Monthly Archives: January 2017

It’s all-right Ma, I’m only joking

I’d thought to title this Hi, Ma“, I spoke calmly into the phone; you won’t believe what happened next!!
But on second thought, any clickers I prefer to bait would be just as likely to respond to Bob Dylan.
At any rate:
‘Hi Mom’, I said calmly into the phone.
“Vo-fon husht du meine Nommer?”
Oy, looks like I’ll have to translate half of this; (‘Where’d you get my number?’) Guessing that in Heaven they speak whatever language comes most naturally, and the angels just ‘grok’ it, or wing it.
“Directory Assistance, Ma. Don’t ask; they play Barry Manilov for like, ages”
‘Oy grundt!’ A good sign, she sympathizes with my frustration.
“Coulda been worse; the 666 area-code puts you on hold for, like, an eternity!”
First joke here, and I’m still not sure she ‘got it’, although she did react:
“Ve viest du?” (So how did you know that?)
“Oh, saw it on the net”, I said, giving her an out.
“Anyway, Ma, I got two problems.”
This seemed to lift her spirits. As I’ve learned down here on earth, some folks are much better at sympathy than at congratulations; Read on…
“Yeah, one’s health-related, and the other’s financial.”
“Oy, ve langa ve schlimma!” she co-miserated. (‘The longer it goes, the worse it gets’). I decided to go right to the punch-line:
‘Yeah, I got money coming out my ears, and I can’t decide how to spend it all.” (rim-shot)
Silence. Didn’t know they had crickets in Heaven. She did recover, after a pause, from the horror of having to express congratulations. Seems Pennsylvania Dutch has no words for it, much as Inuit lacks descriptives for snow-free sidewalks.
“Chonny, this is long-distance!” she reminded me, stuck in the 50s. “So, who died?”
In those days phones were for deaths, or marriages (a slower death?)
“Nobody, Momma. I just had this joke I wuz dying to tell someone, and I’m, like all giddy, and forgot about, you know, sense of humor being kinda un-equally parceled out at birth an’all..”
“So good of you to call”, she eventually regained composure, adding, “Call anytime if you need help.”

And dat wuz dat.
Hey, I do need help, I thought. How to quickly blow thousands of bucks before Drumpf slams the door on even yids who want to visit his white-power paradise. Or raises the retirement age to 70 to finance his worthless pathetic Wall.
Oh well, at least I have my Mom to chat with. She left us under a Bush, woulda prolly voted for the ‘schvartze’ and now is safe from the ‘es ludert’ (‘it stinketh!’) of the present Impostor.
Like they say: ‘The living will envy the Dead’. Never really ‘fershtehst’ (‘unnerstood it’) it till yesterday.

Slouching toward Limerick?

Who knoweth? Read on…

Still time for ‘all good men’
To come to the aid
Of a country in peril;
‘the Catastro-Goth Raid’
‘Turn the lights on!’, for the bombers,
their flight-time be brief
To the target, to the Lair
of the Virus-in Chief
Let us end this Beginning
Go to ‘Start of the End’
We shall fight on the beaches
for the lives which depend
This time, on the many
who will say to a few
Usurpers of Fredom:
‘This bullet’s for you!’

OK, the Editor just red-penned ‘Oof! TMCR!’ on this first one.
Had to look it up: “Too much Cultural Reference” Thanks, WIKI.
But ‘Still’, I replied, ‘what wuz I supposed to refer to, chopped liver? What, the Blitz is now ‘so, like, last century’?’
Oh well, like Zappa wisely sniped ‘He can edit, but he can’t create!’

Anyway, I seem to be writing these short-subjects in my sleep these days. As if they will ‘End the War’.
More accurately, ‘start one’: As in: ‘What this country needs is a good 10 cent coup d’état ‘
I’d originally planned this post as a defense of the Limerick form:
Starting with this-here:

Solberg, from the Word-Press ‘bad hoods’:
No one dreamed he’d ‘deliver the goods’
But his ‘Art of the Limerick’
(Though penned by a ‘schlimmer-nik’)
Found the Po-e-tree out in the woods.

But then I realized that the form is just one tool toward the real goal:

All Hail!: the desire to be Clever
For some, it’s a lifetime endeavor
While prosaic men vomit
He’s hitched to a Comet
Whose tail will shine-on, like, forever

Yes, how to excise the orange Cancer, but poetically?

