“Mom, how will Santa find us?” Homeless kid in shelter


Today’s blog will cover:

1. “Mom, how will Santa ever find us?”
2. Bill Nye, still an Incredibly Cool Guy
3. Obituary — The Pillsbury Dough Boy is still dead
4. Just in Time for Christmas: The 10 Rules for Being Human

1. “Mom, how will Santa ever find us?”

There is something about the “Season of Giving” (Christmas and Chanukah) that brings out the worst in violent men who terrorize their families. December is annually the worst month for domestic violence shelters because that’s when these cowards unleash their anti-Christmas Spirit on their wives, partners and children.

Almost four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or boyfriends. Women are abused at the rate of one every 15 seconds in the US. The beatings usually don’t stop until women can summon the courage and confidence to flee to the nation’s 1,800 shelters.

Think that’s a lot of shelters? Not really. We have more than twice as many animal shelters!

There’s a problem when you hear numbers like that. Unless you’ve been victimized, those statistics just don’t have any meaning for you. You hear them, think to yourself, “What a shame,” then, sitting at your dinner table or in front of the tube, you launch right into, “Please pass me the potatoes.”

With all that being said, this blog isn’t about domestic violence, exactly. It’s about Christmas, more specifically Christmas in the eyes of boys and girls of abused families.

With all else that’s going on in their lives, the first concern of many boys and girls who arrive homeless and frightened in domestic violence shelters in December is, “Mom, how will Santa ever find us?”

Now I know my Readers can’t do anything about the scourge of domestic violence, but you can be  a Secret Santa for a kid or two currently “living” in a domestic violence shelter.

The company I’m working for, Stickman Stew, makes colorful, iconic plush stick figures, like the kind cavemen drew on their caves. They’re bendable and poseable, just like Gumby, and they don’t require batteries. They’re powered by a kid’s imagination.

They’re a perfect, lightweight, portable buddy for kids who left their toys and home behind them.

For every toy you buy online at stickmanstew.com before December 24th, the company will donate one to a homeless or abused child, or a child with cancer, They also donate toys to children whose parents (or, more likely, parent) can’t afford to buy any presents this Christmas. It’s a BUY ONE, GIVE ONE promotion similar to the charitable offers first popularized by Tom’s Shoes.

And if you don’t want to give  a toy to a child you know, you can donate both your toys. In fact, STICKMAN STEW & THE GOLD HEART CREW, has partnered with 35 kid-friendly non-profits across America. The complete list of what each of these charities is about is herehttp://stickmanstew.com/buy-one-give-one-page/

The non-profits you can donate to range from All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine, in St. Petersburg, Florida, who provides expert pediatric care for children and families throughout Florida and beyond, to Vogel Alcove in Dallas, Texas, where homeless kids get the chance to soar. For nearly 25 years, Vogel Alcove has provided free quality child development services for Dallas’ youngest victims of poverty: homeless children 6 weeks to 5 years old.


Vogel Alcove

Kids at Vogel Alcove  in Dallas play with their new friends, Stickman Stew, Stickgal Sal, Stickkid Sid and Stickgirl Shirl. Vogel Alcove, one of the 35 charities Stickman Stew is donating to this Christmas, is the only free, comprehensive early childhood education program whose primary focus is to provide free childcare and case management for children and their families.

Look, Christmas is less than two weeks away, and I’ve still got over 5,000 kids who won’t get presents unless some generous Secret Santas among my Readers donate TODAY, so we can distribute the toys before Christmas.

By the way, when you check out the STICKMAN STEW & THE GOLD HEART CREW toys online, you’ll notice that each of the characters has a Heart of Gold.

Just like the one I know you have, dear Readers.

Bill Nye is Still an Incredibly Cool Guy

If you don’t know who Bill Nye is , a.k.a. Bill Nye, The Science Guy, you were either born after 1998 or you weren’t paying attention the five years  before, when this tall, slender scientist had a popular PBS  show with Science as the ultimate star. Bill Nye was just the messenger, but what a messenger he was.

Each half-hour show began with Bill walking onto the set, called “Nye Laboratories”, which was filled with scientific visuals and Bill’s incredible banter and delivery his one-of-a-kind explanation about some scientific fact or experiment.

