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Saturday, June 30, 2012


I have always been annoyed by people that are so afraid to offend that they give a little laugh after everything they say.  “Good morning…he he ha ha!”  WTF!  No matter how innocuous the comment they insert a tiny guffaw.  What they are really conveying is “just in case what I say might be offensive my laugh indicates I am just joking.”  This annoying laugh becomes a habit with some people.

The digital equivalent, and it is just as annoying, is LOL.

Come on people…take a chance…make your comment and let it stand on its own.  Same goes with JK.  Do we have to cyber-express every statement?

How about:

“My don’t you look nice” SWASF  (Said with a straight face) 

“Gee, it’s sooo good to see you” SPA (Smiling passive aggressively)  

“I hate when that happens” FF (Frowny face)

“That is a beautiful dress” SAYC (Staring at your cleavage)

“I got your money right here” GMC (Grabbing my crotch)

“Fuck you” FU (Fuck you)

“I disagree” GUTF (Giving you the finger)

“It’s not you, it’s me” IRU (It’s really you)

“I’d love to go to the ballet” RME (Rolling my eyes)

“I’d love to go to the opera” RMFE (Rolling my fucking eyes)

“We need to talk?” BMBOWMF (Blowing my brains out with my finger)

I think this idea of conveying emotion or facial expression with these stupid letter shortcuts is ridiculous.  I for one refuse to resort to this silly practice.

Sincerely COM (Cranky Old Man)


Friday, June 29, 2012

GEEZER GOLF a cranky re-run

Another cranky re-run? Hey, i'm on vacation! This one is kinda long and about golf so most of you are going to skip it anyway (don't lie) but all you golfers out there, enjoy:

Golf is a game that challenges athletic ability, concentration, strategy, and maturity.  With age, my athletic ability is on the decrease.  My concentration tends to…..what?  Oh yeah, wander.  Strategy is less important as my athletic ability declines.  Hmmmm 210 yards to the green, should I go for it or lay-up?  This was a strategy decision 15 years ago, now the answer is easy, lay-up….TWICE!  Then go for it!  At least as I grow older I should show more maturity on the course.  I think.  From my recent observation of some older links men, golf maturity may not be a given as we age.

Last summer my college friend Don “Squeak” Harjes (named for his sometimes high pitched voice) invited me to his private golf club.  It turns out it was not really his private club; it was a nice little public course in the Pennsylvania sticks.  What attracted Squeak to this club was it had a landing strip for small airplane access.  Don is not much of a golfer, but he loves to fly his small single engine plane.  For someone used to waiting hours to tee off a public cow pasture, an un-crowded club in the middle of Pennsylvania sounded pretty good.  Getting there by air seemed very cool.

I was a bit concerned about the pilot.  Squeak was not the valedictorian of our class.  He missed by about 320 graduates in a class of maybe 323.  Don had, however, done very well since his college days.  He started up a small insurance business and turned it into a large successful insurance company.

My trepidation of flying with Squeak was assuaged by his confident demeanor and apparent flying knowledge.  Everything was by the book.  His preflight check list was very thorough.  After all systems were to his satisfaction we took off.  About half way to the course, we approached the Allentown airport at an altitude of about 2000 feet.  I was very impressed when Captain Don (never call your pilot Squeak) got on the radio.

“Allentown airport, this is Centurian four one niner kilo destination Happy Landing Golf Course, requesting clearance and radar check for any nearby aircraft; over.”  This was very impressive….until the airport responded.

“Squeak, is that you?  Damn, who are you trying to impress?  There is not a cloud in the sky, visibility is ten miles, and you have instruments that will pick up an approaching sea gull if it gets close enough.  OVER.” “Ah…Rodger Allentown thanks for the update. OUT.” I was now a little less impressed and a little more nervous.

After about 40 minutes, we approached the golf course.  Heading in to the landing strip, which I did not see until we were 150 yards away, gliding barely above a grove of trees and a power line, Captain Don informed me that the landing may be “A bit dicey!” 

