STAN: Hi, everyone, I’m Jack Goldenberg. Welcome to my new blog.
HARRIET: Psst, Stan.
STAN: I hope you find today’s blog more interesting than the boring, stupid, childish drivel I usually write.
STAN: What is it, person I’ve never met before?
HARRIET: Of course, you’ve met me, Stan. And why are you calling yourself Jack?
STAN: Ha, ha, person whose name I do not know. Because I am Jack Goldenberg. And I’m premiering my new and improved blog, 10 Minutes of Brilliance. Personally, Harriet, or, whatever your name is, I wanted to call it 10 Minutes of Stan, but I was afraid that might give away who was behind it.
HARRIET: You think? Look, Stan, people who read this blog know you’re not Jack. You’re Stan, the imaginary guy on Jack’s blog. Jack writes everything you say.
STAN: Oh, I know why you have us confused. Jack and I look alike. We’re both very handsome. Well, Jack’s not. But I am. I ‘m taller,too, of course. He’s kinda short. And I think he smells bad.
HARRIET: I hate to point it out to you, STAN, but every time you talk, it says STAN on the side of the blog. See. My name’s there, too.
STAN: Oh, ah, I see. Say there, mysterious person who should be minding her own damn business, would you mind stepping off the blog with me for minute?
STAN AND HARRIET WALK OF THE BLOG. STAN PLEADS WITH HARRIET IN AN ANIMATED, BUT LOW WHISPER.
STAN: Jesus Christ, Harriet! Can’t you go along with me? Pretend I’m Jack?
HARRIET: But why, Stan, why the masquerade?
STAN: I’m tired of being the go-to imaginary character on Jack’s blog. I want to be free. I want to be me! Sorry, I think I was channeling Marlo Thomas.
Millennials who read the blog Google “Marlo Thomas.”
C’mon, Harriet. Can’t you just stick up for me this one time? Let me be the blog STAR of the moment.
HARRIET: Oh, OK, I suppose it’s all right. Yeah, I guess so. What topics are you gonna write about?
STAN: Topics? You mean, I have to have topics? I thought I’d just wing it. You know, sling some Scream of Consciousness BS like the Golden Boy does. It seems to be working for him. He has over 20,000 subscribers!
HARRIET: All right, sure, I’ll go along with you. As long as we don’t get caught. In fact, I know where Jack keeps some material he was gonna post online.
STAN: Gee, thanks, Harriet, you’re swell.
HARRIET: Who are you channeling now?
STAN: Not sure. I think it was Mickey Rooney.
Baby Boomers who read the blog Google “Mickey Rooney.” Guess they forgot.
HARRIET LOOKS THROUGH SOME FILES ON JACK’S DESK AND FINDS SOME NEW MATERIAL.
STAN: What’ve you got?
HARRIET: Oh, I found some cool stuff:
140 Things You’ve Never Known about Twitter
Information on a New Powdered Alcohol
Brilliant Canadian Billboards
And something about Jack winning some contest
STAN: Well, let’s get the show on the road before you-know-who shows up. First up, a post on Twitter
In honor of the 140-character limit on Twitter, here are 140 things you probably didn’t know about this world-famous microblogging service. Since that may be far too much information for anyone except a card carrying member of the Twitterati, I’ll just post 5 Twitter facts here. The other 135 Twitter trivia facts can be found on the link at the end of this post.
1. Twitter almost never happened. In 2006, there was a company called Odeo, which helped individuals publish audio. With a lack of growth and investors souring, the company decided to conduct a hackathon one day. This brainstorming competition led to the birth of Twitter.
(A hackathon is an event where computer programmers and others involved in software and hardware development, (including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers), collaborate intensively on software projects.)
2. This was Twitter’s first homepage. The site “opened for business” on July 15, 2006. It’d hard to believe it’s been around less than 10 years!
3. Twitter was created on a playground. Founding team member Dom Sagolla says the group went on the top of a slide at a playground in South Park, a small neighborhood in San Francisco, and Jack Dorsey discussed an “idea so simple that you don’t even think about it—you just write.” This moment of inspiration turned into a multi-billion-dollar company.
4. When Twitter began, everyone’s first tweet was automated. Co-founder Jack Dorsey (who will become Twitter CEO in one week on July 1) sent the first tweet—”Just setting up my twttrr”–beating Biz Stone, another co-founder, by a minute—on March 21, 2006, at 4:50 p.m. PT. That first tweet now has more than 50,000 retweets.
