Monthly Archives: July 2009

Don’t matter where ya rub it, there’s still A SLUT in TULSA

Or: “A man, a plan, a poodle. Offer dunna wanna work in Panama, etc.”
I‘m posting this exchange as a public service, hoping it will suffice to prove the maxim “There’s a sucker (and a suck-ee) born every sixty seconds or so.” We start with my first written lament:

Dear Mr. World-Wide-Web-footed Quack:
Why not just admit it? Just say: “I’m not a real doctor but I play one on the internet.” I
trusted you, like an idiot and I WON KOOL, I mean, NOW LOOK! Your worthless ‘AMAZONE ®’ cream has done nothing, nada, bubkiss, for my word-problem, and this after applying it religiously for over three weeks.  I want my money back. Natan O.Y. Greblos/ Aslut, OK.

Dear (ur name here):
Millions of dyslexics and others have benefitted from our miracle-cure products. Just where are
you applying it, if we might ask? The brochure is very clear in specifying the ‘SSA’ (Self-Selected Area) where the ointment’s active ingredients are most effective. Sincerely, Dr. Rotcod.

To:” Dr:(?) Redfish, whatever
” Well, pardon the expression, but I rubbed it on my ASS, alias my butt. First cause that’s what
it said in the dumb book, and second, cause, like my main problem is reading ass-backwards, so figures, that’d be the right place to start. Kinda embarassing, but if it had worked, it mighta been worth it. Incidentally, the A.M.A never heard of you; neither did the A.M.A. I checked both listings./ N. Geblos

Dear Mr Nudnick: You clearly have a fairly severe case of the malady to which I’ve dedicated years working on a treatment. By the way, our products are certified both by the M.A.M (Madagascar Assoc. of Medicine) and the M.A.M (Medical Assoc. of Madagascar. You can look both of ’em up. Also NASCAR while you’re at it. I would ask that you immediately resume the treatment, but this time apply the cream to your face. Feel free to be in touch at any time should this result in an improvement. Dr.Rotcod, M.D. cc-B.B.B

Dear Fish-breath:
Nice try, but my brother AL already done that(!). I was wondering how come the stuff was being
used up so fast, till he told me he was using it by mistake as sun-screen. He’d been acting kinda weird and one morning I says to myself: “How come all of a sudden AL LETS STELLA (that’s our poodle) run all over the neighborhood. The neighbor banged on the door, said: “Get yer GOD-DAM
MAD-DOG off-a my lawn and that’s when it hit me.
By the yaw, what’s the deal with charging tax on my credit card? Your bew-site said ‘No TAXES in
TEXAS’ unless I read it worng. Plus now the damn dog’s pregnant. She’d always been so discrete; now she’s just another 9-K tramp; A SLUT in TULSA. And the leash I bought her; I found it on the sidewalk reduced to STRAP PARTS! wishing I’d never met U / OY. J.(‘Well,This Sucks’) Greblos.

{final correspondence}
{auto-responder: Note: do not reply to this address} Dear Sir/Madam:
The office you are attempting to contact has been closed, seized, Chapter 11-ed, shut down, pick
one. Further correspondence will be returned to sender un-read. Any individual or corporate entity having legitimate claims vis: AMAZONE® is invited but not encouraged to contact Messrs Smith, Wesson, and Finklestein at the attached address, in order to qualify for inclusion in Class-action Suit GBH-409-1397 pending in Trinidad and Tobaggans.
Meanwhile, counsel for the defendant has requested that we advise you to continue to use his
product ‘as directed’, with the proviso that ‘SSA’ shall be understood to refer henceforth to the region popularly known as ‘the groin’; the afore-said region being referred to in other languages: LATIN E.G: ‘GENITAL’ or in Yiddish: ‘zayne schvantze.’ Best of luck: Fleischer et Fleischer. New York.

Well, I guess that’s all she worte. I’m out $29.95 plus tax, my dog’s getting fattre every day, and AL, it figures, he conveniently snuck off to L.A. He’ll fit right in there.