We did land safely, but I was scared shitless!  “Squeak, what is up with the ‘a bit FREAKING dicey’ comment!”

“Oh, it was not a problem, just with the cross winds sometimes the landing is a bit bumpy.”

“THEN SAY BUMPY, NOT DICEY!  What the fuck does dicey mean?” 

By the time we covered the $36 greens and cart fees and were ready to tee off, my blood pressure was almost normal.  We played behind a twosome, both elderly gentlemen.  Squeak and I are 64, so elderly gentlemen means old; almost walker-old. 

It was a pleasant uneventful round.  As we reached the fourteenth hole, I had a chance to score under one hundred; Squeak had a shot at ninety.

The elderly gentlemen were teeing off, so we stayed in the cart a hundred yards away and watched.  We were in no hurry.  The first man up drove his ball straight down the middle.  It dribbled maybe 80 yards.  “FUCK!”  He yelled as he slammed his driver into the ground.  The second man up sliced his ball deep into the right hand woods.  “SHIT!” It was lost for sure.  “Take a Mulligan”, his partner advised.  Accepting the Mulligan gesture, the second man teed his ball and slashed at it once again.  This shot was pulled to the left, 80 yards into a swamp.  “Fucking shitty crap damnitty damn damn!”  The distinguished gentleman screamed as he wound up and flung his $300 Callaway diver in disgust.  He pulled that throw worse than he pulled his drive.  The club landed and stuck 10 feet up in a tree one hundred feet to his left. 

Don and I were trying to hold back our laughter when the twosome asked if we wanted to play through.  “Go ahead, no rush” we advised.

 This was a show we were not going to miss.

The Geezer golfers surveyed the situation.  They shook the tree; Nothing.  They threw their other driver at the stuck club.  The fourth try was a direct hit; both clubs tumbled back towards earth.  Both clubs got stuck 8 feet off the ground.  Don and I watched in amazement as these two golfers, both of whom walked like a 14 year old golden retriever climbing stairs, attempted to climb the tree.

Golfer number one made a stirrup with his hands and boosted golfer number two about eight inches up where he grabbed a foothold on a branch.  Don stood ready to dial 9-1-1 with his cell phone.  If either of these geezers fell, they would break like a light bulb dropped on cement.  Regardless of the danger, Don and I were now laughing convulsively.  With one foot on a broken branch and a seven iron in his hand the geezer golfer managed to free the $600 worth of drivers and they finally continued on their way.  They were on the green before Don and I could stop laughing enough to tee off ourselves. 

Green fees $36, fuel to get to golf course $150, Two Callaway drivers $600, watching two geezers risk their lives climbing a tree; priceless!

I’m sure the geezer golfers were accomplished respected gentlemen in their own realm, but they left their maturity in the locker room. 

Don and I finished the round uneventfully, stifling our laughter all the way in.  Don finished at 94, I managed a 102.  The scores were secondary after the tree climbing spectacle.

On our way to the plane, through the club house, we passed the old dudes regaining their composure over a couple of beers.  As we passed, Squeak paused and gave the geezers a golfing tip, “When you fling your club, don’t use too much right hand, it will cause a pull every time!”

Although I thought this comment was very funny, only two people laughed.

Thursday, June 28, 2012



Identity theft is a common problem in today’s digital age.  Once someone steals your identity he can drain your bank or brokerage account and take out credit cards with your name and your credit rating and use them to the max.  Getting out from under identity fraud is a long, arduous and expensive task.  You may never get your credit rating back.  Experts constantly warn that the most important advice to avoiding identity theft is to never give  your Name, SS #, or birth date to a stranger, except:

To your Doctor’s receptionist – assuming you want to see the doctor.

Your Investment advisor’s secretary or your bank’s manager – Assuming you want to make an investment or open a checking account.

Your motor vehicle clerk – assuming you want a driver’s license or need to register your car.

