Saturday, October 1, 2022

Say It Ain't So Joe

 ("The Supreme Court Is Broken. Where's Biden?")

He has never been a bully and the bully pulpit is an ill fit for Joe Biden.

While the Supreme Court has been battered and bruised by the  2016 non-appointment of Merrick Garland and the in your face installation of Amy Coney Barrett four years later, by the pretzel twisting construction of the Second Amendment in Bruen and the refusal to adhere to judicial  precedent in Dobbs, President Biden will not rail at ills he cannot fix.

The inherent problems with the structure of the Supreme Court, of placing such immense power in 9 men or women, not elected, not subject to any true oversight, not limited in the length of their tenure, are myriad and unrelenting.

But Joe Biden, unlike his predecessor is a pragmatist. Joe Biden, unlike his predecessor, does not rant just to hear the sound of his own voice. Joe Biden attacks issues he has a fighting chance to win.

Say it ain't so Joe. 

Not on this one. Not now, and sadly, likely never.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

About Last Night

 Our country is weighed heavy with issues from climate change to gun control, immigration to abortion, Russia to China, voting rights to the makeup of the Supreme Court, to a seemingly endless array of politicians and media personalities who leave us shaking our heads in distress and wondering how it ever got this bad. And then there is Aaron Judge.

His name starts with not one but two A's because he is that good. He is the all-American boy, adopted at two days old, married to his high school sweetheart, a loving son, and by the way, a larger than life star in his chosen undertaking.

If sports is intended as a distraction from the burdens we all carry with us, then Mr. Judge in 2022 is the perfect serum, the antidote to what ails. 

Last night, after a seeming eternity, he nudged past Babe and sidled up to Roger. Almost a century ago the Great Bambino was the one who dwarfed all others, in the size of his personality as well as in the arc of his game and his homers. Today there is another giant wandering the streets of the Big Apple. 

With his speak softly but carry a big stick aura, we have a humble hero, a present day echo of Lou Gehrig, who now gives us ample reason to All Rise.

The world's dilemmas will still be there to greet us when we awake in the morrow, but at least for today, there is double A.

Thank you Aaron. Just please don't keep us waiting so long for 62.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Speaking in Exclamation Points

 ("O'Rourke  Condemns Dehumanizing Stunts")

If you haven't noticed, Republicans speak in exclamation points. From the governors of Texas and Florida to the former President, messaging does not come in nuance or subtle distinction. It appears in existential threats, in hyperbole and dire forecasts. In Fox News and Alex Jones. The intention is to capture your attention, no matter the means to the end.

And while Beto O'Rourke hopes that the shenanigans of Greg Abbott will prove insufficient defense against the reality of the Dobbs decision, we well know how easily the public eye is diverted (see James Comey and Hillary Clinton's emails).

Beto O'Rourke, fully comprehends the extreme difficulty of scoring political points as a Democrat in Texas. See his AR-15 declaration and the political poo this caused there - or his unsuccessful effort to unseat a master of the ludicrous, Mr. Green Eggs and Ham himself. Merely railing against the moral bankruptcy of a Republican opponent is not a winning strategy in the Lone Star State.

Without his own exclamation point, I fear this could well be Mr. O'Rourke's Alamo.

I wonder what Mr. Comey is up to these days. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Why Him?

 ("What We Will Miss Most About Roger Federer")

Why him? 

Because those who play individual sports stand without cover before us. Greatness,  or something less, on full display.

Week after week and year after year we attached to Tiger Woods. His triumphs visceral. His struggles engrossing. His resurrection, personal and professional, almost beyond adequate description.  

Roger Federer suffered losses with as much emotion and dignity as he celebrated his wins. For two decades we were drawn to his heart nearly as much as we were to his game. He gave us everything he possessed. We gave him unfettered love in response.

In the 21st century, these two men have captured our attention in ways that others, whose accomplishments take place as part of a team have not, cannot. 

Rafa and Novak had the great fortune, and misfortune, to play alongside Roger. They will forever be but in his shadow, no matter what the numbers say. There can only be one number one, one to whom we have attached in ways that go far beyond what the record book reports.

As we watch Roger Federer's tearful exit from the stage, those are our tears he wipes away from his cheeks. He stood alone on the court. He leaves with millions walking beside him.

Friday, September 23, 2022

You Can't Make This Stuff Up.... Unless, of course.....

 ("Trump Claims He Declassified Documents. Why Don't His Lawyers Say So In Court?")

Richard Nixon when asked if a President could do something illegal, responded: "Well, when the President does it, that means it is not illegal."

Donald Trump just did him one better.

Jimmy Carter admitted to committing adultery in his heart many times, a sin for which God forgave him.

Maybe Mr. Trump would consider that one an asterisk on his presidential thought equals deed credo.

When even his lawyers can't get up the nerve to repeat the "I declassified them in my mind" fiction, you know 45 has gone a few bridges too far.

You can't make this stuff up. Unless, of course, you are Donald Trump.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


 Aaron Judge does not hit baseballs for a living. He destroys them. And so, in game 147 of a season that has become spine chillingly extraordinary, he has sidled up to Babe and is staring Roger square in the history books. He is now producing home runs at a clip that makes it seem they are coming off an assembly line.

No No Nanette brought us George Herman Ruth. The Yankees "feeder" team, Kansas City, handed over Roger Eugene Maris. God, or at least pinstripe magic, delivered Aaron James Judge, bigger than a baseball player was supposed to be and better this season than even our wildest imaginations would have allowed.

 Maris hit 61 in '61. 61 years ago.  This is what destiny looks like. Only larger.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Perfect Shot

There were hundreds of them. All staring at the same point in the distance. All waiting for nothing more than darkness. To show them what they could not see.

Some were famous. Most never would be. But they were all there hoping to capture a moment of magic.

It was the night of a full moon. The harvest moon. The orange moon. There was some app that told them this was where they should be. 

My son was meant to be a photographer. Most days when we are together, at some point in that day, he pulls out his phone, or his camera. He sees things my eyes miss. The little details. The angles that escape my attention. The hints of light in the petals of a flower. The bug that has stopped to contemplate its place in the universe.

Often, like today, he pauses in our journey to look upon larger objects of majesty, mountains as far as the eye can imagine, streams and lakes, the colors of earth and sky. Or, the harvest moon over the Manhattan skyline.

When he suggested we drive to this point where there was nothing except the beauty of the Hudson between here and there, I anticipated a few others might be similarly inclined.