Folks who thought: ‘Can’t happen here’
Now need more than five per cent beer
To handle Reality,
Evil, banality
Four days, and the message seems clear

Meanwhile I was reminded of the perils of identifying too much with the ‘wing-nut’ crowd. We need a ‘Willing coalition of the Rational here. This fellow? Read on:

A man with expenses to cut
Made ‘F’s out of ‘E’s in his hut
Also ‘I’s out of ‘T’s
Oh, and ‘P’s from old ‘B’s
Loved ‘W’s: “Two ‘V’s!”
Yes and ‘C’s from dead ‘G’s
Made ‘O’s out of ‘Q’s
‘L’s and ‘I’s from the ‘U’s. but…
In the end, as expected, this Nut
Couldn’t literally ‘WIPE’ his own ‘BUTT!’

And I’ll conclude with this last one, an alphabetic ‘morality-tale’, which also clarifies a bit of Latin.

A brute named ‘A-B’ thought he’d strong-arm ‘C-D’
But ‘E-G’ for example, quickly came to their aid
‘A-B’s now been exiled, south-of X, Y, and Z
Thanks to ‘I-E’: In other words: Progress was made:

I’ll be delighted to hear if any of   these were worth the bytes they took up.

“You-unz want fries with that?”: My Wet Dream

Hearing this question will answer any doubt: ‘Yer in rural PA again, big guy!’
 I‘m giddy about even that possibility, having yesterday received word of a possible windfall cash input to my sad Bank bottom-line.
In a celebratory mood, I ran out, rashly, to our local MacD outlet, five miles up Highway 4, in a town (Pardessiyya) best known for the mental-health institutions it hosts. But all I wanted was a hamburger…

Oh, and a chance to chat with a sweet frizzy-haired girl, coulda been my daughter (grand-daughter?). Bless her heart, she did actually ask me what size fries (here: ‘chips’) I ‘desired’. A perfect opening for a discussion of product-naming in today’s fast-food racket.
I told her elegantly that I was interested in ‘a purchase of the largest portion-size legally obtainable.’
And contrary to my whimsical fantasies, this menu item is currently called merely ‘Giant’. Somehow I’d anticipated ‘Unbelievable!’ or, in our Israeli slang-de-jure ‘Haval al Ha’zman!’ (‘A waste of time to even try to describe!!’)

Looking back from a now-3-day vantage point: It  t’wuz da right thing to do! Heart-burn all night, but then, I can suffer from that for a simple candy-bar.
Someone advised me to cut back on the beer? He might have a point. But then what would I drink? Old habits die hard, and Alcohol, as someone wisely observed millenia ago, is ‘Both the Cause.. and the Solution.. to many of Life’s problems.’
Of course now, with bucks in da bank, I have no problems. (?) Pay all yer bills, rejoin the human rat-race, and order a ‘Goddamn WTF?’ size burger, with fries to match, whenever you half-feel like it. The meaning of Life, if I ignore, for a few idle seconds, Art, Culture, and my status as a Guru.
Oh, and ‘this just in!’   I WIKI: “What the hell is this here ‘snowflake’ that everyone is talking about lately?‘ Just when I learned where ‘under the bus’ is…
It never stops!

Somewhere, a band rehearses ‘Nearer My God to Thee’.

Sean Spicer, in his unenviable role as Press Secretary to the failed Drumpf Administration excoriated the Corrupt Press for their reporting on the Comb-over-in Chief.
“Mr. Donald”, he maintained, “was misquoted as saying ‘honered -sic-‘. In fact, he cleverly twitted: ‘I wuz ‘Hohnered’…, a reference to the gift harmonica he received from the German firm noted for their fine quality musical instruments.”
Wags in the press corps wasted not a beat in retorting:
‘Great, playing the blues is a skill we fervently hope he will need shortly.’
Drumpf, not to be ‘trumped’ twat back: ‘Evil Bill Clinton can have his-monica and a sax and that’s just fine? Sad’
Music lovers are now hoping, in the words of one I contacted, that “he sticks to the white notes, as is likely, and avoids over-blowing, and the resultant out-of-tune cacaphony typical of neophytes.” I’ll add that neither of us were over-optimistic on that score.