Your insurance agent or representative – assuming you want health, car or life insurance.

Any store that you are applying to for credit – assuming you want to buy stuff.

Hardly a day goes by where some legitimate entity doesn’t demand to know my name, birth date, and social security number.

But then what is to worry about?  Why would a doctor’s receptionist want to take my information and sell it to someone looking to steal my identity?  Don’t doctor’s receptionists get paid huge salaries?  Why would they need extra money from selling my information?   Drugs?  How would a doctor’s receptionist get access to drugs?  No worries Ms. Snediker, you seem like a nice person do you need my bank account too?

Why shouldn’t I trust any secretary, clerk, doctor or lawyer?  These people never have money problems, divorce, gambling or drinking issues.  They could have no incentive to sell my sensitive information could they?  Here take all my information…no problem!

Years ago, I volunteered to be a little league manager or coach.  I was told they would need my social security number.  “Why?”  I was told so they could run a security check on me, but not to worry, no information would be given to anyone but the Little League national organization.  It was all perfectly safe.

Two years later the same person who assured me the information was safe, the President of the local league, was arrested for stealing from his neighbors because his business went bankrupt, he couldn’t pay his mortgage and didn’t want his wife to find out.  Fortunately my personal information which could have been used to steal my identity was untouched.

What the Hell am I worried about?

My name is Cranky Oldman.  I was born September 31, 1946. My social security number is 555-fuc-kyou.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Picture has nothing to do with this post

I first became an Uncle at the age of eighteen.  I like being an Uncle.  I am proud of my brothers.  I am proud of my brother’s children.  I liked being called Uncle Joe.  There was something special about a toddler crawling on my lap and calling me Uncle Joe.  I liked having a title.

Somewhere along the road, about the time my niece turned eighteen I lost my title.  I was suddenly just Joe.  WTF?  What did I do to be demoted?  I never thought of the “Uncle” title as representing any superiority or even respect.  It was just a title.  I really didn’t do anything special to earn the title, but still it made me feel special.

I never demoted any of my Uncles.  I lost Uncles through divorce, I stilled referred to them as “Uncle.”  I had Uncles who drank too much and were not always favored family members with my mom and dad.  They still retained their title.

I still don’t know how or why I lost my title.  I am still very proud of my niece and nephews.  They are all very accomplished.  Somehow I am now just Joe.

I have had neighbors who I grew up with and always called Mr. or Mrs. tell me, “you don’t have to be formal, just call me Mike…or Mary.  I couldn’t do it.  They would always be Mr. or Mrs. to me.  I guess I just like titles.  Apparently lots of people do not.  I lost the Mr. Hagy title with several of my children’s friends and became Joe.  I hated that.  Of course now any new friends of my children call me Joe.  Anything else would seem awkward.  Some of their friends called me Mr. H.  For some reason I liked that.

Mrs. Cranky calls all her relatives by their title.  Some of her aunts are called auntie by Mrs. C and her siblings, some are called aunt.  No one seems to know why.  Aunt Catherine who owns the shore house we are staying at for three weeks used to be Auntie Catherine.  Now she is Aunt Catherine.  I am guessing that from Auntie to Aunt is a promotion in her family.

Mrs. C has an uncle, Uncle Lou who is Aunt Catherine’s brother-in-law. He is currently visiting at the shore from Canada.  I like Lou; he is the salt of the Earth.  I was introduced to him four years ago as Lou.  I just found out that I am actually one year older than Lou.

He just got promoted to Uncle Lou.

It makes me feel younger.      

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

PACKING FOR VACATION - A cranky re-run

While I am on vacation change of venue I am pulling out some of last year's posts.  Enjoy!

I am currently on vacation. I know, vacation from what?  I am retired!  Sometimes you just have to do nothing at a different venue.  In this case it is two weeks at the Jersey shore.  In New Jersey we don’t go to the beach, we go to the shore.  Why the shore I do not know for sure, but packing for the shore is sure a chore.