We rushed to arrive in time for him to set up, tripod and camera at the ready. When we neared our destination there were cars lined up like we had stumbled upon an all you can eat free buffet. A policeman standing guard, advising those who dared stop their vehicle where the road narrowed, to find another home.

And then I saw the sea of cameras, closely followed by those who had carried them to the perfect spot, for the perfect shot.

And what immediately struck me was that my son's lens was as a Lilliputian among an army of Brobdingnagians. The others must be able to see the freckles on the face of the moon.

They stood in large clusters, each cluster but a few yards removed from the next. Each certain that they had chosen well. Each waiting impatiently for the light to fade.

There was a haze in the sky. The effects of fires almost 3000 miles removed from here. There was concern that it would obscure, that it would subtract from the possibility of greatness. 

And then there were murmurs. My eye not nearly able to know what the quiet fuss was about. Even my son struggling to get in on this party.

In but an instant, this posse moved, almost as one, tripods and cameras in a dead run. This location now seemed slightly askew. Trying with a quiet desperation to land on the next small sliver of land where everything important in this world was in absolute alignment.

For the next 15 minutes, maybe more, all eyes were as one. Each click a chance for a tiny sliver of immortality.

These adventures with my son mean everything to me. I am addicted to the adrenaline rush he feels, as if it courses through my own veins.

When the famous photographer had packed up his equipment and headed off into the night, even I knew that the best possibilities were now past. And soon thereafter the army began to dwindle in size, as the moon rose too high in the sky, or moved into a position where reality no longer met expectation and imagination.

Next month there be a sighting of another full moon, and another group searching for the image that cracks the code. If good luck allows, my son will be the one to bag the prize that night. For me, just being by his side is all the luck I need.

It Is the Hope You Extinguish - (AN ODE TO GOVERNOR DESANTIS)

 It is the hope you extinguish

The light shining from their eyes

It is the hope you extinguish
When you parade them through the skies
It is the hope you extinguish
When you masquerade them with your lies
It is the hope you extinguish
When even the charade of decency dies

I hope you are proud of who you have become
Proud of what you have done
Proud as a father of a son
Proud as if you'd won

It is the hope you extinguish
The light shining from their eyes 
When all that remains is the whys 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Why Is He Still Here?

 ("Why Is There Still No Strategy to Defeat Donald Trump?")

Why have we not not been able to say bad riddance to Mr. Trump?

Those who are drawn to him are enamored with a different genre of writing than the ones who find him abhorrent. Fiction is their game of choice, where immigrant is spelled terrorist, where the melting glaciers are only bad for polar bears, where their man is a victim of cruel and unrelenting examination by those who refuse to accept his vision, where two plus two equals whatever he says it does and where innocent even after proven guilty is the one rule of law that exists in his universe.

Donald Trump remains because the idea of Donald Trump, not the ideas of Donald Trump under harsh light, are paramount. A heroic figure, this Don Quixote, willing to fight to the death for those who believe like him, who believe in him. Willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause.

And that is, and will forever be, why reason and reality do not stand a chance against such an impregnable foe.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Game. Set. Match.

 (" Roger Federer Says He Will Retire from Tennis")

He was like Cary Grant with a racquet in his hand. An elegance to his game and to his demeanor.

Never a hair, a word or a shot that appeared out of place. He made all the hard work seem not so hard after all.

20 majors doesn't begin to tell the entire story of Roger Federer. He was an ambassador for his sport, with a dignity in his bearing, giving everyone who watched him or competed against him the full measure of his effort and respect.

He was part of a three headed monster, along with Nadal and Djokovic, who swallowed up a generation of accolades. Each with his surface of preference, the grass of Wimbledon seeming to be greenest when Roger trod upon it.

There is question as to which among them can lay claim to the title of G.O.A.T. But there can be little doubt that the game of tennis itself is far better for having been able to count Roger Federer among its ranks for nearly the last quarter of a century.

 It has been an honor and a privilege to bear witness to a quality man bringing so many special qualities to his chosen field of endeavor.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

A Noun. A Verb. And Rudy Guiliani

 ("Rudy Guiliani Is Alone")

In 2001 the country was desperate for a stabilizing force wrapped in red, white and blue. From the smoldering embers, out of a plume of smoke, emerged a walking, talking symbol of America's enduring strength. But Rudy Guiliani was just a mirage, a hero in the moment, of the moment.

Several years later, I went to a series of political discussions in New York City. One of the participants was the former Mayor. My most vivid recollection was how the audience almost snickered at his thoughts. Even then he had become a caricature, an embarrassing display of what many among us there perceived as a bewildering look at a man going off the rails. Clinging to an importance that was rapidly slipping through his fingers.

He has long since become the Emperor with no clothes. And what remains is but a small man, engulfed by his insatiable desire to remain relevant, to feel once more as he did when, for a terrible moment, he was the calm in the eye of the storm.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

People in Glass Houses

 ("With Malice Toward Quite a Few")

What is it they say about people in glass houses?

Democrats have been turning the other cheek for decades. Leaving the Republicans free to fabricate and aggravate, to create animosity as the centerpiece of their platform. Division and dissension their calling cards.

National unity is a fiction long since dissolved. Joe Biden has spent a lifetime reaching across the aisle trying to find compromise where none was evident. But even he has his limits and two years of aggravation, of countering lies and biting his tongue, while trying to bring this country through a pandemic and a war in Ukraine that has wreaked havoc across the globe, have given him ample cause to lash out at those who do little to make America better, stronger and more moral.

I am sorry if Mr. Stephens feels aggrieved by having to face the truth of the failures of a large portion of this nation. But our wake up call is long overdue. And leaving the messaging, and the "facts" to the Republicans is no longer an acceptable option. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

The 60 Day Unwritten Rule and the Definition of Irony

 ("As midterms near, election rule raises dilemma for Trump inquiries")

"Unwritten rules" protecting a person who never found a rule he couldn't break. Quick, get out the definition of irony.

Remember James Comey and the breaking news 11 days before the 2016 election that something involving Anthony Weiner maybe, kind of, didn't exactly clear Hillary Clinton from precisely what wrong doing we weren't certain? And then Mr. Trump played this nothing burger into 4 years of Hell in America.

So, please excuse me if I don't have a great deal of sympathy for the party that continues to treat Mr. Trump with a respect he in no shape or form deserves. And I cannot find just cause to halt an investigation on a person NOT RUNNING for office in 2022 just because it could possibly, maybe have an impact on races involving other people not named Trump.

