My Natural Musky Manliness

So I’m at the grocery store just now, at the checkout counter. The kid loads everything into the bag, I’m getting my receipt and am ready to go.

Then the kid says “Hey, I like your cologne.”

I’m not wearing cologne. I don’t think I’ve ever worn cologne in my life, actually. Wasn’t sure I heard him right.

“Huh?” I say.

“I like your cologne,” the kid repeats.

“I’m not wearing cologne,” I say.

“Oh?” He says, surprised.

“I guess I just smell good,” I say.

I thought of this:

Although, maybe it wasn’t my hair. Maybe it was the groceries I bought. In which case, it’s time for Cris Shapan:

New Baseball Cards For My Collection

Let’s have some fun with Topps’ Customized Baseball cards, shall we?

That’s right, you can upload any photo, set it within a few choices of Topps classic baseball card designs, and have them custom printed.

OR, if you’re a troll moron like me, you can have fun just taking some screenshots of imagined cards for FREE! So I think I’d like a 1986 Ro-Man. I think he’ll make all the difference for the Dodgers this year when he cranks up that bubble machine and kills everyone on Earth except for a small group of morons near Bronson Canyon in Los Angeles.

Unless, of course, he’s stopped by my 1973 Big Jim Slade

Yeah, yeah, I know… Big Jim really played for the Kansas City Chiefs (and the capital of Nebraska is LINCOLN!), but only baseball card designs were available.

Continue reading “New Baseball Cards For My Collection”

A Full Rich Wednesday

A lost dog wasn’t really lost, I guess that was the highlight, really.

I got up early like the good boy I’ve been all summer, did some work and then did my daily 3-4 mile walk before it gets too hot out. After some more work, shave and a shower, I figured I could run my afternoon errands.

Had a nice bean & cheese burrito for lunch in front of the bar screens covering the baseball trade deadline. The Yankees stood pat, which I guess I can admire given their pitching and strength of the prospects they did not give up… but at the last minute Zach Greinke waved his no-trade clause and got dealt to the Astros, joining a starting rotation already sporting Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. I really don’t see anyone in the AL beating them in post season series now.

I mean, you never know… but deep down, I think I do know.

Did some grocery shopping and got yelled at by some dumbass in weird pants who walked in front of my foot-on-the-brake but not totally stopped car and thought I was gonna run them over. I probably should have. Suffice to say it’s a good thing my windows were closed since my commentary on them and their wardrobe would not have been taken as constructive criticism.

But then the drama – I get home, pull into the garage, shut the door… and hear a noise outside. Crying maybe? I light up suddenly and think it’s a cat meowing.

No cat. Just a little kid from down the street yelling for her dog. He’s gotten out before, and I’ve seen him run around the street before they corral him. I vaguely remember what he looks like. So I ask her if she saw where he went, and she says no and tells me about the last time he got out (which is SUCH help). Although the last time he got out, he walked too much on hot pavement and messed up his paw pads. I thought the same possibility existed today with the heat. The kid’s home alone with grandma, she says. I tell her I didn’t see the dog wandering around when driving home just then. Grandma comes out and seems able to walk around. I had images of grandma wheeled to the window wondering what a dog was, figuring she’d be no help, but she starts calling the dog loudly in the street.

I put my groceries in the fridge and go back outside to see if I can help them find the dog. They’re both still yelling “DUKE! DUKE!” Grandma assures me the dog comes when he’s called.

So I walk down the paths into the nearby woods, figuring if Duke felt like a smell odyssey, he’d take that route instead of wandering through peoples’ yards.

I go walking early in the morning before the temperature climbs past 80. Now it’s mid-afternoon high 90s time with the sun beating down. I really don’t want to walk 3-4 miles to find this dog or fight a coyote for him, but as I go further into the woods, I don’t see or hear anything.

Then I see a woman walking a dog who looks a lot like Duke. But a lot of people have brown bulldog mixes, don’t they? I ask her if she’s seen any other dogs running around. She says no.

Then she hears Grandma yelling “DUKE! DUKE!”

