Tuesday, April 20, 2021

TWICE THE AGE AT HALF THE PRICE

Me at two years old, believing life was
good. You can still find me stumbling
around the house in a  wrinkled
black sweatshirt and worn out jeans.

There's an old joke told by too many people who've reached a certain age: If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.

My version is a little different: If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have told people exactly what I thought of them, had the courage to lead a more interesting life, and gotten laid a lot more than I did. It isn't very funny, but neither is the first joke.

But what's interesting now that I've turned 65 is that I find myself speaking my mind more than I used to. And just by being married I've had more adventures than I did when single. As for getting laid more... well, that's the trade off for getting married.


Yeah, I know everybody takes the "Hey, I
got the vaccine!" bandage selfie. But hey,
I got the vaccine!
There are other perks to turning 65, even in New York. I finally qualified for the COVID vaccination, for one thing. And I didn't have to schlep out to Brooklyn or Queens for the deed. Instead, it was a quick subway trip to the Duane Reade drugstore at -- gulp -- Port Authority, which is like having a five-star meal at your local homeless shelter. In fact, when I was there for my second shot, a cop was threatening to arrest a suspicious-looking fellow for loitering, which at least provided some distraction.

My side effects were relatively mild: 36 hours of sore arm, mild aches and chills, along with a general rundown feeling. It was just enough to justify my wife making dinner two nights in a row. I look forward the third booster shot coming this fall for a repeat of her feat, which otherwise occurs as often as a total eclipse in any given area of the world (according to NASA, once every 360 years). 

There it is at the bottom of the MetroCard receipt:
SENIOR CITIZEN. Not so loud, not so loud!
Another treat for old folks is qualifying for the half-price MetroCard, allowing us to use public transit for $1.35 rather than the usual $2.75 (at least until the next fare hike). Although I signed up the day after my birthday, I'm still waiting for it to arrive. To tide me over, I received a temporary card. 

While I knew how to use the onsite credit card machine in order to fill it, the MTA employee "helpfully" guided me through the process like I was a doddering 90 year-old. In doing so, I briefly became genuinely confused so that he thought he was doing the right thing, which I really hate.

I opted for the automatic refill for my permanent MetroCard, so that I'm charged on my Amex every time I go through the turnstile. This way, I'll never have to worry about being caught short. Other side of the coin: I'll never remember how much I'm spending until I'm socked with the bill every month.

But, y'know, it was worth the price.
It took me all this time to remember that I could have been using the AARP discount at some car rental agencies since I qualified fifteen years ago! Last Friday's rental came with a bonus: my very first flat tire on the way home! 

Thank God for the kindness of strangers, because I'd still be somewhere in New Jersey waiting for roadside help, wondering why I didn't use the Amtrak senior citizen discount.

                                                     *************

Thursday, April 8, 2021

TRUMP IS THE DRUG

And if Trump isn't available, show his casino going down.
Did you notice that wonderful silence after the Biden inauguration? For several weeks, the endless pontificating, yowling, squawking of the former president, suddenly over. As if somebody just pulled a switch to Off, Goddammit, Off!

It was a beautiful thing... while it lasted. Then, gradually, in the last couple of weeks, it's been sneaking back -- clips of Trump crashing a wedding or trashing a Democrat. A sitdown with his daughter in law, a sound-off with Sean Hannity. All dutifully repeated on the other networks, occasionally bolstered by the ticker-tape headline starting with the words TRUMP SAYS.

Fox News, I get. They need to keep their Wehrmacht viewers fat and happy. But CNN? MSNBC? Still treating the opinions, actions, and premature verbal ejaculations of a private citizen as newsworthy? Where do I go for that red carpet?

Where did our love go?
Les Moonves (CBS president) and Jeff Zucker (CNN president) were right when they said, in so many words, America be damned, the presidency of Donald Trump would be good for their businesses. And now that he's out of office, the news people are going through withdrawals -- as are, unfortunately, many of their viewers. They're hooked to Trumpus Cannabis. 

Let us sing, then, to the tune of the Roxy Music classic "Love is the Drug":

'Tain't no big news to talk about Trump's dumb views
'Tain't no big news but we'll do it now.

