THE CRANKY OLD MAN
Random thoughts and stuff from a cranky old man. Humor (maybe), satire, and some politics, mostly stuff from a confused head.
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The following is the opinion of a
cranky old man.Opposing opinions are
welcome (wrong, but welcome) please, no name calling, and that means you, you
What is the
hubbub?Paula Deen admitted using the
n-word thirty years ago in a deposition during a discrimination law suit.There is some evidence of inappropriate
behavior in the discrimination case, but the main issue seems to be that Ms.
Deen admitted she once used the n-word.
all, when will we grow up?She said
nigger.It is an ugly word, but not so
ugly that it can never be printed and we have to dance around like 4 year olds.
“Ooh you said the n-word.” Who among us has never said nigger?I’ve said it.When? I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ve said it many times. Actually, as a child before I even knew what "nigger" meant, it is what we caught by the toe after eemie, meenie, miny, moe.
said “I hate niggers.” I’ve never called anyone a nigger, I don’t believe I’ve
ever referred to a person as a nigger, but I’m sure I’ve used the word.I’ve used the words kike, wop, Pollack, mick,
spick, wasp, fag, honky and towel head.
used these words in jokes. Sometimes I’ve used them because other people were
using them. I am not proud of it, but I
will own up to it.They are all mean
words, and words can hurt.A gay man
once casually referred to me as a “breeder” and it bothered me as it was so
demeaning. Hurtful words are not always an indication of what is in a
person’s heart. Some words are like bullets, dangerous, but only if aimed directly at someone.
used the n-word (nigger) 30 years ago following a traumatic
incident in which an African-American man held Deen at gunpoint inside a bank
where she was working as a teller. She said she believed she used the n-word
when telling her husband about the incident.
I guess she should have told her husband that, “An
African-American gentleman stuck a gun in my face today and wanted money.I did not like this person, but not because
of his complexion…pretty much it was the gun.”
Paula Deen’s problem is that she is a southerner.She says “y’all” a lot.She sounds like a racist.That southern twang sounds racist.Paula Deen is a southerner, she is famous and
she once said nigger.She is now poison,
and sponsors are dropping her like a hot potato.
I am not a big Paula Deen fan.I always thought she was an entertaining cook
show host, but I will not really miss her shows or her endorsements.
She may be a racist, where there is smoke there is
usually fire, but she should not be judged solely because she once used a word.
If that is the basis for a person to be branded a
racist, then burn a big R on my A-word. It is not in my heart, but I guess I am guilty,
but I am guilty with a lot of people.
Probably 99 percent of people in this country are also
guilty though half of them would say, “I’ve
never said nigger…oops.”
The preceding has been the opinion of a cranky old man and not
necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.
all the old cars gone?While driving
around the other day, on the highway, through the streets and in the mall lot I
noticed something, or I didn’t notice something, there are no more old cars on
the road.Well I am sure there are old
cars, but they are hard to spot these days.
old cars were easy to spot.Every car
maker changed their designs each year.There were only a few manufacturers, so every kid over age seven could
identify any car by make, model and year.If a car was old, you knew it was old and you knew exactly how old it
“Damn, look at that ’49 Ford
coup…still running.Man if I had that
baby I would chop it, nose it, lower it, and add some duel exhausts.”
also tell old cars because they burned oil like there was no tomorrow.From miles away you could spot (or smell) an
used to rust after about three years.If
you did not wash it, and wax it every week or two the old paint jobs would not
hold up and old cars would rust away.Apparently paint jobs today are far superior.I had a red jeep for fifteen years.I washed it by leaving it out in the rain,
and never waxed it.When I turned it in
there was not a spot of rust on it.When
is the last time you heard the term “rust bucket?”
cars used to have vinyl roofs.These
were really sharp looking for about two years.After two years, even if you Armor-Alled regularly these tops turned to
dust and underneath the rust came shinning through.