If that is the standard we establish, then we have now trumped (pardon the intention here) the "last year of the presidency, no Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination rule"(one which the Republicans demonstrated in 2020, thank you Amy Coney Barrett, only applies to Democrats). And while we're at it, why don't we just say we can never investigate Donald Trump because he might one day decide he wants to see how close he can come to destroying our democracy and, well, we don't want to look like we are putting our finger on the scale.

And, oh by the way, this 60 day unwritten rule decision is Merrick Garland's to make? Now I have to look up the definition of irony on steroids.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Of Haystacks Calhoun and Tag Teams

 It was 3 against 1. The 3 of us never stood a chance.

The last 4 days, my son, wife and I were privileged to be in charge of the care of a soon to be 4 year old. Well, in charge is not really an accurate term. More like holding on for dear life.

Parenting, or in this case, uncleing and grandparenting is definitely not for the weak of heart or mind. There is good reason to leave this responsibility to the people who first began the sequence of events leading to this moment.

I used to watch tag team wrestling when I was growing up. You know, one person getting the poo kicked out of him or her, crawling to the edge of the mat and, with the last possible ounce of life remaining, barely be in fingertip contact with their partner who then rushes to the rescue. That, in essence, is what a date with a little being of endless energy is like. Except harder.

Did you ever fake like you have to go to the bathroom just to try to catch your breath? But has the pitter patter of little feet followed almost immediately in your path and the door swung open before you have even taken up residence in your point of refuge?

I absolutely adore my granddaughter. She is all the superlatives you can gather up and put on a platter. Every day with her is sunshine. But even the sun has to rest, which is why it invented clouds and catnaps.

Don't get me wrong. She can entertain herself for long stretches, singing songs, playing with her toys, coloring, hopscotching. I am getting tired just writing this list. But even in her solitary times, the 3 of us were on call, at the ready, much like "Chase is on the case." Next activity but the next thought away.

It is like running a marathon, taking a sip of water and heading back out for another 26 miles 185 yards. While her mind and body are growing by the minute, mine are shrinking. Over the last few days I have been swimming more than I have since I was in summer camp, been on several play dates, scurried around more than one playground, been wholly unable to locate the hider in hide and seek, biked, hiked, drawn my letters and numbers, made several beautiful colored drawings for my son, daughter or son in law, learned my standing long jump is still pretty darn good, watched cows, eaten plenty of pizza and ice cream (at least we have identical taste in food), been entertained by Bluey (if you have not yet been introduced to her, run directly to Disney Plus immediately), read a lot of bedtime stories and generally been hugged and kissed a bunch. Which is absolutely the only thing I ever need to do all this and whatever else is asked of me, again and again, for as long as she allows.

Yesterday afternoon, our daughter arrived. Along with the 1 year old version of the soon to be 4 year old. The 1 year old making what we did look like child's play as he tried to set a land speed record for crawling and finding some way to wreak temporary  havoc.

How did my wife and I ever survive bringing up 2 young children? And how will our daughter ever remain intact until the cavalry, in the form of her husband, arrives later today to be her tag team partner?

If memory serves, Haystacks Calhoun weighed about 600 pounds and, maybe only by way of apocryphal recollection, sometimes fought alone against a tag team duo of highly skilled opponents in the ring. 

I only know for certain he never would have stood a chance in hell against my grandkids.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Top 10 Ad Slogans (Past and Present) Behind the Oval Office Great Pilfer Caper


Capital One: What's in your wallet?

American Express: Don't leave home without it

Toyota: Let's go places

Nike: Just do it

Samsung: Do what you can't

Uber: Move the way you want

Staples: That was easy

Marriott Bonvoy: Rewards reimagined 

AirBnb- Belong anywhere

Taco Bell: Make a run for the border

Sunday, August 28, 2022

My Left Shoulder Is Refusing to Speak to Me

 My left shoulder and I are not on speaking terms. Actually, I thought it said hi to me earlier today, but when I turned to respond, I got the cold shoulder. Quite literally.

It was not always this way. In fact, I think until the beginning of this year we were friends. I would even say good friends.

I don't ever recall us arguing. Which is saying a lot since we have been inseparable since our birth seven decades ago. Oh maybe there were disagreements, like the time I banged it into the icy snow after catapulting out of my skis, but really give me a break (and no, I did not give it one). 

No body's perfect. Except maybe Sandy Koufax and his left shoulder. At least from 1961 until 1966. Or even Randy Johnson the year he almost single handedly beat the Yankees in the Series. Not that he only had a single hand.

Anyway, we were very close. Veryclose. It shouldered everything I threw at it with a smile. Until I slipped up. Or more accurately, slipped down.

I entirely shoulder the blame for that one. I never should have descended the stairs in my socks. And my right hand (left shoulder) man (it) willingly absorbed the weight of expectations on crash landing. Taking one for the team. I lay there believing it and I were separated. Just the thought of that causing take away my breath pain. Actually, not just the thought.

It turns out we were not separated but torn apart. Tomato tomaato. Rotator cuff.

And so, a few weeks into 2022 it suffered the unkindest cut. Or so both it and I believed. The doctor putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Good as new, or at least good as new as old gets. After five months of pulling here, pushing there, racing fingers up the wall, stretching our bond into shape, we were back. Not back but shoulder. And shouldee.

Through it all we remained, if not as tight as before, certainly still tighter than most. Able to share a laugh, lift a glass together just not too high, capable of handling whatever curve life threw at us (unless of course it had been delivered by Sandy Koufax during that incredible stretch or Randy Johnson when he appeared on the mound a giant, or more accurately, a Diamondback that Series).

The next one was not my fault. Ok, maybe it was. But who didn't sit out in the sun all summer, every summer back in the days when my shoulder and I were growing up? So what if I tore off the dead skin from my friend after baking it to a crisp. Year after year.

What are the odds that a melanoma would land with a thud right beside where the previously unkindest cut had just healed? I could have won big on that bet.

And so, just when I and it thought it (not that it, just it) safe to celebrate our win, once more into the breach we went. The scar from this incision far more than merely psychological. My shoulder now resembling Frankenstein's face on a bad hair day.

Good fortune shined on my friend and me as the doctor's subsequent report was that the cancer was nowhere in sight (kind of like the Koufax or Johnson fastball or curveball at their finest). We were now both free to move about the cabin.

Only our relationship is slow to heal. My left shoulder finding the insult in these injuries, as more than its pride had been wounded.

Thus, I am saddened even in my hour of joy. Healed but not whole. Not until my friend forgives my trespasses. When we see eye to metaphorical eye and stand shoulder to shoulder once more.