Aggravating us for years
He trolls us now, til we're in tears
Thumps us, beats us up, we say "more",
Trump is the drug and we're all the whore.


Showing up, talking trash when on Fox --
Ratings up, Donald really rocks
We're uptight -- make a fuss
Trump is the drug, got his hooks in us.


Oh, take his crap
Trump is the drug that we like to tap.
Oh, he's our weed
Trump is the drug we need

Ev'ry night we'll quote him here
Word for word and for years and years
We hate him, so do you
But you'll watch like you always do.

Rachel M., Tapper, too --
Their furrowed brow: nothing new
Trump says jump, we go high
We bow our heads, then we heave a sigh.


Oh, take his crap
Trump is the drug that we like to tap
Oh, let's discuss:
Trump is the drug, got his hooks in us.

 
Oh, take his shit
Trump is the drug that we need to hit.
Oh, we're all nuts --
Trump is the drug for us.

Monday, April 5, 2021

#GOOSE IS COOKED

It's a time of change in American culture, with old standards being questioned or overturned. Whether it's fat jokes, casual sexism, or racist humor, what was part of every day entertainment is accepted no more. We might be fast approaching the time to witness the elimination of the works by of the most famous poets of all -- ironically, the woman known as Mother Goose. 

Let's see how three of America's most prominent news personalities are dealing with it.


MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Long time viewers of Morning Joe know that two of my
passions are empowering women and shining a light on eating disorders, something I've suffered from throughout my life. But we should remember that men, too, are no strangers to conditions like anorexia. But what happens when both people in a relationship literally feed into each other's disorders?

I'm talking about Mr. & Mrs. Jack Spratt. Jack is a vegan who eats as little as possible, while his wife is the opposite -- a carnivore who consumes nothing but fatty foods. So desperate is Jack for nutrition, and his wife for fats, that they literally lick the platter clean at every meal.

We've explained countless times how these eating disorders have their roots in psychological problems dealing with self-worth. For Jack, it's as if he he sees himself in a funhouse mirror, appearing grotesquely fat. His wife, on the other hand, seems to be on an endless quest to fill a void in her life. 

What can be done about these diseases that play no favorites when it comes to the sexes? Well, I'm going to be holding a virtual seminar on May 2. Called "Live It: Know Your Eating Values", it's a way for men and women to find their truths regarding their diets. And we're calling it "Live It" because it's the opposite of "Diet". I want all the Spratts out there to remember there's hope for them. Instead of licking the platter clean, let's eat with awareness.

 

RACHEL MADDOW: There's a report from the Associated Press that should give us all pause. It seems there's a man named -- and I'm not making this up -- Peter Peter. 

Hm. Peter Peter -- whether this is a family tradition, or just a way to emphasize his "peter" the way many insecure men do -- I'm looking at you, Mr. Former President -- is not known.  

Anyway. This Peter Peter -- who it says here is a "pumpkin eater" -- is that a new sport, competitive pumpkin eating? -- is married to... well, his wife's name is not given, so let's call her Mrs. Peter Peter for the time being. Mrs. Peter Peter -- I can't believe I just said that -- Mrs. Peter Peter appears to be separated from from Mr. Peter Peter. Although whether it was her choice or not is questionable.

Because Mr. Peter Peter apparently lost his job as a competitive pumpkin eater during the pandemic and can no longer care for her. Which would be a sad thing -- if it were true. But the report states that "Peter Peter couldn't keep her". That's right, "keep her" -- as if she were, oh, I don't know, a dog, or a vacuum cleaner. Or a plunger! What about a plunger? Everybody keeps plungers, right? The "bathroom bowl" sometimes needs to get unstuck once in a while, right? It's good to keep a plunger handy.

Now Peter Peter -- or Peter Squared, as I prefer -- is living in the house while Mrs. Peter Squared has been moved to -- and I'm not making this up -- a pumpkin shell. That's right. You heard me. In the year 2021, a woman has been thrown out of the house she formerly shared with her husband and is now living in a pumpkin shell. Because Peter Squared apparently has a surplus of pumpkin shells! Lots of composting drop-offs have been shut down the last year due to COVID, so the shells have been piling up like hail stones in a Texas tornado.

