Today’s blog has Something for Everyone. Well, everyone but itinerant Gypsies and people named Lipshitz (I hope to have something for them next blog!)
If you stick around long enough, you’ll encounter:
The first story on my blog is very important. Well, not to you. To me. It’s important to me that I make it important to you. Otherwise, you won’t stick around.
If my first topic isn’t funny or brilliant or in some ways captivating, you and other Readers will fly the coop, hightail it out of town, head for the open road, well, you get the idea.
STAN: How ironic. He left out “Hit the Road, Jack! Every time Goldberg writes this cr*p, I just wanna, “Hit the road, Jack!”
HARRIET: Chill, Stan. Give Jack a chance. He’s got new Readers he’s trying to impress. It doesn’t look good if you continue to badmouth him. Besides it’s his blog. You’re just a character he made up.
Now I must admit I wasn’t quite sure whether I should start today’s blog with an Explanation on How Life Works or a Talking Dog joke. As you know, both are equally compelling.
Considering the intelligence and maturity of some of my Readers (Stan comes to mind), I felt I couldn’t miss with a Talking Dog joke. But on the other hand, this is, after all, 10 Minutes of Brilliance and the majority of my Readers, you included, ARE quite brilliant! So I decided to take the high road.
STAN: Like you did in the 60s, you MaryJane fan in days gone by.
STAN: Heeey, I said “in days gone by.”
Now to be transparent…
STAN: I can see right through that.
To be transparent, I should state that I didn’t write this metaphoric gem on How Life Works. The author is Portia Nelson, a renaissance woman. author, singer, composer, lyricist, painter, photographer, actress and current dead person. But she was alive and well when she penned this poem. The simple Universal Truth it unveils have been praised by psychotherapists, metaphysicians, and spread virally many times across the interconnected tubes Al Gore to construct, in his basement, what we now know is called the “Internet.”
It is used in 12-step substance-abuse programs, and has been quoted in “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.”
No need for any more explanation. I’ve dubbed it: An Explanation of How Life Works, but you can just call it, “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk.”
There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk by Portia Nelson
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault… I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
A man and a Taking Dog Walked into a Bar…
I decided every good blog should have at least one Talking Dog joke. Talking Dog Jokes are real crowd pleasers. People like dogs. People like to laugh. Dogs like dogs. Dogs like to laugh. See? It all works out.
But I didn’t want to tell you any ol’ Talking Dog Joke. What if it wasn’t funny? I wanted to give you, my Readers, you’re money’s worth. And considering what I’m charging you, well…
STAN: Does he ever get right to the point?
HARRIET: Who? Jack?
STAN: Yeah, Goldenberger. Nah. He beats around the bush, runs it up the flagpole, then detours to Route 66. His writing style is somewhere between Stream of Consciousness ADHD and a Roller Coaster Ride to Hell.
Where was I? Oh, I remember, say, what are you doing now. Let’s go feed the animals.
Nah, that’s not right. Wait, now I remember. I was talking about telling Talking Dog Jokes. I wanted to be sure you’d like it, so I told the joke to two of my neighbors’ dogs, Barney and Ruggles.
A guy is driving around and he sees a sign in front of a house: “Talking Dog For Sale.” He rings the bell, and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a Labrador Retriever sitting there.
“You talk?” the man asks the dog.
“Yep,” the Lab replies.
“So, what’s your story?”
The Lab looks up and says, “Well, I discovered I could talk when I was pretty young, and I wanted to help the government; so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time at all, they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because, well, no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. Well, actually, all dogs eavesdrop. But as far as I know, none of them talk about it. For 8 years, I was one of the CIA’s most valuable spies.”
“But the jetting around tired me out and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger, especially in Dog Years. So I signed up for a job at the airport working for Homeland Security. I helped catch 5 bad guys including the notorious shoe bomber.
The guy was amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner how much he wants for the dog.
“Ten dollars. I’ll take ten dollars for him.”
The guy says, “Ten dollars? That’s crazy! This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?”
“Because the damn dog’s a liar. He never did any of that sh*t.”
Most ads don’t stand out. Nor do they motivate consumers to remember the ad campaign or buy the product.
So how do you write great advertising? The best answer I could find (not counting my own work, of course,) comes from new age guru, media darling and Leader of the Conversation, Seth Godin.
If you’re in marketing, publishing or, Hell, if you live on Planet Earth, you should know who this veritable genius is (He’d NEVER call himself that). Here’s his take on how to write something, great advertising, for instance, and stand out from the crowd.
If your writing feels like nothing but easily defensible aphorisms, as if you’re saying things that are obvious, it’s entirely possible that no one is going to eagerly keep reading. Your real estate brochure or the ad copy you’ve written–if it’s merely posturing or bragging, better to not say it at all. We already know you think you did something great.
Consider the alternative. Say the opposite. That your condo isn’t right for everyone. That your software might be overpriced. That this new model car is in fact quite difficult to use.
And then tell us why. We’d love to know how you’re going to wriggle out of that. And along the way, if your story is a good one, we might even give it a try.
How One Lone Dancing Nut Leads a Peaceful Revolution! And why the First Follower is the Spark that Lights the Flame.
I like to provide my Readers with cutting-edge information. Because after all, I have a pretty intelligent and eclectic set of Readers. Over 8,000, at last count. And every one of them is more intelligent than the average Tom, Dick or STAN.
STAN: Hey, I resemble that.
So, since I never know what my Readers will be up to next, I thought I’d provide you with some general information on How to Start a Revolution. Now at first glance, this video of the Lone Guy Dancing looks pretty stupid. In fact, it looks just as stupid on the second and third glances, too.
But the copy, what the voice over announcer says, THAT is absolutely brilliant.
STAN: So, Mr. Fathead Goldbergsteinawitz, I guess you wrote the brilliant copy.
And no, I didn’t write the copy. If you know who did, let me know.
By the way, this video points out that it’s not just the Leader who starts a Revolution. (That’s Good News because we can’t all be Leaders.) It’s really the First Follower who transforms the Leader from being a Lone Dancing Nut into the Leader of the Pack.
I don’t think this was a planned Flash Mob. I think it evolved naturally because of one Lone Dancing Nut (aka The Leader) and one courageous First Follower who had the Courage to jump in and encourage others to follow.
How to Really Tick People Off
This next piece follows in the footsteps of a blog I wrote about a year ago, Goldenberg’s 10 Rules of Spectacular Failure. In the blog, I taught people how to FAIL. And why not? Everybody and their mother were teaching people how to SUCCEED, but I march to a different bongo player.
So if you want to win friends and influence people, read Dale Carnegie. But if you want to learn how to really tick people off, well, read on.
Meistro, cue the band, Presenting..
Goldenberg’s Top 15 Ways to Tick People OFF!
1. Sit in your front yard, point your hair dryer at passing cars and try to slow them down.
2. Staples papers in the middle of pages.
3. Holler random numbers when someone is counting.
4. Highlight irrelevant information in online scientific journals and email them to your boss.
5. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally when talking to others.
6. Ask people what gender they are. Then say, “Are you sure?”
7. Set the copy machine at work to reduce everything 200%.
8. Buy large quantities of orange traffic cones and reroute your neighborhood.
9. In the memo field of all your checks, write “For sexual favors.”
10. Reply to everything someone says with, “That’s what you think!”
11. Finish all of your sentences with the words, “in accordance with prophesy.”
12. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times very loudly.
“DO YOU HEAR THAT?”
“Never mind. It’s gone now.”
13. Every time you begin a new sentence, bob your head up and down like a parakeet.
14. Go to a poetry recital and after every poem, ask why the poem doesn’t rhyme.
15. Make beeping noises when a large person is backing up.
16. Put 16 things on one of your Top 15 List.
Okay, Frogie! that’s all she wrote. Well, that’s all I wrote, anyway. So what was you favorite part of today’s blog? The Talking Dog joke? The One Lone Dancing Nut story? The Explanation on How Life Works? Let me know. Leave a comment.
STAN: He so damn sneaky, that Goldberg. He writes these pathetic questions trying to trick Readers into leaving a comment. Like any of his Readers really care.
HARRIET: Stan! You’re incorrigible!
STAN: You can compliment me all you want, Harriet, I’m still not sleeping with you?
STAN: No, really! Now, I wouldn’t mind having a little sex with you.
HARRIET: That’s a bout what it would be , Stan, that’s what it would be.
STAN: I don’t get it.
HARRIET: Now you’re getting warmer. Good night, Stan.
STAN: Good night, John Boy.
I like funny commercials just as much as the next fellow. Well, as long as the next fellow isn’t Benito Mussolini, Genghis Khan, or my brother-in-law Richard. (Damn, I think I just insulted Mussolini and Genghis Khan. Sorry!)
But lately, it seems like many funny commercials aren’t very memorable. It’s because the “funny” doesn’t relate to the brand.
As a Copywriter and a Creative Director, that’s something I think about a lot.
I’m much more strategic than I am creative.
The first commercial I wrote when I was 23 showed a man diving into a swimming pool full of potato chips. Then the announcer says, “Snyder’s Potato Chips. Great for a dip.”
Funny. Memorable And it sold a ton of potato chips. Specifically, Snyder’s. It even won the World’s Best 10 Second Commercial from the Hollywood Television and Film Society.
HARRIET: I love it when Jack does that?
STAN: Does what?
HARRIET: He brings up cool things he’s done without making it seem like he’s bragging.
STAN: Damn, I wouldn’t call Goldenbergerwitz clever. I think he’s just sneaky. In fact, I thing Goldenstein’s a sneaky bast*rd.
HARRIET: But Jack does it with such finesse. He does the same thing again later on in the blog.
STAN: How do you know what happens later? The blog just started.
HARRIET: Oh, Jack always send me an advance copy before he posts it.
STAN: How come you rate?
HARRIET: Girlish charm, I guess.
Sorry, I got distracted. Where was I? Oh yeah, I was talking about commercials that are funny, but not very effective. People remember the ad, but not the product. Or as my friend and advertising mentor, Al Hampel, used to say, “It’s not creative unless it sells.”
In this spot for Volkswagon Beetle, it appears that a man wearing a ski mask is up to no good when he picks up a few snacks at a convenience store.
The “joke” is that he just came back from a day of skiing and forgot to take off his ski mask. Consequently he looks like a robber. So he and his buddies ride off in their Volkswagon Beetle having scared the living daylights out of the shopkeeper and one of his patrons.
It’s funny, well acted and well shot, but you wind up remembering the commercial, not the brand. Here. Watch. You’ll see what I mean.
STAN: I did it. I did it. I just proved Goldberg wrong. He said I wouldn’t remember the name of the advertiser. It was Volkwagon, right?
HARRIET: Well, yeah, Stan. But he told you that in the last paragraph.
STAN: So? What’s your point?
It doesn’t do a product any good if you remember the commercial and not what’s being sold. Now, I’m not saying that spot still doesn’t have some merit, because it’s funny enough it could go viral.
It’s possible that 100,000 people could forward it to another 200,000 friends. Of course, then you have 300,000 people who thought the spot was funny, but couldn’t remember the brand.
STAN: Is Goldberger’s math correct?
HARRIETT: Pretty close.
If you saw the Volkswagon spot (without my setting it up for you!), you might go into your office the next day and say,”Man, I saw this great commercial last night.”