A pump, plus circumstanders

“Yeah I started off on burgundy,/ soon hit the… higher keys..”
ops, wrong song. Also the wrong key. Actually I started off in plain-brown-wrapper ‘C’, like it appeared in the sheet-music someone threw at me. In sixth grade Johnny wasn’t cocky enough yet to spit back Sheet music? I don’t need no stinking shit-muzik!”, and so I dutifully said ‘thank you, Ma’am’.
    It was Graduation. Finishing-school. Somebody thoughtfully rolled out the piano, which even its own Mother couldn’t love; I had to wear a white shirt and black pants and wait for the cue. To start playing Eddie_Koo_L-Gar’s classic ‘Pomp and Circumstance’. In those days I was immature. I didn’t have time to waste thinking about, oh, a broken water-pump and a bunch of guys in various postures standing around in a circle wondering how to fix it. ‘Circum-stances’… like circumcision but without the knives.

    Anyway, I got bored already on the third time through the opus. We had a lot of meat to proudly trudge up onto the sad stage, and false-starts, etc. plagued the whole escapade. I winked at my girl-friend at the time, Ruthie, fresh back from Nigeria, two-stepping up the aisle, and modulated up to C#, just for her.  Not that it got me anywhere special. Just a little present. The key-change, though, did  sound inspiring, and I remember deciding to go through all twelve keys, what the hell. When I got back to ‘C’ (after screwing up a few chords in ‘B’, a dumb key if I ever heard one) I started to mess with the chord-progressions; major, minor, augmented, diminished. The music-teacher cleared her throat behind me. There were, after all, on-lookers looking on, by-standers standing by, wait-watchers watching and waiting. I thought about the meaninglessness of Life. For maybe one of the first times. 

A guy takes his gardener out to eat: The weeder asks the waiter for a whiter, wider table. The waiter scowls “You want wetter water too, I’ll bet?”
“Nope, but
what’re my menu options?”
the guy asks.
Scanning the menu, he announces “It’s official; a fish’ll be fine.” End of Reverie.
I finished in ‘Db’. Everyone got his hard-won diploma. Maybe somebody fixed the pump; a hard one to work on. I left early with a hard-on for word-salad. June 21, 1960.

Q: So you weren’t always like this?

A: Nope. I think it started in Earnest that day I fell off the ladder.

Q: Hey, what about your poems here? Sure you don’t wanna leave ’em at the top of the pile another day or so?

A: Nah. That’s what ‘Scrool-Down’s for. They’re there, on their page.

Q: It’s ‘Scroll’, Johnny.

A: Oof, I feel like I’m back in school, but it’s 53rd grade.

Four Poems in search of Accolades

Yes, ‘accolades’ are a little-known species, growing in secluded corners of the Everglades. My poems feed on their sap and in the process pollinate the discrete little flowers which appear this time of year. A mutual survival strategy. Oh, and to make themselves more attractive, the poems have coloured-in their accent-syllables, just so that the reader will agree “It’s got a beat; you can dance to it.”


Tiny Yaks of Kindness

My beeper is constantly chirping…
Some Sherpa I need to take sherping…
Then change all his lights
(No, he’s not scared of heights
It’s the Voltage he finds so distirping.)

‘Jack Donne was a Friend of Mine…’

Someone said: “You’re no John Donne
Your bell don’t even toll”.
I tolled him “Hey. I write for
And yer mama’s a big fat troll.”
This changed the man’s opinion, like that
rainbow done for Finian…
And ‘Someone‘s now my avid fan
My ouvre his lifelong goal

ESP places demands on the Perceiver

I wake up from a dream whose details
happened as I slept(!)
My new re-spons-i-bil-i-ty: Your
anus and your Neptune now de-
pend on me for orb-i-tal pre-
cision? What, I’m Gore Vidal?
O.k, it only rhymes, but that’s
a-bout all I can do

Mother, the gantze art-maven

My Mom said “Son, you’re no Picasso
Quit while you’re ahead.”
“Your ‘Horse on Velvet’, ‘Cow with Lasso’
Both look like they dead.”
“Ex-cuse me, Ma, I’ve sold a few,
at the ESSO station, red-on-blue
You’d be suprised what’s ‘Art’ these days
over a trailer’s double bed.”

Oops. Now Orli wants to know if I have any other ‘Superpowers’

Yup, nobody ever told me ‘doin’ it’ six or seven times a night is considered ‘abnormal’ either; that’s what happens when you’re raised by wolves, and take ‘driving lessons’ from rabbits and pigeons.