Well, not really shoulder to shoulder, but you know what I mean.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Clandestine Human Sources

 "Clandestine human sources." Even the terminology is clandestine. Oh, you mean spies.

Look, Donald Trump would have removed the filling from your teeth if he had the tools. Nothing within eyeshot of this man is out of reach. Who were his targets? What did he take? Where did he intend to show off his wares? When was he going to take everything out of the broom closet? Why does he always do precisely the wrong thing?

Trying to find the logic in the absurd is an impossibility. Mr. Trump's actions defy comprehension because they spring from the mind of a man who is allergic to rational thought. 

Here are some of the suggestions from Mr. Trump's flunkies that could be sold to the person who bought the Brooklyn Bridge. Mr. Trump spent time reviewing some of the files at Mar-a-lago (Only if he was looking for his  decoder ring). Mr. Trump cooperated with the authorities requesting he return what he had purloined (Only if he thought purloin was a kind of steak).

The redacted affidavit is the very definition of read between the lines. It tells us everything we knew and almost nothing we didn't. But what comes forward with clarity is that, true to his nature, Donald Trump was careless to the point of not caring, unrepentant for his transgressions, manipulative and obstructive. 

Everything but the kitchen sink is now being thrown at 45, in the numerous investigations that move forward, step by step and inch by inch. This one seeming to corner him into a closet overflowing with clandestine human sources.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Tit for Tat Mambo, a/k/a What's Bad for the Goose

 ("Can you Tell Me What Would Happen If the F.B.I. Were Investigating a Democrat?")

Not "if" but "when". Maybe not the F.B.I. but whatever agency, committee or body can be charged with performing the tit for tat mambo the instant the gavel is in Republican claws.

We all know Donald Trump invites a probe into every orifice of his being, his existence one big (ok, maybe small) middle finger to morality and convention. He got elected, and may well get re-elected, for being as big a pompous jerk as humanly possible.

Did he pilfer state secrets on the way out the door? I think he more covets the recipe to the secret sauce on a burger,  but he treats everything with such disdain and contempt it is virtually impossible to separate wheat from chaff.

It feels like we could, and maybe we will, spend 10 lifetimes trying to nail the coffin on 45, with the likelihood of success (ie a jumpsuit matching the often unique color of his skin) as remote as Hillary and Don deciding to double date this weekend. But try we must. As the Republicans will attempt to morph Sleepy Joe into Al Capone before he even waves his final Oval Office farewell.

What's bad for the goose....

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

 ("Biden Signs Bill on Taxes and Climate")

Is that the best you can do? No, not the Dems. The New York Times.

Under the headline hailing President Biden's signing of the law, FINALLY, finally providing  meaningful progress on the issue of attempting to save the planet, the NY Times has a caption reminding us that the "new law falls short of uplifting workers." 

Why that angle? Why today? Cannot this paper sing the praises of this President and his party without a caveat? Are they concerned this will make this venerable publication seem but a shill for one team?

I get there is still much work to be done. The Republican party will undoubtedly provide not very gentle reminders of that in the coming days and months before this November's showdown.

But come on. Would it kill you to allow the Dems one unfiltered moment in the sun for an accomplishment that but weeks ago seemed dead in the waters? For something, to borrow an old line from the now President, that is a "big f-ing deal" ?

So thanks, but no thanks for your "even handed" reporting. Today we expected far more from you than the sound of one hand clapping.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

I Cannot Tell the Truth - Donald Pleads the 5th

 He may not actually have said "I cannot tell a lie" but the Father of our Country bears absolutely no resemblance to this Mother of Invention and Deception.

And yes we have had a good number of our Presidents caught in compromising positions, in most recent memory from Watergate to Iran Contra, to Bill Clinton's attempted parsing of the term "sexual relations". But never before in the long and storied history of this nation has a person who was chosen as the best among us raised his right hand and called upon his Constitutional protection not to put his foot in his mouth and his entire body behind bars.

Donald Trump spent most of the day yesterday covering his ample behind, uttering the same phrase nearly 400 times. For a man with such obvious disregard for the truth, it must have ibbled him that he could not have used this time to fabricate, equivocate and pontificate. But eventually even the worst among us decides the system has its advantages that are best to be called upon in the worst of moments.

Donald Trump is more likely to be our next President than to spend even one nanosecond behind bars. More likely to utter the Oath of office than to ever testify beyond what he didn't say when asked to provide something  other than his name.

Somewhere there is a cherry tree that was cut down by our 45th President. But he will never admit it.  For he is a man who cannot tell the truth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Picking On Donald

 ("F.B.I. Search of Trump's Home Pushes Long Conflict  Into Public View")

Poor Donald. There they go picking on him again.

Donald Trump treats laws, subpoenas and the Constitution as but pieces of paper to shred and flush down the toilet. He  spent his presidency, no his lifetime, flouting rules, his moral compass set on disregard.

So the fact that he removed items from the White House improperly as he left the Oval Office came as absolutely no surprise. For a man who rose to power ranting about Hillary's 33,000 emails and smiled at the chants of "lock her up" for her alleged transgression, the "raid" on Mar-a-Lago was but a tiny dose of his own medicine.

This from a President who repeatedly attempted to utilize the Justice Department throughout his term as a cudgel to address his personal grievances.

And oh, the irony, that Merrick Garland should be the one to decide that, yes, breaking rules does have consequences.

Maybe in Mr. Trump's safe they will find the irrefutable proof that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Because we always know that Donald tells us nothing but the truth about the documents in his possession.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Counting the Years - On Our 45th Anniversary

 Billy Martin

Derek Jeter
Babe Ruth
Lou Gehrig
Joe Dimaggio
Joe Torre
Mickey Mantle 
Yogi Berra
Roger Maris
Phil Rizzuto
Lefty Gomez 
Wade Boggs 
Alex Rodriguez
Lou Piniella 
Thurman Munson
Whitey Ford
Mickey Rivers
Don Larsen 
Dave Righetti
Jorge Posada
Paul O'Neill
Roger Clemens
Don Mattingly
Robinson Cano
Mark Teixeira
Orlando Hernandez
Giancarlo Stanton
Sparky Lyle
Catfish Hunter 
Willie Randolph
Dave Winfield
Elston Howard
David Wells
Mel Stottlemyre
Mike Mussina
David Cone
Casey Stengel
Johnny Blanchard
Daryl Strawberry
Chien-Ming Wang
Randy Johnson
Mariano Riviera
Jeff Nelson
Reggie Jackson 
Gerrit Cole

Next up is Andy Pettite
Four more to Ron Guidry
Six to Bernie Williams
Aaron Judge - neverland

PS - this was done with an assist from my dear Yankee buddy Sheldon (not the marriage, just the list)

Friday, August 5, 2022

When a Doctor Calls You at Home at 7 PM on a Saturday Night

 When a doctor calls you at home at 7 PM on a Saturday night, your first thought has to be:"this can't be good."

