have anything nice to say, we shouldn’t say anything.  But you started…

*      You’re old and skinny and I could hang a backpack on your dowager’s hump.

*      The only people who think a bald-headed guy with a ponytail looks hot are bald-headed guys with ponytails.

*     You’re 45 and you’re wearing a “BeBe” t-shirt that says “BeBe.” In silver glitter.

*    That’s  malt liquor  in your brown bag and you’re missing your eye-teeth.

*    Nice rollers.

*  You do know that t-shirt you’re wearing says, “New  York Mets”?

* Are those coffee stains or bleach stains on your coat?* I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “I’m thin and that dog is fat.”  Here’s what I’m thinking: “You’re a size double-zero and that means you don’t exist.  Twice.”

* You are carrying a “WordSearch” puzzle book.

* I got this fat by eating the thighs of people who   tell my mommy, “your dog is fat.”

* Nice Botox.  We can rent you out at Surprise  Birthday parties.

* Your hand is not a handkerchief.

* You’re 68.  Real tan or spray tan – same level of hideousity.

* You have two moles and five hairs growing out of  each of them.* The 1980s called.  They want their floral leggings back.

* If G-d meant for them to be worn on the street, He wouldn’t have called them “housecoats.”

* Awww — you were just a condom away from not having ugly children.

* Why would you smoke a cigarette and wear a flammable  jacket at the same time?

*Crocs.  That’s all.  Crocs.

So the next time you see Johnny and me walking down the street, in the park, by the river, you don’t have to say hello or even smile. In fact, we’d prefer if you just keep walking. But if you insist on stopping, don’t give us that “look,” because now you know that we are looking right back at you and, more often than not, it isn’t pretty.  It isn’t even presentable.


Monday, June 28th, 2010


The Internet?  Sliced bread?  Air conditioning
?  Movable type?  There are many contenders for “best invention of all time.”  Oh – I’m sorry.  Did I leave out the wheel?  Not an oversight.  Read, weep and understand why, on behalf of all New Yorkers I say, “Thanks a bunch, Mesopotamians.”



It’s so great that the city is thinking “green”!  Bike-riding’s great exercise and there are bike lanes everywhere!


There are bike lanes everywhere
.  Except on the sidewalk.  Please note the word “walk” in the word “sidewalk.”  Oh – I’m sorry, you’re pedaling too fast to read or to get the fact that sneaking up behind me in stealth-like fashion on your Fuji Crosstown Mountain Bike scares the bejeebers out of me.  And you’re always yelling at those mean, bad cars when all they want you to do is follow traffic laws instead of giving them the finger as you swoosh by them.  Or – I don’t know – actually stop at red lights or refrain from making sudden right-hand turns from the left lane.  Here comes a huge “TomKat” catering truck – aw, you’re wearing your EarBuds and you didn’t hear me.  THWACK!  You’re a bug on a windshield.  Oh well. One less skinny guy in black Latex Capri pants. All In all, a pretty good day.


Skateboards are so
sleek.  Skateboarders are so rad.


Vans are so nineties.  Shower.  Clean your filthy nails. Get a haircut.  Billabong this.



So ecologically sensible
and you can park it almost anywhere.

Try parking it in Bedrock because that’s the only place no one is going to make fun of you.



It’s portable, it helps you
get around town – don’t have to  chain it to a pole like a bicycle, don’t have to feed a meter or pay a garage.


Are you nine?  If you are, then you are just merely annoying.  Are you 39?  Because then you are a smorgasbord of annoyance –  and I don’t know where to focus my attention – on the baseball cap hiding your bald spot, your High-Top Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers that make you feel urban yet retro, that smug look on your face, like you thought of a method of transportation that no other adult knows about.  We know about it.  We’re pissed when a grade schooler zips around us like a mosquito on crack. We just can’t believe you’re riding one.  You’re “scooting.”   You vote, you drink vodka, you have a job and a place to live and you’re on a scooter.  What’s wrong with this picture?  You.  If it were made of actual razors then perhaps you could justify that smug and manly look you have on your face as you fold it up and slip it under your arm as you ride the escalator in Macy’s.  Until then, thanks for putting the “W” into “Wuss.”  Wuss.