But that’s not our Topic here, honest. We’re gonna talk about idiot savants.

Quick, dear reader, how many of your subs are idiot-savants? Enfants terible? Wunder-kinder? I hope I shall shortly make you glad you read my drive-by drivel, for here is a tale from ‘inside’, and 100% true, so help me Gourd.

     Imagine a big dish full of marbles. Lots of marbles. One guy just says:”Jeez.”
Another guesses: “looks like thousands”. The third fellow ventures “I’d bet there are two, three thousand.. probably” .Then Johnny shows up and announces, off-handedly, “Three thousand two hundred thirty-one marbles. And of course it’s not prime, but you can’t have everything.”
No one takes me too seriously. It’s not their fault; they don’t know the world I live in.

So here is the story:
Orly, a nice girl in her late thirties for whom I’m building a shade-porch-roof, (They call em ‘pergolas’ here, for some reason) asked me to go up onto the second floor porch to measure for another roof. I took my tape measure, a pen, and a blank sheet of paper.
“From there to there”, she described, pointing to two concrete jut-outs which were to be its end-points.
“Ok, we’ll come to the center of this knee-wall, a meter fifty.” I said, “..and in the long direction, that’d be.. about..”
That’s when I saw the ‘colors’ and I ‘knew’.  Maybe it’s a mistake to let folks in on my private-spookiness, but she’s so sweet. I decided to go on ahead with the show…
“Three twenty-three, point one.” I announced, in Hebrew, of course, but very clearly, as I hooked the tape on one corner and drew it out in the direction we needed to measure. She quickly walked over to read out the dimension for herself, intrigued by my confidence, and when she read 323.1 centimeters (ten foot something, for you-uns in the stone-age) on the tape her jaw kinda fell off. (Don’t worry, I helped her put it back on.)

“How did you know that?” she asked, kinda dumb-founded.
“I don’t know how I ‘knew that’.” I answered truthfully. “It’s just ‘323.1-coloured. Hangs in the air there.. along the wall. Green, red, and dirty-green.”
She was still in shock. One needs to be careful revealing this stuff to civilians.
“You knew I had…’powers’, didn’t you?..the thing with the bells?” I asked her, trying to fit this little feat into a larger, more general picture. (She’s a potter; makes clay bells; hangs ’em from tree-limbs with invisible fishing-line, (so I can hit my head on ’em?)  I’d sung the remembered ‘melody’ of the nine bells for her the previous day, in left-to-right sequence, including the dirty-grey ‘off’ C# of the seventh purple bell. I hadn’t made much of a show of it; I just wanted her to know that a certain percentage of her customers will care about pitch. Maybe. What, I know why I do stuff?
    Anyway, now Orli knows, at least, that she’s dealing with an anomalous individual. I asked her,  to soften the ‘Close Encounters’ shock, how she thought I might best turn this curse/gift into shekels. She had no immediate answer. Fine, neither do I.

‘Es ist schwere, a Wunderkind zu sein”, I said, in her parents’ yiddish.
Ok, gotta go write up the estimate on the roof-job. Ugh. Some things are just as tough for idiot-savants as they are for yer standard idiots. And I’m sure I’ll lose money on the job… again

Realistic-looking Action Figures

    It figures; the ones I got in my Israeli-knockoff suprise-package® meet only the barest FTC requirements for Truth in Advertising:
They do look realistic. Car-drivers you can wrestle into the seat of the Latest-model plastic car, (not-included) cell phone clutched to their ear and the other arm waving at some phantom conversationalist.
Tip: soak him in boiling water with a little vinegar for an hour or so and you’ll be able to bend the useless arm till it contacts the steering wheel.)

