331. There are 1000 stories in the naked city

Life, Heroism, Wrongful Accusations, Death,  and the Beginnings of a Secret Society. It’s all in today’s blog folks.

It started like any other Tuesday only it was Wednesday.

I woke up, watched “Dance Moms”, ate breakfast, got dressed and went out to start my day. (LIFE)

Just before I left, my sister Marcia called and told me that her friend, and mine, Pat had been driving to work in front of a Brinks truck when money started flying out of the truck unbeknownst to the driver who kept going. (I’m using ‘unbeknownst’ because this is a fancy post).

Pat pulled over and tried gathering up the cash, $11,000 worth (she knew this because on the bag it said “$11,000” just like in a Donald Duck cartoon), while dialing 911 and the State Police.


They contacted Brinks who sent the truck back to pick up the money. Brinks called Pat’s cell phone, thanked her and asked her to keep it under wraps. Maybe they thought that having one of the Three Stooges driving their money around wouldn’t do much for their rep. Anyway while she was waiting for an hour for the Brinks truck to come back, she put it on Facebook so they were too late. (HEROISM)

I had an appointment with the nose doctor. Stephanie has been criticizing the fact that I say “What?” a lot so I was having a hearing test. The nose doctor minors in ears.

I get on the bus, put my old person bus pass in the ticket thing(thanks dave for taking taxis out of my life) and start to move to a seat when the bus driver calls me back because my card couldn’t be read. I put it through again and it still says ERROR. I show the driver that my card is still valid and explain that it is automatically renewed money wise. He looks at me with disgust. I ask what I should do now and he says that he’s been on this job for 8 years and he’s seen this thing happen over and over with people who think they can get away with not paying when they know the card is no good so I can just pay.  I’d like to say I took him to task but I was shaking so much, looking for enough coins to pay the fare that I just said nothing. A woman offered me quarters, I only had  a dollar bill, and I paid the fare. Immediately after that I found two quarters in my pocket and handed them to the woman who had helped me. She tried to refuse them because I had already given her the dollar. She too was starting to get annoyed with me, “I’m just trying to help you” but I would have none of it. I shoved the quarters in her hand and rushed to the back of the bus. So that lady’s deed can fall under (HEROISM) while what I went through was clearly (WRONGFUL ACCUSATIONS).

Though my hearing turned out okay , (Take that Steph, maybe if you were more interesting, I’d listen the first time you told me something.) I got no comfort at the doctor’s office. When I told the receptionist what had happened on the bus, instead of getting sympathy she went on a long rant about how the same  old lady pulls exactly the same thing I pulled every morning on the bus while she was just trying to get to work on time (BITCH)

I got some change and took the bus home. That bus driver wouldn’t let me  pay when I showed him my card and told him there was a problem (HERO? I say yes)

When I got to my apartment house there were ambulances and cops and fire engines in front of my building. I had to open the door myself (I told you it was a rough day) because my doorman was sitting on the couch in the lobby talking to cops and shaking like a leaf. It seems that the tenant in the  penthouse called him and asked him to check on her husband who had not been answering the phone. When he went upstairs the guy had hanged himself. (DEATH).


I actually don’t know how to segue from this to my next activity which was to meet Julie, Gail, the cookie queen and my darling Claudia, shrink/accordian player without seeming heartless but frankly I didn’t know the guy and a cocktail was just what I needed after all this so imagine the next scene is a lovely restaurant surrounded by my friends.

I was a little late because, well because and the other three were deep into conversation and drinks when I got there. I had to interrupt them several times to get all my stories out. When I told them about the bus Julie wondered aloud why I would need a card to show that I’m old since all they had to do was look at me (WISEGUY).

In no time we were laughing and loving each other. So much so that we decided that we should make this a regular thing and we even started suggesting what we could call ourselves. The offerings were so lame that we decided to table the choosing of a name for the next meeting. (THE BEGINNING OF A SECRET SOCIETY).

So that’s it folks, there are 1000 stories in the Naked City and five of them were mine. Well six if you count the nose doctor, maybe seven if you include Julie getting a yuck at my expense. Oh yeah and what about the nice bus driver? Or is that part of the bus story? So maybe eight, or is it nine……….?

330. Come and listen to a story ’bout a man named Jed

I nearly had one of my best days today. I was supposed to go to Brooklyn to play with Susan. Unfortunately Allan has the flu so I don’t want to touch either one of them with a ten foot pole.

I have a great many important things going on in the next few weeks.

I have to get ready for tax time. This is the last year dave and I will be filing together. Who knows what he’s going to do in the future. For his sake I hope his lady friend has some accounting skills because he hasn’t even written a check in 30 years.

Plus the first nine chapters of my book are ready to send out to lure an agent, an editor and some big money publishing house into investing in me.