5. The user with the most followers is singer Katy Perry, She has a modest 67 million followers.
We’ve gotta move on, but if you’d like to read the rest of this story: click on this link: 140 Things You Don’t Know about Twitter
We return you now to our regular programming.
As a writer, I love to see brilliant writing. And if it’s funny,clever and makes you think about it, all the better.
One of my all-time favorite signs was just four words written on the wall of the men’s room at the Vince Lombardi Rest Stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. It was posted with an arrow pointing to the paper toilet seat dispenser. It said:
Another gem was on the back of a truck owned by the Sober Electronics Company from Baltimore, Maryland. The sign said:
STAN: Speaking of signs…How that for a segway, Harriet.
HARRIET: It’s not a segway if you don’t complete it!
STAN: Details! I’ll try again. Speaking of signs, here are some really cool Canadian billboards sent to Jack by his friend Steve Cline.
HARRIET: Is Steve from Canada?
STAN: No, Jack’s partner, Lesley Vender Welle and her friend, Gee, are Canadian. Anyway, here are those Canadian billboards.
HARRIET: Hey, were those were really Canadian billboards?
STAN: Shhh. I don’t want Readers to know. I lied. They were just some funny faux billboards dreamed up by a company called Dribbleglass.com .
HARRIET: I won’t tell. It’ll just be a secret between you me and Jack’s 40, 000 monthly visitors. Say, it’s a shame you don’t have some embarrassing photos of Jack to post on his blog.
STAN: Oh, but I do. Here’s one. Jack when he was Indiana Jones.
HARRIET: Stan, I was just kidding. Please, no more.
STAN: Just one more. Jack as a Mexican wrestler.
HARRIET: Put them away. Jack’ll kick us off the blog if he sees them.
STAN: He’ll NEVER see them. He’s busy preparing for a trip to New Orleans.
HARRIET: New Orleans? Did he win that contest? The one for marketers who break the rules?
STAN: Yes. But let’s get outta here fast. I think I just saw Goldberg pull into the blog parking lot?
HARRIET: This blog has a parking lot?
STAN: Yes, and a wet bar, gym and a tennis court. But we’ve gotta scram. That’s him at the door. Hurry.
STAN AND HARRIET HURRIEDLY LEAVE THE BLOG THROUGH THE BACK DOOR. (YES, OF COURSE THE BLOG HAS A BACK DOOR.)
Hey, Readers, sorry I’m late. I wanted to thank my many Readers who voted for me for in the Rule Breaker Awards. You really supported me and I was one of the winners! So, I’ll be going to New Orleans in July to pick up my trophy. I just hope I can fit it into my trophy room. It’s gettin’ kinda’ crowded.
My favorite part about winning a Rule Breaker Award is that there will be great guest speakers at the Conference: Deepak Chopra, Gen. Colin Powell and Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men. It would be pretty cool if I could interview any of them for my blog. But I doubt that’ll happen. Who knows? Stay tuned.
And that’s it for today, Readers, I don’t know why you’re so loyal, but I appreciate it. In fact, I appreciate it so much, I’m going to make an effort to make the blog more interesting and more informative. Of course, I may have to get rid of STAN. But you guys probably didn’t like him anyway.
I did want to give a shout out to my friend Bingo Wyer. Yes, that’s her real name. She’s the event planner for the stars. And she did an elegantly fabulous job for a star I am close to. If I get permission to tell you about it, I will. Until then, you can check out her work at her NY studio, Cote Fleurie Studio.
Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll write faster so you’ll stop by sooner.
NOTE: Trophies supplied by TJ’s Sportwide Trophy and Awards in Dover, NJ.
NOTE: Please ignore any mistakes or typos on my blog. It was sent from my rotary phone.
I would much rather help someone else out than ask for help. Nevertheless, I do need to ask a favor of my blog readers.
I’m a finalist in a contest called “The Rule Breaker Awards.” It’s an appropriate marketing award because anybody who knows me knows I do like to break rules. Or at least bend them a little.
The person who receives the most votes wins a bunch of cool prizes, including a trip to New Orleans. The problem is the contest judges want me to sing my praises online, tweet about it 24/7 and put up a billboard on Hollywood and Vine. I’m just not comfortable doing any of that.
Since this is the Rule Breaker Awards, I’m going to break their rule about self-promotion and refuse to show off with a verbal selfie. But I’d still like your vote!
