954. Mystery Solved


My niece Julie’s birthday is tomorrow and we are required to celebrate it for a month, like Ramadan. Today is Birthday Eve.

With all that we still go about our business (as long as we acknowledge the countdown to…you know)

This past week my other niece Cheryl and her two daughters, Sadie and Lily, came to visit.

We did the town. They are so sweet and beautiful that even our waiter wanted to have a photo with them.


But that’s beside the point.

The other day I sat down on my couch to talk to Cheryl when I noticed a strong odor of pee.

I knew that it couldn’t be Ray. If you remember I leave to terrace door open for him 24/7 so he never has to suffer.

I’m a bit of a detective so since the only new element in that part of the room was Cheryl sleeping on the couch I delicately brought up the subject.

“Did you pee on the couch?”

She denied it. I had to believe her because the couch is an L shape and the stink came from the side that she didn’t sleep on.

Then I started thinking. Maybe it isn’t pee.

“Maybe there’s a dead mouse under the couch.”

City dwellers are familiar with that sweet rancid odor but these girls did not take it well.

Cheryl got a broom and a flashlight to look under the couch. Nothing.

To tell you the truth Cheryl’s over the top assistance put her back on my short list of perpetrators but I kept that to myself.

Finally we gave up searching since they were going home and I planned to avoid the couch.

The next day I was speaking to Julie congratulating her of her 4 days before her birthday when I mentioned the smell problem.

“It’s your plant. Remember you told me your plant doesn’t smell good?”

Since I barely remember to put my shoes on it didn’t ring a bell to me but I went into the living room and smelled my plant.

Yep that was it.

The plant is a group of succulents that spent the summer on my terrace so the blooming roses overpowered it’s natural odor.


Soooo…. Anyone want to buy a beautiful plant? It’s really lovely and it doesn’t smell anything like piss or rotting corpses.

At first I thought it did but then I realized that the bad smell must have come from Cheryl’s perfume.

The plant itself gives off a gardenia type mist.

Best offer.


953. Bummer

Everything was going along swimmingly until last Friday but I’ll get to that later.

I have every reason to be happy.

Today Susan and I are going to my cousin Tracy Burtz’ art show.

Tomorrow  my niece Cheryl and her two girls  are coming to visit and we’ll laugh and hug.

My sister is coming next week to celebrate Julie’s birthday.

And biggest of all I’m having 11 sleepover guests from Israel for Thanksgiving. That’s right my nephew Yitz is bringing 9 of his kids and one of his grandchildren plus most of the rest of my family is coming to my house for the holiday.

I will be feeding 40 people a strictly kosher dinner this Thanksgiving. Every where I look I will see someone I love.

You’d think I’d be happy and I was until last Friday when I farted in physical therapy.

This isn’t the first fart set back I’ve had in my life. If you recall in the fifth grade I sneezed and farted at the same time in assembly sitting between Richard Sheslow and David Gillis.

Maybe that was worse. But this was no picnic.

I was alone on the table doing my stretches when it happened.

My therapist Ricky, remember I told you he was my new friend (well that ship has sailed), pretended he didn’t hear but all hopes of that being true left when the woman he was working on turned sharply to look at me .

I just looked around whistling hoping that she thought it was just a sour note but I could tell that she didn’t buy it.

I mean she didn’t hold her nose with one hand and use her other hand to whisk the air around her away but she did furrow her brow.

Anyway there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not looking forward to going back to PT. I hope that woman isn’t there. Not that I would recognize her. I think I blacked out when it happened.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ll get over this. After all I got over that sneeze/fart thing in only 62 years.

At least I thought I did.

952. I may have a new friend

I go to physical therapy twice a week because my knees aren’t great.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re lovely, they just don’t do everything I want them to do without my screaming.

My therapist is named Ricky. He and I have a very unusual relationship.

I guess it started when I told one of my mean jokes and he was the only one who laughed.

We speak about racism and ageism more honestly than I’ve ever spoken to anyone.

He’s biracial. I know that’s the proper term because when I used the word mulatto to describe someone he cringed and told me never to say that again. I thought I was being politically correct.

I just found out he’s 30 which is such a stupid age to be but he was a winner on Jeopardy so I guess he’s smarter than his years.

I’ve always considered myself a real free thinker and somewhat of a militant in my youth but after spending all this time with him I figured out that what I was was a militant coward.

I demonstrated plenty but as soon as I realized that I could get hurt I laid low. I love all my brothers and sisters but not enough to get a boo boo.

I used to dread physical therapy because who likes being bent in ways that your bones don’t want to go but I look forward to it now because I’m at least guaranteed a few laughs.

I just had an epiphany.

I think Donald Trump obliterated racism in a large part of this country. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an “us or them” country but the “them” has changed.

Oh yeah, by the way, PLEASE VOTE