Closed composting stations is one thing. But forcing your wife to l move into a pumpkin shell, where she supposedly lives "very well"... and have it accepted by society? This is Donald Trump's America. Now, I know Donald Trump has been out of office for two months. But the ills created by his four years in office continues to reverberate, and will likely continue to for years, perhaps decades, to come. 

Americans -- American women -- living in pumpkin shells.

We'll be right back.

 

TUCKER CARLSON: In tonight's edition of culture wars, we study the case of Billy Boy, An unusual name, but there's nothing wrong with that. I know I've been on the receiving end of japes concerning my name from the left because, I don't know, it isn't something rappers would have, like MC Druggie or Lil Jackass. 

But back to Billy Boy. It appears that the left is coming after Mr. Boy because of his admittedly unusual living arrangement with his wife. Mr. Boy's wife lives with her mother, while he presumably lives alone. He's said to visit her regularly. It's none of our business if these are conjugal visits, or whether they have an old-fashioned relationship, one that was fairly common in America from the 18th-century right through the Panic of 1893. 

In other words, nothing to see here, folks. Unless... you're a paid-up member of the MeToo movement. Then Billy Boy becomes public enemy number one, guilty without benefit of trial, and worthy of the death penalty that the left otherwise decries for murderers and terrorists. Even as the target of their wrath is nicknamed by his friends "Charming Billy", and who describes his wife as "the joy of my life".

So why is the MeToo crowd calling for Billy Boy's head? Because his wife is described as "a young girl". Now what does that mean? Well, the age of consent in over half the states is 16. And that's not just in the South, where the left seems to believe that girls are chattel for their male relatives, but all of the liberal Northeast, including New York. That's right.  You can have sexual intercourse with a high school sophomore on the Upper East Side, and take her out for bagel and lox at Zabar's in the morning.

So when they dredge up the 40 year-old story of Woody Allen having an affair with a 17 year-old girl who made the first move, remember that he wasn't breaking the law. By the way, remember when the left loved Woody Allen? If you're too young to remember, look up the New York Times slobbering reviews of his movies from way back when, including Manhattan, where Allen's character was sleeping with a 16 year-old! The Times didn't have a problem with it then.

Now as I stated at the top of this piece, we don't know if Mr. & Mrs. Boy are engaging in sexual relations. I would say it's unlikely, given that she lives with her mother. I mean, why not get a room at one of those by-the-hour motels? It certainly provides more privacy. But again, until we know all the facts, Billy Boy being married to what is described as "a young girl" -- and to me, a 25 year-old is a young girl -- we should let them lead their lives. As long as they don't implicate me. Because I don't recall meeting his wife in any context.

                                                   ********************

Friday, April 2, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: 4/2/2021

A Justice Department investigation into Representative Matt Gaetz and an indicted Florida politician is focusing on their involvement with multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments.

"Look at me," Gaetz told reporters. "If anybody has to pay the price for fucking me, it's women!"

 

Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody has dropped out of the upcoming movie biography of Madonna.

Cody explained that until sobering up, she was under the impression she was working with Steve Buscemi.

 

At a political forum on Wednesday, GOP congressional candidate Sery
Kim falsely suggested that Chinese immigrants bring the coronavirus to the United States - and suggested that she opposes their entry to the US
.

 When informed that Kim is a Korean-American woman, neither Democrats nor Republicans quite knew how to respond.

 

In the wake of the controversial HBO series Allen vs Farrow, longtime supporters of Allen say they were “sickened” to learn that one of Farrow’s daughters has been erased from a photograph on Mia's Twitter page.

Farrow explained, "Just a warning to the rest of my brats: you kill yourself, you're out of the picture, literally!"


The female mummy Takabuti died about 2,600 years ago after being
stabbed in the back with an axe, not a knife as previously claimed, according to a new study
.

 Immediately following the announcement, #CANCEL PHARAOHS and #SOMEBODY'S MUMMY started trending on Twitter.

 

 

                                                            *******************

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: 3/31/2021

According to the most recent Pew poll, 17% of Americans believe
Donald Trump was a "great" president
.