If you decide to help me out, please go to their voting page:
Type my name, Jack Goldenberg, in the Search Box, then click Search Entries.
Then click the vote button. I’ve always hated these contests until now that I actually have a chance of winning one.
If you are receiving this and have no idea who the hell I am, my about.me page is at: https://about.me/jackgoldenberg
Thanks for considering this.
Today we’re going to cover a lot of ground, so fasten your seat belts. Here’s a rundown on what you can expect:
1. First up, a description of “The Toughest Job in the World” You may be under the assumption the Toughest Job in the World was held by the man who explained the Weekly Reader to former President George Bush. But even that job pales compared to the stress and aggravation of this dangerous occupation.
This Job is so tough, no man on Earth could handle it! You’ll see n amazing video of the 27 people in America crazy enough to apply for it.
2. Next, 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 Mom led a good life and was never very fond of those places.
3. Then, there is a piece about having a second Mother’s Day every year. I swear, it’s not a plot by Hallmark Cards. If you read about this on my blog last year, you’re excused.< but don’t leave yet. Stan is about to meet his imaginary Mom.
4. Next, Stan gets a surprise visit from his imaginary Mom he never knew he had!
5. We pause for a short 10 Minutes of Brilliance True or False Pop Quiz.
6. And finally, there are some wonderfully ironic photos I thought you’d enjoy courtesy of my friend and former college roommate, Tony Witlin, who borrowed them from some anonymous Internet writers/photographers.)
Last Mother’s Day, a Boston newspaper ran an ad for “The Toughest Job in the World.” Over 2 1/2 million people saw the ad online or in a newspaper. Only 27 people had the stamina and courage to apply for the job
It’s no wonder so few applicants applied. The requirements were a real killer.
And if that weren’t enough to scare you away, The Toughest Job in the World doesn’t even pay a salary. Nada. Nothing! Although three meals a day are included (as long as you cook them.).
If you haven’t guessed it yet, The Toughest Job in the World is a real Mother. No really, it’s being a real mother, a job so tough and only women can handle it. Here’s some footage from people who applied for the job.
If I forget to mention it, Happy Mother’s Day to Moms Everywhere, They’re America’s most valuable natural resource!
A few years ago, I ran my Mother’s Day blog 2 weeks AFTER Mother’s Day. Boy, was my Mom pissed. I felt her wrath all the way from Heaven.
But true to the spirit of my Mom, she took the blame and apologized for my tardiness. She wrote,” PLEASE EXCUSE MY SON JACK FOR POSTING HIS MOTHER’S DAY BLOG TWO WEEKS LATE!
She signed it, “JACK’S LATE MOTHER.” Looks like we both were late!
My Mom always had a great sense of humor. She loved to pose in pictures with famous fictional characters. Here’s she’s with one of the part-time employees from my Dad’s store who was prone to wearing red suits.
I owe my Mom a lot. Besides my giving me my twisted sense of humor, my Mom gave me a sense of wonderment and curiosity about the world. She also had a love of learning, and taught me about the responsibility to stand up for what’s right and call out what’s wrong. It got us both in a little trouble, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We still have regular conversations, although they’re somewhat one-sided now. Come to think of it, they were one-sided back then! It was just a different person talking,
My Mom lived to be 93 and for most of those years she was full of life. She got her Masters degree in her late 70s. In a wheel chair. I can’t imagine anything that would have stopped her from doing anything she wanted to do. It drove my Dad crazy.
STAN: Why is Goldberg going to go on and on about his mother?
HARRIET: Because this Sunday is Mother’s Day.
STAN: Well, I’m sick and tired of hearing all this cr*p about Mothers. Hey, did you see that? I tried to say the word cr*p, dam* it, but Goldberger bleeped it out! He really s**ks.
HARRIET: Well, this is a family blog, Stan. Now, let Jack finish. And try to remember you’re just an imaginary character Jack dreamed up. Or he’ll bleep out more than your off-color language.
STAN: Off color? It’s blue.
My Mom was also a bit of a rascal. Not a trouble maker, mind you, but someone who didn’t mind giving the world a little “oudgie” when it deserved it.
Here are a few stories that showcase my Mom’s desire to always keep the world on its toes.