Luckily, for me, it wasn't so bad.

So, my left shoulder and I have been in a battle for some time now. In January, I slipped on the interior steps of our apartment and landed squarely on my ego. You have, if you follow my mental wanderings with any regularity, been provided chapter and verse of my surgery and recovery. I was pronounced almost good as new a few weeks back. And starting last week, I was allowed the freedom to curse the gods on the golf course.

A few days before my surgery, I met with a dermatologist whose task was to advise if any of the score of moles and other strange looking protuberances were more than met the eye. And she focused on one spot that was located, as you now might suspect, on my uncooperative left shoulder. There was no way, I stated, that she was taking a small slice out of that area immediately before I was to face a most unkind cut in that very region from a surgeon.

And so, I quickly forgot about her concern, for I was dealing with a mountain and could not focus on a mole.

Fast forward to slightly more than 2 weeks ago. As I had scaled to the top of Everest and was now swinging a golf club free of pain (at least physical), I was before a different dermatologist, showing my full self to a new set of eyes. Bingo, back to the left shoulder. He studied it with a small microscope and then informed me that the offending area would have to be sliced and diced. The biopsy results would take a week to 10 days he said.

So, three days later, when I received that Saturday night greeting from him, I suspected he was not calling to let me know the Yankees had looked a little shaky recently.

Melanoma, he said. But only on the top layer of the skin. Just have to cut some more around the surrounding area to be absolutely certain that you are clear of any hint of cancer and then you can move about the cabin freely. Or at least that is what I heard, after I took a moment or two to recover from hearing the word at the top of this paragraph.

I could have addressed this a half year ago had my offending limb not been otherwise wounded. I was most fortunate that during that time the cancer had apparently not taken a trip beyond where it  remained while I recuperated from the shoulder surgery.

And it was but serendipity that I even saw this latest doctor. I had been in another physician's office very recently (don't ask) and on the way out the door, she remarked that I had to see a dermatologist for a mole she spotted behind one of my knees. But for that glance, I may not have found my way to where I am today.

Which is at a 3:15 appointment for the cutting and stitching. I am grateful that good luck seems to have spared me from anything more than the most minor of temporary distractions from my golf game. Soon, I hope to be able to query the ball, with my reconstructed and cancer free shoulder, and wonder why it has decided that the bottom of the cup is its sworn enemy.

This should be my most pressing question.

I am one very lucky guy.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

When They Go Low, We Go Lower

 ("A Cynical Low For the Democratic Party")

When they go low, we go lower.

Isn't that what Michelle Obama said? OK, maybe not, but how about all's fair in love and political war. Because, make no doubt about it, this is treated in Republican circles as a battle to the death.

And while it would be nice to keep your hands clean and your moral code unblemished, if you are fighting against an opponent using an AR-15, you better not rely on your ethical superiority as your first line of defense.

If January 6th and its aftermath was not a wakeup call to Democrats everywhere, then shame on us. Fighting dirty is not an abstraction, but a necessity and, if supporting the worst of the bad in a Republican primary gives the Dems even a hint of an advantage in the general election, then I say just watch how low we can go.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

A Dad Joke

 Unfortunately, this conversation actually took place yesterday morning:

Son: (After a steep hike in the hot sun) "Boy am I perspiring."

Dad: "I am not a sweater. I'm a shirt."

This is exactly why children are often embarrassed by their fathers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Donald Trump and Lieutenant - Commander Queeg

 ("The Case Against Trump" - Talk of the Town - August 1, 2022)

Amy Davidson Sorkin's evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the circus involving Donald Trump reminds me of the film, Caine Mutiny. Ms. Sorkin writes of President Trump's relentless assault on the truth, his disappointment that Vice President Pence "let (him) down" and the unwavering support for the former President, no matter the facts that would suggest otherwise.

In the film,  Lieutenant - Commander Queeg speaks of alternative considerations as to what is the appropriate manner of performance by those under his command:

Queeg (during his introduction to the officers): "Mr. Maryk, kindly tell the crew on behalf of myself- that there are four ways of doing things on board my ship: the right way, the wrong way, the Navy way; and my way. So long as they do things my way, we'll get along."

And later, at Queeg's trial, there is a description of his symptoms which bears striking echoes to what we, as a nation, have borne witness to regarding Mr. Trump:

Lt Greenwald :"Doctor, you have testified that the following symptoms exist in Lieutenant- Commander Queeg's behavior: Rigidity of personality, feelings of persecution, unreasonable suspicion, a mania for perfection, and a neurotic certainty that he is always in the right. Doctor, isn't there one psychiatric term for this illness?"

And the response, which could apply with equal force to those who have stood behind Mr. Trump despite all evidence to the contrary, and would very likely result in their casting votes for him to run this country, even from a jail cell, in 2025:

Doctor Dickson: " I never said there was any illness."

Monday, July 25, 2022

Too Little, Too Late


("I Was Wrong About Al Franken", by Michelle Goldberg)

Mr. Franken was swept up in the "one size fits all" frenzy that consumed him predicated, in very large part, on one photo showing a comedian making an attempted joke gone horribly wrong. 

Even at the time I believed the clamor for his political head was an error. Now, given what has transpired in this nation since that day, and the very distinct possibility that Donald Trump may be his party's 2024 presidential nominee despite a list of grievances that makes Mr. Franken's seem as a pebble to a mountain, my belief in the mistaken rush to judgment for Mr. Franken has grown exponentially.

I understand the mea culpa of this op ed. But too little, too late never seemed a more apt reply 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Thru Hikers and Me

 For those who find walking from the kitchen table to the refrigerator a journey, the idea of thru hiking would be as appealing as my imagining Mr. Trump plopping his ample posterior back in the Oval Office in 2025.

But for me, there is something magical in these men and women, boys and girls and a few geriatrics putting one foot in front of another, Forrest Gump style, from the first hint of coming spring until the changing leaves of fall beckon. 

And sometimes, in the deepest heat of the summer, their lives and mine intersect for a nanosecond. So it was yesterday.