It is just myself, Mrs. Cranky, and Spencer.  We need appropriate clothes for two weeks on the beach, the boardwalk, the miniature golf course and maybe a restaurant.  Three large suitcases take care of the clothes.  Our giant SUV swallows up the suitcases with ease; there is plenty of room for more stuff. 

We pack umbrellas, fishing rods, reels, and tackle.  We need boogie boards, beach blankets and chairs.  The SUV easily absorbs all of this.  Oh wait; we need pillows, blankets and sheets.  We need a huge bag full of plastic buckets and shovels (Spencer is 13, his sand castle days are over, but we have them and…..just in case). 

We have to pack food (everything is more expensive at the shore).  Three cases of water, several bottles of wine and booze, milk, cases of soda, cartons of juice, juice boxes, and three gallons of Yoo Hoo.  We pack two weeks of groceries including a large watermelon, and the SUV is starting to swell.  Then we pack the giant bags of chips, Fritos and popcorn.  Seeing out of the rear view mirror is no longer an option.

Do we really need to bring bicycles?  You never know, so on goes the bike rack.  Now the rear SUV gate is blocked and we remember we need a bar-b-q, coals, and grilling tools.  They go on the roof along with three sleeping bags (you never know), fishing waders, a raft, a giant inner tube, and several of those stupid foam noodles all strapped down with a plethora of bungee cords. 

We remember swim fins, snorkels and masks.  These we slip in through the rear window.

I might play golf, so the clubs squeeze on to the back seat along with an ice chest with all the food items which must be kept cool or frozen.  Finally we are ready to go.

Wait, Spencer brings out his baseball bag, a football, and a Playstation 2.  We also have to have a radio, DVD player, portable TV, and three laptop PCs.  No problem.  Simply take down the bikes and the rack, pull out all the bags of chips, Fritos and popcorn, pack the electronics, put back all the chips and the SUV is now stuffed floor to ceiling.  I Slam the rear gate, and replace the rack and the three bikes.  We are ready to go…. almost.  We can’t forget the toilet paper, paper towels, detergents and soaps.  These are packed on or around Spencer in the back seat and under Mrs. Cranky’s legs in the front.    

All we need is Granny and a rocking chair on the roof to complete the “Beverly Hillbillies” image.  Driving down the Garden State Parkway we are not alone.  The road looks like a giant caravan of SUVs bulging with stuff, bikes hanging off the back, and roofs piled high with “just-in-case” shit.  

Every car in the caravan is driven by a long faced man who weeks ago was dreaming of this vacation.  Now he is dreading “unpacking,” and looking forward, he is not looking forward to packing all over again.  He is also calculating where to put that fucking giant monkey he is sure to win on the stupid boardwalk knock-over-the-cans game.

Happy Vacation!            

Monday, June 25, 2012



Several months ago I posted about a cuckoo clock which I inherited from my mom.  It is not an expensive clock.  It is probably not worth more than $25.  Its value is purely sentimental.

Somewhere in transit the clock lost its minute hand.  I replaced it with a small stick painted white.  This stick-hand is glued to the clock post, but it is not on firm enough to manually spin forward and move the hour hand to adjust to the correct time.  In order to get the clock to the right time you need to wait until real time equals cuckoo time and then start the pendulum. 

The clock runs fast or slow depending on where the weight of the pendulum is located.  Push it up to speed time; pull it down to slow time.  The clock must be wound once a day or it stops.  Needless to say whenever the cuckoo is in synch with the real world time, I forget to wind it, or we are away for a day or more.

The cuckoo is almost never in synch with the real world.  It is almost impossible to remember to start the pendulum when real world time equals cuckoo time.  Generally I remember to start it up within 90 minutes of real time.  I then have to adjust the pendulum weight to either catch up or drop back to the actual time.  Once I have achieved synching up to real time I then have to readjust the weight to real time speed.