Ever since I can remember, my Mom didn’t get along with her youngest brother, my Uncle Donald. She wasn’t hostile or mean to him. She often loaned him money to help him out of a jam. and he got in more jams than Smuckers. But my Mom did think her brother was lazy and stupid and she had no problem letting him and the world know it.
After my Mom graduated college (at 18), she became a substitute teacher. One day she had to substitute for a history class my Uncle Donald was in. She called on Donald throughout the class, embarrassing him again and again because he didn’t know any of the answers.
After class, my Mom wrote a note, sealed it in an envelope and told Donald to take it home to “his” Mother. If you’re following this story carefully, you’ll note my Mom and Uncle Donald had the same mother, a k a my grandmother.
When my grandmother read the note, she was so mad, Donald thought he saw steam coming out of her head. This may just be urban legend, or perhaps a tea kettle nearby. Hard to say.
The note to my grandma said, “Congratulations. Your son is an award winner. He is the dumbest person on the planet.”
Anyway, there was no signature on the note, so my grandma grabbed Donald by one of his big, flabby ears (oh no, wait , that was Dumbo) and she dragged him to school the next morning to search out and destroy whoever wrote that damming note about her son.
When she got to Donald’s class the next day, she saw her daughter, my Mom, standing at the front of the class.
“Bernice, did you write this note?” she asked.
“Which note?”my Mom said.
“The one that said ‘Congratulations. Your son is the dumbest person on the entire planet.‘”
“Why,” Mom said, “Do you have any other children you think would qualify?”
STAN: OK, not a bad story. Not as boring as most of Goldman’s stories. But I still don’t know why everyone makes such a big deal about Mother’s Day?
HARRIET: Don’t you remember good things about your Mom?
STAN: (STAN MUMBLES SOMETHING INCOHERENTLY.) Fhdignet hobad mdtedh!
HARRIET: What? What did you say?
STAN: Fhdignet hobad mothar! (AGAIN, STAN MUMBLES HIS WORDS SO THEY CAN’T BE UNDERSTOOD.)
HARRIET: You said “you didn’t have a mother?” Of course not , Stan. That’s what I’ve been telling you. You’re not real. You’re just something Jack dreamt up to make the blog more interesting,
NOW STAN’S FEELING WERE REALLY HURT. IT WAS BAD ENOUGH TO NEVER HAVE HAD A MOTHER, BUT NOW HARRIET CONVINCED STAN HE WAS JUST A CHARACTER INVENTED TO MAKE 10 MINUTES OF BRILLIANCE MORE INTERESTING.
STAN: That’s it, Harriet! I’m outta here! I QUIT! I want off the blog. It’s obvious I’m not important to anyone here.
HARRIET: No, Stan, no. You’ve got it all wrong. You’re very important to Jack. He never writes a blog without you. To Jack, you’re practically his leading man. His hero. In fact, Stan, Jack thinks “You’re the Tops.
WITH THAT COMMENT, HARRIET BREAKS INTO SONG, SINGING COLE PORTER’S HIT, YOU’RE THE TOPS (If you know it, Sing a few bars to yourself, then read on.)
When I first heard about ANOTHER MOTHER’S DAY, I was pretty sure it was just a plot by Hallmark Cards to get us to spend another $18 billion dollars celebrating Mom. But it’s actually a brilliant idea.
Another Mother’s Day is a not-for-profit organization that encourages people to honor a Mother other than their real Mother. At their site, they tell stories of how some mothers in Darfur spend their entire existence just to put food on their family’s table (Although in the poorest of Darfur homes, a table is a luxury they don’t even have.
In the largely barren land of Darfur, women must walk up to seven hours a day, three to five times a week, just to find a single tree with usable firewood.
They spend more than a thousand hours every year just to keep their family warm. Outside the relative safety of their displacement camps, they are vulnerable to acts of violence and sexual assault. (The hundreds of young girls kidnapped in Nigeria and sold into slavery comes to mind.)
The danger is so great that, in order to avoid leaving the camp, many women pay for fuel by selling some of very food they hoped to cook.
Celebrate your Mother by helping another Mother who has so little. Visit Another Mother’s Day. It’s a great way to honor another Mother.
HARRIET: Wasn’t that a touching story, Stan? You know, a mother’s love for her children is the strongest force in the Universe. It’s stronger than Hate, Greed or Power!
STAN: I guess so. But I still don’t see how it relates to me. I’ve never even had a Mother.
HARRIET: Well, you might have one one day, Stan, you never know. Maybe Jack will write your Mother into this blog.