Well, Bill is over 800 years old now (my math may be off), and he is still as cool and as hip as ever. In this short video, Bill Nye uses emoji to explain evolution.

Bill Nye The Science Guy explains the complex Theory of Evolution using emoji. Take that, Tea Party nut jobs!


Obituary: Pillsbury Dough Boy is Dead. Again!

Pillsbury Dough Boy (1962-2012)

The Pillsbury Dough Boy was buried at 375 degrees

Pillsbury Dough Boy, a.k.a. Pop ’N Fresh

Every year around Christmas, the major TV networks retrieve their old Christmas shows from their vaults and show viewers for the 85th time classics like “It’s Gonna Be A Charlie Brown Christmas, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frostie, Wendy’s version of Slurpy” (I may not have the last title exactly right.).

For some reason, a number of my 10 Minutes of Brilliance Readers usually contact me in early December and request a “rerun” of the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s obituary. So I will reprint it here just the way I posted in three years ago when I “borrowed” it from some other Internet writer.

Mrs. Butterworth
During the funreral, Mrs. Butterworth gave Pop N Fresh’s Dad, Pop Tart, a pat on the back. A pat of butter.Please join me in remembering a great American icon – the Pillsbury Dough Boy, aka Pop N. Fresh. The veteran Pillsbury spokesman would have been 50 this year.

Obituary: Pillsbury Dough Boy has died. He was a Roll Model for Millions

Sadly, the Pillsbury Dough Boy died yesterday from a yeast infection. Fresh, which was his real name,  a.k.a. Pop ‘N Fresh, was buried in a lightly greased coffin at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.

cap'n crunch

The Cap’n was not happy when only his head arrived at the funeral. The animators forgot to draw the rest of the body.

Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Longtime friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the Dough Boy’s eulogy, describing Fresh as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.

Aunt Jemima
Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, along with some silver dollar pancakes.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with many turnovers.

He was not considered a very “smart” cookie, wasting much of his well-earned dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he was a roll model for millions. Towards the end, after his sad demise, it was thought he would rise again. But alas, he remained unleavened. Like Matzoh.

He had a good temperament and very few things made him angry. Although he did get a little burnt up when someone would leave him in the oven.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy is survived by his wife, Play Dough, and two children, John Dough and Jane Dough; plus one little muffin in the oven.


The 10 Rules for Being Human (Non-Humans can skip this part.)

STAN: Damn, Goldberg doesn’t even provide any segue way, does he?. He flies right into the next topic. Is that genius?
HARRIETT: Nope. It’s his ADHD. I hope our new Readers have their seat belts on!

Everyone’s heard the expression, “You’ve gotta play by the rules.” The actual expression should have been, “You’ve gotta LIVE by the Rules.” Now, these are not the Rules of Parcheesi, Tennis or the Rules of Parliamentary Procedure.

STAN: Out of Order! Out of Order!
HARRIETT: Good, Stan. I didn’t know you knew about “Robert’s Rules of Order?”
STAN: I don’t know what the Hell you’re talking about, Harriett. I just lost a dollar in a Coke machine.

Where was I? Oh, yes, these aren’t just any Rules. These are The Rules for Being Human. I’ve run these before and Readers keep asking me to repeat them.  By the way, I did not write them., but after much searching on the Internet (and in one of my sock drawers) I located the women who penned them.

STAN: No shirt, Sherlock!. Tell our Readers who you stole them from:

They were written by Cherie Carter-Scott from her book If Life is a Game, These are the Rules. There are only 10 Rules, so stop complaining how hard it is to be a Human!

Just in Time for Christmas: The 10 Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it, but it’s the only thing you are sure to keep for the rest of your life. So take care of it! You’re not getting another. (Unless your name is Ted Williams.)

2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “Life.” Each day in school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work. (This is a tough one for Jews and Catholics. The “No Guilt” hypothesis changes EVERYTHING.)

4. A lesson is repeated until learned. Lessons will be repeated by you in various forms until you have learned them. Once you’ve learned them, you can go on to the next lesson. (It’s sort of like Angry Birds, but with a little more depth and many more skill challenges.)

5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned. (If you’re dead, well, school’s over.)

6. “There” is no better than “here”.  When your “there” has become “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better to you than “here.”

7. Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself. (OK, I don’t agree with this one.)