You used to
be able to hear an old car from miles away.It has been years since I’ve heard a car sputter or backfire.
happened to old cars?I think
competition from abroad has forced manufacturers to improve their paint finish
and technology has improved efficiency and dependability of engines.Government regulations with respect to
emissions and safety have undoubtedly taken “old cars” off the road and helped
the development of better longer lasting cars.Maybe it is good that government does sometimes force improvements down
complaining, merely observing.I know
there are plenty of old cars on the road, but they are just not as “old” as old
cars used to be.
myself, and a revolving parade of sisters, nieces, children and grandchildren
are down on the Jersey Shore for a well-deserved vacation from the world of
We have been
bombarded by TV and radio promos that the Shore is open and vacationers are
welcome because “We are stronger than the storm.”On first glance that appears to be true.Driving down rt. 35 to Mrs. Cranky’s Aunt’s
house where we rent a ground floor apartment behind the garage, “The Shore”
seemed unchanged.Familiar landmarks
were still present and seemed untouched by Sandy.Then we passed the sign marking the entrance
This is an
area of beautiful mansions right up on the beach.Now some people might be jealous of the
owners of these mansions as they are out of the reach of 99% of the world.I loved this area of fantasy beach
homes.They are beautiful; they set you
a-dreaming.I’ll never own the Empire
State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, but they are mine to see and admire.I felt the same way about the Mantoloking
It is no
Mantoloking was devastated.I saw it on
TV; but driving by and seeing just sand where multi-million dollar homes once
stood took my breath right away.
devastating as the loss of these fabulous homes is at least the owners are probably
still rich!That does not mean I do not
feel for their loss, most of these people earned their treasure through hard
work and risk taking, still as much as I feel for their loss, it was the
ordinary beach homes that were lost that really choked me up.
the road to our summer retreat are small homes and tiny bungalows.Most appear fine at first glance, but then
you realize they are gutted from water damage and mold.They probably cannot be replaced by their
owners who face tougher building standards and higher insurance costs.These homes were purchased by people of some
means, but they were probably still bought on a shoestring and the owners
relied on rentals to help defray the costs of their dream vacation home.
And then you
see homes of yearlong residents. These are homes gutted and unlivable.Where are these residents living?Will they ever return to their little piece
of heaven on the shore?My heart goes
out to them the most. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the destruction. Some blocks, like the one where we rent, were untouched, while ten blocks to the south the homes are in ruin.
Jersey stronger than the storm?There is
rebuilding all over.There are also many
houses for sale.The boardwalks are
back.Businesses are reopening and there
is a sense that yes the New Jersey Shore will recover and be better than
ever.Still there is much pain and
plenty of sorrow.The shore will
recover, but many people’s lives will never be the same.
meantime, the beaches are not crowded and there is plenty of parking.
So I’m on
the beach all by my lonesome because Mrs. Cranky went to work, and the NC
Crankettes are not due to arrive until 6 pm.This old dude (I know, I think everyone is old and I’m still 28 even
though I’m really 67.)
dude saunters up the beach and makes a crack about how no one is swimming when
the water is so warm.I’m thinking “Fuck
you asshole the water is 62 and that is cold even in New Jersey.”
He dives in
and is out in about 40 seconds and comes up to some lady he apparently knows
and starts a conversation.I am
listening in because that is what I do.
So I just
about tune this blow hard out and I hear, “Well that is it with the hot
weather, it is low 80’s now and there is rain every day for the next 8 days!”
Now my ears
perked up.First of all at the shore we
crave hot weather.If it is in the 90’s
we can call home and brag about how cool it is by the water (I know shallow,
but what can I say?) Second of all, with three Crankettes coming all the way
from NC, I really don’t want to hear “RAIN!”
jerk weed got me all depressed.I had
not heard the weather as we lost cable and internet yesterday (a whole nother
I drag my
butt back to our beach house…er beach room behind the garage…and check my
i-phone.The temperature is 91, and is
not expected to go below 85 for the next week.There are warnings for thunderstorms every day.
report for the summer in New Jersey calls for a chance of afternoon
thunderstorms EVERY DAY FROM JUNE TO
SEPTEMBER!!! Why is this jerk weed telling the whole beach that the next 8
days will be a wash out?
people love to announce bad news when they don’t really have a clue?
If the water
is so friggin warm you giant a-hole, stay in it for more than 40 seconds YOU BIG FRIGGIN BLOW HARD A-HOLE BAD NEWS
mention I get extra cranky when I am without Cable TV and the internet?