“Yeah, what was it about?,” says a coworker you’re sleeping with.
You’d tell the co-worker you are sleeping with, “A shopkeeper thinks he’s about to get hit with a hail of bullets and blown across his convenience store by a would-be robber. Turns out, the guy just forgot to take off his ski mask. Then, he and his buddies leave the scene of the ‘non-crime’ before the cops show up.”
“That sounds pretty funny,” replies the coworker you’re sleeping with. Then she asks, “Who was it for?”
“Damn if I know. Maybe Doritos. Or some snack food company,” you reply.
Commercials can’t just be creative. They also have to be strategic and memorable.
Her’s an example of one that works. This spot for TNT cable is hilariously funny, wonderfully inventive AND you’ll remember who it was for. And not just because I told you ahead of time!
See how the creative idea of the spot leads you directly to the brand. That’s why it works.
Here’s another ad video that’s funny and effective.
(Spoiler Alert: the advertiser reveals who it is even before you click on the spot. They weren’t taking any chances. But they didn’t have to do that. See if you agree.
STAN: Oh, God! Oh, God! Here he goes.
HARRIET: What? What are you talking about?
STAN: This is the part I hate. The part where Goldenbergerstein sticks in some of his high fallutin’ metaphysical crap. He just sneaks it in the blog right between the jokes. He thinks Readers won’t notice.
HARRIET: And knowledge scares you, Stan?
STAN: When it’s something I don’t about, yes.
HARRIET: Grow up, Stan! You just might learn something.
STAN: I doubt it.
HARRIET: You know, Stan………I doubt it too.
Meditation is the process of exploring Inner Space.
It’s based on the principle that the Inner World, the world inside you, is as vast and infinite as the Outer World.
By exploring Inner Space, we can gain tools that enable us to be much more successful in the Outer World.
You see, as children, we spent so much of our lives trying to master the Outer World that by the time we’re adults, it’s no wonder we’re strangers to our Inner Universe.
There’s a light inside every human.
It’s not material, of course, but it is there just the same. The light is always on, but we must be open to seeing it.
STAN TRIES TO STARE DOWN HARRIET’S BLOUSE.
HARRIET: Stan, what the Hell are you doing?
STAN: Oh, I’m sorry. I was just checking for your Inner Light.
Meditation makes it possible to see that Light and be guided by it, illuminating our path on the Inner and the Outer Worlds.
When we fret over the past, or worry about the future, we cease to live in the present. And the less we live in the present, the more we cover up our Inner Light.
10 Minutes of Brilliance 10 parting thoughts
I would ask God for a Jaquar XK-E, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So, I think I’ll steal an XK-E and ask God for forgiveness.
If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
Dolphins are so smart. Within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the edge of a pool and throw them fish.
Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, “In an emergency, notify:” I always put “DOCTOR”.
I didn’t say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
War does not determine who is right. Only who is left.
You don’t need a parachute to skydive. You only need it to skydive twice.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, then call whatever you hit the target.
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
And finally… I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
That’s it. Thanks for stopping by Readers. You know, it wouldn’t kill you to leave a comment just so I know you were here.
All right, that’s it! Next time I’m taking attendance.
HARRIET: It’s over. Now say goodbye, Stan.
STAN: Goodbye, Stan.
It is with a heavy heart that I inform my Readers of the death of a beloved old friend. Common Sense has recently passed.
Known affectionately to friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, Common Sense selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices.
He was once reported to have been seen in the halls of Congress, but alas, he hasn’t shown up there in years.
An Obituary in the London Times reported the untimely death of Common Sense. He will long be remembered for the valuable lessons he taught us. Among them:
“Don’t touch that. It’s hot.”
“Come in out of the rain.”
“Don’t run with scissors.”
And “Life isn’t always fair.”
I didn’t see the obituary myself because I haven’t been to London in years, although I have seen all three seasons of Downton Abbey. The death was reported by my friend and fellow Creative Director, Jeffrey Jones. Jeff didn’t originate the obituary, nor did he claim to.
At first, I traced The Death of Common Sense to George Carlin. But Carlin apparently “borrowed” the Obituary from the person who originated the imaginative death notice, author, columnist and speaker, Lori B Bortman.
More on the Death of Common Sense
Common Sense lived a simple life, guided by sound financial policies (“Don’t buy a house you can’t afford.”) Sometimes his advice was confusing and comical. He was known to have uttered, “If you break your leg, don’t come running to me.”
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when parents attacked teachers for doing their job, when a few bad apples in the police departmnet stole from people they were supposed to protect, and when a minority of priests took advantage of the most defenseless among us.
He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer an aspirin, but couldn’t inform parents when a student sought an abortion.
Common Sense took a beating when homeowners couldn’t defend themselves against a burglar, but burglars could sue them for being attacked.
STAN, WEARING FELIX THE CAT PAJAMAS, WHEELS A COT ONTO THE BLOG. HARRIET STARES AT HIM IN AMAZEMENT.
HARRIET: Nice jammies!
STAN ROLLS BACK THE BLANKET AND SHEET AND GETS UNDER THE COVERS.
STAN: It looks like we’re in for a long one.
HARRIET: Stan, what the Hell are you talking about? And what are you doing?
STAN: What am I doing? What is Goldberger doing? Doesn’t he know that blogs are supposed to be short. 400-500 words. Max! It should just be ‘WHAM! BAM! Thank you, Ma’am.’
HARRIET: ‘Wham! Bam! Thank you Ma’am? Stan do you know you have way of turning everything into a conversation about sex.
STAN: No, I never realized that. But I’m glad we had this little intercourse.
HARRIET: All right, Stan, that’s enough. And it still doesn’t explain the Felix the Cat pajamas and the cot.
STAN: Well, I’m wearing these pjs because my Dr. Dentons are in the laundry.
HARRIET: And the cot?
STAN: Goldberg!!! (HE DELIVERS THE LINE THE WAY SEINFELD SAYS “NEWMAN!!!” He’s at it again. It’s bad enough he can’t write, but does he have to make the blog seemingly go on forever? Does he really think it will hold people’s attention for that long.
HARRIET: Well, you’re still here.
STAN: Right! Like I have a choice.
HARRIET: I see what you mean.
Where was I? Right. In the middle of Common Sense’s obituary. Common Sense finally lost the will to live when a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee she bought at McDonald’s was H-O-T. She spilled it on herself and won a large judgment because the coffee was, apparently, H-O-T.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, and by two of his children, Responsibility and Reason.
Common Sense is survived by 4 stepbrothers:
Common Sense will be missed. And also, probably, forgotten.
Two Important Life Lessons
My good friend and a grandfather again and AGAIN, Steve Cline, sent me 5 Important Life Lessons. He didn’t originate these morality stories and I was unable to track down who did. Here are just a couple of those Keith Urban legends that bounce around the Internet from tube to tube.
Back in the prehistoric days before there was an iPad (a k a the 1950s), when an ice cream sundae cost much less than it does today, a 10-year-old boy walked into a coffee shop and sat at a table. He was dressed kind of shabbily. His hair wasn’t combed, his jacket was torn and a couple sizes too big for him, suggesting it had been a hand-me-down.
A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
“Excuse me. Do you have hot fudge sundaes?” he asked.
“The best in town,” said the waitress.
“Does it have a cherry on top?” he inquired.
“Yup, and whipped cream if you want it.”
“Mmmm, that sounds good. How much?” he asked.
“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy squinched up his face, put his hand in his pocket, and pulled out some coins carefully counted the change.
“Well, how much for a dish of plain vanilla ice cream?” he inquired.
By now, more people were waiting for the table and the waitress was growing little impatient.
“Thirty-five cents,” the waitress brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins.
“I’ll just have the plain ice cream in a cone, please,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away, a little perturbed the little boy had taken so much time to order.
The boy finished his ice cream, paid the cashier and left.
When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table.
There in a stack, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 pennies. Her tip.
STAN: I don’t get it.
HARRIET: That’s right. And you’re not going to.
STAN: No, no, I was just… Oh, never mind!
Many years ago, when I was doing PR for a hospital, I got to know a single mother who had two kids, a 7-year old girl named Liz and her 5-year old brother, Henry.
“Why is Liz here?” Henry asked his Mom when Liz was in with her doctor, having some tests taken.
“Liz is suffering from a rare and serious disease,” Henry’s mother explained.
“Is she gonna die?,” Henry asked his mom with a worried look on his face.
“Oh, no, not if she gets a transfusion for someone who has the same blood type she has she’ll be fine.
Liz and her doctor came out of the examination room and the doctor called the mom aside, hoping the kids couldn’t hear what he was saying. (Actually, they could.)
“It’s more serious than I thought,” confided the doctor. “Outside of your family, it’ll be tough to find a qualified donor.”
It looked like Liz’s only chance of recovery was a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother Henry who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to Henry, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.
I saw him hesitate for a moment, take a deep breath and say,”Yes, I’ll do it. I’ll do it if it will save her.”
As the transfusion progressed, Henry lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks.
Then Henry’s face grew pale and his smile faded.
He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”
It seems Henry had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
Once again, it has come to my attention some of my Readers are reading my blog when they drunk.
STAN: Can’t blame them for that. That’s probably the only way it makes any sense.
HARRIET: All right, Stan, that’s enough.
Nevertheless, comedy and drinking don’t mix.
STAN: Tell that to Dean Martin, W.C. Fields or some of the performers on Comedy Central.
HARRIET: You don’t know the comedians on Comedy Central are drunk!
STAN: Yeah, you every seen Last Comic Standing?
So as a public service, I would like to provide this 10 Minutes of Brilliance Sobriety Test. To prove you’re not over the legal drinking limit when reading 10 Minutes of Brilliance, first, click anywhere on the photo to call up The Sobriety program. Then carefully take your mouse and see if you can touch the man’s nose. If you can, well, then you pass. If not, you’ll have to come back when your sober.
Here’s How the Fight Started
My wife sat down on the sofa next to me as I was flipping through channels. She asked, “What’s on TV?’”
I said, “Dust.”
And then the fight started…
My wife and I were watching “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, “Do you want to have sex tonight?”
“No,” she answered.
I then asked her, “Is that your final answer?”
She didn’t even look at me this time, she simply said, “Yes.”
So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.”
And then the fight started….
Saturday morning I got up early, quietly dressed, made my lunch, and slipped quietly into the garage. I hooked up the boat up to the van, and proceeded to back out of the driveway into a torrential downpour. The wind was blowing at 50 mph, so I pulled back into the garage, and decided to go back in my house.
I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. I cuddled up to my wife’s back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, “The weather out there is terrible.”
My loving wife of 37 years replied, “Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that downpour?”
And that’s how the fight started…
My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, “I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.”
I bought her a bathroom scale.
And then the fight started…
I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver’s license to
verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.
The woman said, “Unbutton your shirt.” So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, “That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me,” and she processed my Social Security application.
When I got home, I told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office.
She said, ‘You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, too.’
And then the fight started…
My wife and I were sitting at a table at my school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table.
My wife asked, ‘Do you know her?’
“Yes,” I sighed, “She’s my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up many years ago, and I hear she hasn’t been sober since.”
“My God!” said my wife, “who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?”
And then the fight started…
That’s it for now Readers. I appreciate you’re showing up.