And speaking of the arts; a few short poems. (I apologize for the varying meters/line lengths among them. They hang separately, but not as an ensemble.
Let us deal with this faux Yamamoto
But wisely at first, take a photo
It’ll capture his Soul
Which we’ll pour in a hole
Stomp it down; less than 1 gram ‘in toto’

So the US is ‘Tombstones’ un-varnished?
And the shvartzes live in hovels, with ‘gor-nisht’
Not to worry, comes a Hero
With Experience: zero
He can sweeten all the carnage.. with garnish

I am ‘honered’ to ‘recieve’ this recent mention
It’s ‘Un-presidented’; got my short attention
In the latest Strunk & White
Where they deal with ‘speling rite’…still-
On my toilet, I’m a Master of Invention

And for presumptive Sec of Education Devos:

To preserve our academic might:
Yes, a twit; can’t right a sentence wright(!)
In an earlier day
They’d have shown her the (am)-way
To ‘remedial’, somewhere out of site

ADD: I just knew there wuz one Poem, forgot to include:
On the question of tactics to battle this crude
aberration; this consummate dud of a dude;
the political version of Automat-food
We search through the tool-bag: ‘Try Zen?’
Remember that once, way back when:

The Truth was an admirable weapon of choice:
You just stated the Facts in a confident voice.
But lately that gun seems to jam in the barrel
Silver bullets un-shot, while delusions go viral

So yeah, we’ll try ‘No mind’, chant ‘Wu!‘, clap one hand.
Warm bodies, in place of The Pen.

Oy, can’t seem to stop; mebbe one of these will hit a nerve?

On the ‘Great-again’ menu, for White House occasions
For shame-less Europeans and envious Asians:
It’s Velveta cheese-balls in fake-orange Jello
Topped with plenty of Dream-Whip, for the gourmet-type fellow

No more Julia Child here; this is Father Know’s Best
All the entrees are styled, at the Master’s request
Sing a swan-song for Swanson’s; here’s yer new Twitter-Dinner
‘N if it falls in the toilet-bowl, you’ll be that much thinner

So get over it, diplomats, sad Heads of State
We won, I’m in charge now; oh and ‘finish your plate!

Flash: Pauli skips the Inaugaration

  Wolfgang Pauli, a ground-breaking physicist and temperamental dead-ringer to my own proud grandfather, Ira Schlosser is noted for, among quite a lot more, two things everyone sentient ought to know:
(This in addition to keeping Albert Einstein company for years at Princeton, while the Genius struggled with the ghastly thought that perhaps his best years were behind him.)
At any rate, and pertinent on this dark day, the first is his ‘Pauli Exclusion Principle’. Integral to the maddening but proven hair-ball that is Quantum Theory, he ‘legislated’ the simple(?) fact that a quantum system can never simultaneously contain two like members who share the same ‘numbers’.
Not to worry; there are plenty of numbers: in essence the stricture disallows inviting to a dinner-party, for example,”two straight white males with brown hair, green eyes, ten cats, and a beat-up un-inspected Subaru”. Whew. I’m probably ok for now.
The second ‘what to know about Pauli’ is his famous put-down, uttered to colleagues after having listened to a long lecture by a younger hopeful. Asked what he thought, he quietly intoned ‘He’s not even wrong!’ My grandpa would be proud.

So, you ask, what’s the relevance of all this to today’s ‘Nekkid-Emperor’ Coronation?
1) Were Wolfgang still with us to assess the gang of wolves who now no longer even bother themselves over-much to dress as sheep, he might be moved to ‘corollary’ his Exclusion Principle:
“A time-tested, ‘decent though flawed’ political system cannot co-exist in Time with its polar opposite.”  Mutual annihilation is the result. (Although the decay process may require, in this case, 3 X 10^7 seconds. (a couple weeks)
And 2) ‘Not even wrong!’ was just waiting for a target so apt! Those of us on the progressive side of the intellectual spectrum have learned to tolerate wrong-headed but at least ‘fully-formed’ competing theories. Arguing with an un-schooled, artificially-colored and flavored, puffed-up amoeba, however, is a skill we may have to work on. One hopes, not for too long.

My speech for the Million-women March:

And so, Sisters (and brothers), I stand here, arm up-raised in a fist, and proudly say:
‘Yes I can: stand here, arm up-raised in a fist, and proudly say:’
‘Yes I can: stand here, arm up-raised, blood of a thousand martyrs draining toward my feet and say:
‘Yes I can: stand here, arm up-raised, lactic acid building up in our collective muscles, and say:
‘Yes I can: stand here, arm up-raised, thinking we can’t do it alone, not me anyway, not much longer at least, and say:
‘Yes I can: stand here, arm up-raised and say: ‘the sign I proudly hold (held) actually can (should) be used as a weapon. And say:
‘Maybe I’m actually left-handed?...Carry it on, Sisters… I might be a little old for this?’ and say:
‘Hope my back-pack’s still on the bus! ‘Yer either on the bus or off the bus, right?’ Wait, that was Keesey-Koolaid!’
‘Next speaker… Your mike.’