The Republican party immediately announced plans to legalize voting rights for mental patients.

 

 

A recent study shows that a brisk walk is good for the aging brain.

Researchers added that it helps if you're briskly walking to the nearest bar.

 





Elon Musk's girlfriend Grimes has said that she's ready to die on Mars.

"After all," she said, "it's where I was born."

 

 

 

 

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of the nation's rising-star conservative firebrands, told Axios he is under federal investigation for sexual activity with women, and fears being criminally charged.

Being a right-wing conservative, Gaetz was concerned about being known for having sex with women rather than high school male wrestlers.

  

Two former mortuary technicians in the Manhattan's Medical
Examiner’s office are accused of using credit and debit cards belonging to the dead to make thousands of dollars in unauthorized purchases
.

 Asked for an explanation, one of the technicians told investigators, "You tell me how dead people are supposed to authorize purchases."

 

 

                                                 ************************

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

THE REAL TOP 10

They would have been doing the Frug to this.
If young people aren't tired enough of baby-boomers running (or ruining) their daily lives, they now have to put up with us taking over the music charts. This week, eight songs on the iTunes Top 20 are oldies. And by oldies, I mean going back over half a century.

To put it another way, imagine, in the year of "Space Oddity", "Time of the Season", and "Pinball Wizard", one of the Top 20 songs was "O'Brien is Tryin' to Learn to Talk Hawaiian", released in 1917.

Yet today, Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky", released in 1969, sits comfortably week alongside tunes by folks named Lil Nas X,  Anderson Paak & Silk Sonic, and Masked Wolf. As the kids text, SMDH.

That's just the top of the charts. The Top 100 features even more singles ranging from the early 1970s to the early 2000s. Is today's music so bad that the kids are tuning out? Or is the final roar of the dinosaurs before they're killed off?

The same year Fleetwood Mac dominated
radio, Elvis Costello & the Attractions wanted to
destroy it.

Frankly, I have no dog in this fight -- it's likely none of the contemporary music I listen to is in the same area code as the Top 20, 40, 100, or 243. 

But what bugs me is that most of the oldies there now are what I hated then. The post-Peter Green version of Fleetwood Mac (five songs!), Lynyrd Skynyrd (the redneck Bob Seger), Bob Seger (the Northern Lynyrd Skynyrd), Bon Jovi (don't get me started)... All they're missing are the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills & Nash to complete my list of "Music To Avoid at All Costs".

Even the two oldies I like on the current iTunes Top 100 -- Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" and Pet Shop Boys' "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" -- are likely misinterpreted respectively by Confederate-loving Trump voters and wannabe Tik Tok influencers.  That last word is so nauseating that my spellcheck doesn't even acknowledge it as real, which further boosts my theory.

As usual, it's up to me to straighten things out.  Many of the songs on the list are from the 1970s, which, by and large was a terrible decade for Top 40 radio. So instead of the usual suspects that are forever making their presence known, often on commercials, let me suggest ten songs from that decade which didn't qualify as hits in America. Chrysler will never license them to sell their SUVs, which, of course, makes them all the better. Click on each, and weep for what we've lost.



"Baby's On Fire" by Brian Eno (1973). One of the founding members of Roxy Music, Eno went his own way following a power struggle with lead singer Bryan Ferry. Eno's first solo album, Here Come the Warm Jets, was filled with terrific off-kilter music, none more famous than "Baby's On Fire". As with the best records, it still sounds far ahead of its time. Listen to it and picture any record company executive signing Eno to a long-term deal today.


"This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" by Sparks (1974). Fronted by brothers Ron and Russell Mael, Sparks had to leave their native city of Los Angeles for London to achieve success -- unfortunately, only in Europe. "This Town...", the opening cut of their third album, zoomed to number one in England, and, almost 50 years on, continues to be their "Hey Jude": the number they have to perform at every concert. The most unique chart-topper in history. And Ron's moustache is an homage to Chaplin, not Hitler, OK?

 

"Out of Time" by the Rolling Stones (1975). Kind of a cheat -- Mick Jagger's vocal was a recorded as a guide for UK singer Chris Farlowe almost a decade earlier, while the backing the track is from the latter's single.  When released by the Stones' former label in 1975, it barely cracked the UK Top 50. Unlike the official version, this "Out of Time" is a Phil Spectorish production that sounds nothing like the Rolling Stones -- which makes it so good.