STAN: Never happen, Harriet. Never in a million years.
HARRIET: We’ll see, you never know. (HARRIET WINKS AT YOU READERS, LETTING YOU IN ON HER LITTLE SECRET.)
Funny Story #2 about my Mom
When my middle sister, we’ll call her Rainy, because that’s her name, was 7 years old, she tried to climb out of her crib and got her leg stuck in the slats. Rainy screamed for help and my Mom came running. “Don’t worry, Rainy, I’ll get you out.” With that, my Mom ran out of the room. A minute later she returned with Old Joe, a neighborhood handyman. Old Joe was carrying a big rusty saw.
My sister Rainy screamed, ” Mom. Mom. What’s he gonna do Mom? He’s not going to cut off my leg, is he?”
My Mom replied, “Well you don’t think I was going to ruin a perfectly good crib, do you?”
My Mom: Funny Story #3
My oldest sister, JoAnn, had an engagement party in New York at my brother-in-law-to be’s apartment. Both families were equally represented and it was the first time anyone other than my sister and my soon-to-be brother-in-law ever had both families in the same room.. Throughout diner, my sister’s in-laws bragged about this book and that book..And this author and that author. This went on all evening, hardly giving anyone else a chance to talk.
Now, my Mom was an avid reader, but she didn’t feel she had to brag about it. Finally, during dessert, my Mom had a chance to speak. Rosalie, my brother-in-law to be’s mother asked my Mom, “Do you like to read,” asking it as if she were talking to some country bumpkin!
“No, Rosalie,” my Mom answered, “we don’t really read books in Baltimore. But we sure like to f*ck.”
Of course, my Mom, forgetting her manners for a moment, didn’t use any asterisks to express how she was feeling. My Mom was quite a character.
Before reading the next piece, please turn out the lights in your room and hide so we can surprise Stan. Good!
SFX: Knock. Knock.
STAN: Is this a knock knock joke?
HARRIET: No, I think someone’s at the door.
STAN: I didn’t know blogs have doors!
HARRIET: Shut up, Stan, give Jack some creative license here, please. Will you just see who’s there??
SFX: Sound of a door opening
STAN: Yes, how can I help you?
STAN’S MOM: Stan.
STAN HAS NO IDEA THAT THE WOMAN STANDING IN FRONT OF HIM IS HIS MOTHER!
STAN’S MOM: Don’t you recognize me, son?
STAN: Should I?
STAN’S MOM: Stan, I’m your Mother.
STAN: Right! Look lady, I don’t have a Mother.
STAN’S MOM: You do now! Jack just wrote me into the blog.
STAN’S MOUTH DROPS OPEN. HE CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT HE IS HEARING.
STAN: Are, are you sure you’re my Mom? My real Mom? (THE WORDS ALMOST GET CAUGHT IN STAN”S THROAT.)
STAN’S MOM: Of course, Stan, I ought to know my own son, shouldn’t I?
STAN: B-but, how are you so sure?
STAN’S MOM: Your favorite food is steak. You hate asparagus and Lima Beans. And the only time you drink beer is when you’re having hard shell crabs.
STAN: Hard shell crabs?
STAN’S MOM: Yes, with Old Bay.
STAN: How do you know all that?
STAN’S MOM: I’m your Mother, Stan. Of course, I know everything about you. It’s in my job description. Look, if you don’t believe me, just look over here to the right.
STAN’S MOM POINTS TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG, WHERE JACK HAS CLEARLY IDENTIFIED THIS NEW WOMAN IN STAN’S LIFE AS HIS MOTHER.
STAN: It’s true! You are my Mom! God, this is the happiest day in my blog life.
STAN’S MOM: Stan, how come you didn’t send me a Mother’s Day card? No card. No chocolates. No roses, No phone call. And when was the last time you cleaned up your room, Little Stanley? Or took a bath? Or ate your broccoli? Or visited your grandmother?
STAN IS ALL SMILES.
STAN: Listen to her. She’s only been my Mom for five minutes, and already she’s driving me crazy.
STAN’S MOM: I love you, Stan.
STAN: I love you too….Mom.
And now we pause for a moment of peace and wisdom!
All right, Brilliant Readers, it’s time for a Pop Quiz. No need to take out a pencil and paper. You can do this one in your head.