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need to succeed. What you do with them is up to you.

9. The answers are inside you. The answers to Life’s questions lie inside you. If you’re quiet, you can hear them. All you need to do is listen, and trust.

10. You will forget all this. You can remember any time you wish.

Well that’s all for today. Please donate a toy and contact any friends you know who still have a heart. Readers, I really appreciate your coming by and staying so long.

If you liked the blog, leave me a COMMENT.

If you hated the blog and found it boring, leave a COMMENT.

If you have No Comment, then leave me a COMMENT that says No Comment. Got it? Thanks for the use of the hall. See you next time. Sooner than you think.

Finally, if you have any idea who originated the story on the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s sudden demise, please let me know. I’ve found many sources on the Net, but could not track down the originator.

Jack Goldenberg puts his own unique spin on tweets, Facebook pages, advertising copy and web site content. He can help you create great LinkedIn Profiles. He’s even created some FAQS people will read.

If you’re interested in increasing the effectiveness of your branding or social media marketing campaign, contact Jack Goldenberg, or call 973-590-7343. Einstein and da Vinci are standing by to take your call.

Posted in Proficient Copywriter by Jack Goldenberg. 4 Comments

Walt Disney Must Be Turning Over In his Cryogenic Grave

Welcome to 10 Minutes of Brilliance-My ADD-Addled Scream of Consciousness Blog

Wanna feed the animals? How about those Orioles? Hey, where was I? Oh yeah. Today’s blog:

1. Walt Disney Must Be Turning Over in his Cryogenic Grave

2. Hello Flo – A Brilliant Commercial about a Preteen’s First Period

3. Guess Who’s Spying on You Now? Your Phone!

4. 12 Words and Phrases We Never Need to Hear Again

5. Come up with your idea for #5. I can’t be doing all the  work

6. Intermittent Interruptions from STAN and HARRIET

7. A Short History of Men Winning Arguments with Women

Special note to my Brilliant Readers: The opening of today’s blog may seem a little strange. Well, I guess no stranger than usual.  You see, for the first time, this blog will not only be online at 10MinutesOfBrilliance.com , it will also appear on my LinkedIn site.

So, if you’re a little confused, join the company, because HARRIET and STAN are really confused.

They just woke up on LinkedIn!  (So imagine you’re reading this on LinkedIn)

HARRIET wakes up, rubs her eyes and realizes something has gone terribly wrong! STAN is sleeping next to her! How the Hell did that happen? Sure, she had sex with Stan once. It was a couple years ago on this very blog (Not on my LinkedIn blog–where this blog is also appearing, but here at my 10MinutesofBrilliance.com blog).

Anyway, HARRIET vowed it would never ever happen again.

The thought of STAN sleeping next to her was suddenly eclipsed by an even more troublesome problem. Harriet didn’t have any idea where she was. Harriet shook STAN violently to wake him up.

HARRIET: Stan, Stan, get up! Get up now!
STAN: C’mon, Harriet, lemme be, can’t you see I’m sleeping?

STAN squints his eyes, but opens them just enough to realize he’s in unfamiliar territory, too.

STAN: Oh, S**t, Harriet! Where the Hell are we?
HARRIET: I don’t know, Stan. I was hoping you might know.

STAN looks left, then look right, carefully studying his surroundings.

STAN: Well, it looks like 10 Minutes of Brilliance, Goldberg’s blog, but somehow it’s different.
HARRIET: Goldberg’s blog , Stan? Don’t you mean Goldenberg’s blog!
STAN: Goldenberger?
STAN: Goldbergowitz?
HARRIET: No! No! No!
STAN: Golberg? Goldenberkowski?
HARRIET: Jeez, Stan, can’t you ever get his name right It’s Goldenberg. Jack Goldenberg. He’s been writing about you and me on his blog 10 Minutes of Brilliance for over 3 years now. The least you can do is remember the name of the man who created you.
STAN: For last time, Harriet, Goldberg didn’t create me. I created him!
HARRIET: Wrong, Stan. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Look.

HARRIET points to the side of the blog. Stan looks to the left and notices a written conversation between himself and HARRIET in blue ink in the margin.
HARRIET: See Stan, I told you. We’re not real. We’re just characters Jack made up.
STAN: Well, if we’re not real, then how come I slept with you a couple years back?
HARRIET: I don’t know, Stan. It was a horrible mistake. What was I thinking? But that still doesn’t explain where we are right now.