"Grass" by the Pretty Things (1970). In case you haven't heard of the Pretty Things, David Gilmour referred to them as the band that the Rolling Stones wanted to be. So yeah, their name is supposed to be ironic. My favorite Pretty Things periods were during their psychedelic years and their final few albums in the mid-2000s. This particular cut, "Grass", sounds like a cross between the Beatles and Pink Floyd. And I mean the good, post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd.


"Salty Dog" by Procol Harum (1969). Yeah, yeah, it's a '60s cut, but close enough to 1970. Besides, I never heard it until the mid-'70s on late-night FM radio. It's a shame that the only thing people know Procol Harum for is "Whiter Shade of Pale", because cuts like "Salty Dog" are at least as good, if not better. A few years ago, my wife and I saw Procol Harum singer/keyboardist Gary Brooker (supported by the Paul Winter Consort) perform this during a concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. You should've been there. Really. 


"The Jet Song (When the Weekend's Over") by the Groop (1969). Again, close enough to the '70s to make it on the list. I would call the Groop a one-hit wonder, but I'm not sure "The Jet Song" cracked the charts. By the way, despite the song's name, it has nothing to do with West Side Story. It is, instead, a four-minute pop delight (with fabulous vocal and instrumental arrangements) that my friend Leo referred to as a cross between "Up, Up and Away" and "A Day in the Life", which should be enough to get anybody interested in hearing it. One of those songs that make me feel tingly all over, and wish I had written, dammit. 


"Bake Me a Woman" by Keith Barbour (1970). No, this isn't some kind of a horror movie theme, but the most bizarre love song ever recorded. There's no point in me explaining it. You have to hear it to "appreciate" it. I think the kids would want to cancel it today, which makes it all the more reason to revive it.

 


 "Sacred Songs" by Daryl Hall (1977). Daryl Hall recorded the album Sacred Songs while on a brief hiatus from his usual partner John Oates. With Robert Fripp producing and on guitar, Hall presented the album to his then-label RCA, which promptly shelved it for three years for being "uncommercial" (meaning not "Rich Girl"). Naturally, it was a great album. The title track's punchy, live-in-the-studio production is the opposite of much of today's Top 40, which tends to be overproduced and Autotuned to hide the general lack of talent.


"Lord Baltimore" by Mark Richardson (1970). A kind of depressing song sung from the point of view of a lord of the manor who's getting the heave-ho from his father, and wonders just how he's going to make it in the real world. That's real roll-up-the-rug material, right? I have no idea who Mark Richardson was, where he was from or what else he recorded, but his voice is well-suited to the despondent lyrics. Consider it the anti-rich kid rap number.


"Mill Valley" by Miss Abrams and the Strawberry Point Fourth Grade Music Class (1970). Well, that artist's name is fairly self-explanatory. Rita Abrams was a real grade school music teacher when she wrote this paean to the California town where she worked. In a world increasingly going off-course, "Mill Valley" might actually strike a chord with many people today, even as (or because) the recorder solo at the beginning fairly shouts early 1970s. And the video was directed by Francis Ford Coppola a year before he started work on The Godfather! Leave the homework, take the lunchbox.

Fun fact: according to Rita Abrams (now 77 years of age), many of the fourth-graders on "Mill Valley" are now grandparents. Feel free to cry and take a nap.

                                                      *****************

Sunday, March 28, 2021

FIRE MONKEY BUSINESS

 Depending on many things -- health, financial situation, and if you're loved
being only three -- turning 65 is either a milestone or a millstone. I'm fortunate enough to score high enough to consider it the former.

I was 11 when the Beatles recorded "When I'm 64", which, naturally, seemed several lifetimes away. Now that I'm one year past that age, where does that put me? Perhaps, to quote another song, beyond the blue horizon.

The oddest thing, in my case anyway, about turning 65, is feeling physically anywhere from 10 to 15 years younger. When you're feeling good 99% of the time, it's easy to think things will go swimmingly indefinitely. 