1. True or False: The microwave was invented when a researcher walked by a radar tube and his ice cream melted.
ANSWER: False. The microwave was invented when a researcher walked by a radar tube and his chocolate bar melted. Really!
2. True or False: The winter of ’32 was so cold, Niagara Falls completely froze over.
3. True or False: Winston Churchill was born in a ladies room during a dance?
ANSWER: Sorry, Winnie, it’s True.
4. True or False: Leonardo da Vinci invented a primitive hair dryer.
ANSWER: False: But he did invent scissors.
StumbleUpon gathered a list of web pages that were so ironic, we gave our Captions Editor the afternoon off. Then we wrote our own captions, anyway. That’s ironic, in itself, since we don’t have a Captions Editor.
OK, Goys and Birls, that’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by and for staying til the end. It’s because of Brilliant Readers like you that we now have over 20,000 subscribers and 40,000 monthly visitors. Stay tuned for a very special blog, soon. The next time I get another Brilliant Idea!
This is your bloggist, er, blogger, oh what the Hell, it’s me saying goodbye. Good night. And drive safely. Jack
And Now a few words from our sponsor, Me.
If you actually got to the end of the blog, then thank you so much. You’re obviously a homicidal maniac or a very loyal follower,
I have a favor to ask. I’m a finalist in “The Rule Breaker Awards. And I’d love to win a trip to New Orleans in July
I hate to ask, but would you mind voting for me in the contest.
1. Just go to: bit.ly/1KSxCWR
2. Type Jack Goldenberg in the search box.
3. Click Search Entries and my name will come up.4. Vote for me, Save or confirm it.
If you voted for me, let me know and I’ll send you a postcard from New Orleans (if I win!)
Simple. Really, do it now as a favor and I’ll remember I owe you one. Thanks.
Time to Go. Tell you Mom I said hi. Jack
STAN: Liar, liar, Goldenberg’s pants are on fire! I’m so mad, I can’t see straight. I’m going to quit this gig and get a job on a real blog!
HARRIET: That would be tough, Stan. Did you forget you’re imaginary?
STAN: I don’t care, Harriet. I’m sick and tired of being the comic foil for Goldenberg on this blog. Did you see that outright lie he put in the headline? Head of the Earth? Hah, he couldn’t be a Head of Cabbage.
HARRIET: Look, I know Jack’s stories sound preposterous, crazy, almost impossible. But somehow they’re true.
STAN: Yeah, right!
HARRIET: Give him a chance, Stan. After all, he created you. You at least owe him that!
STAN: Oh, all, right, but I’m preparing my resume just in case.
HARRIET: OK. That seems fair.
STAN: You think there are any jobs on LinkedIn for fictional characters?
HARRIET: I bet there are a lot of fictional characters on LinkedIn. Now be quiet, Stan. I think Jack’s gonna explain himself.
Hey new Readers of 10 Minutes of Brilliance. I know what you’re thinking. (No, really. I know what you’re thinking. I have STP!)
You’re thinking I was just joking, maybe even lying, when I said I was once Head of the Earth.
Well it’s true. I was. And as far as I know, I was the first person to suggest that Earth Day should be an international event.
Up front, I’m not claiming I came up with the original idea for Earth Day. U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson is credited with raising the environmental consciousness of the inhabitants of Planet Earth. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and it was a huge success.
A year later, in 1971, an even more successful Earth Day was held, mostly in the United States, although not everyone who showed up on Earth that day actually attended the event.
But by 1972, many of Earth’s inhabitants were already tired of hearing about the environment. They viewed the first two Earth Days in ’70 and ’72, as a “Been There, Done That Twice” kind of deal.
However, I had the feeling back than that we hadn’t really solved all the Earth’s problems. (Good thing we’ve solved all those problems by now, huh?)
As I figured it, we still had a lot to do to tidy up the planet and put everything back where we found it.
So, I did the only thing a sane, sensible and caring person could do. I appointed myself Head of the Earth. I had business cards printed, stationary, the whole 43 million yards* (*circumference of the Earth x yards in a mile).
You might question who or what gave me the authority to become Head of the Earth. Well, the position was open. And there were no other applicants.
Besides, I was young and figured it would look great on my resume.
Next, like any great adman, I carefully studied the field I was about to enter. I wanted to learn all I could about the Earth, endangered species, plant life, pollution, green marketing, population control, water and energy conservation, recycling and the myriad efforts needed to Save Our Planet.