The Appalachian Trail stretches for over 2000 miles from its southernmost tip to its northern edge. My son went to college in New Hampshire and the path of the thru hikers took them right through the middle of his campus. And on occasion into the house where my son was staying. He would say that sometimes you could literally smell them coming, the months of accumulated toil and variable weather leaving a calling card that was testament to both their perseverance and perspiration.

Our family likes to hike, but what we do should not be given the same name as their task. On most mornings when we are in the Berkshires (except when the snow, artificial or real, demands our attention on the slopes) we take an hour or two to give ourselves modest challenge, to get the heart pumping and the muscles moving. Sometimes, we walk the tiniest sliver of the route as those who have committed to something enormous in scope.

I am 70 with feet as ugly as a political campaign and a mind wholly useless at everyday tasks like boiling water or following the most mundane instructions. So the chance of me ever performing this 2000 mile plus feat is about the same as my parting the Red Sea. No, less.

Yesterday, my son and I found ourselves on a small stretch of the AT (for us, in the know, that is shorthand for the Appalachian Trail). I remarked that I thought it was late in the season (by their calendar) for thru hikers to be still this far south. I was wrong. Over the next ten minutes, at least three, maybe four, passed us (we were not necessarily slower, just hiking in the opposite direction).

In my mind, this was almost the same as bumping into a few NY Yankees on the street (maybe this is a bit of an exaggeration, more on the level of running into a few Knicks).

And I took the opportunity, whether those trekking North were interested or not, to do a brief interview of two. I flunked the first test in flame out fashion.

My son always reminds me that not everyone gets my terrible sense of humor. That they don't always understand that I am only kidding when I say something that sounds discordant when it reaches their ears. 

So, the first contestant in my game show was a nice young lady who gave me a brief synopsis of this her first (and, she said, last) AT expedition. I congratulated her on her effort and exchanged a few more minor pleasantries. As we were concluding our ships passing in the night time together, she mentioned she was from the South. My political antennae now acting like a third rail I replied that she was still welcome as long as she was thru hiking. The attempted joke falling flatter than the Sierra. I could almost see the question mark above her head as she mumbled some response and headed on, sure she would be less accommodating to inquiry from strangers the rest of her trip.

My son had wandered up ahead, but was unfortunately still in earshot and reprimanded me for my comment that had missed its mark by the full length of the AT.

Luckily, not five minutes later I was given a chance at partial redemption. Another young thru hiker arrived where we were standing. This time it would be only compliments and no hint of controversy in my remarks.

First, all these hikers seemed remarkably "unscented". As though they were just out for a bit of a stroll, not well over a thousand miles and several months into reaching a goal that took them off the beaten path onto a road less traveled by bathtubs and showers or washers and dryers.

The gods shined on me, as this young lady was delightful, all smiles and sunshine and not in a rush to get past my inquisition. She allowed my son and me nearly 15 minutes of her time before we told her she should catch up to her friend, with whom she was on this quest and meet up with her mom and dad, who lived in the area and were meeting up with her later in the day (where she would spend the night at their home, with all the creature comforts, before returning to the same spot the following day, to continue, step by step, and inch by inch, onward).

So, my angst at my mea culpa was somewhat mollified by the good graces of my do over.

As my son and I finished our day on the mountain and returned to the car, I am sure he hoped I had learned a small lesson in the way I speak to those who don't know, and may not appreciate my particular method of communication. 

And sadly knowing I had not.

To all thru hikers I may meet in future days. I admire you for everything you are doing. And I apologize in advance if I leave you wondering if there is a more remote path where you can enjoy your time in the mountains, without the intrusion of those like me, who may be the very reason you are months removed from the daily noise of society. 

Even the AT not giving full protection from this particular storm.

Saturday, July 23, 2022


 ("The Myth of the Good Trump Official")

You say you want some absolution
Well, you know 
You can testify
You say you love the Constitution
Well, you know
You can end the lie

But when you lived with such destruction
Don't tell me that you shut your eyes

Don't you know I can see 
All right
Don't you know I can see (all right)
Don't you know I can see (all right)

You say you love the institution
Well, you know
You can make it right
You say he called for revolution
Well, you know
It was our darkest night

But when you stood by and just watched the hate
Oh brother you're too damn late

Don't you know I can see
All right
Don't you know I can see (all right)
Don't you know I can see (all right)

You say he was the real pollution
Well, you know
That is understood
You say we need some resolution
Well, you know
We do need something good

But if you were there for the whole damn ride
Don't raise up your head with pride

Don't you know I can see
All right
Don't you know I can see (all right)
Don't you know I can see (all right)

Not right

Monday, July 18, 2022

Swimming Lessons

 This was definitely not what the doctor ordered.

I stood in the lake, the water just about chest high. I was there for the sole purpose of protecting one little person learning the fine art of kicking her feet and moving her arms while trying not to swallow a fish. Or something like that.

But of course, me unfortunately being me, giving all my focus to one almost four year old guppie was not sufficient. And so I began to attract other similarly aged diminutive persons with swimmies, all who happened to be friends with my ward.

And soon, I was a being with ten arms and legs, charged with giving free rides into the shore line, or spinning the bodies in circles of those who used me as home base or even searching in vain for the whereabouts of those who attached themselves to the side of me I could not see.

Oh yes, about my doctor. He had, slightly less than half a year in my rear view mirror, put my left shoulder back together again, with the warning that Humpty Dumpty should not try to test the outer limits of what his artistry was capable. Kind of forever, but definitely well beyond the present tense.

On the shoreline, I am certain that my wife chalked up my stupidity to, well my stupidity. As to the people who birthed my expanded appendages and stood watching the show, they must have come to the unavoidable conclusion that Papa was more than a few cards short of a full deck.

After an extended while I noticed that the one who I had begun this exercise with was either doing morse code with her teeth or was in full shiver. And so I excused myself from the others to whom I had become so attached, and headed to the beckoning towel.

My daughter, who had left her first born in the care of Papa and crew, soon received numerous messages from those who had witnessed the attack on me, worried that my doctor and I would, in the immediate aftermath of this undertaking, be having a serious discussion about whether I had ever advanced beyond the emotional maturity of the guppies with whom I had interacted.

Luckily, today I can still lift my arm above my head and also remain quite capable of taking a poor fake golf swing without incident.
Which only goes to show that stupidity is not necessarily fatal. Just incurable.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

The President's Precedent

 ("At 79, Biden Is Testing the Limits of Age and the Presidency")

The President's precedent.

What do the following names have in common: Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman, Calvin Coolidge, Rutherford Hayes, James Buchanan, James Polk? If you answered one and done (some with an asterisk, for they held office more than 4 years) you would be correct. All with an option to seek re-election. All deciding not to.