    I thought of this image today while dealing with one of the walking brain-dead we seem to churn out here in the holey-land© by the millions.
Some lady gave me ‘instructions how to find her house; in a god-awful town-planning abortion where every street changes names at every intersection, but, not to worry, there are, as usual, no street signs, nor house numbers;  Both those novelties have failed so far to make it across the Atlantic.
    Anyway, I was to ‘turn left at the ‘Yellow’
“What’s a ‘Yellow’? I’m sure you’re asking.
Well, ‘Yellow ™’ is Paz-Gas ®’s fun-name for their gas-station convenience-stores. The logo is bright yellow and red, (and beer is double-priced, but sometimes (Saturday) they’re the only show in town.
I looked for the Yellow™. No ‘Yellow’ . Only a blue-and-green Mini-Clone-Mini-Quickee-Mart from the competing company, “Dor Alon®”. I drove past it, of course. Duh, It wasn’t yellow, and wasn’t a “Yellow®“.
But it turns out that to a flaming levantine illiterate, they’re all called ‘Yellow’s. Just like every refigerator here is called a ‘Fridgedair’, every backhoe a ‘JVC’, and ugh, I could go on but you get the point.
Ok, Kleenex™ has almost become generic, as has Scotch tape™. But still, the local natives’ arrogant ignorance seems to me more aberrant, more disgusting than anything I’d encountered in the Americas. (Damn ‘South America‘, they stole our name.) In short, I was reprimanded for not turning at the faux-‘Yellow’.

And I didn’t even get to the second insult, as the pathologists call diseases: (what happened when I actually got there). I’ll keep you in suspended animation, you sleepy Xanga-inaction-figures®.

Q: Looks like you’re ‘giving more than you get’ here, JS
A: Au freaking contraire, Q. “All is fair in the aether
Q: Stevie Wonder said that.
A: Yeah, about Love, and even though I probably write three comments for every one I receive, mute statistics is a pretty Philistine™ methodology for assessing satisfaction. Plus, ‘You can’t push on a string’, ‘Q’, You actually think it would be noble for me to beg for comments, recs, etc, stuff like that?
Q: I don’t know, you got a hundred or so subs…
A: Ah,but that’s the beauty of Xanga: a true microcosm of real life. I also got hundreds of acquaintances. Five of ’em remembered my 60th birthday, three gave me presents. Say la ‘V’.
You really oughta get your french ducks in a row, JS
A: Ok C’est la vie. Feel better now, you little dilletante polyglot.
Q: Well I never!
A: Didn’t I offer to solve that problem in our last chat?


Q: So what does that clever, almost certainly original neologism mean?
A: What,  the Title?
Q: Yeah, and of course I’m being ‘sarcaustic’.
A: I assumed that. It’s mean dat ‘I’m trying to understand how’s come I ended up with “Q’- the classic ditzy doppelganger second-guessing everything I write, stuck to the bottom of my shoe, metaphorically speaking..’
Oy, you’re so naive, Johnny. You really think that every borderline-witty phrase you come up with here is, like ‘yours’?
A: I prefer to believe that, yes.
Q: Hello! Google: type in “Swine flew”, Hit Return: Read it ‘n Weep.
A: Yeah, But that sounds too much like the classic, “If you could know the date, year and hour of your death in advance, would you wanna?”
: Mine’s Jan 27th 2047, 10:30 PM. I’m cool wid it.
A: Ugh. Makes me feel, like, suicidal just to think about. Except that ‘Some day I shall be free’.
Q: ..that is, if you don’t go first..
A: You’d have to find another freaking ‘A’, girl. Give that some thought. Anyway, I do have a highly-original bit to post here, if you don’t mind?
Q: Dream on, brother.

PULSE: Too old for the orphanage, too young for the old-folks home.
Hey, what’s the deal with this-here ‘PULSE’ gidget/gadget/widget/whatever. Who needs it?
I mean 138 spaces? My pulse goes up to like 130 max, while reading a sweet xanga-comment, for example. That’s a three-digit number. A 138-digit pulse-number would be, like 60 orders of magnitude larger than the estimated number of protons in the Visible Universe. I can prove that if your heart beat that fast it’d be exceeding the speed of light. And then we got the Planck-limit smallest-possible ‘piece of time’ to worry about too.
Q: *coughs* May I interrupt?
A: No.
Q: Ok, so let me point out that it says ‘138 characters’. That’s guys on park-benches, the girl at the corner store, the driver who just blocked the entrance to your parking lot..
A: He don’t even have a pulse. Plus, even if you cheat and multiply 15 seconds-worth by 4, it still takes like, an hour to take 138 characters’ pulses.
Q: Hey this is Xanga. A watery grave. No pier-review. You just do the best you can.
A: And wait for -Add Comments-?
Q: yeah, while you go and do something worth twattering about. And then you tell your ‘Friends’ all about it, in 138 characters or less.
A: ” …or fewer“! God, the world’s dying with an iliterate Whimper, not a Bang.
Q: Wow, that’s a clever turn of phrase. Original?
A: Yup. Or at least ‘new to you.
Q: May I suggest ‘Gnu to ewe’?
A: Sure, my little bozo-ette. That’s what I’m paying you for. (Now, what’d they say works to remove chewing gum?)