If no one buys it I have three people I can lay the blame on. Julie, who’s gone over it repeatedly with a fine tooth comb , Cheryl who worked endlessly on my first three chapters and Brenda who gave me absolutely free help while showing me how to go about turning my blog into a book.

Since my mother has always told me what a genius I am, if this thing doesn’t go anywhere I’ll have to blame those three hacks.

I was very close to getting a fabulous invitation this morning. Stephanie called and said that she and her husband Terry wanted to invite me to go with them to a lovely North Carolina hotel and spa.

I started to graciously accept when she informed me that she changed her mind because she needs me to mind her animals.

Ah it wouldn’t have been any fun anyway. Beautiful scenery, good food, facials and massages are just not my thing. I’d rather stay up at her house with no cable.


They’re like hillbillies. Who has no cable in this day and age?  And it’s not that they can’t afford it. They just completely renovated their house. They have a toilet that opens up when you enter the bathroom, welcomes you with a song, washes your tushy and wishes you a good day but they don’t consider cable a necessity?


I will never understand some people. TV isn’t just for entertainment. It’s for learning. Why if I never watched “Jerseylicious” I would be completely in the dark about the “smokey eye”. (Get it? Dark?  Smokey? Do I ever stop cracking myself up?)

Good thing because being up there with that talking toilet and no cable I’ll need myself for entertainment.

329. A perfect day

The other day on the way back from Lobsterpalooza, Stephanie and I were chatting in the car when once again she blamed my sister Iris, her mother, for making her such a dork when she was little.

She insisted that Iris, putting her in out of production Danskin colors that she got in the outlet plus her ugly blue glasses, made her the target for bullies.

I’ve heard this litany before. I don’t like to do this but I was forced to shine some reality on this story by bringing up the slam book incident.

In the olden days kids in grade school used to make a notebook, or slam book as it was called. The top page was cut in half lengthwise and would have the categories listed, for example



Best dresser etc.

The book would be passed around and each student would fill in their choices and fold their page back so that the next person got a blank page to write in their selections.

Stephanie made the horrendous decision of putting her own name down as prettiest.

After that EVERY time she went into the lunchroom some cruel kid, probably the one who was voted  “most likely to beat a dead horse”, would say “Oh look who’s here, Miss Beeeauuteeful”. This resulted in a torturous grade school experience for my little angel.


“Why on earth did you put your own name down?”

“That was your fault too. I believed you and my mother when you said I was pretty”

Although Stephanie is an absolute knockout now, she was a real mess as a kid. She had frizzy hair and wore glasses that never really sat straight on her face but we were crazy about her and thought she was adorable which she was.

“You had mirrors in your house. Didn’t you ever look in them? You can’t blame your mother for you being a halfwit. My mother used to ask me every day if the teacher said I was the prettiest girl. Did I go up to the teacher and ask her why she neglected to inform me and the rest of the class of this? No because I had a brain and I knew I was fat and had unfortunate hair”

I wound this up by saying something about a sow’s ear and a silk purse.

Cruel? Maybe, but as you know I deal in truth.  Plus I owed it to my sister to rectify this long held belief of her daughter’s.  And anyway Steph, never one to take criticism kindly, got even with me by turning the heater on my carseat up without me knowing it.


She stayed mum about it even when I kept saying that I thought  I had a fever and was coming down with something.

We aren’t a regular family. Both of us said that that was one of the best days we’ve spent together in a long time.

328. When will I learn the risk in reaching for the stars?

I’ve been obsessed with the Red Lobster ads for Lobsterpalooza.

Though I’ve never actually been to a Red Lobster, I saw this ad campaign as a personal invitation. I sent a missive out to my near and dear about it asking Julie, Stephanie, Susan and Liz (even though she is in Santa Fe I couldn’t see leaving her out) who would like to share in what is sure to be a palooza to end all paloozas?

The only response that wasn’t half assed came from Stephanie. Since I was going up to visit her today anyway she said we’d make a celebration of it and go to Red Lobster.

I would like to tell you that I was looking forward to it but that wouldn’t be exactly true. Actually I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!!!


In preparation, I combed the internet looking for coupons. If we could save a bit of money, the experience would be even better.

I did find one that promised that if we order 2 entrees from the Lobsterpalooza menu, one free appetizer would be ours. Download and Print! The gods are smiling on us.

I almost couldn’t sleep last night. I was up at 6 a.m. and was dressed before you could say “Pass me the bib”.

When I got to Stephanie’s house at around 11:00 she was as excited as I was.  We were both really hungry. Unless we’re projectile vomiting, everyone in my family is always really hungry.  She finished feeding her horses, donkeys and dogs lunch and off we went.

Even though we didn’t feel the need to dress we both did wear spandex because if you add a palooza to something, good eatin’ is more than suggested, it’s guaranteed.