But could you just leave me one comment so In know you’re still out there?Even if you just COMMENT: “I’m hear,” that will mean a lot tome.
Next blog I’ll be writing about how Michelle Bachmann scored a record-breaking 4 Pinocchios for the outright lies she told at the recent C-PAC Convention. And, of course, lots more.
Happy Trails., Readers. Until we meet again.
STAN: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Is it over? Is it finally over?
HARRIET: Yes. Jack just left.
STAN: Oh, damn. I wanted to show Goldberg a magic trick.
HARRIET: Well, you’ll have to wait until the next blog.
STAN: Say, Harriet, you mind if I show the trick to you?
HARRIET: Sure. I guess so. Why not? What’s it called again?
STAN: It’s called, Ta dah, “Hide the Salami.”
HARRIET: Oh, no. Oh, no. I don’t think I want to see that. Now say “Goodnight” Stan
STAN: Goodnight Stan!
HARRIET: Good night Readers. Don’t forget to leave Jack a Comment. You know, for old time’s sake!
HARRIET: WHISPERS TO STAN: Stan, I’ve seen your magic trick before and I think you should change the name.
STAN: Yeah? to what?
HARRIET: When you’re preforming it, Stan, it should be called “Hide the mini cocktail weiner.”
STAN: I never knew you could be so cruel, Harriet.
I’m so old (I was born in 1814), I remember hearing about party lines when I was a kid. For today’s kids, a party line is where you stand to get another Michelob, but in the 1950′s ( and before), party lines were telephones shared by two different, unrelated families.
Party lines came into existence a little after World War II and for a while, they were the primary way residential phone customers got telephone service.
Crazy, huh? You’ve privacy was literally on the line because every phone call rang in at least two separate houses. So one family member could listen in to a neighbor’s telephone conversations just by picking up the phone.
In the old days (before the iPad), if a guy was caught looking in your window, he’d be arrested. If someone followed you around, you could get a court order to stop him. Well, at least until he got a gun and came over and shot you.
Now, in 2013, it’s the other way around, it seems like privacy has been outlawed. Every peeping Tom, Dick and Harriett can track your every move. Legally.
STAN: Was he talkin’ about you, Harriet?
HARRIET: No, Stan, he wasn’t.
STAN: You sure?
HARRIET: Of course, I’m sure! Look!
HARRIET POINTS TO THE PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH. STAN LOOKS TO WHERE HARRIET IS POINTING.
HARRIET: See, Stan? That Harriett has two Ts.
STAN: Oh, I see (STAN SAID, LOOKING AT HARRIET’S NAME IN THE MARGIN.)
STAN…You only have one.
One way or another, we’re all being constantly followed.
Employers have programs that can duplicate every letter you type on an office computer. Cable channels know every show you watch.
Buy Cheez Whiz at a grocery store and the computer immediately spits out a coupon from a competitor’s brand before you’ve even left the check-out counter.
STAN: What are the ingredients of Cheese Whiz, Harriet?
HARRIET: It’s made from modified milk, bacterial culture, calcium chloride, and sodium alginate.
STAN: Umm! Wow! I love sodium alginate.
HARRIET: Would you eat it plain?
STAN: Of course not! I’d add maltodextrin.
HARRIET: Like it on a cracker?
STAN: Got any Ritz?
In 2013 and for the conceivable future, the biggest invader of privacy is the Internet itself. Just the other day, Al Gore told me…
STAN: Wait a minute! Did Goldberg say he was talking to Al Gore recently?
HARRIET: No, but Goldenberg said he was said he was talking to Al Gore recently.
STAN: Al Gore? THE Al Gore? The man who invented the Internet? Out of spare tubes he found in his basement?
HARRIET: One and the same.
STAN: Jee-sus H. Christ, Harriet!
HARRIET: Stan, you’re Jewish.
STAN: Oh, right! My-ron R. Handelman, Harriet! There goes Goldberg again. That lyin’ son of a…
HARRIET: Now Stan, don’t forget you’re imaginary. With one keystroke, Jack could delete you from existence. Besides, Jack doesn’t lie. Sometimes he jokes. Sometimes he stretches things a bit. But he’s a writer, Stan. He just wants to keep things interesting.
Now, I should say it wasn’t just me and the former Veep in the room alone. I was at an Al Gore book signing event at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan.
STAN:Why is it such a big deal that Al Gore writes books? President Bush read a book once.
HARRIET: Upside down.
STAN: A minor detail.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Gore said that once you go anywhere on the Internet, computers track where you go for the rest of your online life. Now I know that’s not news to many of my Readers, but when you hear what Facebook has been up to, you may not take those facts so lightly.
STAN: I’ve never been to any porn sites, Harriet.
HARRIET: Nobody said you had.
STAN: I don’t even own a pornograph.
Gore said, “Let’s say you can’t spell a word, so you go to an innocent site like dictionary.com. As soon as you land on that site, over 250 companies immediately track your every move for the rest of your online life!”
Once they’ve got a report on everywhere you virtually travel, they sell your Internet history to any company willing to buy it. And there’s nothing to stop companies who buy your electronic whereabouts from selling them to 1000 other companies.
STAN: When’s he going to get to the part about Facebook and how you stop strangers from tracking you down?
But now there’s new threat to privacy that you probably don’t even know about. It’s the new search engine Facebook is rolling out. It’s more evil than Dick Chaney and meaner than a bunch of junkyard dogs.
In December 2012, Facebook quietly rolled out it’s new search engine. But they did it rather quietly which is highly opposed to the usual fanfare that surrounds new initiatives from the online giant. You have to ask yourself why Facebook introduced their new search engine in such a hushed voice?
STAN: Hey there, Self, why did Facebook introduce their new search engine in such a hushed voice?
No, Stan, I didn’t mean that literally.
Facebook has always been a relatively open forum. Unless you keep the details of your life private, anyone can see what you post on Facebook if they happen to find you. But now, with the new search engine, THEY CAN SEARCH FOR YOU AND FIND YOU! As you’ll see, that’s a lot more threatening.
This is a vast difference the way Facebook used to operate. Before, people had to know you, know one of your “friends,” or even just locate your Facebook page. With this new omnipotent search engine, people don’t have to be your friend or your friend’s friend to search for you and find out all about you. They couldn’t do that before!
In other words, with Facebook’s new search tool, strangers can put specific parameters in their search questions and find out who you are, what you like and where you go.
So if any of one of your posts indicates you’re a single woman, another one identifies you as someone who loves to jog, and if a third post says that you jog along a certain route in Central Park at 10 p.m. because the Park is so empty, a stranger you may not want to know might decide that’s a good time to accompany you on your run.
A academic dean could run a search, “American University students who drink too much.” Then haul you in his office and ask you to explain yourself.
There is still time to do something about your privacy on Facebook because the new search engine hasn’t been rolled out to the masses yet. But it is coming. And you should be prepared!
Rather than repeat the 4 steps you must take to keep strangers from knowing way too much about you, it makes more sense for you to read it firsthand. NY Times reporter, Somini Sengupta, wrote an excellent article, How to Stay Private on the New Facebook. It gives you step-by-step instructions on how to keep strangers out of your beeswax (Beeswax is 50s talk for “business.).
Read it. Follow through. Before it’s too late.
The Hail to Mailnesia Pop Quiz
Almost 6.500 people now subscribe to 10 Minutes of Brilliance. We get subscribers joining us every day, more on days when I post a new blog. I used to think I could identify what country many of my new Readers were from just by looking at their email address. But lately, as it turns out, a large number of my Readers come from a country I’d never head of. Mailnesia.
Actually, it turns out that Mailnesia isn’t a country at all. It is not-too-secret Web site that hides the Web address of people who want to apply for something once, like a subscription, but not get inundated with spam e-mail from that company.
I don’t send out a lot of e-mail to my readers. I’ve only sent about 3 e-mails in the three years I’ve been blogging. so the only thing my new Readers from Mailnesia will miss is a rather stupid introductory letter from Stan, who tells new Readers they’re foolish for reading such a poorly written blog.
STAN: Liar. Liar. Pants on fire. The letter’s not stupid and your blog is.
Look Stan, if you’re so smart, why don’t you have your own blog.
STAN: I’m starting one.
Yeah. What’s your new blog called.
STAN: It’s called, um, uh. It’s called, um, 10 Minutes of uh, 10 Minutes of… Stan. That’s what it’s called. 10 Minutes of Stan.
It sounds very derivative.
STAN: Well, thank you for the compliment. Now, go ahead a give your little Pop Quiz.
All right Readers. Here’s you Pop Quiz.
Which of the following are countries?
5. Papua John
8. Republic of Abkhazia
The answers are posted at the end of the blog.
Pictures from Tony’s Backyard
Spring is less than 3 weeks away. March 20th to be exact. With thoughts of Spring in the air, it seems like a great time to show you some pictures from Tony’s Backyard.
Tony is my longtime friend and former college roommate and like my friends Jeffrey Jones and Steve Cline, I get multiple e-mails a week about things he finds interesting. Often I cover them in my blog.
So here are some pictures from Tony’s backyard.
Republicans finally show their PRIDE in support of same sex marriage
Holy Moly! We’re about to say something good about Republicans. And no, it’s not a movie revue of “Lincoln.”
In a stunningly surprise move, the party of Swift Boat, the party of No, has shown their PRIDE and come out in favor of gay marriage. Much to the dismay of the extreme right wing of the party, prominent Republicans, including advisors to President George W. Bush, have signed a legal brief that gay people have a constitutional right to marry.
It’s enough to make John Boehner cry. Again.
It may be the first time Republicans have supported an Obama and Democratic Party initiative since the President was born illegally to unmarried, communist, Muslim parents deep in the heart of equatorial Africa. (OK, new Readers, you do know we’re joking here? Right?)
The legal argument before the Supremes Court (featuring rhythm and blues Judges Diana Ross and Mary Wilson) seeks to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative barring same sex marriage.
Somehow, possibly by mistake, several prominent Republicans have the supported the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Theodore B. Olsen, former Solicitor General under President George W. Bush, supports the argument that same sex marriage promotes family values by allowing children of gay couples to grow up under two-parent homes. It also advances conservative values of limited government and maximizing individual freedom.
So let’s celebrate and congratulate the non-extremist members of the Republican Party for their courage in supporting same-sex marriage and the rights and freedoms this great country offers under the Constitution.
Pop Quiz Answers. Countries are posted in bold type.
5. Papua John
7. Republic of Abkhazia
By the way, 400 people have read this blog since I posted it late yesterday (Sunday, March 3), only my friend Susan O (no relation to Jackie Oh or Yoko Oh-no!) noticed that I had incorrectly (until I fixed it) said Italy was a country. Who knew?
OK Readers,, that’s it for today. Thanks for your time, your patience and for stopping by. I’d just like to say that there is no truth to the rumor that this is the very last blog post of 10 Minutes of Brilliance and that next time this space will be occupied by 10 Minutes of Stan. And that’s the last word on that!
STAN: I don’t think so!
Hi, Readers, my name is Jack. I’ll be your waiter today. I mean, your writer.
Today, we’ll start with News You Can Use. Did you know Mad Men is finally coming back? Then we’ll cover two new stores that just opened in New York. At The Husbands Store, you can buy the ideal husband. In The Wives Store, the ideal wife is for sale.
