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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Reading the New Yorker

I ran into someone a few months back who told me she reads The New Yorker cover to cover every week. So do I, if that means perusing both the index and the Cartoon Caption Contest. I think I have a better chance of spontaneously regrowing a full head of hair than starting with The Mail, meandering through the maze of phrases piled from here to eternity and ending up with any hold on my sanity.

If the road of life is strewn with good intentions then I would suggest you detour away from my personal highway. This is definitely the week I get past The Talk of the Town before raising the white flag. Does Shouts and Murmurs count as progress or is that like adding insult to injury?

I should be able to read the Fiction piece. After all, it is like a one chapter book. How hard can that be? If you have to ask then you really don't have a clue.

Those poems. I mean I never understood anything beyond "There once was a boy from the South....." So, unless it is a piece about a pencil, it has no point (get it, pencil without a point).

As for the television and movie reviews. Now that I should be capable of digesting. But everything is suddenly so complicated and complex, with various layers and meaning far beyond what I thought I was watching. It kind of makes my head hurt and convinces me to cancel my Mensa membership.

The other sections are so far beyond the realm of my universe I can't even remember what they are. And all those pages in the front taken up with discussions of restaurants, museums and other things happening in NYC. You know I live in NJ, don't you? I can barely afford the toll across the bridge, forget about the garage and the cost of exploring every venue you suggest. Unless you are giving out interest free loans, I am staying on Governor Christie's side of the Hudson, thank you.

So, why do I get The New Yorker? I don't actually think I paid for the subscription. I believe it was one of the freebies if I made that $10 a month contribution to my local public radio station. Next year I think I may reduce my gift to $5 per month so I can get the free tote bag instead.

I hope I haven't hurt your feelings. That was not my intention. I only wanted to let you know that I am trying to live up to your expectations of me, but I am forever doomed to failure.

But keep up the good work. There is apparently at least one person out there who takes full advantage of what you have to offer. I recently heard she is expected to be released from the sanitarium in a matter of weeks. With strict NNY orders (No New Yorker)



And Then There Was One

And then there was one. It was not 10 little Indians, but Yankees, the projected starting nine on Opening day, plus the DH, all now on the "oh boy this is not good" list. Only Gleybar Torres still standing.

Sanchez, Bird (ok, a semi-starter), Gregorious, Andujar, Stanton, Hicks and now Judge. Throw in Severino on the mound and, maybe a little stretch with Tulowitzski as DH and there you have it. Add a Betances to the mix for a little not so comic relief. 

What happened? Is it the New York City air, the bumpy roads, the broken subway system? Is it the pre-game meal or the post game interview? Is there a rabbit's foot that has been lost or a voodoo doll that has been found? Did I do something wrong? Or maybe, just maybe, it is the reverse curse of the Bambino, a hundred years later.

Whatever the cause, there seems no cure to the rash of maladies that now covers this team worse than an outbreak of the measles. All I know is that Gleybar should be taking a good look at his health insurance policy and the team should be protecting him more closely than Barr is protecting the President (sorry, couldn't help myself).

And while the Indians, and the rest of the AL, lick their chops as the Yankees lick their wounds, the only joy in Mudville is how bad the Red Sox have been without having a depleted roster. 

Maybe the curse of the Bambino has hit both teams for their century old indiscretion. Strike two. 

Or more like 14 and counting.

Monday, April 1, 2019

ANOTHER LETTER IN THE NEW YORK TIMES - JUST NOT MINE



At every opportunity, I have advised in BOLD LETTERS of my writing accomplishments, intending to emphasize my mastery of my craft. Years of honing my skills and a mental dexterity, combining to produce yet one more piece of wizardry. Not something to be lightly taken or dismissed. A talent, absolutely.

Not to be attempted by those without the requisite training and creativity. Studying the political landscape, becoming uniquely adept at translating our collective angst into a stunningly well crafted statement. Or capturing some personal moment with my own well honed mix of humor and gravity.  I was, I am, special.

So, a few days ago, my friend was visiting her parents, reading the New York Times. Out of sheer boredom, she decided to write a letter to the editor in response to an article about the diminishing universe of stick shift cars. With no expectations, off the letter went. It was her first and only attempt at this exercise. She had clearly chosen a topic of limited interest, one which I would never advise anyone to waste their time on if the intent was to ever be seen in print.

I saw my friend and her husband this past weekend. He casually mentioned that his wife's letter, on her grave disappointment in having to enter the world of automatics, was to be published in MY domain. I was MORTIFIED, but I mumbled some words of congratulation, trying to turn insincerity into genuine sounding applause.

My world is crumbling around me, for today's NY TIMES has my friend's thoughts there for the world to view. A neophyte, writing to the paper for a lark, because she ran out of alternative ways to keep herself entertained. Could even Caesar have felt more a sense of betrayal?

What cruelty, what a mortal blow to my ego. Where are the gatekeepers who should keep entry into this most exclusive club far away from those who would treat this experience so cavalierly? 

From this time forth consider me humbled. I shall limit my exclamation points and BOLD notations of my greatness, for I have learned that anyone with a quick wit and a minute or two with nothing better to do is equally capable as I.

 I do CONGRATULATE my friend on a job well done. I just wish she hadn't made it seem so damn easy.