STAN gets out of bed, goes to the window (sure, blogs can have windows, why not?)  and looks outside.

STAN: OK, good, now I know where we are. We’re on Facebook. I just saw Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Harriet looks out the window, too.

HARRIET: No, we must be on Twitter. I just spotted Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Dick Costolo.
STAN: The founders of Twitter? Guess we must be on Twitter!
HARRIET: Nah, I don’t see that little blue bird.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo

Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo

STAN looks in a different direction.

STAN: Is that Barack Obama?

President Baracl Obama

President Barack Obama

HARRIET: Please God, tell me I didn’t sleep with STAN in the White House!

Harriet think for a second, then suddenly a light bulb goes off in her head. (Note: It was not one of those stupid new fluorescent light bubs. You know, the squiggly kind. It was an incandescent bulb, like the one cartoonists draw to show someone had an idea.)

HARRIET: Hey, I just noticed a lot of fake profiles. People sucking up to other people. And 60 million people looking for work.

STAN looks more closely at his surroundings, too.

STAN: Plus I see another 150 million people exaggerating their professional accomplishments!
HARRIET: Oh, no! Mark Zuckerberg, the founders of Twitter and the President of the United States! All in one place?
STAN: Oh, Hell! And 150 million fake profiles! That can only mean one thing!

HARRIET and STAN together: We must be on LinkedIn?

STAN: LinkedIn?  How did we go to sleep on Goldman’s blog, 10 Minutes of Brilliance, and wake up on here on LinkedIn?
HARRIET: Oh, now I remember why. Jack decided to publish his blog on LinkedIn.
STAN: That still doesn’t explain where that no good, lousy writer Goldberg is. How could he miss an opportunity like this? LinkedIn, Harriet! LinkedIn! It’s like Facebook for the working class! We’ll be famous. Then maybe we can get a better gig on a more popular blog.
HARRIET: Look Stan, I think we’d better forget about our own fame for now and concentrate on making this blog work. Jack is in enough trouble. He hasn’t posted a blog on his regular site in over 3 months. Let just roll out a blog until Jack shows up.
STAN: And then we can roll into bed?
STAN: Yes? (Excitedly) Really?
HARRIET: Yes. In separate beds. On different continents. Now introduce the first post as Jack would do it.
STAN: You mean, make it windy, verbose and never shut up.
HARRIET: Now you’re getting the idea.

Walt Disney Must Be Turning Over In his Cryogenic Grave

Art has always been an expression of the times. For a thousand years, the mythology and religion that dominated life produced classic historical paintings with universal themes. In more recent times, pop culture was often the prevailing wave and classics like Disney’s animated movies were the High Art of the Times.

But what if those themes were mashed up? What would it look like in an art gallery of today, say, at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles?

Wonder no more. While Walt Disney may turn over in his cryogenic grave, because artist José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros has painted his way through this historic mash-up of religion and Disney in a one-man show, “Profanity Pop.” And the results are both artful and animated.

Here are some of his Disney mash-ups by painter Loaiza Ontiveros. View them at the risk of corrupting your childhood. Yeah, like THAT hasn’t already happened.

Just don’t expect a happy ending.

snow whitw

An overweight Snow White shoots a selfie in her underwear. Take that, Mirror, Mirror!

Grumpy and Dopey, two of the 7 Dwarfs

Two of the Seven Dwarfs, Grumpy and Dopey lock lips. But was Grumpy taking advantage of Dopey who was on the rebound from one of the Keebler elves?

Saint Daisy Duck takes a pregnancy test, probably administered by some quack.

Saint Daisy Duck takes a pregnancy test, probably administered by some quack.

And in a painting entitled, “Stay Happy,” Donald Duck gets downright Goofy smokin’ weed with the often-drooling, misbehavin’ pooch.

And in a painting entitled, “Stay Happy,” Donald Duck gets downright Goofy smokin’ weed with the often-drooling, misbehavin’ pooch.