Then, there’s an expose on The Difference Between Men and Women. And we’ll follow that with a pie chart that explains Why Women Cry. And since women usually get the last word, we’ll close with a quote about men and women from George Carlin which puts women squarely back on top.
Today’s blog will no doubt offend both women and men. If I seem to be picking on women more than men, I hope you’ll remember that I support chicks’ rights.
But first, the News!
NAPOLEON: Damn. Did you see that headline at the top of the bloig, “No one had SEX in the making of this headline?” I knew he’d try to pull something like that.
HARRIET: Like what? And who are you talking about?
NAPOLEON: Goldberg, Harriet. The guy who writes this blog. He’s such a hack. He has to put the word SEX in the headline just to attract attention. Gold-berg! (He delivers the last line the way Seinfeld used to say: “New-man!”)
HARRIET: First of all, you know his name is Goldenberg. Not Goldberg. I think you do that just to annoy him.
NAPOLEON: Like I care.
HARRIET LOOKS AT HER BLOG PARTNER MYSTERIOUSLY, LIKE SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. STILL SHE CAN’T QUITE FIGURE IT OUT
HARRIET: Well, you should care. You wouldn’t even be in this blog, Stan, if it weren’t for Jack. He writes everything you say…
ALL OF A SUDDEN, IT DAWNS ON HARRIET THAT SHE’S NOT TALKING TO STAN. SHE DOES A DOUBLE TAKE.
(READERS: PLEASE DO A DOUBLE TAKE RIGHT NOW TO SIMULATE HARRIET’S MOVEMENT.)
HARRIET: Hey, wait a minute. You’re not Stan. Where’s Stan? What’d you do with Stan?
NAPOLEON: I didn’t do anything to Stan. He’e got another gig. He’s working on another blog. He asked me to stand in for him
HARRIET: Well, who are you?
NAPOLEON: I’m Napoleon.
HARRIET: Napoleon Bonaparte? The French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution?
NAPOLEON: No, I’m Napoleon the pastry!
HARRIET: Seriously, how long will you be here?
NAPOLEON: I’m just filling in. I’ll be here until I get a call from the History Channel. They want me to invade a country so they can film it for an upcoming biopic.
HARRIET: Did Stan tell you anything about me?
NAPOLEON: Er-um, no. No. Nothing at all.
HARRIET: He didn’t tell you anything?
NAPOLEON: Nope. Oh, by the way, voulez-vous couche avec moi, ce soir?
HARRIET: Sure, but let’s go now. I think I hear Jack coming.
NAPOLEON: Me, too.
HARRIET: Magnifique, Bonaparte. Let’s am-scray!
Hey Readers. Here’s some retail news from Manhattan:
A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City.
You may visit this store ONLY ONCE!
There are six floors and the value of the husbands increases as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any husband from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!
So, a woman goes to the Husbands Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:
Floor 1 – These men Have Jobs
She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:
Floor 2 – These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.
“That’s nice,” she thinks, “but I want more.”
So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:
Floor 3 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.
“Wow,” she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.
She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:
Floor 4 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.
“Oh, mercy me!” she exclaims, I can hardly stand it!”
Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:
Floor 5 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.
She is tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:
Floor 6 – You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husbands Store.Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day.
To avoid gender bias charges (or my Readers getting upset with me because I favor one sex over the other), the owner of the Husbands Store opened a New Wives Store just across the street.
The first floor has wives that love sex.
The second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.
Women mature much faster than men. Most 17-year old females can function as adults. Most 17-year old males are still trading baseball cards and giving each other wedgies after gym class. This is why high school romances rarely work out.
To their credit, men do not decorate their penmanship. They just chicken scratch. Women use scented, colored stationary and they dot their “i’s” with circles and hearts. Women use ridiculously large loops in their “p’s” and “g’s”. It is a royal pain to read a note from a woman. Even when she’s dumping you, she’ll put a smiley face at the end of the note.
A man has six items in his bathroom–a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of Dial soap, and a towel from a Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 437. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
Men use rest rooms for purely biological reasons. Women use rest rooms as social lounges. Men in a rest room will never speak a word to each other. Never in the history of the world has a man excused himself from a restaurant table by saying, “Hey Tom, I was just about to take a leak. Do you want to join me?
A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and soccer games and romances and best friends and favorite foods and secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
Women prefer 30-40 minutes of foreplay. Men prefer 30-40 seconds of foreplay. Men consider driving back to her place as part of the foreplay. Women like to have sex when they’re in the mood. Men like to have sex when they’re in the room.
Women do laundry every couple of days. A man will wear every article of clothing he owns, including his surgical pants , before he will do his laundry. When he is finally out of clothes, he will wear a dirty sweat shirt inside out, rent a U-Haul, and take his mountain of clothes to the Laundromat. Men always expect to meet beautiful women at the Laundromat. This is a myth perpetuated by reruns of old episodes of “Love, American Style.”
Men see the telephone as a communication tool. They use the telephone to send short messages to other people. A woman can visit her girlfriend for two weeks, and upon returning home, she will call the same friend and they will talk for three hours.
If Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose.
If Mike, Charlie, Bob and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Stinky.
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
NAPOLEON: Is it my imagination, or is Jack a little sexist? He seems to be picking on women more than men.
HARRIET: Oh, give him a chance. He’ll come around to our side pretty soon. You know, it ain’t over ’til the fat man sings.
NAPOLEON: Oh, I get it.
SFX: THE PHONE RINGS ON THE BLOG. NAPOLEON ANSWERS IT.
NAPOLEON: Hello, this is Napoleon. Who’s calling please?
NAPOLEON PUTS A HAND OVER THE PHONE AND TALKS TO HARRIET.
NAPOLEON: It’s the History Channel. They want me to come over right away.
HARRIET: Oh no, do you have to go? I was just getting used to you.
NAPOLEON: That’s not the real problem. Goldberg’s got a writer’s block and he can’t come up with anyone to replace me.
HARRIET: Whaddya’ mean? I can’t carry on a conversation on this blog all alone. I need someone to bounce off of.
NAPOLEON: Can’t help you there. You’ll just have to wing it.
HARRIET: I guess so. Au revoir, mon Emperor. As Jedd Clampett used to say on The Beverly Hillbillies, “Y’all come back now, you hear!”
NAPOLEON: Later. Gator.
ALL OF A SUDDEN HARRIET IS ALONE ON THE BLOG. BUT HARRIET, BEING A RESOURCEFUL IMAGINARY CHARACTER, HATCHES A PLAN TO REPLACE STAN AND NAPOLEON UNTIL ONE OF THEM RETURNS.
HARRIET LOOKS DIRECTLY AT THE READERS.
HARRIET: OK, Readers. It’s all up to you. I’ve got nobody else to turn to. I need one of you brave, intelligent Readers out there to suggest a substitute imaginary person I can interact with, talk to, and maybe even have some fun with. I’m counting on your Readers, but I know you’ll come through. After all, you’re brilliant Readers of 10 Minutes of Brilliance. Just leave a comment for who you think should apear here next. Please, please, don’t let me down.
And now a final word from George Carlin:
That’s it for today Readers.Thanks for stopping by. Jack
(Including what may be the best advice you will hear ALL YEAR!)
STAN: Why is Goldberg writing another blog?
HARRIET: Why not?
STAN: Goldenberger just wrote a new blog about a week ago.
HARRIET: Goldberg? Goldenberger? Do you ever get his name right?
STAN: Not if I can help it.
HARRIET: Maybe he forgot he wrote one recently. Maybe he’s getting old.
STAN: Say it ain’t so, Joe.
HARRIET: My name’s Harriet.
STAN: I know that. Our names are printed on the left side of this blog. That’s how I know I am Stan.
HARRIET: Well, maybe Jack had something terrific he wanted to share with his brilliant Readers.
STAN: (MIMICKING HARRIET) Well, maybe Jack had something terrific he wanted to share with his brilliant Readers.
HARRIET: Maybe. And maybe he had something to say that was so powerful it could help his Readers live smarter, happier, less stressful, and more successful lives.
STAN: I don’t think that’s the case.
HARRIETT: Nah, me neither.
I live in an adult community in Denville, NJ. Well, they call it an adult community, but somehow they let me live here.
I just don’t think of myself being as old. Certainly not as old as my 55 and older neighbors. My body disagrees with me, but what does it know?
Fortunately, my mind is still in great shape.
Did I tell you my mind is still in great shape?
Where was I? Oh yeah, you were telling me… No, wait, I was telling you that I couldn’t possibly be as old as it says on my driver’s license.
I also found out I am not overweight. I just need to grow five or six inches.
There are times, however, when just for a split second, I think I really might be aging. Like when some rock group who has sold 80 million albums headlines Saturday Night Live and I’ve never even heard of them.
Oh, but that never happened to you, right?
Yeah? Well OK then, who is this?
Oh sure, anybody can cheat by looking at the caption, but come on, have you ever heard of the Bz? The Bz have sold over 80 million records. I mean albums. No, not the Bees Knees or the Bee Gees. The Bz!
Oh wait, it’s coming back to me now. If memory and Wikipedia serve me correctly, I do believe that’s a photo of Koshi Inabi and Takahiro Matsumoto. Yes, I’m certain that’s Takahiro and Koshi, or, as I call them, 稲葉 浩志 and 松本 孝弘.
But hey, don’t feel bad. At least you can recognize Godzilla. Or is that some other monster? (CLICK PHOTO SEE VIDEO)
The other day, I heard someone much, much, much, much older than I say that he was going to make a long distance call.
Long distance call? Long distance call? There is no long distance anymore now that we dial mostly by cell phone.
The phone company, wait, did I say “phone company?” I meant to say “the cellular companies.” The cellular companies will let you “dial one” to make a “long distance call,” but believe me. they are only humoring you because, well, let’s face it, if you’re over 40, you’re downright decrepit.
Think about it. How could I be old? I write a blog. I carry an iPad. I use apps. I’m still a catcher for the 2012 League Champion Denville Blasters softball team.
Did I ever show you the photo from last summer of me sliding into third base? I was safe.
Did I ever show you the photo from last summer of me sliding into third base? I don’t remember, but I think I was safe.
Is that the way an old codger acts?
Right now, my foreign Readers, every last of them, and I have many, my foreign Readers are looking up the word “codger.”
Why are there only old codgers? And why are whippersnappers all young? What would happen if a young codger met an old whippersnapper? Why, they’d explode, of course. (Don’t try this at home.)
I never thought of my Mom as being old because even when she was chronologically old she was still young at heart.
That’s because she had a great sense of humor and she believed in always learning new things. Family lore has it that she taught high school in her late teens and she got a Master’s degree at Notre Dame of Maryland.
And no, she was not on the football team.
What got me started on all this “I am not old” blog is that I read some advice from a book called “How to be Perfect” by Ron Padgett.
It is absolutely wonderful advice whether you’re young like me or old like, well, the face in my mirror.
It’s wonderful terrific advice and I promise you, it could really improve your life and increase your happiness. Really.
Get some sleep.
Eat an orange every morning. (Actually, you should eat 5 colors a day
according to my friend Avtar, a former Mr. Universe and now a wellness guru.
Be friendly. It will help make you happy.
Hope for everything. Expect nothing.
Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room before you save the world. Then save the world.
Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.
Don’t stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don’t forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm’s length and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass
Wear comfortable shoes. (Not possible for women)
Don’t make enemies by accident. (That really didn’t come from Ron Padget. I heard it last night on Downton Abbey.)
Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.
Plan your day so you never have to rush. (Well, that’s not happening to most of us living in the 21st century!)
Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if you have paid them, even if they do favors you don’t want.
After dinner, wash the dishes.
Don’t expect your children to love you, so they can, if they want to.
Don’t be too self-critical or too self-congratulatory.
Don’t think that progress exists. It doesn’t.
Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don’t do anything to make it impossible.
Forgive your country every once in a while. If that is not possible, go to another one.
If you feel tired, rest.
Don’t be depressed about growing older. It will make you feel even older. Which is depressing.
Do one thing at a time. (Again, not happening in today’s multitasking world. Although it’s still a good suggestion.)
If you burn your finger, put ice on it immediately.
If you bang your finger with a hammer, hold your hand in the air for 20 minutes. You will be surprised by the curative powers of ice and
Do not inhale smoke.
Take a deep breath.
Do not smart off to a policeman.
Be honest with yourself, diplomatic with others.
Do not go crazy a lot. It’s a waste of time.
Drink plenty of water. When asked what you would like to drink, say, “Water, please.”
Take out the trash.
Use exact change. (OK, he got this one wrong, too. I know because almost every time I’m in a line at a cash register, I am invariably behind a woman counting out exact change, one penny. dime and nickel at a time It takes forever and the exact change lady always winds up fishing for it in her endless purse.
When there’s shooting in the street, don’t go near the window. (But do call 911.)
When it comes to selling out concert halls, older rockers sold a lot more tickets on their tours than did their younger counterparts. Eight of the top 10 North American tours featured rockers who could have used a rocker. This illustrious group includes:
#1 Madonna sold $296 million on tour (CLICK ON THE NEXT 3 PHOTOS TO PLAY VIDEOS)
HARRIET: Stan, what did you just do?
STAN: I didn’t do nothing.
HARRIET: I didn’t do “anything.”
STAN: I didn’t do anything either.
HARRIET: I just saw you! You removed a video of Bruce Springstein and you replaced it with a country singer named Eric Church, a good ol’ young Nawth Ca-roh-lina country boy who, on his CD called “Chief,” won an award for a song he penned called “Springsteen.”
STAN: Well, aren’t you Misses Know-It-All?
HARRIET: I take that as a compliment from Mr. Never Right.
STAN: That’s just the way I meant it.
HARRIET: Well, all right, shouldn’t you put the correct video back.
STAN: Nah, who will ever know? It’s not like our conversations are ever printed in a blog.
OK, that’s enough music for you in one sitting. The rest of the grey rockers who made big bucks on their tours includes: Van Halen, Barbra Streisand and Elton John. And that’s enough excitement for some of my older Rockers, I mean, Readers. You know, none of us are getting any younger. Well, except me, of course.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta take my Adville, then get to dinner by 4 PM. Wouldn’t want to miss the Special.
Thanks for stopping by again. Although how will I know if you were here if you don’t leave me a comment? So please, leave a comment, a complaint, a box of chocolates, a rotten tomato or just stop by and say hi. It would mean lot to me.
See you later, elevator.
Sometimes, the best promotional plans never get off the ground. Besides selling Obama Watches online, we’re always looking for new places to sell them. So when I heard that an apparel chain named White House/Black Market was launching an Inaugural-inspired dress collection, my promotional brain started spinning.
What a natural tie-in.
White House/Black Market is selling Inauguration-inspired dresses.
We sell the Inaugural Watch.
White House/Black Market is co-sponsor of an Inaugural Ball at the Smithsonian.
Obama Watches are in the Smithsonian.
White House/Black Market is honoring the President.
Yeah, well we’re trying to make a buck, too!
So I thought, we should do a tie-in promotion. I can see the headlines now:
First, here’s a little background. The White House/Black Market apparel chain is really two separate stores. The White House sells all white apparel. Black Market sells, well, Hell, you can figure that out. After all, if you’re one of my brilliant Readers, YOU IS A COLLEGE GRADUATE!
Anyway, to make a short story even longer, I made about 15 calls to seven White House/Black Market DC area stores. I spoke to the national headquarters, the DC market headquarters, the Eastern regional headquarters, the marketing department, the store facilities department. Finally, I reached a person in charge of their Inaugural promotion
She turned me down. Flat. End of conversation. I barely got a chance to stick my foot in the door.
But I don’t blame them. We contacted White House/Black Market very late in the game. They didn’t know our reputation. And their plans were already set.
So, we wish them well. And there are no hard feelings. Besides, even though Obama Inaugural Watches won’t be in White House DC area stores, Obama Watches are already in the actual White house. At least, I think they are.
In 2008, at the request of the Democratic party, I was scheduled to hand then-Senator Obama five Obama Watches. It was at a small intimate gathering of major donors at a fundraiser in Philadelphia.
Everyone else there had donated $40,000 a person, or $80,000 a couple. Me, I was there to donate 5 Obama for President Watches in cheesy gold boxes. I was supposed to put them right in his future Presidential hands.
Well, all right, as it turned out, I didn’t actually hand the watches to future leader of the Free World.
I was a split second away from handing the watches to Obama, and his hands were outstretched to receive them, when a member of the not-so Secret Service grabbed them out of my hands and wrestled them to the ground, covering my cheesy gold boxes that housed the Obama timepieces with their bodies to shield the crowd from any potential trouble.
Oh, OK, maybe I exaggerate.
Actually, two Secret Service agents took the 5 Obama Watches to a separate room, carefully examined what I was supposed to give the future President, and proclaimed them safe and harmless.
Ten minutes later they came back into the room, flashed me an OK sign and gave them to an Obama aide.
A Secret Service agent told me the Obama Watches would eventually get to Senator Obama, although he couldn’t legally own them.
Now I know Senators, Presidents and even those less than perfect members of the House of Representatives are prohibited from accepting gifts worth more than $25. (Oh, stealing, bribing and general skulduggery is OK, they just can’t take a donation. House Rules.)
So it’s possible that the watches I was there to give Obama ended up in some vault in Fort Knox.
But Obama watches are so cool, I’m pretty sure there’s another explanation. Personally, I think Barack Obama decided to keep them.
I believe the 5 Obama Watches I gave Obama somehow made it to the White House once he was elected and the old tenant moved out And I’m pretty sure the President keeps his Obama Watches hidden in a cardboard box under his bed.
Late at night, he takes out a flashlight and admires the gifts I gave him. Then, he carefully puts them back in the cardboard box. Right on top of the White House/Black Market Inauguration-inspired dresses that Michelle purchased.
That’s my story and I”m sticking to it.
HARRIET: Stan, I’m impressed. You didn’t interrupt Jack once in his blog. Were you on your good behavior?
STAN: Nah, I thought I’d give him a break. After all, he’s imaginary and I really write this blog. I just make it look like Goldberg’s in control.
HARRIET: Stan, you’re not on that kick again? I’ve told you for three years now, you’re not real. Jack is. He writes everything you say. He controls everything you do.
STAN: How ’bout the time we had sex off the blog.
HARRIET: Well, no, I guess we do have some free choice.
STAN: Besides, I did wreck his blog. At least, a little.
HARRIET: I didn’t notice anything.
HARRIET: Well, what exactly did you do?
STAN: See for yourself.
STAN POINTS TO THE BLOG. HARRIET LOOKS UP AND DOWN THE BLOG CAREFULLY
HARRIET: Well, I dont…Wait a minute. It’s what I don’t see that I see.
STAN: Now, you’re catching on.
HARRIET: Stanley Mann, you little rascal. You removed all of Jack’s photos. The blog is just copy.
HARRIET: But why?
STAN: I thought it would f**k him Up. You know, Goldberg’s Readers..
HARRIET: Goldenberg’s Readers! (HARRIET CORRECTS STAN.)
STAN: Whatever. Goldenberg’s Readers love his photos with his cute little captions. So I thought if I removed the photos, the blog would be less interesting and people would stop reading it..
HARRIET: But what on Earth was your motivation for doing that?
STAN: Oh, you know. No Readers. Just you and me. Alone again. You know, don’t you?
HARRIET: I do know. And it’s not going to happen. Not here. Not off the blog. Not anywhere. A girl can get a reputation.
STAN: It’s a little late for that.
HARRIET: Stanley, you put those pictures back right now. Then say goodnight.
STAN: Oh, all right. But if we don’t have sex again soon, well, I’m just gonna. I’m just gonna.
HARRIET: You’re gonna what, Stan?
STAN: I’ll burst. I’ll explode. I blow up right here on the blog.
HARRIET: That’s the oldest line in the book.
STAN: Then I betta get a new book
HARRIET: All right, now say goodnight Stan and put the photos back.
STAN: OK. Goodnight Stan and put the photos back.
STAN STARTS TO PUT BACK THE PHOTOS HE REMOVED.
Yours truly wearing the 3 watches that are in the Smithsonian
STAN: Hey, I’m almost done. After I’m finished, you wanna…
Thanks for stopping by, Readers. I promised Reader Bernie Stuart that I wouldn’t use my blog to sell Obama Watches. And I’ve been true to my promise. As you can see, I haven’t once mentioned that if you’re looking for the best political memorabilia from two of America’s most historic elections, go to ObamaWatches.com and use the Coupon Code: Jess (with a capital J), you’ll save $10 per watch. Or that the 2013 Inaugural Watch won’t be sold on our Web site until next Monday, March 14th. Price: $70. (Unless you use the discount.)
I started to finish this 10 Minutes of Brilliance blog a week ago last Friday and when I heard the tragic news from Connecticut, the thought of writing something funny or clever seemed so inconsequential. The bullets that killed 20 innocent children and six innocent and heroic adults ripped through their families and through the heart of America and nothing I could say, no joke I could tell, seemed appropriately reverential.
It was a time to be sad for the children and adults who will never laugh again and prayerful for their families whose lives will never be the same.
Not that waiting a couple of weeks to bring back my old shenanigans seems appropriate either. On the other hand, Shenanigans ‘R Us and laughter is good medicine. So, here’s what I’ve been thinking:
Today’s blog is mostly about my Annual Biggest Jerk of the Year Award. All right. All right. So maybe it is 10 Minutes of Brilliance’s First Annual Biggest Jerk of the Year Awards. Who’s counting?
I feel a little bad being so negative on my final blog post of 2012. That’s not usually the style of 10 Minutes of Brilliance. I’m usually much more positive and upbeat. But that’s what was in my head at year’s end, so that’s what you get.
In some ways I feel bad picking on Donald Trump as a potential Biggest Jerk of the Year. He’s got all that money and all that fame and yet he still can’t get a decent hair comb over. But I’ve never really liked blowhards who are all out for themselves. They think the world revolves around them and no one else matters.
Trump reminds me of Chris Christie, although I give the NJ Governor muted praise for recognizing the President was being Presidential when the two toured the Garden State after the destruction of hurricane Sandy. Christie put NJ first when he acknowledged the President’s help. That couldn’t have been easy because Christie rarely shares the limelight.