So fast.  So retro and yet so futuristic.





Ciao, baby!  You are
so European!  You are so – come se dice –  sexy, yes?  Romantic and daring, si?


You are a twenty-something who spent
a semester abroad in Madrid or Florence or Paris and now you think you ARE Jean Pierre or Francesco.  The name “Jason Bel Mondo” carries no street cred. Not even in Tenafly.  It barely carries cul de sac cred.



Sleek.  Unobtrusive. No more strained back.  It’s modern!  Contemporary!  It’s travel today!


Your hernia or my wrath – you choose
.  In an airport, I am clearly outnumbered so I will just grit my teeth and deal with the fact that the same species that built the Colossus of Rhodes, the Eiffel Tower, the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas,  can no longer lift and carry a garment bag from a taxi to an airline check-in counter.  If you are, however, schlepping one of these down Lexington Avenue, particularly if you are not selling swag out of it, if you are walking in front of me, obstructing my pathway,  cutting a wide swath so that I can neither pass you nor walk at a pace faster than a sloth, I will get you.  It will be in stealth-like fashion.  It might be today, it might be next April but as you walk with your 29” wheeled duffle bag  rolling behind you, be scared.  Be very scared for I have many tricks behind your back.  If it’s soft luggage, maybe I’ll pour my Latte or Diet Dr. Pepper on it, or tag it with a can of Krylon royal blue spray paint.  If it’s polycarbonate, maybe I’ll trip over it and sue you or jump on it and let you pull your luggage and me down the avenue.  You don’t know what I look like.  I might be behind you right now.  I’m betting that overnight bag with no wheels is starting to look pretty good.  Pretty, pretty good…


Monday, June 21st, 2010

Haircuts.  Manicures.  Note that I’m staying away from waxing, depilatory anything, and just the term “eyebrow threading” gives me the dry heaves.  But – is it only me? – Maybe so — I feel intimidated the second I walk into a salon.  Hair.  Nails. Doesn’t matter.  I’m being sized up, I’m being evaluated.  I am definitely being mocked.  I resent it, but it’s a latent resentment.  While there, I am docile, complacent, malleable – the right hair stylist could talk me into permed  and layered magenta double-processed highlights, no problem.  Thanks for the round hand-mirror – it’s so magent-y from the back, too!
I don’t want to talk to the stylist
.  I don’t want to talk to the shampoo person.  Whether the water is so hot it’s scalding my scalp, or the tepid water is making its way down my neck to my back, I will endure in silence rather than speak.   But I’m watching.  I’m watching every second I am there.  You have questions?  I have answers.  They may not be pretty.  They may not even be right.  But then again, they might be…

*  Want to know what really happened to the H1N1 virus?
It’s in that turquoise water your hair stylist soaks the comb and brush he’s about to infect your scalp with ☺

* Don’t bring in a photo of a celebrity and tell the hair stylist, “I want to look like her!” Anyone who could take mousy old you and transform you into Hallie Berry isn’t working at Hair-N-Stuff.

*  Most of you feel compelled to talk to the person
cutting your hair because it is even more awkward to be looking in a mirror at the person who is cutting your hair, who is looking at you looking at him in the mirror than it is to make small talk.   I promise you that it will only be a matter of seconds between the time you take off the long vinyl black drapey smock and over-tip him because  you feel like he really understands you and when you realize you’ve just been shaken down by Don Fanucci in “Godfather 2.”

*Hair stylists can be quite a persuasive group, but you should never allow anyone whose tools of the trade include a plant mister to decide what is best for you.

If there is even the slightest possibility that a  hairstyle can make you look like Big Bird or Mo from the Three Stooges, it will.

*     With all due respect, and I’m sure many of them are smart people but they are people who went to cosmetology school, not MIT.    This is Stephen Hawking…

He is a genius.  He cannot give even a bad haircut.

This is Nikki from Shear Magic…

She can’t explain String Theory.  Or spell it.

