316. who needs a gun when you have a skinny leetle French woman to protect you?

You can’t hear the doorbell from my bedroom.

Last night Rupert and I were in there watching “The Good Wife” when Liz and David came home from a night of frivolity and Liz called to say she was home so I could give Rupert back to her.  She also said there’s a nazi at my door.

Now David thinks it’s an absolute scream to bang on my door and shout “Open ze doorenheimer” and a bunch of German sounding words until I answer.

I don’t really mind because I figure he’s so happy to have his own Jew to harass, something that has been a rarity in his home town of Asshole Texas that I just let him have his fun.

Anyway I go to the door, carrying Rupert and open it to David’s Heinrich Himmler imitation with Liz  standing behind him shaking her head in dismay.


All of a sudden the french woman from down the hall, alarmed at the yelling comes running out of her apartment rushing to save the day. Calling to see if everyone was alright.

Liz, horrified, runs to tell her that  it was just David fooling around.

I look to see David’s  reaction. Nothing.

When I say nothing I mean he was no place to be seen. I look down the hall of my apartment and he’s peeking around the corner.

Now let’s see.Who’s the hero here?

Is it the tiny young french woman, risking her life by coming out to save a neighbor from what was clearly an attack or the big dumkopf sheepishly hiding behind the door?

I’m thinking that Noodles has an open invitation to  my house in the future, humping or no humping.

315. Delusions of stupid.

Miss Liz and Rupert are back for a few days.

This morning she, I and David were sharing the morning when Liz quoted the New York Post she was reading which said that the real problem in New York is handguns.

It’s almost as if spending so much time in Santa Fe has made her lose her New York chops.

Doesn’t she remember that you must never mention guns or gun control in front of  “Dirty David” (get it? David instead of Harry? I can’t stop cracking myself up.)

I must have forgotten it too because I said “That doesn’t mean that anyone needs assault weapons.

David looks up over his New York Times or as he refers to it, The Communist Manifesto, and starts giving me the third degree. He aims it at me because Liz would beat him to a pulp if he tried it with her.

“Do you even know what the definition of an assault weapon is?

“It’s a gun that shoots a lot of bullets”

He immediately puts on his aggrieved face.

“Once again you’ve proved your ignorance”

Then he started spouting off stuff about extended magazines, flash suppressors and collapsable stocks and the difference between assault and regular guns.


Liz just says “Leave him alone. You can’t get him to be specific. He loves them all”

Then she looks up at me and I almost saw a lightbulb flash on top of her head.

“No! No! No! No!”

“What’s wrong?” David asks.

“She’s going to write about this and I’m going to look like a jerk again because I’m engaged to you.”

“Who cares what she writes?  Besides the only time that blog is interesting is when she talks about me”

314 One time I was a hero

It happened about 15 years ago.

I was on a dock in Beaufort S.C.

I noticed a pelican who was wrapped in fishing line so he couldn’t fly or eat the fish waste that the local fishermen were throwing into the water while they cleaned their haul.

I pointed it out to one of the fishermen who helped me catch the pelican. I held the bird while the man, a big gruff guy, was cooing softly to the pelican while he cut the fishing wire away.


I can almost feel that bird in my arms. If you’ve ever held a pelican then you know that in spite of it’s size, it’s all feathers and surprisingly light.

While this was all going on I heard my friend’s eight year old daughter, Becca, say

“See the girl that’s saving the pelican? She’s my friend”

We put the bird back in the water with all it’s relatives and it began eating with the others immediately.

Those hardened fishermen were all happy and proud. So was I.

Now why am I bringing this up?

Because just the other day on my way up to visit my niece, Stephanie, I almost got in an accident.

I was coming out of my garage and trying to move into traffic when the pick up truck that should have let me in, clearly wasn’t going to so I came to a complete stop. The truck moved forward a little too close and tapped the front of my car with the side of his truck.

He calmly got out of his truck and walked around like a big shot to see if there was any damage. Spotting none he got back into his truck and drove away.

I was furious because how could I prove that I was completely stopped? It would look like the front of my car hit the side of his.

I was telling this story to Steph including that I was going to give that guy what for. I said I was about to pull over next to him and give him a real tongue-lashing when Steph interrupted me.

“Yeah but what DID you do? Run away?”

It so happens that I did but I didn’t want to tell her that. She can be such a bitch.

Then she proved my point by  listing all my past acts of cowardice in no particular order.