Where was I? Oh yeah, I was praising Governor Christie for sharing the limelight with the President. Limelight, by the way, is an intense white light that stagehands used to use to brighten a darkened theatre. Limelight forms when a cylinder of lime is heated to 2500 degrees. It throws off a immensely bright light. Once electricity was popularized, the use of limelight faded away, but the term “limelight” stuck around to mean “focusing attention on someone or something.”
HARRIET: Now, Stan, are you happy Jack explained limelight?
STAN: Hell no, that was so boring, I’m sorry I asked.
The former Miss USSR, Masha Keja is now a talented and successful pocketbook designer in Paris.
STAN: Do he always do this?
HARRIET: Do what?
STAN: Leapfrog from one topic to another, never quite getting to the point of a story.
HARRIET: Oh, he will get there, all right. Eventually. But until that happens, we’re all on a roller coaster
ride through Jack’s ADD-addled stream of consciousness.
STAN: Do I need a ticket?
HARRIET: No, but a crash helmet might help.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, talking about why Donald Trump should walk off with the Biggest Jerk of the Year Award. I don’t have enough space to tell you all the stupid things Trump said in 2012. Besides, the Internet is rife with Trump as Jerk stories.
My two favorite are Joseph Alexiou’s, ” The 7 Most Ridiculous Things Donald Trump Said in the Last Week,” and “Trump Reveals his Blockbuster News about Obama!” by Rick Ungar, a highly interesting, funny and informative blogger for Forbes.com, aka Forbes.com’s token leftist blogger.
Trump made a fool of himself, I should say re-made a fool of himself, last summer when he threatened to release blockbuster news behind Obama’s citizenship. It turned out to be just another blowhard blowing hard.
However, I decided against giving Trump the Biggest Jerk of the Year Award because Trump can win it any year. Hell, he could buy the Award if he wanted to.
So with Trump out of the picture, I sought out other likely candidates for Jerk of the Year Honors. Next, I turned to Dumb Parents.
I thought it might make sense to nominate particularly negligent parents for the BJ of the Year Honors (as the title is sometimes called!). It would be almost too easy to pick on parents whose kids have been less than model citizens.
I could have chosen Sylvia and Ralph Madoff, parents of Big Time Swindler Bernard Madoff. No doubt Sylvia and Ralph taught Bernie, “A penny save is a penny earned.” “But I guess they forgot to follow that up with, “Now remember, Bernie, don’t steal billions from friends, business associates and charities. You just might ruin the lives of everyone you meet.”
Or Casey Anthony’s parents. But you can’t totally blame Mr. and Mrs. Anthony for an upbringing that will never earn their offspring any Mother of the Year trophies.
Then I thought, why pick on parents in the news, when there are so many idiot parents living among us? A quick Google search yielded more than anyone would ever want to see. Believe me, some of these jerks, you just would not want to see. It’s too embarrassing for humankind.
Here are just a few wannabe idiot parents who not only did something immoral, dangerous and downright stupid with their kids, they were idiot enough to have their picture taken while they were doing it.
(Please remember, don’t blame the messenger, or in this case the blogger.)
Some of the pictures were so shocking, I didn’t even want to show them to you.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party does not have a monopoly on stupidity. Democrats can do some pretty stupid things, too. But I’d like to give the Republicans credit for promulgating some of the biggest lies election politics has ever known.
But hard as it may be for Liberals to accept, the party of John Kennedy tells their share of whoppers every election cycle, too. But at least Dems are smarter when they streeeeeeeeetch the Truth!
The Grand Old Party, the GOP, knew no bounds when it came to denigrating the President in 2012 with the most outrageous, uh, uh, misstatements?
Here’s a just a few of the claims they made:
President Obama wasn’t born in the United States
President Obama is soft on terrorism
President Obama is a terrorist
President Obama won’t protect the country
President Obama is a Muslim sympathizer
President Obama is a Muslim
President Obama is an Atheist
President Obama is anti-Israel
President Obama is a socialist
President Obama is a Marxist
President Obama is a Communist
President Obama is a fascist
President Obama is a dictator
President Obama will take your guns
President Obama hates America
Legal Drama Queen Lindsay Lohan could qualify for my Jerk of the Year Award ANY YEAR!. But was she bad enough to be good enough to win BJ of 2013? (That’s
On November 29, she was arrested twice in ONE DAY on TWO SEPARATE COASTS. Miss Behavior was arrested in New York on a charge of third-degree assault after allegedly punching a woman at a nightclub, and charged with three separate crimes related to a June car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Had there been a third coast, no doubt she could have hit the Trifecta! Still, even Lindsay doesn’t get the honors for the Biggest Dufuss of 2012.
Who will win the coveted Biggest Jerk of the Year Award?
So if Donald Trump, Lindsay Lohan, the Republican Party and awkwardly bad parents across America didn’t win Biggest Jerk of the Year Award in 2o12, who walked away with the Honors?
Why the 112th Congress that’s who! I hesitate to say that each individual member did a terrible job. but as a whole, well, they’re a hole. They continue to be the worst example of spineless, opinionated power and money hungry representatives of the people they should be looking out for. I could go on and on about all the things they haven’t done, but I’ll just mention one.
Why are brave American men and women still fighting a war in Afghanistan that we will never win? (I know the War is over. THEN BRING THE TROOPS HOME!) (Spineless note from me: I’d criticize the man in charge, the Commander in Chief, but Hell, I’ll still got Watches to Sell!)
Why are were nation building in a foreign land when we should be nation building in America?
Why do we treat our armed forces so terribly when they return home after defending our country with the lives and LIMBS?
Why doesn’t somebody in Congress stand up and say, “Enough is enough?” And then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! I know there are anti-War congresspeople. But none of those voices have been strong enough to make a difference.
OK, that’s all the electronic irk we should use on these nogoodniks! Congress officially win Biggest Jerk of the Year DIS Honors!
MOVIE ALERT: Don’t see the Movie LINCOLN!
Pulitzer-Prize winner Tony Kushner spent six years writing the script for the film, Lincoln. No kidding, I spent six years watching it one afternoon!
OK, sorry for all the negativity in today’s blog…
STAN: I didn’t think today’s blog was so negative.
HARRIET: I know, Stan, somehow I didn’t think you would.
STAN: (To himself) Hmmm, I wonder what she meant by that? Oh I guess it means she likes me. No surprise
..so I’d like to end my last blog of 2012 on a high note, mentioning my App of the Year Award and finally, my Hero of the Year Award.
APP of the Year? The app that turns any surface into an iPhone keyboard
This Vibrative Virtual Keyboard turns an iPhone into a laptop computer. Florian Kraeutil, a student from Great Britain uses something in the iPhone that almost nobody knew was there. It’s called the accelerometer. It measures taps that you do on an ordinary surface, any surface, and corresponds your tap on the surface to a letter on a “typewriter.” Er, keyboard!
STAN: What’s a typewriter.
HARRIET: Think of it as a keyboard.
STAN: OK, now I get it.
Anyway, once you’ve tapped in all 26 letters, you’ve created a virtual keyboard on any surface and you can use it to type on your iPhone with letters of the alphabet that are BIG enough to see. Here’s better explanation than I could ever give:
“So for instance, if you put your iPhone down on a table and tap from a close distance, it will register as one letter while tapping further away will register as a different letter. This virtual keyboard right now gets the correct letters 80% of the time.”
Still that is quite amazing because any flat surface can become an iPhone keyboard. While it only works on the iPhone now, eventually there will be an app for every major smartphone.
Finally, I’d like to announce my Hero of the Year Award, an apt counterpart to the opposite end of the spectrum that included Trump. Lohan, bad parents and the 112th Congress.
My hero of the year is Malala Yousufzai, who was a 14-year old Pakistani schoolgirl when she stood up to the Taliban and got shot in the head because she dared to challenged the status quo. She dared to suggest girls in her country should be educated, too.
She knew the Taliban would try to kill her, but she somehow had the courage to do what her heart told her was the right thing to do.
She even showed courage recently when she was recuperating in a London hospital after being shot in the head. Her district wanted to name a school after her, but she refused the honor.
She did so, she said, because she knew that school would also be targeted by the Taliban and she didn’t want her others to suffer the way she did.
What a brave little girl. I can’t think of a bigger hero for 2012.
Well, that’s it for 2012, my favorite Readers. Somehow over 5,000 of you have signed up for the my blog. God knows why, and she’s not telling. I really appreciate you stopping by and continuing to read 10 Minutes of Brilliance. I wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. And may we all have the courage next year to stand up for what is right.
Sincerely, and with all the humor and brilliance I can muster,
P. S. Would it kill you to leave a comment so I know you’re stil here? Gee, I’m surprised STAN didn’t try to have the last word.
STAN: Me, too.
HARRIET: All right Stan, that’s quite enough. You’ve had your say, interrupted Jack all year and tried to
show him up every chance you got. Now, say goodnight, Stan.
STAN: Good night, Stan.
HARRIET: Goodbye, Readers. See you in 2013.
STAN: Hey Harriet, now that our work on the blog is done for the year, do you have time for a little sex?
HARRIET: That’s what it would be, Stan. That’s what it would be.
Before I begin today’s blog, I would like to share a story with my Readers. It’s a cautionary tale about Drinking and Driving. Everyone knows someone who’s had one too many. This is a story about a friend of mine. We’ll call him Mike Gray, because, well, that’s his name. I’ll let Mike tell his story.
Mike: “As you well know, some of us have been known to have had brushes with the authorities on our way home from an occasional social session over the years. A couple of nights ago, I was out for an evening with friends and had a couple of cocktails and some rather nice red wine. And then I had a few beers.
Knowing full well I may have been slightly over the limit, I did something I’ve never done before – I took a cab home. Sure enough, I passed a police roadblock but, since I was in a cab, they waved it past.
I arrived home safely without incident, which was a real surprise, as I have never driven a cab before and am not sure where I got it or what to do with it now that it’s in my garage.”
Today’s blog is about friends. Well no, not your friends, my friends! I’ve got great friends. Take my friend Bernie Stuart. NO, seriously, TAKE my friend Bernie Stuart. He’s a good friend because he cares about me, he listens when I need him to, and he’s a good friend because he tells me when I’m being a real jerk.
STAN: Well, then, I must be your best friend.
Actually no, Stan you’re just a minor annoyance.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Now you may want all you friends to figuratively high five you no matter what you do. Not me. I need some friends who straighten me out, who tell me when I’m not on The Chosen Path.
Recently, Bernie gave me HELL because I was so blatant about selling Obama Watches. “I don’t read 10 Minutes of Brilliance to be sold something. I read it because you’re funny and smart. But not that smart, apparently, because you’re still trying to sell me those damn Obama Watches.” (And he’s an Obama supporter, mind you!)
That’s Bernie for you. He’s still my friend after 350 dog years. And just to honor my friendship with Bernie, I will not mention President _____’s name again in this blog.
Another one of my fiends, we’ll call him Jeffrey Jones, is a multi-talented Creative Director who can write and art direct with equal skill Jeff’s an unabashedly liberal who supports President _____ and he’s not afraid to defend his position. He recently sent me the video below by singer/songwriter Leslie Gore. It’s a wonderful, uplifting video that touts the importance of women and how they should be
in charge of their own bodies.
If you’re a woman, or even if you’re not, but you have your own body, then you should watch this video.