Hello Flo- A Brilliant Commercial about a Preteen’s First Period

Hi, Brilliant Readers. It’s me, Jack. Sorry I’m late. I want to welcome all my new Readers who have joined us on LinkedIn. It’s been a long time since I posted a blog on my regular site, Sorry. I just got a new job working for Stickman Stew, a toy company you’ll hear a lot more about. And, for a little more than a month back in July, I was Nurse Jackie for a dear loved one who doesn’t want her identity revealed on my blog. And I intend to honor my wife’s, I mean, that person’s, request.

I just found out that my blog readership has soared in my absence. It seems the less I write, the more people like it!

STAN: That doesn’t surprise me in the least.

I now have over 1,000 blog visitors a day, over 35,000 every month. I still just write to please me and make myself laugh. And if you laugh or learn something in the process, well then, all the better.

I try to keep my blog tasteful. All right, somewhat tasteful! So even when STAN curses, I use asterisks to protect my Readers delicate sensibilities.

For instance, STAN has been know to scream, ” Hey Goldberg, GO **** ********! And, “Those ******* right-wing R*public*ns. They’re are at it again!” See, I didn’t have to actually say ******* or right-wing R*public*ans, and you still got the gist of what I was saying

Sometimes it best not to say anything. just to present the subject in its natural form.

This next commercial is brilliantly written, hilariously funny, and the young actress who stars in it will be a huge star one day. But the subject matter, a young girl’s first period, is so personal, the topic defies description. So I’ll just present it, without any editorial comment.


Guess Who’s Spying on You Now? Your Phone!

Spying used to be so uncomplicated. You knew the teams. There was Us and Them. The Good Guys and the Commies. The White Hats and the Black Hats. The Cowboys (Dallas) and the Indians (Cleveland).

Mad Magazine's Spy vs Spy has come true . Marketers know everything about you

Mad Magazine’s Spy vs. Spy has come true. Marketers know everything about you.


And spying methods were so simple. Back before algorithms charted your every move, there were only two ways you could be spied upon. Either a private detective in a ’57 Chevy followed you in his car or the police bugged your phone.

Now, all that’s changed. Every Tom, Dick and Harriet…


Sorry, it was just an example. Where was I? …every Tom, Dick and Henrietta…

HARRIET: Better.

…who work for a marketing company can buy information over the Internet on every site you’ve visited, seeing everything you’ve ever bought.

In fact, today’s marketers know every breath you take, every move you make. Which reminds me of a song that not so coincidentally was sung by THE POLICE. Great song! It’s worth hearing again.

Ah, but I digress. The point is that every moment of every day, you’re being spied upon. For 12 years now, the United States Postal Service has been photographing the exterior of every piece of mail or parcel that comes through their doors.

That’s a bigger invasion of your privacy than you might imagine. The metadata from your mail can tell a lot about you, your location, the people you associate with, your movement patterns, and whether you celebrate Uncle Manny’s birthday every year.

Who else want to knows about you? Just about EVERYONE! Equifax and other credit reporting  agencies know your annual salary and the money you’ve ever borrowed, plus your payback history.  The Air Force and countless satellites  have photographed your home and car movements, Facebook knows everything you and your friends like, and Google knows every damn place you’ve ever visited on the Internet.

So maybe you won’t be so upset to learn who is spying on you now. Your smart phone. I’m not talking about the government program that records telephone calls. Everybody know about that. It is now possible for retail stores to buy g.p.s. data that tells them when you’re near their store son they can send you a coupon or text message.

And you know, I wish I has a way to end this piece, but let’s just keep moving or we’ll never get out of here.


12 Words and Phrases We Never Need to Hear Again

I’m not sure how my  friend J.S. Gilbert does it. He’s multi-talented. He’s a writer, marketer, voice-over talent and much more. While I understand how he does all that stuff, I can’t figure out how he finds time to send hundreds, maybe thousands, possibly millions of posts online every day.

Does he breathe? Does he eat? Is he washing behind his ears?

Here’s a recent post from him about words and phases we could do without. I added a few of my own.

12 Words and Phrases We Never Ever Need to Hear Again

1. My bad

2. Just sayin’

3. Can I be honest with you?

4. No problem.

5. It’s all good.

6.  Actually,…

7. At the end of the day…

8. Selfie

9. Foodie

10. Nihilistic (oh wait, no, that still has some time before it become cliche)

11. The fact is…

12. Out of the box

A View from Tony’s Backyard

ERROR MESSAGE #1: Sorry, there’s nothing to see today in Tony’s backyard. Just move along!