1. When she was a teenager, she and I were in my car when I got a flat tire. A somewhat questionable man  pulled over and offered to take us up the road to a gas station.

I put Steph in the front and I got in the back. When later she asked me why,  I said that he looked unsavory so if he tried to grab her I would be in a position to jump out and go for help.

2. dave and I were trying to take her to the airport in Miami and we got lost in the part of Miami where all of the riots were.

We pulled into a gas station to call and  make a hotel reservation and get directions out of there. Since Stephanie was the most nimble of the three of us it was decided that she would make the call.

We only locked the door behind her because in case she was grabbed we could go for help. (hmm that seems to be a theme)

3. Her next example is a poor one. She claims that while we were on line in Walmart a woman accused Steph of bumping her cart. The woman began screaming at her and threatening her.

NOW IF IT HAD RESULTED IN BLOWS I would have come to her aid. She is entirely wrong when she says that I simply  pretended to peruse the candy acting like just another person on line until the fight died down. It wasn’t anything like that. Everyone knows I have a sweet tooth. I really was looking at the candy

4. We were on the Montauk Highway in stop dead traffic when I noticed the woman in the BMW in front of us open her window and throw out some trash.

I instructed Stephanie to get out of the car and admonish that woman for teaching her kids that that kind of behavior was acceptable.

She did just that and as a little joke I locked the car behind her causing her to have to bang on the window to  get me to let her in.

We spent the next 40 minutes with the kids in the back seat of the BMW giving us the finger.


There was another thing with a naked man on the beach and my trying to run away leaving her behind and something about me making her complain to my neighbors about the racket they were making while I hid.

I stopped listening to her after that even though she went on for quite a while.

Did you know that Pelicans can be quite dangerous when cornered?

313. How on earth did I get a D in french? I’m practically fluent.

The family of Noodles returned the other night.

They were happily greeting each other at the elevator when the mother said to me “Deed you ‘ave fun weeth ‘er?”

“no” I said

She looked surprised Oh why?”.

I know “why” shouldn’t be said in a french accent but it was. I just didn’t know how to write it.

“Don’t get me wrong.” I added  ” I love her but she’s very needy”

I was actually thinking ” You must know this dog pees wherever she wants and am I the first person she ever humped all night?”

I could see they were taken aback and that on some level they thought I should have been grateful for the company.

The truth is I am glad that I was able to keep the dog from going to a kennel for the weekend but I hoped that next time they’d pick a hotel that takes dogs.

Anyway I went to bed that night comfortable that I was ungracious enough to make them think twice before asking me to dog sit again while still not making it so bad that they wouldn’t ask me in an emergency.

The next morning there was a note under my door.

It said “You Jew whore, that’s zee last time wee’ll let you mind our precious dug”

Just kidding. I only put that in to add a bit of color in case this blog  becomes a movie.

The note actually said “Thank you so much” and it had $80 in it.

I ran down the hall and rang their french bell “reeeng !!!”


“I can’t take this!”

“But you deed us a favour”

“That’s right. It’s a favor. That’s what neighbors do for each other. You can’t give me money”

You know how in french, or is it spanish, there’s “you, understood” where in a command you don’t actually say the word?

Well in saying “You can’t give me money” the understood part was “but a Coach bag that you could get free wouldn’t kill you”

I walked back down the hall thinking that I made my point by not taking the money but also thinking

“Twenty bucks a day?  Where does she think she lives? In the Bronx?”

312. Just when I thought I was beginning to know who I was….

You know how I always say I don’t know anyone like David?  Well listen to this.

My niece, Randy’s daughter Alexandra and her husband came for the weekend.

I love Alex so much and though I don’t know that much about him, her husband Dan is really sweet and they seem to love each other plenty.

We all went out to dinner last night and afterwards Alex said that Dan really wanted to watch the football game so he was going to go to a sports bar and have a few beers so he can watch the game.

I mentioned that it was too bad that David hadn’t returned from his business trip yet (he was expected any time) because I’m sure he’d be glad to let him watch with him.

Dan said ” I’m so disappointed that he’s not here. I was dying to meet him”

I wasn’t that surprised by that because really the first thing anyone asks me is “Is David really like that?” so I said “I’ll text him and see when he’s coming home”

That’s when it happened.

Alex said “Tell him that Dan voted for Bush twice”.


A Republican?

In my family?

No sooner had I gotten this shocking information when David called asking me to go into his house and pause the football game because he was on his way home. On shaking knees I did as he asked.