Every once in a while I actually have the cuckoo clock adjusted to the correct time and running at the correct speed.  Then I forget to wind it  and the process starts all over.

Mrs. Cranky is the only one that can hear the cuckoo bird cuckooing from our bedroom.  Every morning she advises me how far off the clock is to real time and I try to adjust it accordingly.

Last week she told me the clock was one hour fast.  When I went to check it, the time was spot on.   She claimed she heard nine cuckoos when it was eight o’clock.  If true this would mean the bird’s cuckoos were not is synch with the time hands.  I have no idea how to correct that.

Later in the day I counted eleven cuckoos at exactly eleven o’clock.  I informed Mrs. Cranky she was crazy and the clock was just fine.  She disagreed.  The next morning at eight o’clock I counted nine cuckoos.   Damn!  After several days of cuckoo counting we have determined the bird is accurate from ten o’clock to five o’clock and then adds an extra cuckoo from six o’clock thru nine o’clock.

The clock is indeed cuckoo!  We have decided it just adds to its charm. 

I suppose I could purchase a new, accurate, adjustable cuckoo clock, but this was my mom’s clock, a new one just would not be the same. Besides, I’m retired; trying to get the clock running at the correct time gives me something to do.  Figuring out what time it is based on the number of cuckoos is good mental exercise.

Sunday, June 24, 2012



It is Sunday, and even while I am ‘on a change of venue’ (vacation) it is not enough to stop my stupid headlines of the week and my stupider sophomoric and sometimes offensive comments.

California woman gets 4 years in prison for trying to sell infant outside Walmart – Walmart spokesman Dewey Cheatem stated “If we allowed infant sales outside the store, who would buy our infants?”

Professor fired after expressing climate change skepticism – President of Lemming U claimed professor was fired for failing to walk in lock-step with other professors.  The President stated, “If we allow free thinking, students will be confused.  What is next, the world is round?”

Rielle Hunter describes sex with John Edwards; calls his deceased wife 'witch on wheels'- She must have been really mean when she was still alive.

White House denies Fast and Furious ‘cover up’ – The President’s advisors assured the press that “There has been no fast and furious cover up.  Any cover up has been carefully planned and executed.”

Ohio man was making meth inside Walmart, police say – Police also claim the man wath trying to thteal lotth of thtuff and refuthed to clean up hith meth.

New Jersey woman hit with baseball sues Little League playerWoman shocked and surprised that an 11 year-old could overthrow a player!  Maybe she shouldn’t set up a picnic directly behind players warming up.  The woman is also suing the LL for serving hot coffee, “Who knew it would burn if spilled?” and the weatherman for her severe case of sunburn, “He said it would be cloudy!” 

Review: Honest Abe has an ax to grind in 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' – I guess we won’t be seeing the sequel “Abraham Lincoln: The Zombies are Coming.”

Bullies Apologize to Karen Klein, but She Wasn’t Doing Her Job – Well I wouldn’t say this…but she has a point.   A bus monitor is supposed to control the little bastards, not sit and take abuse.

Jogger targeted by teens turns out to be Kung Fu expert – Oh I LOVE this one.  Two teens groped a jogger in a Vancouver, Washington State park.  The jogger Pricilla Dang had studied Kung Fu for 18 years at a martial arts school owned by her family.   OOPS!!

Wales 'psychic' guilty of tricking young women into sex actsThese two young women who committed lewd sex acts to ‘increase their spiritual powers’ for FOUR YEARS just might not be the brightest bulbs in the lamp.

Tune next week for more


Saturday, June 23, 2012

I SHOULDN”T BE ALIVE - a cranky re-run

Another cranky re-run...hey i'm on vacation...well i'm retired so i'm on change of venue.

There is a show on Animal Planet “I Shouldn’t be alive” where people get themselves in horrible situations, face death, and at the last minute manage to escape or be rescued.  In the fifties and sixties my friends and I did things which today it would seem a miracle that we made it to retirement.  Here are the things we did as kids for which:


As an infant, my parents allowed me to sleep on my stomach.