This new ‘G-Mail-Invert’ function will need tweaking!

I for one never asked for an ‘Invert’ click-button confusingly placed there right beside ‘Send’. Had to learn the hard way what nightmares it can create. I expect the ‘Forums’ to be filled with stories similar to mine here shortly.
A neighbor with three dogs, and 3X10^26 fleas, asked me to help her secure the services, finally, of the pros. ‘Eduard’, at the Armenian Kennel Club, was happy to send a man over surprisingly quickly considering the travel-time. ‘Tomas’ came armed with a serious spray setup, ‘fogged’ the infected area professionally, took a small payment, and left, hoping for the best. Three days later: she’s happy, the hounds are grateful, the fleas are…um.. deceased.
One thing left; to write a quick thank-you note. Thinking of the language-barrier, I penned a short gushing compliment:
Early that evening, I’m baffled by a return message: “We do are best to help many clientes. Pls tell me how is your un-happy? /Ed

I wrote back immediately explaining that were were totally thrilled with the service, and asked why he even thought otherwise.

He answered: “Youre letter–mad.”
Checking ‘Sent Mail’ in a panic to determine whether anything I’d written could have been mis-construed, I was shocked to see that my stupid ‘Invert-enabled’ account had in fact send this:


Happy End: Eduard understood and accepted my profuse apologies, adding that his own experience with G-mail contained similar snafus.
I should have sprung for an int’l phone call I guess. But scramblers and encrypters these days, you know… Face-to-face only, for now?

You know what? I actually *like* Arti…


Seeing him so roundly excoriated yesterday by a PAL-drunk jealous(?) co-worker, my heart went out to him bigly.

A hard-working, hard-drinking immigrant to Israel’s challenging shoals, shores, and shires, he shares enough attributes with my own cultivated battle-armour to endear the guy to me, regardless of the listed faults here.

In his defense:

1) ‘Space-cadet’? That’s now an insult? I thought ‘breaking the bonds of dismal Earth-bound Gravity’ wuz the ‘next frontier’?
‘Hezi’, (his short-horizon-ed detractor quoted above) is welcome to perish here, dreamless, like just another picnic-blanket ant shaken off into the creek so that we vision-thing folks can be about diving into the burgers and potato salad of the Future. Ah, metaphors! Mmmm.

2) ‘Brag-nik Caledonia snob’: So what?  Arti’s not allowed to be justifiable proud of his own ‘Old Country’? An Emerald Paradise, font and womb of the enlightened folks from the Islands, whose ‘we view favorably’ Papers and Declarations got us a country at all in ’48?  I vote ‘Yea’, Arti’s just as entitled as the Yemenites, with their memories of seven-story mud-brick high-rises in parched Sa’ana. Poets? ‘Who’s the Yemeni Robby Burns?’, I ask, not expecting an answer.

3) ‘Feet of clay’? Hezi just can’t seem to ‘let it go’; that in-hebriated night when he tripped over Arti’s clay elephant-foot lawn-ornament, in the dark, searching for his car keys (or the Meaning of Life?).

4) ‘Bonsai node’? Arti is not the ‘tallest human who ever lived’, I’ll admit. But then, Hezi, at 5 foot 7 1/2 soaking wet is, by the same standard, ‘no Kareem Abdul Jabar’. Have we descended to this?

And 5) ‘Arbitrated Ace-caps’?  Yeah, I’ve still never yet seen Arti without his emblematic backward ‘Ace’   baseball cap. It’s ‘him‘.

A few years ago, the Israeli Merchants Assoc tried to strong-arm legislation requiring an official ‘Seal of Approval‘ on what?  No,not on the flooded market here of sub-standard knock-off drech in general; no, in the end they netted only a leaky ban on ‘Hats bearing the letters ‘A’, ‘C’, and ‘E’. (!) Arti’s ‘crime’ was to kinda ignore it. As did Hezi, who shows up at the job-site daily wearing his ‘Fall Collection’ of far-east word-salad sweat-shirts, all ‘verboten’ by the letter of the law.

To conclude: Grudging points to Hezi for at least formulating his insult as a bi-directional triumph. But on substance: “I’m wid Arti; get a life, Hez!”