A Short History of Men Winning Arguments with Women

On March 4, 1957, a man, Harvey Kellner, won an argument with his wife.

It has never happened again.

Time to go, Brilliant Readers! But first a word from our sponsor.

Well that’s it, boys and girls. Class is dismissed. And there’s no homework except to come back the next time I think of something Brilliant.

STAN: Yeah, like we can all wait that long.
HARRIET: Shut up, Stan. You always have to have the last word.
STAN: I do?

I appreciate your stopping by. Especially after so long a wait! In fact, leave me a comment to let me know you were here. The first five people who leave me a comment will win an authentic STICKMAN STEW & the GOLD HEART CREW character. These iconic stick figures are bendable and posable and are all the rage now. They need no batteries! They’re powered by a kid’s imagination.



And if you’re the sixth person to leave a comment, well then you’ll have to go to  STICKMANSTEW.COM and buy your own.

But that’s a pretty cool thing, too. Because for every STICKMAN STEW character you buy online from now until Christmas (at under $10, I might add), the STICKMAN STEW plush toy company will donate one STICKMAN STEW toy to a kid in a Texas hospital or shelter. Why Texas? That’s where Stew was born.

Here, this video will explain how you can BUY ONE and GIVE ONE to a kid who could use a little sunshine.


HARRIET: That’s it. The blog’s over. Say goodnight, Stan.
STAN: Good night, Stan!
HARRIET: Goodbye, everyone, drive safely. Hope to see you back here real soon.


The Mysterious Story Behind Van Halen’s Ban on Brown M & M’s

STAN: Today’s edition of 10 Minutes of Brilliance has “Nothing for Anyone.”
HARRIET: Stan, you exquisite jerk, I don’t think you have that quite right.
STAN: No? Oh sorry. I meant to say it has “Something for Everyone.”
HARRIET: Much improved. Now tell Jack’s Readers what to expect.
STAN: Mediocrity, followed by boring verbiage.
HARRIET: No, no! I meant the topics.
STAN: 1. Oh. First, a behind-the-scenes look at rock star contract demands.
2. Next up, a great new app for people who travel
3. We’re proud to present the record breaking stupidity of Florida State Representative Charles Van Zant.
4. Finally, blogger Goldberger…
HARRIET: His name is Goldenberg, Stan. Jack Goldenberg.
STAN: Whatever. And finally, blogger Goldstein presents “The Last Pet Video You’ll Ever Have to See for the Rest of Your Life.” And now, without any further do do, here’s… what’s his name.
STAN: Whatever.

Rock Star Contract Demands: The Mysterious Story Behind Van Halen’s Ban on Brown M & M’s

Things aren’t always what they seem–even in the World of Rock ‘n Roll. Remember the furor years ago about the outrageous demands David Lee Roth, lead singer of Van Halen, put into his contract?

Under the clause “Munchies” Mr. Roth (whose real name is not Otis Biggelsworth McFeltersnatch) insisted that the band required “potato chips, nuts, pretzels and M&M’s  backstage and on their tour bus. Then David Lee Roth inserted into the 53-page contract: (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN M&M’s!). Was David Lee Roth being petulant? And more importantly, do you even know what “petulant” means?

STAN: What does petulant mean?
HARRIET: Google it!
STAN: It means, “Google it?”
HARRIET: No, Stan , you idiot, it means getting terribly annoyed at a small detail, especially if you don’t get your way.
HARRIET: Do you even know what “chagrined” means?
STAN:  Google it?
HARRIET: You’re getting close.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Everyone knows stars like to be pampered. After all, many of them act like children who want what they want when they want it. (Which reminds me, “Honey, what’s for dinner?) (OK, new Readers of 10 Minutes of Brilliance, I am just kidding when I asked my wife , “What’s for dinner?”) (I already know what’s for dinner.)

ANNOUNCER: Attention, 10 Minutes of Brilliance Readers! Blog writer Jack Goldenberg had just performed the amazing Triple Parentheses? Three in a row and he landed perfectly. He just tied the World Record for Consecutive Parentheses. Will he go for a 4th and try to break the record?

(Where was I? Oh, yeah.)