Franklin Pierce, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur. All sitting Presidents who did not even secure their own party's nomination to run for a second term (to be fair, 4 of these 5 had not been nominated for a first term, but had been elevated to their position by reason of the death of the then sitting President).

That makes 11 who did not even make it to the starting line the second time.

In addition, 11 more sitting President's lost  in a bid for re-election.

Thus, as we stare into the great unknown and begin our contemplation of November 2024,  the future of Joe Biden, his party and the possible demise of democracy, we should understand that we are far from the first to consider whether we should continue to dance with the one who brung us. That is, if he decides to dance at all.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

The Crowning Blow

 ("Elena Rybakina Wins Wimbledon and Her First Grand Slam Title")

This was, in intended triple entendre, the crowning blow. The champion as Russian as Stolichnaya vodka and nesting dolls.

Born and bred in Russia, but for the fact of a later arriving greatness, Elena Rybakina would today have held her tongue rather than the Wimbledon trophy, unhappy as a member of her homeland's tennis federation that she had been deprived of this opportunity by mere accident of nationality.

This victory demonstrated the absurdity of treating those hoping to participate as political pawns. We have been continuing witness to the tragedy of Brittney Griner. It should serve as warning that Wimbledon does disservice to the cause of democracy if it, in its own fashion, stigmatizes and dehumanizes individuals and treats them as symbols a part of, rather than apart from, the wrongs they wish to confront.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Red, White and Blue. With an Asterisk

 ("The American Flag Belongs to Me, Too, and This Year I'm Taking It Back")

Margaret Renkl did not raise the red, white and blue alone but with an asterisk. For on its own, this flag is now far too often a declaration of hatreds and prejudices, of exclusions and divisions. A statement not of what we are but what we are not.

The Republican party is one of messaging through symbols and slogans. Where is the Democratic equivalent of "Let's Go Brandon", or "Trump 2024"? Republicans wear their politics on their shirts, display them on their lawns and wave them in the faces of those they so vehemently and vociferously oppose. And they have captured July 4th and the flag as their own, not as a matter of pride but provocation.

So Ms. Renkl now flies a rainbow of colors to provide necessary clarification of her intentions, counterpoint to the visceral response and inevitable conclusions of seeing the red, white and blue flapping alone in the wind.

This was not how it was meant to be. But merely exactly how it is in the divided state of America.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Six Shooters

 They should forever after be denominated the "Six Shooters".

They have swiss cheesed the Constitution, the division between church and state bloodied at the 50 yard line, the protections afforded women to control their own body and destiny now left staggered and with a gaping hole, the limits of the Second Amendment eviscerated as gun slingers roam the streets without challenge while threatening the nation's safety, the air we breathe now given free rein to choke the very life out of us. 

It has been a busy week for these six who have managed in one horrifying session to dismantle and disfigure our most fundamental understandings. And the worst is that the worst is yet to come, as this weapon of mass destruction will be menacing us for the indefinite future. In their recent declarations they have given clear evidence they intend to demonstrate their full power to destroy our most cherished rights. Who and what we are being defined at the wrong end of their collective gun.

Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Democracy, as we would seek to define it, in serious danger of imminent demise.

Monday, June 27, 2022


 So frightening these tragic times

Democracy in pain
Our fundamental rights abridged
And violence unchained

America, America
What has become of thee
We're wounded now, and worry how
The blind will ever see

The unrestrained hatreds flow
They stain our every thought
Our neighbor now our enemy
In battles daily fought

America, America
Where does our greatness lie
Will we awake, for all our sake
Before the greatness dies

The trampling of all our truths
Relentless lies held high
A soaring eagle brought to earth
No longer does it fly

America, America
Restore our faith in you
Let us reclaim our once good name
And let us rise anew

Oh liberty your beacon's out
And dark of night surrounds
The hurting masses cast aside
And broken hearts abound

America, America
What will tomorrow bring
When will we hear, both far and near
The sound of freedom's ring

When we will hear, both far and near
The joy that freedom brings

Friday, June 24, 2022

On the End of Roe v Wade

No matter the omnipresent human violation of gun violence, no matter the overwhelming sight of Ukraine covered in blood and despair, no matter the environmental destruction that is everyday more evident, no matter the depth of emotion brought about by our political divides, no matter even Donald Trump's blatant efforts to destroy the very fabric of our democracy, nothing, NOTHING, feels so immediate as today's ruling by the Supreme Court.

It is your children and mine, your grandchildren and mine, who are the ones to whom this decision is addressed. It is their liberties that are being deleted as if they were errors on a page to be removed by the turn of a phrase. It is a direct attack, not a hypothetical, not happening thousands of miles away, not occurring over years or decades, not in someone else's neighborhood, someone else's home. 

It is a sad day in America. I know that many will feel vindicated for their efforts leading to today. I know that the Republican party will pat themselves on the back for denying Merrick Garland the seat he rightfully deserved on this very Court. I know that Donald Trump, by his good political fortune in the passing of RBG will expect congratulations for what has now transpired. I only know that what has occurred today may be the first of many steps in a descent of our country into an image that may one day soon be unrecognizable. I only know that the very heart of this country has been torn today.

We knew this day was coming. We have felt it in the winds. And still when I learned of the decision I let out an audible gasp. This one is personal.

The Medicine Cabinet

  I got old overnight.

My mistake was going to several doctors. So they got to tell me things I didn't want to know about myself. No, not about my ego, but  thank you for asking.

As of this morning I have quadrupled the row of pills which now line up before me. My enlarged prostate has now been joined by high blood pressure, glaucoma, cataract and hiatus hernia, as a team dedicated to reminding me that thinking young is not exactly the same thing as actually being young.

The good news is I now learned an endoscopy takes about as long as a Donald Trump speech on the incredible virtues of Nancy Pelosi. 

The less good news is just about everything else.

I think I was somewhat silently dismissive of those friends of mine who lined up mountains of pills before them as they addressed a multitude of sins committed by their bodies. That somehow, good fortune was my eternal right, that aging was something someone else did.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a lament, but merely an acknowledgement that my days from here on will be marked in " take this in the AM, take this before bed." And that I owe a debt of gratitude to my uncle A. Alan who taught me the art of swallowing pills.  You know, swirl the water around in your mouth, then tilt your head back violently so the pill descends before it has time to realize what has transpired.

Each one designed to make my body believe the lies I have been telling it all these years.