Universal Truth: I don’t understand how Public Broadcasting stays in business. Every time I turn on a show they say, “Public broadcasting works because it is supported by Viewers like YOU.” I’ve never sent them a penny.
Play Scrratch and Win an _______ Watch or a Mitt Romney T-Shirt or Oven Mitts from Etsy!
A very bright and talented friend of mine, we’ll call him Greene Scott, although that is not actually his name, asked if he could use my _____ watches as a Prize in a contest for a new and exceedingly cool start up company he works with, for, maybe he owns it, I don’t know. I didn’t get the particulars. So to promote their ultra-cool online game company, they created a game called: OBAMNEY 2012 Scratch off. It looks like this:
Scrratch’s Obamney Contest seems pretty straight forward. You just down load their free app, put in the code for either President “______” or Romney and you can win an _____ watch from _____Watches or an Oven Mitt from esty.com
But more important than the promotional game is how cool the site is. You can create you’re own “scratch off” games and even load in your own prizes. At first glance that doesn’t sound very practical, but it does when you see some of their suggestions.
For instance, they suggest playing a game called “Guess Who’s Paying for Dinner?” Then you type in your friends names, even add their pictures and you play a simple gscratch-off game where one of your friends loses and has to pay for dinner….or another round of drinks. Plus there are tons of other games to play.
Scrratch is a first of its kind mobile app that gives users the ability to create and play their own custom sweepstakes with friends and family in the form of instant win scratch-off cards. Outside of great promotions that let users play for real and virtual prizes like their current Obamney 2012 program, Scrratch lets you take almost any occasion and make a game of it. Whether it’s creating a game around the holidays to give a group of friends a chance to win a big prize, or just figuring out who is picking up the dinner check, the custom games are fun to create and easy to share. Check it out.
I’m going to have to end this blog soon, not because I want to, but because hurricane Sandy keeps shutting the power goes off at my home every 10 minutes, then comes back on a minute later. That wreaks havoc on writing a coherent blog.
STAN: You’re going to write a coherent blog? That’ll be a first.
I wish Stan’s lights would go out. (I said to myself very quietly.)
STAN: I heard that.
Two Videos from Tony
Finally, I ‘d like to show you three videos from my friend, Tony. Everybody’s got a friend Tony. Tony sends me 10, 20 e-mails a day. Oh, but I under-exaggerate. He probably send me 3,000 e-mails a day. Oh sure there’s a pet cat video among them. (I hate pet cat videos!) But the vast majority of them are interesting, provocative, unusual and sometimes quite beautiful. Here are a couple I received recently. Disappearing Box and Playmate of the Year. WARNING! You may not want to watch Playmate of the Year because this Playmate is a real D-O-G!
But first, a man who think Outside the Box…and Inside the Box:
And finally, The Playmate of the Year:
Well, that’s it for today’s blog, Readers. Hope you enjoyed it. I’m proud to say that I got through the entire blog without once mentioning my _____Watches. See Bernie, I knew I could do it!
Now Readers, I have one small request, it’s especially for all you new Readers who just joined us. PLEASE leave me a COMMENT and tell me what you liked or even didn’t like about the blog.
Or tell me what you had for dinner last night.
Or that your shoes are too tight.
Or that you hate broccoli.
Or what your parents taught you when you were a child.
Or, if you could throw an imaginary dinner party and invite any 10 people, real or imaginary, alive or dead, which 10 people would you invite and why.
You can even leave a Comment that says NO COMMENT. That counts, too.
You see, Google counts not only how many people visit the site, they also count how many people leave COMMENTS> And it helps me tremendously if Google likes me because they they give out my blog in their search engine results.
So as far as COMMENTS go, BE THERE. Don’t be square. G’night.
It’s strange. I haven’t written a blog for over a month, and almost 500 new Readers have signed up for 10 Minutes of Brilliance. The longer I stay away, the more people seem to like it.
STAN: Nothing strange about it. If Goldberg stopped writing all together, the whole world would rejoice.
HARRIET: It’s not Goldberg, Stan, it’s Goldenberg. Jack Goldenberg. The least you can do is know the name of the man who created you.
STAN: Damn it, Harriet! Don’t start that again. I’ve told you a hundred times, I created Goldberg. he didn’t create me.
HARRIET: You’re not real, Stan. You’re just a character Jack made up.
STAN: So, you think I’ve got character? Thanks, Har.
HARRIET: Oh, what’s the use?
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Since I haven’t written 10 Minutes of Brilliance in a while, I kinda feel bad starting out with Bad News. But I know how much my much my Readers like Quality Television. So, I’ll get the Bad News out of the way first. Then we can get on some more Fun stuff.
It is with a tear in my eye and a heavy heart that I announce that the always positive, always tasteful, uplifting show, Jersey Shore, has been cancelled by MTV. Now that’s the Bad News! But there is Good News. MTV is working on two replacement shows that should appeal to just about everyone who thought Jersey Shore was class entertainment. This fall, MTV will premiere Hassidic Runway-Black is the New Black and Scrapbook Vomiting, aka What’s Up, Chuck? Both sound like they’re real winners!
I know what you’re thinking. No, really, I know what you’re thinking. It’s like I have STP or something. You’re thinking, “It couldn’t get any worse for Snooki.” Well, I was thinking that too. Then I saw this:
With Mitt Romney as a Snooki fan, well, you’ve gotta root for the Under Dog and that would be Snooki.
Speaking of Dogs, no I didn’t mean Snooki, I got to thinking,
How cool are Dogs anyway?
They lie about their age.
They chase whatever they want.
And did you ever see a dog do a day’s work? No, right? As a matter of fact, if a dog calls you up and says, “Hey Fred, this is Mr. Bones. You mind if I come over? I’ve got some business to do. On your couch.?
Well, don’t let ‘em!
And if you think your dog is cool, meet The Coolest Dog in the World. His name is Cooper. Cooper was voted The Coolest Dog in the World by his owner, 5-Star General Robin “Boy Wonder” Wexler.
Here are are some other cool dogs enjoying the Dog Days of Summer:
Got old videos? Who doesn’t. Old photos? Polaroid snapshots? All right, would someone please explain to our younger Readers that we used to think it was cool to take a picture and see it develop in about a minute.
“What, ” said one of our younger Readers, ” You used to have to wait for a minute to see your photos? Next thing you’ll be tellin’ me is that you had One Hour Photos”
Now here’s the Tech Tip:
Introducing PeggyBank, a small company in Omaha, Nebraska, has developed a great way to preserve old memories on video tape and all your assorted snapshots. For a not too small fee, they’ll covert them all to a digital format and you can see them on a PC or Mac. You can even view them online.
Here are some photos I’d like to preserve:
This is my Wolman Jack photo from a commercial for Alpha-Bits cereal.
I played Jack. Wolfman was Wolfman. Oh, this wasn’t part of the commercial.
This was taken after the shoot when the man who was playing Wolfman tried to eat me.
Here’s “The Addams Family’s” Lurch from a commercial I wrote for Honey-Comb
cereal. The original “Come to the Honey-Comb Hideout commercials were written
by Frank Somebody. Well, his name was something like that. I’m just not sure of
the “Frank” part. Hey Kids! Notice the phone. That was what phones used to look like. Back
then, the only cell phones were in prison.
Who could forget these classic lines from an Alpha-Bits cereal commercial? Not me.
BOY: Once when I was eating my Alpha-Bits, a two-headed monster tried to get me.
GIRL: Oh, no! What’d you do?
BOY: I ate him!
THE BOYS EATS THE WORDS “TWO HEADED-MONSTER” SPELLED OUT IN LETTERS IN ALPHA-BITS CEREAL AND THE MONSTER DISAPPEARS.
GIRL: Good thing you had your Alpha-Bits.
THEN THE ANNOUNCER SPOKE AND THE GIRL ATE THE ANNOUNCER.
I am writing to say what an excellent product you have! I’ve used it all of my married life, as my Mom always told me, it was the best. Now that I am in my fifties I appreciate it even more!
In fact, about a month ago, I spilled some red wine on my new white blouse. Bob, my inconsiderate and uncaring husband, belittled me about how clumsy I was.
In fact, the stains came out so well, the detectives who came by yesterday told me the DNA tests on my blouse were negative. Then my attorney called and said that I was no longer considered a suspect in the disappearance of my husband, Bob.
What a relief! Going through menopause is bad enough without being a murder suspect! I thank you, once again, for having a great product.
Well, gotta go, have to write to the Hefty bag people
This is the first election year since 2000 that I didn’t go to the Democratic National Convention. The 2000 Democratic National Covention was held in Los Angeles. I was selling Gore for President watches and Bush for President watches. What was I thinking selling Republican watches?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the Convention because I didn’t have proper credentials. So I hired 3 kids or Roller Blades, named them The Dot Com Kids, and for some reason, they were allowed to Roller Blade throughout the Convention Hall handing out my fliers.
Wait, who won that election? Oh, I remember now. Al Gore won. But the Supreme Court named George Bush President. What a crazy country.
I went to the 2004 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. Senator John Kerry was running against George Bush. Bush won. But Dick Cheney was President.
The 2008 Democratic Convention was in Denver. I was there and so was my 10-foot tall Uncle Sam who carried a sign that said, Obama Watches are Guaranteed to be more accurate than George Bush. He wasn’t running. But he was a great Target. I don’t remember where the Republican Convention was in 2008, but wherever it was, Sarah Palin could see Russia.
And while we’re on the subject of the election, I saw a cool bunmper sticker at Get Out Dem Votes.Lots of people who support a candidate don’t always vote on election day. This bumper sticker (which I have nothing to do with, by the way) can go a long way to turning out the votes and the voters for President Obama. Buy a couple and send some to friends in the all-important Battleground states. Want to get it in a hurry? Call: 347-433-6412.
And while we’re at it, I’d like to hear from this week’s sponsor, Obama Watches.
From now until Nov. 6, 47%ers save 25% on Obama Watches! To save 25%, Use Coupon Code: America
See if you qualify for this exclusive offer. 47%ers include:
HURRY! Offer ends Nov. 6th. Don’t miss your chance to own these valuable, historical, once-in-a-lifetime collectibles. Go to http://obamawatches.com to see our complete line of 2012 Obama for President watches.
STAN: Ought, oh! Goldberg’s ADHD is firing up! He just went from dogs to a digital preservation service to commercials he shot to politics. To that not-so-subtle “hard sell.” Fasten your seat belts Harriet, Golberg’s got us on another roller coaster ride.
HARRIET: First you call him Goldberg, then you call him Golberg. I’m telling you Stan, you’d better be careful. Jack could DELETE you just like that!
HARRIET SNAPS HER FINGERS.
STAN: He’s not getting rid of me so fast. I provide comic relief.
HARRIET: Up to a point, maybe. But Jack could turn you into anybody he wants. Anybody at all.
STAN: Could not.
HARRIET: Could. And would.
STAN: Well, I’d like to see him try. You know, Harriet…
STAN AS SHAKESPEARE: All the world’s a stage and all the men are merely players. (SPOKEN WITH AN ENGLISH ACCENT.)
HARRIET: What? Why are you speaking with an English accent?
STAN AS SHAKESPEARE: Me thinks you doth protest too much.
HARRIET: Stan, is that you?