Two kids and only one bike?  No problem; one kid would just ride on the handlebars.

I regularly ate peanut butter.  I even took PBJ sandwiches to school and killed no one!

I never used a seatbelt in a car before the age of 22.

I once crossed the road and only looked one way.

In the winter we bumper-hitched (grabbed a ride by skiing on your boots behind a car holding on to the bumper.)

I cut through old man McDermott’s back yard.

I rode bikes and skied without a wearing a helmet.

I sailed small boats and water-skied without wearing a life jacket.

I took salt tablets before football practice in 98 degree heat.

We played with BB guns.

I dove in the shallow end of a swimming pool.

I ran with scissors. 

The hill we used for Sledding in the winter was on a busy street.

I ate raw eggs.

I struck a match without closing the cover.

I Drumk and droved (hic).

I had unsafe sex….well I would have.

I ran barefoot all summer…Bees? I ain’t afraid of no stinkin bees!

I passed an 18 wheeler truck on the right.

I stood under a tree in a thunderstorm.

I Called Football Coach Khoury “Nemo” (Had to run laps until I dropped, but I did survive.)

I once went swimming 45 minutes after eating.

I once prepared raw chicken and did not wash my hands.

I squirted starter fluid over a lit brbq.

They should do that TV show on my life because clearly;


Friday, June 22, 2012

The Smoke Detector - A cranky re-run

Taking a cranky day off and heading for the shore, here is a cranky re-run

The Smoke Detector

The other day my breakfast was ruined as every 30 seconds an annoying beep came from the basement family room.  I traced the annoying beep to a smoke detector in the basement. 

“Why is it f***ing beeping?”  I demanded of my more patient wife.  “The battery must be low,” came the calm response.

“The BATTERY? WTF, the thing is hard wired!”

“In case of a power shortage there is a battery as a back-up.  When the battery is low it beeps to warn you.”

“Really.  What happens if there is a power failure, the battery is low, but the beep function is defective?  We will all die!”

“Just change the battery……you’re a jerk.

After much twisting, turning and prying, I managed to take down the detector and change the battery.  I twisted and turned back locking the device in the ceiling and retreated upstairs with a satisfied grin.

Beep Beep!  “FUCK! I thought you said it was the battery.”

“That new battery is a couple of years old; it must not be any good.  Go out and get a new 9 volt and stop whining.  You’re a jerk.

The wife is almost never wrong on stuff like this, so I went to the hardware store for a new battery.  Forty-five minutes later I was back.  After much twisting, turning and prying, I managed to take down the detector and change the battery.  I twisted and turned it back locking the device in the ceiling and retreated upstairs with a satisfied grin.

Beep Beep! 

“FUCK! I thought you said it was the battery.”

“Are you sure you changed it correctly?  What a jerk!


Beep Beep.

Now I was really pissed.  After much twisting, turning and prying I pulled down the offending detector (again) and unplugged it from the hard wiring.

Beep Beep.

WTF!  I yanked out the battery.

Beep Beep.

Now I was really angry.  I ran to the garage, grabbed a hammer, and smashed the smoke detector to bits.  Silence.

“What did you do?”

“I busted the freaking thing up, that beep was driving me nuts.”

“That’s a short trip! Jerk.

Sweaty but satisfied that the battle was over I was again jolted by that annoying sound. 

Beep Beep.

I trudged downstairs hammer in hand ready to destroy.  Destroy what I did not know.  I stared at the hole in the ceiling and waited. 

Beep Beep. 

It was not coming from the ceiling.  Listening carefully I traced the sound.

Beep Beep.

Found it!  It was a Carbon Monoxide detector in the corner.  One of three in the room left by the former owner!  No carbon monoxide was going to get passed this basement un-noticed.  The freaking thing was just defective.  It is now defective about thirty yards into the woods where I chucked it.  Problem solved!