And we walk back out of the woods to Grandma. Evidently no one told her or the kid about the professional dog walker the parents hired to come get the dog out of the backyard. The walker thought someone had been yelling “DUDE! DUDE!” and wondered why the dog responded, pulling on the leash.

Duke certainly enjoyed all the attention. He was the only intelligent participant in the entire exercise, when you think about it. Glad he wasn’t lost, but how the hell do you not know/forget a professional dog walker has been hired?

Back inside, A/C on. Looking forward to cooking the salmon fillet I bought for dinner, along with a nice drink.

So Long, MAD Magazine

A post-war American institution, really… MAD taught the entire boomer generation irony & satire (along with Rocky & Bullwinkle, I guess) and became a regular staple of American popular culture.

And now it’s going away.

A few more issues of new material, then they’ll rerun old material until all existing subscriptions run out, then…. they are done. Over. Kaput.

Partly due to the declining readership of print magazines in general, partly due to over-dilution of their brand among far too many other outlets for their younger target audience, and saddest of all, partly due to the overall dearth of satire and cancer of hypersensitive offense and humorlessness pervading our zeitgeist.


MAD started out strong in comic book form under Harvey Kurtzman – the throw-everything-at-the-wall style of satire from those early issues holds up beautifully today. While some of the genre parodies are dated, the comic art and execution of the jokes still hit their marks. When MAD transitioned post-Kurtzman’s fallout with William M. Gaines into the b/w magazine format, the types of pieces varied somewhat, though the direct parodies of movies and television shows remained. The “usual staff of idiots” each stood out in their regular pieces for the magazine in the days I grew up with it – the observational humor of Dave Berg, the weirdness of Don Martin, the offbeat dark humor of Al Jaffe, the distinctive comic art variances of Antonio Prohias’ Spy vs Spy juxtaposed against the boxiness of Paul Coker’s people… the magazine was always well designed and very rich visually.

Before the age of video and before they got bought out by Warners for even more access, they’d parody movies a few months after they hit theaters, with uncanny reproductions of specific scenes by brilliant artists like Mort Drucker.

Continue reading “So Long, MAD Magazine”

Adventures At Costco

First, I found three dollars, rolled up, on the floor in one of the aisles.


Then on my way out, I stopped to inspect a model of an induction range they had on display. Interesting technology, but certainly pricey at over two grand (and I didn’t find that much on the floor).

So, I’m walking out and hear a voice behind me with a British accent go “Way too expensive, eh?”

I turn and see a little old woman with a tight cap and thick glasses, carrying a single bottle of wine in a plastic bag.

“Yeah, kinda,” I say. I push my cart to the security guy at the exit and he checks my receipt.

“Which way are you goin’, this way or that way?” the little old woman says, pointing to the street.

“That way,” I answer.

“Can you give me a ride?”

Jesus Christ.

“No, I don’t give rides to strangers, sorry.”

“Aw, c’mon, just to the light?”

Is this how I get hit on? Little old British ladies who walk to Costco to buy a single bottle of wine, looking for that day’s victim for a “Let’s take a walk back to my flat, guv’nor, and get right pissed, we will!” is who talks to me.

Who’s up for a one-night stand with Mrs. Naugatuck? Especially when she looks like my grandfather if he’d had a teaspoon or so of estrogen with his Geritol.

“No, sorry,” I said, and I pushed my cart back to my car.

I’d parked way in back. It gave me a chance to walk up on a small hill and see her, yes, crossing at the light on her way back to the condo or apartment complex, whatever it is, up that driveway.

Maybe I shouldn’t make assumptions. She probably just figured I was enough of a patsy to bum a ride off of…. or was she? Hmmmm…..

Ah, what might have been. All I can think of is this:

I’d like to think it was her three dollars. That way she’ll always be special to me.

Happy Passover!

Where’s yer false God NOW, Rameses??


Your stupid first born was a brat anyway. Have some gefilte fish, it’ll cheer you up before Anne Baxter cheats on you with the stable boy.

BTW, the annual showing of the Jewish Wizard Of Oz is this Saturday at 7 on ABC!

So let it be written, so let it be done.

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