1968, the New York Jets were playing the Oakland Raiders in a grudge football
game.I don’t remember if the game had
any particular importance in the leagues standings, but these two teams were
major rivals at the time and every game was for blood.The game was being televised nationally on
NBC.The game was expected to end by
6:30 pm in the evening, giving ample time for a post-game show and a scheduled 7:00
broadcast of a highly publicized movie “Heidi.”
The game ran
long.It was high scoring and there were
several injury timeouts.With less than
one minute to play, and the clock about to strike 7:00, the Jets were winning
32-29.A three point lead was far from
game over. A field goal would tie
the game up, so fans around the country were on the edge of their
And then the
fans that tuned in to watch “Heidi” were alarmed that there was still a
football game being televised. These
non-fans called into NBC to inquire if “Heidi” was going to be delayed.These calls jammed the lines and a NBC
executive’s call to keep the game on and delay “Heidi” did not go through.
With less than
a minute to go and the Raiders driving to within field goal range, the opening
of “Heidi” suddenly came on the screen.
little girl was seen dancing in the hills of Switzerland, Oakland threw a 50
yard touchdown pass to take the lead over the Jets.No one saw that TD and fans across the
country were screaming at their TV sets.Then, while Heidi was still twirling through the mountain flowers, the
Jets fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Oakland returned it for another TD to make the score
fans around the country were outraged, and this incident resulted in a TV
directive to never pull away from a live event in favor of another scheduled
game is well known in pro-football lore, but one point always seems to be left
out of the story.
The New York
Jets were 7 point underdogs to the Raiders in this game.When NBC cut to “Heidi,” half of the New York
tri-state area had money bet on the Jets; bets that with the spread, looked to
be a sure win.Perhaps the Raiders might
pull out a tie in that last minute, they could even, maybe, win the game, but
never did anyone in all of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut think for a
minute that they might lose their bet. After all, with the spread they were leading by 10 points.
returned a fumbled kickoff for a touchdown with less than 30 seconds in the
game, they also covered the spread and a lot of New York Jets fans lost a lot
of money, and they lost this money while Heidi was dancing on the TV screen.
Much of the commotion
and anger at the “Heidi Bowl” incident was not because fans missed the final
exciting minute on TV, but was generated by superstitious gamblers who blamed “Heidi”
on the Jets incredible failure to cover the spread when Oakland scored 14
points in less than a minute.
thanks to Val the Victorian, you know, “the rest of the story!”
When I was growing up my family moved a lot.No, we were not staying ahead of the bill collectors, my dad’s job required relocation about every four years.In school, four years is about the time it takes to go from the “New Kid” to one of the gang.I was always “The New Kid.”
The first thing that happens to the new kid in school is that all the losers want to be your friend.When I say losers I mean kids that are different.As an old man I have learned to appreciate people that are different.In many ways I prefer people that are different.As an eight year old or even a high school kid, hanging with kids that are different is poison.You, the new kid, are immediately branded as “different.”Different in school is a hard row to hoe.
Shedding the "different" image is not easy.You are forced to be mean to the only kids that befriended you in the first few weeks of school.This was a source of bullying when I was a kid; it is a source of bullying today.The different kids try to befriend others and to shake the image of you yourself also being different you have to make it clear you do not associate with the different kids.
At least you thought you had to.
I am sorry different kids.I did not mean to be mean.I wanted to fit in.I didn’t want to be “The New Kid.”
To “Tubby” Thompson: You were not “Fat, fat the water rat.”
To “Four Eyes” Susan Smith: I wear glasses now and I know they suck.
To “Sparkles” O’Malley: I secretly thought your braces were really cute.
To Erick “The Spaz” Goldblatt: You threw like a girl, now you are a dentist.I guess I was wrong.
To Jane “Bazooka Jane” Jablonski:What the hell was I thinking?
To all the kids I was mean to:I’m Sorry; being “The New Kid” sucked, but eventually I would fit in.You were different all through school.
week’s stupid headlines and my stupider sophomoric and sometimes offensive
headline is completely made up. Guess the fake and win a mention.
Experts Warn Eyeball Licking Trend
Can Injure the Eye, Damage Sight – But is ok to do it until I just need glasses?