You’re a jerk!   

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Based on my extensive observation of reality TV judge shows, I have concluded that women remember details, men remember shit.  Women particularly remember details when an event affects them emotionally. 

Judge Judy: When did your wife catch you with this other women?

Husband: It was around November.

Wife (interrupting): It was October 18th your honor…Thursday…at 1AM.

Judge Alex: Mr. Smith, you say your girl friend gave you money to fix the car as a gift.  How much did it cost to fix the car?

Dude: Ah…around one thousand dollars.

Girl friend (interrupting): It was a loan your honor and it was one thousand two hundred and twelve dollars…and 87 cents.  It was on a Tuesday…April 12th…at 4PM…

Judge Karen: Sir, where were you when the plaintiff said you bumped into her car?

Dude: I was headed north bound on Main at the corner of Elm and Pine.

Lady (interrupting): Your honor…It was west bound, Main does not run north to south…and it was on the corner of Beeker Avenue and Elm…it was December 4th…Friday…12:06PM…I was wearing a green skirt and a white blouse.

Judge Marylyn Milian: Mr. Smith…how long were you and the defendant seeing each other before you decided to move in together.

Dude: It was about six weeks your honor.

Lady (interrupting): Your honor it was 47 days…7 hours…and 22 minutes.  We ended on a Thursday.  It was a cloudy day. 

Women also always act as if the man’s lack of knowledge of detail is an indicator of his guilt.

Judge Judy: Sir, how often do you see your daughter?

Dad: Once a week and every other weekend your honor.

Mom: Your honor, he doesn’t even know our daughters shoe size!

Judge Joe Brown: Now Mr. O’Brian could you describe the vehicle that forced you to pull into Mrs. Brown’s lane and require her to take evasive precautionary action which due diligence was clearly necessary in this particular situation and resulted in the damage to both objects of transportation.

Dude:  What? (Judge Joe Brown will always use seven words when one will do.)

Judge Joe Brown: Did you see the car that caused the accident?

Dude:  Oh, it was a two door blue Lexus.

Lady (interrupting) It was mint green your honor…with a black pin stripe! Judge Joe Brown, he doesn’t even know it was a BMW!

Women not only remember minutia, they save records of EVERYTHING.

Judge Judy: Sir did you promise to repay your then girlfriend, or do you contend she gave you the money?

Dude: It was a gift your honor.

Ex-girlfriend: Your honor I have text messages saying it was a loan, I have a voice message saying he would repay the loan and I have a napkin with his signature guaranteeing he would repay the loan.

Guys just admit: It was not a gift, you were seeing someone else, you stole the cell phone, you meant to hit her, you trashed the apartment, you are a drunk, you burned the couch because you smoke dope, and you never intended to call her back.  Oh, and you don’t bathe, you fart a lot, and you never held a job in your life.


Stay out of TV Courts!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

THE 1957 VOLVO PV544

THE 1957 VOLVO PV544

My best friend through high school and college was Charlie  “Chuck” “Winky” “Winkinstein” “Ditmus” “Asshead” Widmer.  In 1964, the summer after high school graduation, Charlie bought a 1957 Volvo fastback.

The Volvo was beat up, but it was powerful.  It was a three speed stick on the floor and had a giant steering wheel.  The upholstery was torn and the passenger door tended to pop open when the car made a right turn at a high speed.

(Never mind the facts Chuck; I’m pretty sure I’ve got the punch line right.)

Charlie paid $170 for that car.  It was his first car.  He loved that car.

The Volvo could beat just about any other car off the line…until it had to be shifted from first to second.  Sometimes going into second gear was an adventure in grinding; still it was fast and it was loud, two really endearing qualities in an eighteen-year- old’s car.

The Volvo made it through that summer, winning countless 25 yard drag races from stop lights until second gear.  Women were attracted to the hum of the engine and the thunder of the beat up muffler.  I know they were attracted because they would smile and point at us as we idled at a red light and “Asshead” rev’d the engine.  Somehow, attracted as they were, we never managed a successful pickup.