Pigs fly, Debbie

Roses are red
Pigs’ noses too
Hogs are now airborne
And where are you?

I liked Debbie Levitz a lot. She liked me back, but was reticent to admit such, fearing the vulnerability her admission would create if I fell for the girl she secretly assumed was my first choice; a raven-haired Cherokee named Brenda Shaddock. Debbie shouldn’t have worried. Her family owned the big furniture store in town, and even in third grade I already knew that “A sofa will get you through times without venison better than venison with nowhere to sit and eat.”
Ok, maybe my heart did belong to the Indian girl, but still, Debbie was cute in her own way.
    Like the day the Big Nurse grabbed the two of us like a pair of chickens whose entrails needed to be examined, then tossed out, for signs of …’chicken pox’? She gave us both three-hour IQ tests. ‘Put these blocks together’, ‘How is a bridge like a cloud?’, stuff like that. Lots of non-commital check-marks in her note pad.
     I heard the phone ring that night from the barn, while I was feeding calves. My Mom never said who it was. But Debbie was all squishy and squiggly the next morning in Miss Wentworth’s little classroom.
“We’re Gene-yuses!” she tried to whisper, “Both of us; my Mom told me. They called from the school.”
“Hmm..” was all I could say. Apparently my folks had a different philosophy: Tell the little guy he’s worth something and pretty soon he’ll, God Forbid, “think he’s smart.” A horrible Fate. Worse than being dumb, I gathered.

Anyway, that was they day I asked her to marry me. Hey, I was nine years old, unattached, I liked her Mom already, and figured ‘marrying-up’ would be a wise move. “The early bird get’s the worm.” I thought about adding to the text of my little proposal, but decided it might not be the world’s most appealing Metaphor. The ‘bird’, maybe, but calling Debbie a ‘worm’?
It wouldn’t have mattered. Brenda, sharp little proto-squaw that she was, heard everything; her ear on her desk, picking up conversations from across the room. She flashed me a conspiratorial look, meant mostly for Debbie’s eyes, a look which screamed. “Tell her what you want, but she already knows that, like, you ‘n’ me, we’re, like, an ‘item’.”
Debbie’s saw it, of course, and, suspicions confirmed, pouted dismissively. And with some delight she used, maybe for the first time, a phrase I’m sure she’d just learned from her Mom:
“When pigs fly I’ll marry you, Johnny.”
I had to think about it a second. A new one on me. Hmm.. Not an outright refusal. More like a conditional, temporary mandatory waiting period. Science was discovering new stuff every week back in those days. It was in the Weekly Reader. Now all I had to do was to wait…

    Ok, it’s been a long half-century. If we were still in school, we’d be in Fifty-Third Grade, assuming neither of us had been ‘sick a year’.
And today on the radio, yeah, every station, they’re all saying the same magic words: “Swine flew”.
I believe that’s my cue. “Um, Debbie, remember me? Johnny. Yeah, you promised… Hello?”

Don’t eat that yellow snow, man. He’s endangered

Last transmission, received in morse code; 7.017 Mhz. at Lhasa Int. Monitoring Station. 17 April 2009 0130 GMT