I think the lesson I take from this is definitely never go to doctors. Or maybe it is to definitely go to doctors.

All I know for sure is that the medicine cabinet is suddenly very crowded.

Sunday, June 19, 2022


 My children never met my father. He died over a year before my wife and I welcomed our first born into the universe.

And while I have tried to keep my dad alive with stories of who he was and what he meant, what he means, to me, those tales end when my sister and I are no longer here. What then becomes of him?

I fear his immediacy will disappear. The sense that he is still able to shape thinking, to influence decisions, to have a say in the outcome of an event in which his position is persuasive, or at least instructive. WWMDD, what would my dad do, no longer part of the lexicon.

There is a sadness for me in that. While I know that one day people will speak of me in the past tense, I do not feel any urgency that humanity be guided by me in my absence. But I believe there will be a great loss when my dad's voice fades.

I understand there is a tendency on my part, and on my sister's, to wash away any of the foibles that were part of dad's makeup. The areas where one could argue he fell short of perfect. But do I really have to recall cranky moments in traffic, or any other peccadilloes? For me, and for so many like me, who are today paying homage to our fathers, we can be forgiven if we only recall the best that was offered.

Whatever good my children and my grandchildren take from me is because I am no more than a vessel passing on the lessons I learned at my father's knee. My best but a shadow of his.

And while my grandchildren will never tell stories about my dad, maybe all is not lost, if what he instilled in me somehow takes root in them. If what I found so breathtaking, what I tried to remember and to emulate, can become part of their makeup.

If that occurs then maybe my dad will continue to exist even after the immediate memories are no longer. At least I know that is the fervent hope of my sister and me on this Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Thanks, For Nothing, Mr. Barr

 ("A Striking Contrast: Trump Officials Then and Now")

Funny what the guillotine of a perjury charge can do to bring out the best in a person.

I thought men and women in public service owed a continuing duty of honesty and fealty to those under their care. So, it would stand to reason that people in power would have given us fair warning that Donald Trump had departed from the world of reality in the days and months following his election loss in November of 2020.

Mr. Barr and the others now on parade, should you not hang your head in shame when you look at your response to the sham of the President and those like Mr. Guiliani that inexorably and inevitably led to the events of January 6, 2021?

There were many co-conspirators in this plot, not merely those who acted in support but the ones who failed to act against it or to alert the public of a truth that lay buried beneath a mountain of lawsuits and lies. 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Eye of the Beholder

 ("Donald Trump, American Monster")

He always says what he means but never means what he says. For Donald Trump, the truth depends on who's asking.

Why was Donald Trump not indicted for his threats against President Zelensky to withhold US support if he didn't dig up dirt on the Bidens, or his challenge to the Secretary of State of Georgia to find 11,780 votes needed to overturn the election results in that state, or his inflation of the value of his properties to lenders to better the chances of securing needed funds, or his instructing Michael Cohen to quiet Stormy Daniels with a payoff to secure his chances at the Republican nomination, or his litany of challenges to his followers to take on the government, by whatever means necessary, in the wake of his election defeat? 

Simple. What you and I heard was not what he intended but merely our misinterpretation of his words and deeds. Donald Trump was guilty only of letting his mouth run ahead of his brain, of amplification and puffery. The criminality was in our minds, not his.

What his followers heard was a man being a man, righting wrongs, exerting his power and guile to get exactly what he wanted. Unless of course, this would result in any criminal charges. In that event, read the paragraph above. 

We catalogued Mr. Trump's exaggerations, his half truths and outright lies during his presidency about Mr. Putin and his relationship with Russia (does anyone even remember the Mueller report and the first impeachment), about COVID and his daily game show on how we should address or ignore it, about virtually every subject that came across his desk (when he wasn't at Mar-A-Lago playing golf) and yet here he is, in 2022, still sneering that self satisfied sneer, still clinging to his stories tighter than that dress did to Marilyn Monroe. Unless of course that could lead to an indictment.

In that event, go back three paragraphs. 

In the end, we hold this truth to be self evident: when it comes to Donald Trump, truth is never self evident, nor are lies. 

Ugliness, as well as beauty, merely in the eye of the beholder.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Your Wait Time Will Be


Today I made a call and was told I was the first caller on line. 15 minutes later I was still the first caller on line. I hung up and called back 10 minutes later. I was now the eleventh caller on line. After 10 minutes, I had not moved up. I hung up. The following is how I imagine another call like mine would go on the other end of the line


11:45 AM - You are the eleventh caller on line. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered by the next available representative. Your wait time will be approximately 12 minutes.

12 minutes later - You are the ninth caller on line. I am taking an early lunch break because I hate my job and work as few hours as I can get away with. Your wait time will be approximately 10 1/2 minutes.

10 1/2 minutes later - You are the eighth caller on line. Don't you have anything better to do with your day then wait to speak with me? I am not going to be able to help you anyway, so just realize what a colossal waste of time this is. Your wait time will be approximately 7 minutes.

7 minutes later. You are the first caller on line. Really there has been no one in front of you this entire time. I just like to play with people's heads. Your wait time will be approximately 45 seconds.

45 seconds later. You are the third caller on line. You know that adrenaline rush you got when you thought you were first on line. Just killed that buzz. If you are still interested in what I tell you the wait time will be, then you are even more gullible then I thought you were. But if you need to know, I am actually considering picking up the line as soon as I finish this beer.

After the beer is finished - Sorry, I just had to run to the bathroom unexpectedly. But I am feeling better, thanks for asking. I apologize for the unusual delay. I'm here now. Before I get to your question, there are 3 simple questions you have to answer correctly. Yankees or Mets? Alcohol or marijuana? Was there an insurrection on January 6th?

By the way, have you been following Jeopardy this season? How could they have so many who win at least five times in a row. I smell something fishy going on there. Maybe their ratings were going down the tank after Mr. Trebek passed away. But that's just me.

And I wonder what your thoughts are about dining inside these days. I try not to get into discussions of substance with just anyone but I have the sense that we are forming a special connection here.

Anyway, what did you have on your mind? Speak louder, I'm having trouble hearing you. Are you in a bad cell zone? If you lose me, you can just call back and ask for me specifically and you will jump the line. My name? Oh, sorry, I am not authorized to give out my name.

I can't answer that question without checking with my supervisor, who is out today but should be back as soon as you no longer require the answer to that question.

If I can be of any further assistance don't hesitate to call back.  Please remain on the line to answer a short customer satisfaction survey. Your favorable responses would be greatly appreciated.

Have a wonderful day, and thanks for calling "wait, wait don't tell me".