Toughest ball-o-twine I’ve ever un-raveled

No, not the un-un-tie-able Gordian knot question of how a minority of deluded US voters put a total charlatan into the White House when, at least for now, there are Institutions much better equipped to deal with ‘aberrant-behavers’ like this..
No, this is simply a PAL-from Hell, unfolded onto a flat surface (finally!) and only after hours spent musing on 3-D complex chemical compounds, snakes eating their tails, and yes, real-politik, where half or more of our servants’ ‘achievements’ are an equal mix of disguised self-interest and unintended consequences.

At any rate, the subject here may very well have been inspired by Israel’s recently-enacted ‘bag-law’. Reading the details, and knowing well our talent at ‘skirting’ regulations, I’m betting that its net effect will be about as ‘green’ as a black hole. (Which is what we truly needed, to suck up the billion-or-so discarded bags littering the so-called ‘promised land’.

Gabon, a small West African nation, population less than 2 million, can (and did, for the purposes of this palindrome) declare plastic bags illegal, overnight, an’ what’cha gonna do about it?
Well, for our  ‘Olga‘ here: curse the disruptive bag-less-ness and close up shop. Her ‘N’Gispu Deli’, named for the husband she met while still a starry-eyed Peace Corp worker had long been an iconic landmark in a town not particularly otherwise-blessed with Kosher Delis.
Perhaps expecting some sort of, call it ‘special treatment‘ from the Gabonese equivalent of the US EPA, she was shocked when, one fine morning, every single bag, every shred of polyethylene, every take-out convenience product was loaded into a gray government Land Rover and hauled away. (As she told me: ‘for re-sale’ to the ‘connected! Duh, are you new here?’
And after struggling a week or so using torn-up sheets as wrapping, she gave up the ghost. Here’s her version:

(Her FB page now says only) NO-BAG ‘LOX-IN-RAG'(!) DOOMS ‘N’GISPU DELI’ MET IN NO-BAG GABON! (the last is a play on ‘Met‘: Hebrew: ‘Dead’.
There ya go, folks. Don’ know about you, but I got hungry just writing this. Having bought 100 grams of lox just yesterday for 19 shekels (5 bucks), came in a plastic ‘carrying-case’ which would have nicely served our ‘dumb‘ paleo-ancestors for a hundred years or more. Took 23 seconds to gobble down, but at least I didn’t put it in a bag.
By the way, Olga’s Mood  (sounds like a song-title or a Wyeth painting), she described as ‘Gar nix‘ (‘Gornicht!’, yiddish, meaning, like ‘absolutely zero’)      I’m trying to remain ‘a bisse’ more optimistic about our own ‘faux-green-ness’ law. Until the streets are awash in cloth ‘totes’!

All you can say is: ‘This fellow needs help!’

Sadly, experience shows that lots of folks exhibiting clear signs of recognized mental illnesses go un-treated; one notable recent example was even elected as President of a powerful nation, whose stability is now at the ‘frothing-at-the-mouth’ whims of an easily-diagnosed ‘Napoleon‘ who, if beds were more available, would be tied to one.
But our subject for today, a lesser threat to Humanity, only ‘makes pots’. Pottery. (I came upon his story on a site devoted to ‘Poetry’ (!). Apparently he lost his way. They do that.


Ok, his symptoms, in order:
1) Calling out to a ‘wonk-user, or a ‘God’ who’ll give him the input he needs. Good luck with that…
2) Deficit in ‘awareness of place and time’: Anyone sane finding himself in Topeka is cognizant of his grim fate(!).
3) ‘What color is mocha?!’ : Certain facts, like the European Union’s standard colour-chart, or ‘What is A Leppo?’ought to be known to anyone running for the highest office. And if not, the fellow needs modelling clay and supervision.
4) Perhaps the wonder-drug ‘Compudex’ is his problem?  Odd. Like oxycodone, it was supposed to have been his solution…
5) Fascination with reptile regurgitation is a well-known danger-sign in cases like this.
And finally:
5) The desire for quick-fixes/ monsters from Heaven. The real work of fixing the Nation’s woes will (will not?) be done by
normal, mortal, trained professionals. ‘Fire ’em all’ at the country’s risk. What’s next, boasting of being a great, great pilot, believe me’ because he has no ‘inside the seat-belt’ fixed opinions on how to fly a 777?

You Americans are lucky that this palindrome fellow here is only a dream-potter.
It could be worse. (oops, it already is!)