He soon returned home and Noodles peed right next to his suitcase (information that he is only receiving now if he’s reading this) and Dan came back from the bar to watch the game with his new best friend.

I felt like I was on Mars.

Dan and David were chatting away like long lost brothers. I even heard Dan say that Alex was probably the first Jew he ever met.


David proceeded to regale us with all the Jews he knew “personally”. He even liked a lot of them and respected all of them because they’re “so good with money”.

I was still trying to wrap my mind around this this morning. Alex tried to comfort me by saying it wasn’t my fault and that no one could blame me for the Republican thing because it was through marriage.

David came over this morning and said that for the first time he met someone in my family who wasn’t a left wing commie.

Once again, life as I knew it no longer existed.

311. Now THAT’S what friends are for.

As time goes on I find that there is unexpected collateral damage to being divorced.  It just pops up all of a sudden.

Some hole  in my life, some little something that shows that my life has in fact changed.

I had one the other day when I first received information that my Montauk house had been rented for the summer.

I immediately emailed dave and he was obviously very happy.

A day or two later my broker called and said the deal fell through. I forwarded this information too.

I got an answer from dave “Easy come, easy go”.

It made me miss him.

I’m a worrier. dave has always been able to calm my fears and put things in their proper perspective. I don’t have that any more and I miss it.

There are other things, like no longer being able to say “we” like or dislike something.

The other night I found something else that is really missing in my life.

I was having dinner with Susan and Allan. We are very close, long time friends. In fact if you recall, I saw Allan’s wiener in the early 80’s.

We were discussing them borrowing a dvd of a movie they want to see from a friend. Susan said “We’ll return it to them on Monday”

Al said “That may not be enough time. I’m planning on copying it”

Without thinking I said “You moron, you can’t make a copy. Not only is it illegal, it’s impossible. They’re copy protected”

There was a brief silence and all of a sudden I realized what had been missing in my life. The ability to surgically remove any trace of manhood from someone I love.


“Man that felt good, Al. I haven’t been able to do that in over a year.”

Always the loyal friend he said,

“Glad to be of help. Feel free to do it any time. In fact if I’m not home, you can leave a message on my cell.”

310. Here’s the bad part of being a woman alone. You’re never alone.

Remember the french dog that I had to mind a few weeks ago because the mother had to go to her father’s funeral?

Well she’s back. Still humping and still pissing and still pushing me around.

Why is this? Because I clearly have the word “sucker” written on my forehead. I think people think because I live alone now that any company is a welcome gift.

I was taking a bath yesterday minding my own business when my phone rang. It turned out it was the french husband.

“Are you home?”  At least I think that’s what he said. He speaks like Pepe Le Pew eating a meatball hero.

“Eet seems we are going skiing zees weekend and I just found out zat zee otel weel not allow zee dog. Can Chicago stay weeth you?”

I immediately got a sinking feeling because me being nuts meant that I would be this dog’s slave all weekend plus Frenchie said they were leaving in an hour so what choice did I have?   I knew I would have to say yes..

Only after they dropped off the dog and her food and left did I wonder about their predicament.

Clearly last time they asked me it was an emergency, not just a dead grandfather but a dead grandfather that offed himself, but this time?

They JUST found out “zee otel” didn’t take dogs? As they were leaving they decided to give  a quick phonecall to check on the dog situation? I don’t think so.

There’s a side issue here too. One I’m not that proud of.

The French guy works for Coach. Last time I was almost positive that my selfless neighborliness would surely result in a new bag.

What I got was a cup of gummy brownies that their kid baked and left at my door. And to make matters worse, she gave the same thing to David whose only contribution to that dog’s existence is that he thinks it’s funny to make a loud beep sound that makes Chicago, or Noodles as I call her,  jump straight up in the air.

How he rated brownies, I’ll never know.

So here I am. I want to go out and mail a letter but Noodles won’t come out from under the bed because when I tried to put her halter on, I put it on backwards.

I took it off and tried to put it on correctly but she ran away.

I keep saying things like “Someone is going to have to stay alone if she doesn’t come out from under the bed” in a singsong voice to no avail.


I even gave her a few “Bon soirs”.  That means good bye right?

It looks like I’m going to have to just go without her.

I’ll hurry though because last time I left her alone she took a dump on my dining room table.


309. When a Heimlich just isn’t enough

I’m still spending my spare moments thinking of ways to make money.