That's when I remember I was never a great swimmer. And so I need to take a few more lessons to keep me buoyant. 

Some people expected great things from me. Something about "potential", a double-edged sword if there ever was one. One one hand: Look at all the good he's capable of! On the other: It's not a definite!

I went to school with people who have gone to big things. You've heard of the actor Denis Leary? The stand-up comic Steven Wright? The make-up maven Bobbie Brown? Like me, all Emerson College alumni, class of 1978. Others you haven't heard of, but have made their mark in their chosen careers. I would be lying if I didn't feel more than a little inferior the friends and classmates who live a more interesting, luxurious life than me.

And yet, as I write this on my kitchen table, my daughter (in from Philadelphia for a few days) and wife are in the living room, designing the family photo display that will adorn one of the walls. It creates a warmth that envelopes me. 

They love me. I love them. We're healthy and comfortable. We are so far ahead of where many people are. Happiness rarely makes the front page.

                                                      ******************

Friday, March 26, 2021

THE WIND-UP MERCHANT

And don't forget the fine art of shilling.
 The citizens of the US and UK have had something of a mutual admiration thing going on since our little dust-up 250 years ago, and for good reason. First, we speak the same language, so we must be special. 

Too, each county's culture makes up for what the other lacks. Americans like to think they're tough, but they admire the Brits' classiness. Sports fans in both countries follow the other's football games (or matches). And the "British Invasion" music of the 1960s likely never would have happened if we hadn't given them rhythm & blues.

Yup, good times had by all... until someone on Twitter wondered what their fellow Brits found most annoying about the Yanks. Before you could say "'Ere now, what's all this, then?", the anti-Americans Tweets came singing.

Personally, I find it hilarious that they have
to spell it differently on the same credit.

Among them: The way we spell words like "color" and "neighbor" (as if the letter "u" makes them look sophisticated); pronounce "herb" without the "h" (which makes us sound sophisticated); and, as if reaching for something to complain about,  saying "quarter past" instead of "quarter after".

Really? That's what drives you crazy about us Americans? Good Lord, haven't you been following the newspapers (or "sausage wrappers", as you like to call them)? For a while I had to stop following American news it was so upsetting. And what do the British people say: Spell it with a U! And it's "football", not "soccer"!

Well, fine. Americans can play that game, too. Here are a few British things that we find unacceptable.

Don't tell me you don't miss them.
-- Failing to have made the break-up of the Beatles illegal. Do you realize the
heartbreak we continue to suffer over 50 years on?

-- Not providing subtitles for the BBC sitcoms that run on PBS. There's nothing like hearing what non-Oxford Brits sound like to make us feel better about how we talk.

 

Putting parsley in their mouths doesn't make
it any classier.
-- Your beloved traditional meals. Toad in the Hole.  Jellied Eels. Bubble and Squeak. And the legendary Spotted Dick. They even sound grotty.

 --  And speaking of "grotty", what is it with your slangs? Gobsmacked. Taking the piss. Bob's your uncle. Fanny's your aunt. What the hell are you talking about?! 


Uh, you know he didn't exist, right?
-- London's wacky street layouts. When visiting on our first anniversary, we
noticed how some street names changed from block to block. Other street names ended in front of one building, then picked up on the other side three blocks away. You sure make your mail carriers earn their pay!

-- Another thing about our visit. Do you know how difficult it was to drive our rented car when everybody was driving on the wrong side of the road? I knocked over a line of traffic cones while taking an exit off the throughway -- or, as you spell it, thruway.

-- Boris Johnson. At least we got rid of Donald Trump.

-- You pay the royal family £67 million for... what, exactly?

Now, I don't hold any of this against you personally.  I've met some Brits in my life and have enjoyed their company tremendously. One of my background acting colleagues is British by birth but now lives here full time. Although I haven't been able to work in over a year, I still see him every Sunday morning on a commercial for a local medical research center.

And you know why they hired him? His accent! Maybe someone in British television can return the favor. I'd be right chuffed if you gave me a tinkle on the hornblower, mate.

                                                          **************

Thursday, March 25, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: 3/25/2021

In the wake of the recent outbreak of violence against Chinese Americans, Jay Leno has apologized for years of jokes about Asians.