Now I know all of you are waiting for me to tell you what we ate and how it was. I’m not going to do that because this kind of thing is a matter of taste. One man’s cheese biscuit is another man’s greasy ball of crap.

It should be enough to say that we clearly got our money’s worth. The place was lovely and the waitress was so sweet and accommodating that I’d make a return visit just to spend time with her.

One important thing has come out of this. Just as Richard Nixon took the glow off the Office of the President, so too did adding a palooza to what we had for lunch forever tarnish the huzzahs that used to be attached to the addition of that word to any other word.

So if I eat any dinner tonight at all it will probably be Cheeriospalooza and afterwards I’m going  to plop into my chairpalooza to watch TVpalooza.

327. Maybe you should look a gift horse in the mouth.

Yesterday was my happy day. Today is my fit to be tied day.

In January of this year, in an effort to look under every stone for savings I examined my credit cards and noticed a monthly charge of $14.95 to Sahalie Rewards. I called the number attached and I was told that when I bought a sweatshirt from the Sahalie catalogue in 2008 I was entered into the Sahalie Rewards Program.(I might have written about this before)

When I  explained that I never authorized this they disagreed. I guess that I was so happy with my purchase of the shirt that I neglected to uncheck the box that that said “Check here if you’re a fucking idiot and want to pay $14.95 a month in the hopes that someday you’ll buy another piece of crap from us and get a 10 percent discount on said crap”.

I had heard that the best way to get results is by being sweet. So I started with “Since I never made another purchase from your company this was clearly a mistake”

They didn’t exactly say “Tough shit” but the result was the same.

I decided to bring out the big guns.” I’m 69 and my husband of 38 years has left me for another woman without even a howdy do. ” I say this in a sad but brave voice so they see that even though the world has tried to knock me down I still have spunk.

This has gotten a good response from the phone company, Bloomingdale’s, Sleepy’s and scores of others. Sahalie’s answer was the equivalent of “Too fucking bad”.

That’s when I lost it and started threatening them with  the Better Business Bureau, the AARP and my good friend Hillary Clinton.

It seems that you actually can’t catch more bees with honey because only then did they decide to give me a partial refund of  about 300 bucks.  Not nearly enough because I’ve paid them about $900 but when I called the credit card company today they said something about a statute of limitations.


Then I got to thinking. This started 5 years ago when my brain was fairly intact. What the hell have I unknowingly purchased since then?

Is that why I’ve gotten a pair of clown shoes and a horn every month for a year? I though they were gifts.

326. Am I a saint? Probably not. But am I saintly? I think yes.

I woke up really happy today. I wonder why.

Maybe it’s because I’m having dinner with Julie tonight and dave just sent me an email telling me he’s sending me some money.

If you read this blog from the beginning you can only come to the conclusion that I was blameless in the breakup of my marriage. However once in a blue moon something comes up that may suggest that I wasn’t totally the perfect wife.

I was looking at facebook and if you go to your own page and scroll down you can look at all that you’ve written. I just did that.

I noticed an entry I made in March of 2011 only a few months before dave told me he was going steady. It said:

“I can say anything I want to my husband as long as I don’t use a bossy tone.
So now in my sweetest voice I am going to tell him what a shit kicking half wit he is because he insists that “w” is a vowel. If you’re wondering where the shit kicking comes from, he was educated in Kentucky.”

A little harsh? Maybe. And am I painting the whole state of Kentucky with my unfortunate brush of intolerance? Possibly. Do I regret it? Certainly.

If I had  it to do over again I’d have punctuated it with a shiv.


325 A thief in dog’s clothing

Liz sent me and Julie the cutest picture of her Dad, Dr Tom’s dog, Oz , a beautiful black lab lying on the floor and looking up at her with a fluffy stuffed dog in his mouth.

Julie couldn’t stop talking about how cute he was. David too is a real Oz lover. He thinks that Rupert is a snarky little piece of shit while Oz is every man’s idea of what a dog should be.

In terms of expectation, David is correct. He was purchased not only as a pet but as a service dog so you gotta know he cost big bucks. In his job specs he was supposed to know everyone in the family and bring them what they needed, a newspaper, a dropped pair of glasses, I don’t know exactly, just be a sweet little helper.

When he first got there he performed admirably.

“Need a paper, Dr. Tom?  Here goes.”

“Don’t bother bringing my bowl in, Doc, I got it” and he’d carry his bowl into the kitchen. If he didn’t actually put it in the dish washer he’d drop it close by. The family was delighted with him. He was a thoroughbred as opposed to Rupert whose only job was to look cute. One, in my  humble opinion he does beautifully.

So when things went missing around the house  no one looked at Oz what with his fancy ass credentials.

At first it was only small things like spoons and forks. they learned to live with that. “Service for 7? No problem”  But then it was bigger things, shoes, electrical appliances what have you.