ANNOUNCER: He has! He’s done it! For the first time in blog history, Goldenberg has smashed the previous 1956 record of three consecutive parentheses with a stunning 4th parenthesis! Oh, the humanity!

I remember now, I was talking about outrageous clauses in rock ‘n roll contracts. As it turns out, David Lee Roth was not being childish nor overly demanding by stipulating  hisNO BROWN M&M’s” clause. “We were accused of being abusive simply because we could., ” Roth explained,”but the reality was quite different.”

Here’s the real story.

Van Halen’s live show was a huge spectacle. It required booming audio, spectacular lighting, high voltage electricity, and immense structural support, all of which could some tumbling down on the band and the audience if it wasn’t properly installed. But some facility managers who booked the high-flying and expensive Van Halen tour cut corner when it came to safety. Some didn’t even bother to read the long contract, jeopardizing the safety of the band and its fans.

But David Lee Roth was a lot shrewder than people at the time gave him credit for. He couldn’t take the chance local promoters might perform a less than adequate safety check. So he added the “NO BROWN M&M’s” clause to ensure his entire contract was read and adhered to. If he saw BROWN M&M’s in his dressing room or anywhere backstage, he knew local promoter’s didn’t read the contract and probably weren’t  prepared to protect the band and fans from imminent danger.

Anytime David Lee Roth found brown M&M’s anywhere in his touring venue, the show didn’t go on until the structural problems were fixed.

Here are some other backstage and contract demands of the rich and infamous:

James Brown

Superstar James Brown requires a 5-star hotel, a hooded hair dryer, an oxygen tank and an extra room for his mistress–his wardrobe mistress, that is.

Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes contract calls for several bottles of Moet Chandon, a 24-piece bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and condoms. Don’t ask!


The one and only Cher require a wigwam. Oh no, that’s a wig room, extra space for her huge collection of wigs. She also warrants an extra room for her massage therapist, bouquets of freshly cut lilies and gardenias, and a TV showing classic movies. Fake flowers and fake plants are forbidden.


Jennifer Lopez a k a J-Lo

Sultry singer Jennifer Lynn Muñiz, a k a Jennifer Lopez, a k a J-Lo, has a long list of riders her management adds to her touring contracts, including a trailer at least 40 feet in length, in which EVERYTHING IS WHITE.  Everything! She also requires yellow roses with red trim, CDs chosen from a list of 43 artists, and specific brands of scented candles (Diptyque—Tuberose, Figuier, and Heliotrope). What, no Glade plug-ins?



Most of the contact demands in Bat Out of Hell superstar Meatloaf’s contract relate to food. He requires 100% multigrain bread, (preferably Vogel’s Flaxseed and Soy), 2 bags of potato chips, a package of low fat chicken or turkey wieners, 4 hard and crunchy Gala apples, 4 low-fat fresh-baked muffins from a local bakery, steamed broccoli and green beans almondine (not too soggy) a sliced roast pork tenderloin, a sliced, a sliced roast beef tenderloin and two baked potatoes. Then for lunch…

The Absolute Best Way to Get from HERE to ANYWHERE

Although some 10 Minutes of Brilliance Readers live in the Southern Hemisphere (South America, South Africa and Australia) where Winter is the next big season, the vast majority of Brilliant Readers live north of the Equator, so they’re busily making exciting plans for their Summer vacation.

I’ve come across a new site that simplifies the best way to get from wherever you are to wherever in the world you want to go. But before I do that, I thought it might be helpful to tell you when to look to get the best prices on airfare.

The best time to look for the least expensive airfare  is early Wednesday morning. That’s the day most airlines dump their unused reservations for sale and higher priced tickets that didn’t sell the previous weekend. Now onto the main course, how to get from where you are to where you want to be,

Rome2Rio.com: Don’t leave home without it

Rome2Rio web site

Rio2rio.com simplifies the best mode or modes of transportation to get to anywhere in the world.

Rome2rio organizes the world’s transportation information into one convenient Web site. It’s a door-to-door search engine that returns an itinerary for travel by air, train, coach*, ferry. mass transit and automobile.

By the way, do you know what coach travel is?  I didn’t. I had to look it up. I figured they meant a stage coach, like the had in the old west. You know, with one guy driving the horses and the other guy ridin’ shotgun, in case they were attacked by Indians who were upset you didn’t call then native Americans.