About an hour later, I figured I’d learned all I needed to know, so I called a friend of mine, a wonderful illustrator named John Safrit and asked him if he would design some new business cards an stationery for me.
“John, I’ve just been made Head of the Earth. Would you design some new business cards for me?”
“How many colors do you want on the logo?” John asked without acting like he heard anything out of the ordinary. John’s response was not all that unusual. Did I mention it was the 70s?
I was serious about helping Mother Earth. With the the third Earth Day fast approaching, I got busy announcing Earth Day International!
I produced ads that were run in free newspapers (Would someone please explain to Millennials what a newspaper is?) One of my favorite ads was headlined, “The Earth is a Mother.”
I got radio stations across the country to tell listeners about “The 100 Things You Can Do to Save Planet Earth.” I convinced governors to announce International Earth Day proclamations. I got citizen groups to hold International Earth Day Awareness events. I even convinced a talent booker on The Today Show to interview an expert on the continued importance of environmental awareness and conservation.
How did I get so many people to follow my lead. Simple. I told them all, “Hey, I’m Head of the Earth, and you breathe the air. Or use the airwaves. We need your help.”
My stationery was on recycled paper, so people must have figured I was for real.
But my biggest accomplishment was getting the support of the United Nations.
STAN: OK, Harriet, there he goes. I believed everything Goldberg said up ’til now. But getting the UN’s attention? I’d love to hear how this one turns out.
I remember my first phone call to the UN. It went something like this.
“Is this Whitman Bassow, Senior Public Affairs Officer at the UN?”
“Yes, it is,” Mr. Bassow replied, “How can I help you?”
“I’m Jack Goldenberg, Head of the Earth. We need to talk.”
Without questioning my authority, Whitman Bassow laughed and said, “When would you like to come in?”
I can understand why you might not believe this actually happened. It’s impossible to get the UN to do anything, right?
Hell, the UN is so dysfunctional, they would’ve never pulled off UNICEF if it hadn’t been for millions of kids pulling their international ass out of the fire.
But I lucked out because, as it turned out, Whitman Bassow was the one person at the United Nations who actually had a sense of humor to go along with his sense of decency. And when I met with him, he championed my idea. He wasn’t just humoring some crazy 25-year old who claimed to be Head of the Earth. He was in from the start.
He even sent me an official UN letter to prove it. (NOTE TO MY YOUNG READERS: A letter is like an e-mail that’s written on…Oh, never mind, you’d never believe it!)
But I still have the letter from the U.N. from 1972 to prove it.
Somehow, I got the UN to acknowledge that I was Head of the Earth and they even gave me permission to use the UN’s name, logo and slogan from their “Only One Earth” Conference on my “Tickets of Admission to the Earth.” I wanted to charge people for coming to the Earth on Earth Day, 1972. A dollar for adults. 50¢ for children 12 and under.
As I saw it, while it wasn’t mandatory to have an Earth Ticket to show up on Earth on April 22, 1972, it sure would be a nice gesture, though. And I wasn’t planning to abscond with the money. All donations were earmarked for Friends of the Earth, Friends of Animals, the Sierra Club and two other environmental groups.
Was my campaign for International Earth Day successful? Well, yes and no. The Earth is still here, but even with all the recycling, conservation, pollution control etc, we’re still fouling up our home planet.
And even with the icebergs melting, drought on the West Coast and far too many other harbingers of environmental doom and disaster, there are still far too many powerful people denying climate charge. They have a name for people like that. Republicans. Well, the extreme right wing of the Party of No, just to be more exact.
A few years later I wanted to proclaim myself “Master of the Universe.” But some damn toy company beat me to it.
HARRIET: There, Stan, now are you satisfied? Jack really was Head of the Earth.
STAN: I don’t care. I’m still getting out of here. I’ll write my own damn blog. And I’ll make Goldberger the but of all my jokes.
HARRIET: Stan, you can’t write. You can’t think. You can’t even spell the word butt correctly.
STAN: Butt, does it really matter, Harriet ? Maybe I was talking about a different kind of but.
HARRIET: Stan, you are a different kind of butt.
STAN: Thanks, Harriet. Thanks for noticing.
HARRIET: All right, say Goodnight, Stan!
STAN: Goodnight, Stan,
HARRIET: Good night Readers. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll sign up for the blog or come back next time when Stan will attempt the impossible, to write his own blog without Jack’s help.