The family didn’t exactly look at each other with suspicion but the safe haven of home was a bit tarnished.


The gardener was weeding the flower bed when he came across Oz’s cache. The missing forks, spoons, a microwave oven, and the rest, they were all there.


They  knew it was him because his paw prints were all over the place.

Now here’s the surprise. Did the family  turn away from him? Did they act even a little disappointed? After all they had spent a pretty penny on Jeeves only to get Bugsy.

No. They thought it was clever and adorable.  That’s why, instead of being sorry when he realized the jig was up, he decided that he could relax in the chore department.

Now if you call Oz when he’s taking a nap, instead of rushing to your side “Need anything doc?” he turns over opens one eye and gives you a “Later, Pal, I’m catching forty” look.

He still brings his plate in but only to suggest they refill it.

It should be noted that Rupert, the “snarky little piece of shit”, sits on command and comes when you call.

So that’s the tale of Oz. Is there a moral here? If so, I don’t know what it is.

By the way, today is my thirty eighth anniversary.

324 Ah Mem’ries

Valentine’s Day always reminds me of a story from my childhood.

There was a kid in my seventh grade class named Harry Strauss. He looked a lot like Elvis and was just as handsome. He had that fabulous hair and he’d wear pegged pants (look it up). I remember one pair was dark blue with flecks of pink running through them. As you can tell I and the rest of the girls gave him plenty of thought even though we wouldn’t “dream” of associating with him, even if he paid any attention to us which he didn’t. He didn’t hang out with anyone from my school. I think his friends went to the Catholic school, Saint Margaret’s.

We thought that the kids from the parochial school were way more wild than those from my school, P.S.81, which was where the Jewish kids and the poor Catholics went.

My mother always said that because they wore uniforms and got punched by nuns during their school day they went nuts when they got out of school. My mother was a real Margaret Meade.

Anyway I don’t think that Harry actually got into any trouble. But because he never talked to any of us and rather than walk, he sauntered through the school halls, he just reeked danger.

Now why was I telling you this? Oh yeah, I remember bragging to my friends that Harry had given me a Valentine’s Day card.

What really happened was that he took the one that I put on his desk, threw it on the floor and told me to shove it up my ass.


323. Gratitude has it’s limits

I got up this morning raring to get started on my book when I got a call from David. “Do you have a heating pad?….Wait I just found one.”

“What happened?”

“I hurt my back in Mexico and I had to be wheeled in a wheelchair to board my plane last night.”

“I’ll be right there”

When I got there he was limping around and kvetching or whatever the goyim do that sounds like kvetching.

“You’ve got to go to a Chiropractor.”

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t believe in them ”

“I know you think they’re witch doctors but if you remember when I made you go to one last year you felt better.”

He didn’t remember anything about it but he finally agreed to go to one so I googled Chiropractors in my neighborhood (we couldn’t remember the one he went to last time).

I finally found one that looked promising. They had a video on their website. Even though I didn’t watch it, it’s very inclusion made me think they were big time. I called and made an appointment.

Once again I went with him. He must have been in a great deal of pain because he was actually grateful. On the way over he offered to take me to lunch at the “Pig and Whistle” when we were finished.

Once we got there He filled out forms and we looked through the magazines. I emailed a picture of him reading Cosmopolitan to Liz  and then they called him into the examination room. About 45 minutes later one of the people from the place asked if I was me and told me that David said that since he’d be another 45 minutes I could go home if I wanted to.


When he finally came out of the room he was surprised that I was still there.

How come you didn’t leave?

I figured if I went home I’d be kissing that free lunch good bye.

He didn’t miss a beat. “Good call”.

322. I’m dipping one toe in scaryville.

I’m very close to perfecting my first three chapters so I can start looking for an agent. I had a wonderful agent last year but I wasn’t anywhere near ready to move forward then. I think I may be now.

I actually have much more than three chapters but the people who seem to know said that’s all I need at this juncture.

This writing a book is not like anything I’ve ever done before. Actually it’s not the writing. I love that.  It’s the showing it to people and having to listen to their opinion of your soul.  When Julie arranged for me to meet with her good friend Brenda, a successful editor (now my good friend too) to discuss what I had written, I thought I was going to faint before she started speaking. I felt lightheaded and sweaty.

It made me appreciate what dave always did to earn a living. He is judged every time he steps on stage or in a recording studio. That doesn’t make him any less a fuckhead, it just suggests he was brave.

I could tell that Julie was disappointed in me. they both just stared at me and Julie said “You have to separate your personal feelings from your professional feelings”

Here’s the rub. I don’t have any professional feelings. Luckily I live across the street from Bloomingdales so I can run over there this afternoon as soon as Cheryl leaves and buy myself a thicker skin.