‘Colllege’ World Series opens with
conspicuous misspelling on dugout – This is just sillly, I have loooked and loooked and I don’t
see any missspelllings!
Biker culture comes to Vatican as Pope Francis blesses
hundreds of Harley Davidsons – So the Hell’s
Angles now…ah…Saint Harley…er…Shoot, I’ve got nothing.Seems like this headline should have a funny
Alaska man, 63, charged with DUI on shopping cart – Man knocked over two-hundred cans of tomato
paste when an officer told him to pull it over.
Texas woman arrested as suspected terrorist for taking
pictures of Ranch Gates – Why
would anyone be taking pictures of gates?She must be up to no good!
Will California Let Boys Use Girls
Locker Rooms? – “Well yes, I look like a boy, but trust me in my mind I am a girl…could
you pick up that soap for me please…thank you…now ah…where are the urinals?”
New Mexico woman unmasks robber to find grandson, police
say – I wonder how
many robbers she had to unmask before she found him?
Columbia's Cons: Ivy League social work program run by
team of former prisoners – Charles
Manson is slated to teach a course in Group Dynamics in a communal organization
and the importance of delegating.
'Mickey Mouse' reinvented yet again in Disney's new animated shorts– Mrs. Cranky
has shopped all over for these animated Disney shorts, I told her I don’t want
to be reinvented.
Ex-Yankees manager Joe Torre's daughter catches falling
baby – The baby was fine
until the ex-catcher’s daughter flung him to a manhole cover in an effort to
double up a toddler.
Last week’s fake headline:
West Virginia woman freaks out over bad Drivers license
picture, spills diet coke all over DMV worker – I think maybe the bad picture was due to the wacko in
front of the lens!
I WOULD pick
the $100 cigarette tax, but I think Bloomberg is wacky enough to come up with
I'm going with the West Virginia Diet Coke debacle. However...
I thought, perhaps, this was a thinly-veiled vignette about ME. But
I'm sure you would never, ever, refer to me as a wacko unless you've seen my
actual driver's license photo. Besides, a Diet Coke is a terrible thing to
waste on a DVM worker. And of course, I'm not from West Virginia.
The following opinion is that of a
cranky old man, opposing opinions are welcome (wrong, but welcome) but please,
no name calling, that means you, you big stupid-head.
So the Miami
Heat snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in game six of the NBA
championship series.I missed it.I am not a big fan of the NBA.If the Knicks were playing I would watch, but
otherwise not so much.I will probably
watch game seven tonight (Thursday.)Maybe
I’ll wait for the fourth quarter when the game usually gets interesting.
And that is
why I am commenting on a game I did not even watch.Basketball fans should know the game is not
over until the buzzer buzzes.Many Miami
Heat fans left this game with Miami down by five points and 28 seconds
remaining.They left to get to their
cars and beat the traffic, then when the game was tied up and going to overtime
they went nuts trying to get back into the arena.Security would not let them back in. HA!
understand fans paying big dollars to attend an event, ticket prices for this
game must have started at $50 or more, and then leaving before the game is
over.Even if the outcome is clear, I
would not leave early.I watched “Lincoln”
until the end even though I knew he would be shot.Anything can happen in a sporting event.Stay to the end or let a real fan get a
games ever, in any sport, all go to the final play.There is nothing as exciting as a big
comeback.Guess what there has never
been a big comeback that did not look like a lost cause…THAT’S WHY THEY’RE BIG
people leave baseball games in the seventh inning?How can you file out of a football game in
the fourth quarter?
In the name
of Magic Johnson, can anyone leave a championship basketball game with only 28
seconds left???Twenty-eight seconds!!!
Your team did not quit, why did you quit on your team?Are you going to beat the traffic in 28
seconds?If you are that worried about
traffic, STAY THE FRIG HOME.Watch it on
TV.You are not a fan, you are a poser.You go to the game to say you were at the
game.Your life revolves around beating
traffic?You are not a fan.A fan watches to the bitter end…just in
case.Traffic?Take your time, hang out, and stop for a
drink, that 28 seconds will not get you home that much sooner, and if getting
home is so important, STAY AT HOME in the first place.