At the end of August, Charlie put the Volvo up for sale.  He was not able to take the car to college…no he was allowed to take it to college; he did not think it would make the four hour drive to Massachusetts.

Listed at $200, the first potential buyer was very interested.  To seal the deal, Charlie took the prospect for a test drive.  He extoled the car’s virtues: Headlights worked, brakes worked, and the engine was powerful.  He even managed to time the gear correctly and slipped it from first gear to second without a grind. 

The buyer was almost hooked when

Here is the point of this whole story. 

The buyer was almost hooked when while idling at a stop sign, smoke started to filter out of the hood.  Charlie jumped out of the car, flung open the hood and stared wild-eyed at flames coming from his precious powerful engine.  He pulled off his shirt and slammed it on the flames furiously until the fire went out.

The buyer was no longer enthusiastic about this chick magnet of a car.  Charlie, ever the salesman turned to the buyer, smoke still rising from the engine, the smell of burning oil wafting through the air, and said…wait for it…

“Gee, it’s never done that before!”

The Volvo and its now solid blob of metal which used to be an engine was towed to the junkyard.   Charlie even got $25 for the car. 

For a net cost of $145 we got a summer of winning drag races and admiring glances from hot young women. 

That Volvo was maybe the best car ever.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012



TV land on my cable channel 34 broadcasts re-runs of “Leave it to Beaver” every morning.  There have been some great situation comedies through the years, “I Love Lucy,” “You’ll Never Get Rich,” “Mash,” “The Cosby Show,” “Sienfeld,” on and on right up until today with “The Office,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and others.  Far and away the best and probably the most underrated comedy of all time is “Leave it to Beaver.”

This show was the closest to reality of any situation comedy I have ever seen.  If you lived a lily-white middle class life in any suburb USA in the fifties and sixties, you either knew or were “The Cleavers.”  There were no complicated plots in this show, just the stuff every family with boys goes through every day.  The writers managed to combine life as seen through the eyes of a child, an adolescent, and a mom and dad in perfect comedic juxtaposition.  (I looked it is used correctly)

Watching the frustrated dad “help” his third grader with his homework is as accurate (and funny from the outside looking in) then as it is today.

“Beaver, you’ve had three weeks to write this poem for school, why did you wait until the day before it is due?”

“Gee dad, I was afraid that if I did it earlier I might lose it and junk.”

If you put this show in a time capsule the future archeologists that view it would shake their heads in disbelief. 

“Mom washing dishes in a full party dress, pearl necklace and perfectly quaffed hair…REDICULOUS!”

“Dad coming to dinner with a suit and tie…how unrealistic.”

Who would believe parents would let their six-year old wander around town alone all day?  

“Wally, will you go and see what’s keeping the Beaver, it’s almost time for supper.”

All these things and more were actually an accurate portrayal of suburban life in the fifties and sixties.  It was an age of formality and innocence we will not see again.

In one episode, The Beaver decides to run away from home because he was yelled at by his father.  Mom and Dad helped him pack, patted him on the head and on his way out the door said, “Were sure going to miss you.”

Would this ever happen today in a world of helicopter parents looking over their shoulder for kidnappers, pedophiles and drunk drivers at every corner?

When I was six, I ran away from home.  I don’t remember why, but I do remember my mom yell on my way out, “Don’t forget your toothbrush.”  When I returned to the door she handed my toothbrush to me and said, “We’re sure going to miss you!”

Of course she sent my older brother, Chris, to follow me.  After about three blocks he caught up to me.  Apparently he was tired of this running away nonsense.

“Hey squirt, where are you going to go?  Join the circus? What?”

I had no answer, so I just turned around and came home.  Dinner was waiting.  No one ever mentioned the brief time I was “on my own.”

I guess that is why I like “Leave it to Beaver;” anyone that has ever been a little boy has been “The Beaver.”