Ok, I’d been at 11,000 feet a bunch of times: in the mountains in Colorado, and in the skies as a private pilot, cruising above cloud for hours. Big deal. You get used to it. But 17,000 turns out to be a horse of a different colour. Yeah, his lips are blue, plus he just stands there gasping for equine breath and won’t respond to even simple questions. Glad I didn’t bring him along with me on this climb. Or did I?
“Abominable weather, ain’t it?” I asked, just making small talk, to ‘break the ice’. (sorry)
No response.Ok, I meant it as an inside joke. Both of us knew what our quarry was on this mission: the famous crypto-zoological creature known to the sherpas as ‘Yeti’. (Shit, I shoulda brought a sherpa, but my cash ran out already in Katmandu. Couldn’t afford even ‘Two-zig Norgay’. Oh well.)
I started to talk to rocks at maybe 14,000 feet, I don’t remember exactly. Didn’t help I connected the Propane bottle to my ‘Oxygen’ mask. They really oughta colour-code those damn canisters.
And ‘Surround-sound’ in the tent? What was I thinking? Like I really needed to schlep a ten-pound woofer up the North Face. The batteries gave up the ghost after like ten minutes of Miles Davis anyway. At 30 below, they lose their will to energize.
Anyway, all I’ve got so far is tentative ‘spoor’ in a plastic bag. The poop-lab will analyze it… if I ever get out of here alive.
Hey, all I want is to share a Heineken with my Giganto-pithecis cousin. That’ll prove he exists.
We’ll stand on the ‘Roof of the World’ together; he’ll ask: “You brought the beer?” just like in the commercial, and I’ll answer:”Sure thing, Bongo. Made my day just to discover Uranus.”
And then he’ll rhyme ‘commercial’ with ‘William Herschel’, and I’ll know we be brothers, despite the DNA discrepancies.

Oxygen-schmoxygen, who needs it?

Oops, gotta send a radio-report. What’s ‘Y’ in CW? ‘Dah-di-dah-dah’, right? Horrible rhythm for a letter. F*cking Samuel Fibula-Tibula Morse.

The guys in PR make me write this stuff, sorry


a pear  
Q: Finally. Simple and to the point.
A: Um…they traditionally come as a PAIR of PEARS.

pair of pears
Q: Oy.
A: Sorry ‘Q’, it gets worse. You can skillfully remove the outer layer…
A: Yup. ‘Still-Life with Fruit and Words’.

Q:  PAR for the course here…
A: You suggesting we run lights and receps to the 18th hole, there near the Clubhouse?
A: Sorry. I hear ‘PAR’ and go with its first meaning: i.e. “What vent ott during the heavy snowstorm.”
Q: Ahh.. ‘The power went out’. Civilized folks say ‘POw-ER. Or electricity.
A: How’m I supposed to know that? Plus here in Hebe, PAR is either a ‘male-cow’, or a ‘gap’, a discrepancy, like between the rich and poor.
Q: You really do suffer, am I right?
A: Oh, ‘It’s complicated’. I was only ever on a golf course once, a short-cut from the parking lot to the Clubhouse, where they had me building a septagonal gazebo. Let’s see: 360 degrees divided by seven, times the square root of two, then converted to per-cent slope expressed as a numerator of 12.
Q: You poor baby.
A: Yeah, and even without sad mention of the funeral PYRE.
Q: Who died?
A: Peer Gynt. There’s mourning as we speak up in the Hall of the Mountain King.
Q: And melting down of flutes?
A: Hey, I don’t ask, don’t tell. Fruit’s my strong area.
Q: Yeah, I loved your ‘Pure Puree of Pear’® baby-food when little ‘q’ was in diapers.
A: Thanks. Got the concept-idea from Melville, to tell the truth.
Q: Wha?
A: He had to type ‘Typee’ on that ancient Underwood ™ of his. I just knew there had to be a better product on the market.
Q: ‘You’re weird’
A: Yeah, just like Lawrence Olivier in ‘Boys from Brazil’. Ya get used to it. What did we miss here, by the way?
Q: Oh, ‘POUR the puree into da liddle jars, yada da doo…?
A: Could you be serious. We’re speaking in tongues here, tryin’ to PORE through a significant pile-o-words.
Q: And your reader(s?) will PURR contentedly having feasted on this dog-food equivalent of ‘Cod-fish livers in Oil’?
A: Omega 3? You heard of it?
Q: Oy that’s just a PR scam. I lived 30 years without it.
A: Hey, a Puerto-ricana might be the next Supreme Court Judge.
Q: Hope she throws this post out without comment.
A: Thanks. I count on you to always be on my side, with understanding and sincere hoo-hah, til death do us part.
Q: Sounds like an attractive option

“TACT” My only marketable asset?