Everybody else is waiting for an apology for the rest of his shitty jokes.




Researchers say they can diagnose concussions accurately using a biomarker in saliva, according to a peer-reviewed article published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

 Dr. Basil Edema, the author of the piece, said the saliva test was "more interesting than just looking at someone who was unconscious." 


Prince Harry will become chief impact officer of BetterUp Inc. “I intend to help create impact in people’s lives,” Prince Harry said. “Proactive coaching provides endless possibilities for personal development, increased awareness, and an all-around better life."

"Besides," he added, "how else am I going to make this kind of dough for a job I'm utterly unqualified for?"

 

 

Environmental scientist Dr. Shanna Swan is warning penises are shrinking due to pollution.

In related news, Republicans are demanding Pres. Biden endorse a new green energy bill RIGHT NOW, GODDMAMMIT!!!



New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is under fire for arranging early special access to state-administered coronavirus tests for his family members.

Asked for a comment, Cuomo said, "Hey, I didn't feel up anyone this time, alright?"


The world should be back to normal by the end of 2022 thanks to COVID-19 vaccines, Bill Gates said in an interview.

"And by normal," he added, "I mean the rich are still going to be shitting on the rest of you, and politicians won't do a damn thing to help, so get used to it, suckers!"



                                                       ********************

Friday, March 19, 2021

THE AMITYVILLE HOO-HAH

And he seemed like such a nice boy.
The most interesting obituary this week -- other than that of Sharon
Osbourne's career -- was of Ronald DeFeo, Jr. If the name doesn't sound familiar, the name of his hometown -- Amityville -- likely will.

Yes, Ronald is responsible for the most famous mass murder in Long Island history, which lead to a book and movie titled The Amityville Horror. Pretty good work for a 23 year-old who initially claimed it was the work of a Mafia hitman!


Then and now: Black & white film, a dark sky, and police rope can make any house look scary.         
 

The DeDefo's house was previously owned by George and Kathy Lutz, who moved out after less than a month, claiming they'd been terrorized by evil spirits, which everybody else calls in-laws.

The DeFeos moved in shortly thereafter. Proving they don't discriminate, the devil's sidekicks said to be residing at their home (112 Ocean Avenue) continued their shenanigans, driving Ron Jr. to create his own slaughterhouse six. The following year, he was sentenced to six sentences of 25 years to life in prison. Which meant, technically, he could have been released as early as 2125.

But don't forget to hire a
literary agent first.
The book The Amityville Horror -- which, it's good to remember, was a novel -- was published two years later. In 1979 came the movie version, allowing Rod Steiger to chew whatever scenery the devil hadn't gotten to first. For the next 11 years, The Amityville Horror was the highest-grossing independent movie of all time. 

I contributed to a few of its 86-million dollars. I remember nothing of the movie, except that it was scary and that I believed every minute of it. So you can imagine my embarrassment when DeFeo's lawyer, William Webber, admitted that he and the Lutzes "created this horror story over a few bottles of wine". The idea was to get his client a new trial, while hoping all of them made some dough on a book and, who knows, maybe a movie, too.

 Boy, did I feel like a used dish rag! The whole thing was a ruse, a lie inside a falsehood wrapped in a hoax. 

Yet three years later a sequel was released. At the time, I was working with a guy from Amityville who actually knew Ron DeFeo Jr. in high school and in the years leading up to the murder. He gave me further insight into the crime. 

While I can't recall his exact words, it was something like this (and you have to hear it in your head spoken in a deep voice with a Long Island accent): That whole haunted house thing was bullshit. DeFeo was a junkie. Everybody knew it. His father didn't know what to do, so he kept giving him money. Then he [the father] cut him off. DeFeo freaked out and killed them.

A desperate junkie looking to collect life insurance by claiming the murder was a Mafia job  is a lot less colorful than walls that drip blood, that's for sure. 

Subsequent owners of 112 Ocean Avenue haven't reported any signs of evil spirits.  This hasn't stopped the making of 23 horror movies with "Amityville" in their titles. At least the town has seen an uptick in tourists over the last 45 years.




                                               ***************************