*    “Bangs” aren’t coquettish on a 55-year-old woman – they’re Botox curtains.

*     Sorry, Sally Herschberger and all other Meatpacking District/ Williamsburg/LES hairstylists – a haircut from you is worth $800 only if it comes with a $700 coupon – but thanks for putting the word “con” back into “artist”!

*      The French called
.  They want their manicure back.  And taken off your toes.


Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Dear Jennifer Aniston,

Let me honest because that’s my strong suit
.  I’ve never been a big fan of yours, nor of “The One About The Six White People Who Consistently Made Me Want to Dry-Heave,” i.e., “Friends.”  Some may think it’s an age thing or a demographic chink in the armor, but I’d beg to differ.  It’s true – I’m of another generation than Chandler and Rachel and Monica, et al.  But I’m also older than Eric Cartman and I love him more than he does punch-and-pie.

I’ve  lived in New York City just about my entire life and
therefore your urban setting should have appealed to me.  But – and try not to take this personally, Jen — the whole Seinfeld-Lite derivative thing without the grit and contempt for people and society of Larry David just didn’t work for me.  Special kudos to the exec producers who managed to ruin one of my favorite New York places, the fountain at Lincoln Center, for life.  I can’t walk by 66th Street without hearing that god-awful theme song pounding in my head like a migraine playing a drum set.

And the situations you found yourselves in —  from no one liking Phoebe’s new boyfriend
to no one liking Monica’s new boyfriend, from  Joey losing his health benefits to Chandler and Joey “losing” Ross’s baby on a city bus. Oh what hijinks! – losing someone else’s tiny little infant in a city of 8,00,000 people, many of whom I wouldn’t trust to get in a revolving door after me without coming out in front of me, on a crosstown bus.  Now that’s  classic comedy.  But you, Jen, and your zany cohorts get the last laugh – you sit on bags of billions of dollars and I toil away on blogs and books and scripts.

And that’s kind of the point, Jen.
What with already-inflated salaries and residuals and product endorsement deals, maybe it was time to push yourself away from the table and say, “Wow – that meal was fantastic!  But now I’m full.”  I hear that, in your business, it’s not an easy thing to do.  Let’s face it – the only thing Sara Jessica Parker has yet to endorse is fish-flake food.  You, dear Jen, continue to say  “yes” to scripts Abe Vigoda would turn down.  How did that happen?   I’ve come up with a few theories about why you just can’t say no.  Let’s see if any of them fit:

A)    You’re weak-willed
.  I’m guessing that on some days you eat only a cornflake and gum to maintain that teeny figure, so “willpower” is probably not your problem.

B)  You really trust your agent. Okay, give me a couple of minutes to stop laughing.  But maybe it goes something like this — script comes in, hits your agent’s desk.  He Fed Exes it to you, gives you the weekend and then…

AGENT:  What do you think?
YOU:  I don’t know.  The plot is really thin, the female lead is barely two-dimensional and my character has to say “peepee” 38 times.
AGENT:  It’s a great part.
YOU:  Okay.

C)     You are scared that, if you turn down a script, you’ll never be offered one again.  Um, I think that agreeing to do such films as “The Bounty Hunter” and “Love Happens” should have you realizing your greatest fears.

D)    It’s all about the work.  Um, “The Bounty Hunter,” “Love Happens.

Let’s see if I can illustrate my point in a different, simpler way.  Hypothetical situation:   I sit down at the local diner and the waiter approaches:

WAITERAnything to drink?  Water?
ME: Sure.
ME: Sure.
WAITER: Pepsi?
ME: Love some.
WAITER: Sierra Mist?
ME: Alright.
WAITER: Perrier?
ME: Sounds good.
WAITERSan Peligrino?
ME: Why not?
WAITERWelch’s Grape Soda?
ME: Yes sir!
WAITER: Orangina?
ME: Yes, please.

At some point, Jen,  I’m guessing, somewhere between “Marley and Me” and “Rumor Has It…” you forgot to say, “No – I’m fine, thanks.”