You are not
a fan you people who exit early; you are as Mrs. Cranky so often calls me:
The preceding has been the opinion of
a Cranky Old Man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky! Update - The heat won the Championship Thursday night. With 22 seconds left, Miami was up by 5 points. No fans left the stadium.
Cranky Old Man is on his way to the Jersey Shore for a much needed vacation from doing nothing. Here is a re-run from June 2012 while I'm packing and un-packing.
Sometimes I look back on my life and I think I never fulfilled my potential.I was a low level manager at a brokerage firm for forty years.What a waste.I should have been a doctor.
I think I would have made a great doctor.The only issue that probably would have held me back as a doctor is I have always been a little bit lazy.Doctors have to work hard and they have to know a lot of stuff.
Sometimes I think maybe I could have been a podiatrist.They only have to know about feet.How hard could that be?Feet?They are really not that complicated.But then…
There is hammer toe, bunions, flat feet, toe nail problems, arch problems; I would probably even have to know about ankles and stuff.There are a lot of bones in feet and every one of them can cause problems and require different treatments.
A podiatrist might have been a bit much for me.Still, I think I would have made a great doctor.Maybe I could have just narrowed down my practice.
If I had it to do over again, I would have become a doctor.I would have been pinky specialist.What are there; three bones and a nail?I could have easily learned everything there is to know about the pinky.You don’t put a broken pinky bone in a cast; you just wrap it with a popsicle stick and some duct tape.A cut pinky hardly ever needs stiches; generally a band aide will do.If as a doctor you screw up it is only a pinky.People can do just fine without a pinky.A pinky specialist does not have that much pressure.
It is too late for me to go back and start a new career.It’s too bad.I think I would have been a great Pinky Specialist.
At the age
of seven, my folks decided I needed to learn to play an instrument.We had a piano as my dad was learning to play…he
taught himself cause he could just do things like that…so I decided to try
piano.I took lessons for several months
and actually kind of like it, until I learned I was going to play in my first
recital was going to be broadcast on the radio, 1580 AM or KFNO in Las Angeles.I was to perform the “Teaching Little Fingers
To Play” classic, “From a Wigwam.” (This tune would be totally politically
Wigwam” was the most difficult song in book one of TLFTP, it involved using
both hands…at the same time! I panicked.The thought of playing on the radio with maybe 18 people listening was
too much.I skipped two lessons which po’d
my dad no end as he still had to pay. I gave up the piano before the
understood the recital thing, especially for young children.For me it was too much and it caused me to
quit piano before I found out if I would like playing or not.I discovered later in life that I have no
musical ability, but the recital thing still left a bad taste in my mouth.
ago while visiting my North Carolina Crankettes I attended my first piano
recital, some 60 years after I chickened out on my own recital.Two Crankettes were slated to perform.
Tommy, 10, played very well.He stumbled a
bit on the first piece, but he nailed the second.Halley, 8, played beautifully; she did not miss a
note, though she may have played as if the building was on fire.She will learn to slow down.
highlight of the evening came when the last student took the chair. The oldest Crank, my little girl, the mother of three
of my grandchildren has been taking lessons.Mary Beth played piano as a child.She did not have lessons, we could not afford them.Her piano was an old un-tunable hand-me-down.At the age of six Mary Beth was playing by
ear, and not just plink-plink plunk-plunk play by ear, she played with all ten fingers,
chords and all.Mary Beth would listen
to a piece from a movie and then go replicate it on the piano.When she first mastered “The Theme from Ice
Castles” I was shocked.It sounded just
like it came from the television.
We did get MB
lessons when she was older, but the teacher turned out to be a nut job.She was paranoid and suffered severe anxiety
attacks.She was a good teacher, but she
suddenly was taken away babbling incoherently…very sad. That was the end of lessons, until just two years ago when Mary Beth decided
she would learn to read music and play properly.
was her second.I was as nervous for her
as I was when I chickened out on my own recital.She played strictly classical…Debussy and
magnificent, oh she may have missed a note or two, but she soldiered on, no one noticed, and she played
beautifully.She played with touch and
with feeling and I enjoyed every note as did the rest of the audience of
parents and their children.
It took 60 years,
but I made it through my first piano recital.