It’s unlikely but possible that show business may not be for me.

Just this morning an email to Julie brought to mind a great skill of mine.

My powers of persuasion.

I was reminded of a planned outing I had with her when she was about 9 years old, the age that her daughter Violet is now.

I was going to take her to lunch at “Mary’s Fancy” a restaurant that served excellent cheeseburgers and hot fudge sundaes. We would follow that up with a movie.

Just before I picked her up my mother told me that my Aunt Nina’s father, Mr. Augen, had finally died and I had to go to the funeral.

The reason I said “finally” was because I had been witness to one of Mr.Augen’s near death experiences not too long before that. It was at a family function at my cousin Matthew’s house.

Mr. Augen was choking on his teeth or something.

Everyone in the family just stood there frozen practically bidding him “adieu” when my cousin Barbara jumped up, reached into his mouth and pulled out his bridge thereby saving his life and ruining what was to be a carefree Sunday for Julie a few years later.


It wasn’t easy breaking the news of the death to Julie. She was actively looking forward to that hot fudge sundae and since my sister’s home was healthy city, the probability of her having M&M’s and soda at the movie theatre was an added incentive to spending the day with me.

I figured that it’s all in the telling. If I just said “Gotta cancel. Going to a funeral” she’d be heartbroken. I decided to hold out the fabulous carrot of taking her to the funeral with me.

Lunch would still be on the menu (get it? menu.) Of course she’d miss the movie but we’d get to spend some quality time together at the Riverside Funeral Home.

Since neither of us gave a good shit about Mr. Augen, who was just a shadowy figure in my life, and none in hers, we could enjoy the spectical without it bringing us down.

True I did a real tap dance (there it is again, my previous career choice) to convince her to come with me but it says a lot about what kind of kid she was that even though she was disappointed, she went along with it hoping there might be some yucks involved.

So whaddaya think folks? Politics or some kind of Ambassadorship?

308.I know you are but what am I?

Sure there were loads of famous people at the reading of Ann Leary’s new book last night but that wasn’t why I went.

Yeah, I wanted to support Ann but I’m not Joan of Arc. I was looking to find a new career for myself.

I’m almost divorced and I’m really feeling the pinch financially.

You know how when in a movie there is a silence and you hear from the corner a slight tapping sound and then Fred Astaire leaps into the crowd that conveniently clears a space for him and he proceeds to dance his heart out to the delight of the cheering crowd?

Well that’s how I saw last night going for me. Unfortunately Michael J. Fox and Denis Leary wouldn’t shut the fuck up so no one heard my slight tapping. Ergo no clearing and no cheering crowds.

This was at the party. I tried it at the bookstore too but that Mary Beth Hurt and Ann herself were both real yappers so that was a bust too. I was standing in the corner tapping my ass off to no avail.

There were plenty of people there who could have made mine a household name if they hadn’t been working so hard to pat themselves on the back.


So maybe dancing will have to be on the back burner for now. I’m not giving up though. I will just have to bring my other talents to the forefront.

Has anyone seen my “Edward G. Robinson’ ?  It’s a showstopper.

307. Gail, I changed my mind. I’m wearing dungarees to Ann Leary’s reading.

Tomorrow is Ann Leary’s reading for her new book “The Good House”.

This morning I got an email from my friend Gail, THEtoughcookie, asking what I was going to wear to it.

Without thinking I told her the truth.

“I’m wearing a gown, black of course, and a faux fox stole. I got a new pair of stilettos, ankle straps, but I think I’m deciding against them in case I’m asked to dance so I  may just wear my keds.”


Then I got to thinking…. Why is she asking what I’m wearing?

Could it be so that she can make sure she will look better than me?

I’m such an innocent I fell right into her trap.

Now I know those of you who know us both are saying that I’m paranoid. After all, Gail is younger and prettier than I am. Of course she’ll look better.

But it isn’t the “better” part that’s important. It’s who will be more “eye catching”.

Here’s the deal. Everyone who is anyone has heard that there’s talk of “The Good House” becoming a movie.

I’m thinking that there will be plenty of “hollywood types” at the reading.

They’ll be looking for new faces, particularly new faces that can tap dance. Not every part is an ingenue.

And as Julie wrote in her book, “Friendkeeping”,  when my mother (her grandmother) said Julie was too fat to be an actress, my father defended her by bringing up Colleen Dewhurst.

Nuff said.