“Au contraire,” as my French grandmother would say. A coach is a type of bus that conveys passengers on excursions and on longer distances between cities—or even between countries. Now aren’t you glad you learned that today? I am.

Anyway, check out Rome2rio. It’s one cool app for travelers.

What’s up, Chuck?

In 10 Minutes of Brilliance’s continuing effort to define Brilliance, it helps to understand what real stupidity looks like. In case you were wondering, it looks like this:

Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant said that

Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant said the new Florida State school curriculum will “attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”

In 1997, there were reports that watching the British children’s show Teletubbies could cause your kids to “turn homosexual.” Oh, not all of the Teletubbies were involved in the conspiracy. It was just Tinky Winky. What proof did Jerry Falwell and others have that Tinky Winky had a hidden agency. It was right there before your eyes. He was purple. You do know the color purple can “cause” homosexuality, don’t you.?

The next supposed major conspiracy of the liberal media was the hit show SpongeBob Square Pants. No, SpongeBob’s square pants weren’t purple, but there was something about him that caused the extreme right to proclaim the show was another left wing conspiracy to “turn children into gays and lesbians.” It doesn’t matter that science has proved sexual preference is biological, not environmental. After all, what’s science got over hysteria, bigotry and abject stupidity? Absolutely nothing, right?

Of course, as any dues paying viewer of Fox News knows, the real “cause” of homosexuality are several Disney animated movies. That’s been the claim of the ill-informed for some time now.

Now, along comes Florida State Representative Charles Van Zant to warn unsuspecting parents that the overarching threat to society as we know it (really, society as he knows it) is Florida’s new $220 million allocation for standardized testing. “I really hate to bring you that news,” Rep. Van Zant said, ” but you need to know.”

Van Zant claims that unless  Florida finds a way to take back the $220 million for standardized testing, it will, “promote double-mindedness in state education, and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”

Drop the double-mindedness talk, Chuck. Try some open-mindedness. But not the purple ones.

The Last Pet Video You Ever Have to See for the Rest of your Life.

I love dogs, but I hate dog videos!

Cats are OK, not my favorite, though. But I hate cat videos!

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

Move over, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Toto, Sandy, Pluto, Scooby Doo, Benji and Jasper. There’s NEW dog in town! His name is Jesse.

I was pretty sure I would be able to honor my pledge to never again watch another pet video, dog, cat, monkey, skunk, bird, turtle, snake, frog, or whatever! Then I saw the best dog video I have ever seen in my entire life. Jesse is not just good, Jesse is amazing! If you’ve never watched any of the videos on my blog, now is time to start. Jesse the dog is amazing (and so is my friend, marketing mastermind and professor Les Borden for sending it to me.)


 Now it’s Time to Say Goodnight. As Only the Beatles Can Deliver It

And who can say it better than the Beatles. Good Day and Good Night, Brilliant Readers. Thanks for the use of the the hall.  Jack Goldenberg

WARNING! The Toughest Job in the World Is a Real Mother!

Today we’re going to cover a lot of ground, so fasten your seat belts.
1. We’ll start off with a description of “The Toughest Job in the World” and see a video of some of the 27 people crazy enough to apply for it. I’m warning you, this job is a real Mother!
2. Then, there’s a tribute to my Mom who I imagine is reading 10 Minutes of Brilliance in Heaven. I doubt she’s in Hell or Pittsburgh, because she led a good life and was never very fond of either of those places.
3. Next is a piece about having a second Mother’s Day every year. I swear it’s not a Hallmark plot. Some people think that might be a good idea, but I’m sure Jewish mothers would say, “What? You don’t love me the other 363 days?”
4. Then, there’s a piece about my hometown, Ballmer, Merlin (a k a Baltimore, Maryland). People from Baltimore called themselves “BaltiMORONS!” That’s either just plain stupid or quite possibly “truth in packaging.”
5. Next, take a short 10 Minutes of Brilliance True or False Pop Quiz.
6. And finally, there are some wonderful ironic photos I thought you’d enjoy courtesy of my friend and former college roommate, Tony Witlin, who borrowed them from some anonymous Internet writer/photographer.)

Read the rest of WARNING! The Toughest Job in the World Is a Real Mother!