     In the End, lying on the bed in the ICU curtained-off cubicle, watching the IV drip, the bag clearly marked as having been intended for some other guy whose name shares like, one or two letters with mine, I none-the-less carefully construct a non-judgemental hint to the attending nurse:
“Hey, ‘Saline-borg’, I see the resemblance. You guys work long hours. Accidents happen. I hope nothing god-forbid bad should happen to him. What’s he got, by the way? Liver Cancer? Ok, yeah, chemicals-chemo-schmemo, I can deal with chemicals. My hair was falling out anyway. My best and final regards to your family, when you finish your shift. Love your smile.”

    I try to avoid hard feelings here in a country where the prevailing motto seems to be “What’s in it for fucking ME?” No, I am not genetically dense; I can smell ‘intent to exploit’ 1.602 Kilometers away. You show up with a modest bill, after having crawled through the thorny bogainvillea on a ladder for two days trying to triage some rough beast’s falling-down crooked-shit house, lovingly re-painting the fascia, the soffit, the gutter and spout, even cleaning the paint off their dog, which the previous yid or arab ‘painter’ managed in true Israeli professional style to paint white, Or green.
You see them grasping at straws; anything to screw you, save a shekel. And you look for reasons why ‘It’s not the end of the world’ to work for free every once in a while’. Like twice a week.

    Or you awake at 5:30 AM, calls already pouring in from Haifa to Eilat, check your latest lovingly-crafted post, and read a vomit-comment from some worthless troglodyte gender-less troll in Atlanta; Apyus/ Ap80, something like that: ‘The kike wants to eat young pussy’. ‘Block User?’ Nope. too crass for my High-Style. You calmly instruct ‘it’ to “Please re-read my 347 previous posts, where I demonstrate a mature and responsible respect for dear souls of all ages, creeds, and genders.” Our Jewish Sages contend that if you save one rotting lamprey-eel parasite, it’s as if you’ve saved the entire world. One turd at a time.

    Meanwhile your hand-picked mouse/tenants in your house in far-flung America relate to rent-payments with the time-honored maxim: “The cat’s away, mice shall play”. I.e.: zero deposits. What to do? “I do sincerely sympathize with the sad passing of your Dear Mother, less than five years ago. As soon as you-uns are marginally past the grief stage, do consider a small symbolic contribution to your arrears, which presently stands at $6,679, not to un-necessarily burden you with details at this sensitive hour.”
   And finally, an example where TACT is sweetly and richly deserved: A loyal customer, seeing you arrive daily wearing a ‘use once and toss’ ‘holey’ tee-shirt donates. to your charitable collection. three(3) trash bags chock full of ‘Only a mother would love’ shirts, in colours ranging from ‘Congealed Blood’ to ‘Shrieking Purple’. You thank her and him profusely, as if you are some ‘on the edge of death’ famished skeleton crawling on all fours through the Desert of Llife, then stuff the bags with  extreme skill and dexterity into the spare bedroom, already floor-to-ceiling with maybe a thousand similar shirts, and do your best to avoid thinking of yourself as a beggar pleading for a quarter. These to-die-for clients have somehow noticed for weeks now that I arrive at work starving, and make me breakfast Omelets-from Heaven, with a Heineken-on-the-side, and only because I once mentioned, quite in passing, that the brand-name is one of my favorites.

So, in the End, TACT® emerges as a  Quality, admirable-in-moderation, but a Curse when utilized in excess. ‘Where precisely is the Excess-boundary?’ This is my Principal Unanswered Question in Life, for now… Help Wanted.

Q: Tears? I detect tears?
A: Um, ‘Smoke gets in your eyes’ You know the one; Play it again, ‘Q’.
Q: No, seriously, you decide to ‘come out ‘; to ‘Speak like a Child’. To blog as a human?
A: Must’ve been Herbie Hancock’s exquisite example.
Q: You really expect to get thoughtful advice on this albeit carefully-described neurosis… here, on Xanga?
A: I have a few Subs here I’d give the shirt off my back to hug…
Q: Whilst discreetly kissing their aureolae?
A: Oy, ‘Q’, you need help. Sex has nothing to do with the current topic.
Q: I’ll try to get better. Meanwhile, I have some cracks in the bedroom walls I’m wondering if you could fill.
A: Fill with what?