I know it wasn’t easy watching your husband run off with Angelina Jolie
.  That’s a tough one.  And because you chose to be in the public eye, the world got to watch.  Your problem.  Not my problem.  I know that “stars” have feelings too, but my empathy kind of runs toward women with three children whose husbands leave them, then stop working so they don’t have to pay child support and the woman and her kids have to subsist on pinto beans and Velveeta for the next 10 years.  Maybe if you could take them to Cabo St. Lucas for a long weekend or treat them to an estate or spend May in Cannes with them, they’d feel better too.

So Brad Pitt left.  Personally, I’d feel worse if George Clooney left but again, all a matter of taste.  You’re young.  You’re subjectively attractive and relatively young.   You’ve got enough money to buy the state of Colorado, and a round of drinks for everyone in it.  If I could draw the world’s tiniest violin, right here, you know I would.  Do you think you’re actually making him jealous by having pretend or even actual relationships with any of your fugly male co-stars?

Of course not, but you are making me seasick-nauseous appearing on more magazine covers than IPC codes.  The doe-eyed, freshly highlighted hair, bikini-wearing, winsome looks for the camera have got to stop.   I don’t read “In Style” or “In Touch,” or “Elle” or “Vogue” or People.”   However  – I think I mentioned this before – I live in New York and here, we walk.  A lot.  And we pass newsstands.  A lot.  Whether it’s you in a “candid” shot holding a Starbucks cup, you in a man’s white oxford shirt, you with Courtney Cox and her “whimsical” husband, David Arquette, every headline that tries to elicit if not a purchase, than at least some pity or emotion from me with headlines like  “Jennifer Aniston Has Emotional Breakdown over Brad Pitt,”  “Jennifer Aniston “Renovated” Brad Pitt Out Of Her Life”;   “Brad Pitt calls Jennifer Aniston `Pathetic’,” has done neither.

I want to feel bad for you, Jen.  Really.  But first you have to start feeling bad for yourself.  Think of this as an intervention.  First,  start by turning down everything that’s offered to you.  Let’s practice:  Just repeat after me:

Along Came Polly II
:  “Ewww…”
The Break-Up: Together Again!:  “No, I’m okay, thanks.”
Marley and Me and Ted and Alice:  “Um – no.  I’ll pass.”
The Good Girl Goes Bad:  “I’m already otherwise engaged.”
He’s Just Not Even a Smidge Into You:  “Sorry, I have other plans.”

Next, it’s okay – really – to not have a man, to not have a date, particularly when the alternative is Vince Vaughn or Gerard Butler or Aaron Eckhart.  We’ve seen you “blissfully happy.”  We’ve seen you “pathetic and miserable.”  Most of us prefer the latter. It makes us feel better about our own lives.  Don’t ask me why.  It just does.

Finally, it’s time to let the whole Brangelina thing go.  You had him.  She has him.  Done.  Which doesn’t necessarily make her the “winner.”  Do you think the ratty knit-cap/ZZ Top beard-thing he’s got going is a positive? Did you really want to be building Habitat for Humanity houses in New Orleans?  We know you’d rather be carrying a Frappuccino than a Philips screwdriver.  Did you really want more children than “The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe?” or her more contemporary version, that Discovery Channel woman who has 19,  and dresses herself and all of her girls like “Little House on the Prairie” extras? Believe me – as sad as you feel about not having Brad, he gets very, very nervous every time Angie suggests they add another nursery to their estate and reaches for her passport.

So – let’s try the following:  first, pinky-swear — you will read the script before you agree to do the movie.  Next, not even under the threat of water-boarding  will you even contemplate, ever, ever, ever, a “Friends” reunion movie.   A one-year moratorium on appearing on magazine covers or pretend love affairs with leading men.  You can’t keep your hands off Paul Giomatti?  Sorry.  Not buying it.  No Extra or Access Hollywood or  Entertainment Tonight tonight, tomorrow or six months from tonight .   Angelina-Shmangelina.   Am I getting through to you?  Excellent.  And when you’re done with this, just one more thing — please forward  to Kate Hudson.