STAN AS SHAKESPEARE: Yes, Harriet. I have wasted time and now doth time waste me.
STAN IS PUZZLED. HE CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO HIM. HIS HEAD STARTS SPINNING. FORTUNATELY IT STOPS ON THE SIDE OF THE BLOG WHERE ONCE AGAIN, STAN NOTICES JACK’S GOT HIM RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS HIM. HE REALIZES GOLDENBERG CAN MAKE STAN SAY WHATEVER HE WANTS. HE CAN MAKE STAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS.
BUT IS STAN DEFEATED? IS HE FINALLY BEATEN BECAUSE HE REALLY IS NOT REAL? NO, STAN GIVES IT ONE LAST SHOT.
STAN: I’ve had it up to here with Goldberg, controlling me like a puppet.
HARRIET: But, Stan, what can do? Just face it. You can’t can beat Jack at his own game. It’s his blog and he can do with it what he wants.
STAN: No, Harriet, no I won’t give in. I refuse to let this hack writer come out on top. I promise you Harriet, I’ll get the best of Goldberg in the very next blog or my name isn’t…
STAN AS LITLE STEVIE WONDER: Little Stevie Wonder…
STAN: I mean…
STAN AS MR GREEN JEANS: Mr. Green Jeans…
HARRIET: Mr. Green Jaeans?
STAN AS IVAN THE TERRIBLE: Ivan The Terrible!
STAN: Just wait’ll the next blog, Harriet. I’ll get the best of Goldenberg yet.
STAN WALKS OFF THE BLOG WITH AN EVIL SMILE ON HIS FACE. HE’S UP TO SOMETHING.
Will Stan beat Jack Goldenberg in the next blog? Will he finally be triumphant?. Time will tell. Time will tell.
Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a Comment or tell your friends about 10 Minutes of Brilliance. I”ll see you again real soon. Unless, of course, Stan has other plans!!?! By for now.
STAN: See Harriet, now I’ve got Goldberg on the run. I’ve got him right where I want him. I got him so confused, he forgot to mention Marketing Genius Mary Baum. Or his new friend from work, Danielle, I’m telling you Harriet, I’ll be running this blog all by myself pretty soon. Just you wait and see!
The Party of No! would have you believe that Barack Obama has been the worst President in American history! That he’s ruined America! That secretly hates the US.
STAN: When is Goldberg going to tell his Brilliant Readers about the 20% discount?
HARRIET: Not until the very end of the blog.
STAN: Why’s he waiting? What’s he waiting for?
HARRIET: He likes to start out with some thoughts and then ease them into buying something when they’re not thinking about it.
STAN: Well, they are cool watches. Don’t tell Goldberg I said that, OK?
HARRIET: His name is Goldenberg, Stan. Jack Goldenberg and he knows everything you say because he writes it for you.
STAN: Yeah, right? Don’t start giving me that “I’m not real stuff.” I’m as real as you are!
HARRIET: You’re right about that, Stan.
Truth is, Obama’s been a good President in a terrible economic and dangerous time. I didn’t say he’s been great. The Republicans would never allow that. But against all odds, inheriting what he did, and with The Party of No! blocking his every move, he’s been strong, courageous, fair, intelligent, and even productive.
Am I satisfied with the American economy? Of course not. But The Party of NO! filibustered President Obama’s Jobs Act in the Senate, even though several independent economic analysts estimated the Jobs Bill would increase the GDP 1-3%.
Here are 10 Things President Obama Has Done. Can you Name three of Romney’s Accomplishments
1. Legislative Prowess
Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office. Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%.
2. Fiscal Responsibility
Within days after taking office, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.
3. Improving the Economy, Preventing Depression
He pushed through and signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package,” despite the fact that not one Republican voted for that bill. In addition, he launched recovery.gov so that taxpayers could track spending from the Act.
4. Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection
Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money.
He advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.
6. Civil Rights
He pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that forced soldiers to lie to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping.
8. Improved Foreign Relations and American Status Abroad
He visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office.
He took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world.
10. Treated Soldiers with Respect
He made sure that families of fallen soldiers could be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB, by providing funding for it. He also ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers.
I’m sorry. I interrupted you. Were you going to list some of Romney’s accomplishments? All right, while you’re thinking about it.
One more thing.
Help the Economy. Mine. Buy an Obama Watch!
Check out my new ObamaWatches.com Web site. We’re having a “Mitt Romney Changed his Mind” Sale. Oh hell, we’re always having a “Mitt Romney Changed his Mind” Sale. That will save you 10%.
But as a Brilliant Reader of 10 Minutes of Brilliance, you deserve more. Use Coupon Code VIP20 and save 20%. Coupon expires September 1.
Even if you don’t want an Obama Watch, please leave a comment on this blog or any blog. That helps Google find us when you do that.
And if you’re a Republican, be sure the read the FAQs. No seriously. You will laugh out loud (possibly for the first time) and you will not be so grumpy.
And for Democrats and Independents, here are a few pictures from my Obama Watches Web site.
That’s all. Move along, now. Nothing more to see here.
I know. Who in their right mind would post a Mother’s Day blog almost three weeks after Mother’s day? Actually, no one in their right mind would. But that didn’t stop me.
I should know better. If a fully costumed trick or treater knocked on my door in January looking for Hershey’s Kisses and shilling for UNICEF, I’d have to give him Hershey’s Kick-in-the-butt. And no UNICEF money!
I don’t know anyone who has visions of sugar plums dancing in their head once The Fat Man makes his return trip to the North Pole to go elf bowling.
But don’t think of me as being three weeks late with my Mother’s Day blog. Think of me as being 49 weeks early.
There. See? That’s much better, isn’t it?
I know my belated Mother’s Day blog won’t appeal to all my Readers? My target audience is Readers with Mothers. If you’ve never had a Mother, skip this part and go right to the Advice on Summer Movies.
I owe my Mom a lot. She gave me my sense of humor, my sense of wonderment and curiosity, and a responsibility to stand up for what’s right.
We still have regular conversations, although they’re somewhat one sided now.
My Mom lived to be 93 and for most of those years she was full of life. She placed a high value on education and got her Masters degree when she was 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.
STAN: Is Goldberg going to go on and on about his mother?
HARRIET: Well it is a blog about Mother’s Day.
STAN: Yeah, three damn weeks late, I might add. Besides, Goldberg’s Readers like to laugh, they like a great story, they like to learn something new. So far, sorry, this blog is just pure cr*p. Hey, did you see that? I tried to say the word cr*p, damn. he did it again.
HARRIET: Well, this is a family blog, Stan. Now, let Jack finish.
My Mom had a wonderful sense of humor which I inherited along with some money. I appreciated getting both. She 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. That was another great inheritance from her.
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. Don’t get me wrong. She wasn’t hostile or mean to him. She often loaned him money to help him out of a jam. But she thought her brother was lazy and stupid and she had no problem letting him know it.
After my Mom graduated college, 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 hadn’t studied or done his homework (ever).
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 my Uncle Donald had the same mother, aka my grandmother.
Donald gave the note to his Mother, she read it and was steaming mad. There was no signature on the note, so my grandma demanded she go with Donald to school the next day to tell Donald’s teacher a thing or three. When she got to Donald’s class the next day, she saw her daughter at the front of the class.
“Berniece, did you write this note?” she asked.
“Which note?”my Mom said.
“The one that said ‘Congratulations. Your son is a real record breaker. He is the dumbest person on the entire planet.‘ ”
“Why,” Mom said, “Do you have any more children you think would qualify?”
STAN: OK, not a bad story. But I don’t know why everyone makes such a big deal about Mother’s Day?
HARRIET: Don’t you remember some good things about your Mom?
STAN: (STAN MUMBLES SOMETHING INCOHERENTLY.) Fhdignet hobad mdtedh!
HARRIET: What? What did you say?
STAN: Fhdignet hobad mothar!
HARRIET: You “dignet” have a mother? Oh, You didn’t have a Mother! Of course not, Stan. Of course not. That’s what I’ve been telling you. You’re not real. You’re just something, well, that Jack dreamt up to make the blog more interesting,
NOW STAN’S FEELING ARE REALLY HURT. IT WAS BAD ENOUGH THAT HE NEVER HAD A MOTHER, BUT NOW HARRIET HAS CONVINCED STAN HE IS JUST A CHARACTER INVENTED TO MAKE THE 10 MINUTES OF BRILLIANCE BLOG SEEM 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.
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. The one everyone looks up to. In fact, Stan, Jack thinks “You’re the Tops.
WITH THAT COMMENT, HARRIET BREAKS INTO SONG, SINGING COLE PORTER’S YOU’RE THE TOPS
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 $18.6 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 this site, they tell stories of how some mothers spend their entire existence just to put food on their table (A stupid comment by this writer, since most women in Darfur don’t even have a table!)
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 lose more than a thousand hours each year they could be learning, earning a living, or raising their children. Outside the relative safety of the displacement camps, they are vulnerable to acts of violence and sexual assault. 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 three weeks after Mother’s Day by helping another Mother who has so little. It costs so little to change the world one Mother at a time. Visit Another Mother’s Day. And don’t wait until Mother’s Day to do it!
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 one day, Stan, you never know. Maybe Jack will write your Mother into this blog.
STAN: Never happen Harriet. It’ll never happen in a million years.
HARRIET: Well see, you never know. (HARRIET WINKS AT THE READERS, LETTING THEM IN ON A 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 climbed into my crib and got her leg stuck in the slats. Rainy screamed for help and my Mom came running. “Don’t worry, Lorraine, 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, ” What’s he gonna do Mom, cut off my leg?”
My Mom replied, “Well you don’t think I was going to ruin a perfectly good crib, did 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 inlaws 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.
My Mom was an avid reader and had no doubt had read every author brought up that night. Finally, during dessert, my Mom had a chance to speak. Rosalie, my broter-in-law to be’s mother asked my Mom, “Do you like to read?”
“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.
ALL OF A SUDDEN, OUT OF NOWHERE, THERE IS A KNOCK ON THE BLOG DOOR.
SFX: Knock. Knock.
STAN: I didn’t know blogs have doors!
HARRIET: Shut up, Stan, give Jack some creative license, please. Well, aren’t you going to get the door?
SFX: Door opens
STAN: Yes, how can I help you?
STAN’S MOM: Stan.
STAN HAS NO IDEA WHO THE WOMAN IS WHO IS STANDING INFRONT OF HIM.
STAN’S MOM: Don’t you recognize me?
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.NO, REALLY, HE DOESN’T BELIEVE IT COULD BE POSSIBLE
STAN: Are, are you sure you’re my Mom? My real Mom?
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 crepes. You hate asparagus. And the only time you drink beer is when you’re having hard shell Maryland crabs.
STAN: Hard shell crabs?
STAN’S MOM: Yes, with Maryland Old Bay seasoning.
STAN: How do you know all that?
STAN’S MOM: I’m your Mother, Stan. Look, if you don’t believe me, just look over here to the right.
STAN’S MOM POINTS TO THE 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 Mother’s Day in my life.
STAN’S MOM: Well, actually, Stan, it’s three weeks after Mother’s Day.
STAN: Not to me, Mom. From now on every day is Mother’s Day.
STAN’S MOM: Hey, how come you didn’t send me a card on Mother’s Day? No card. No gift. No phone call. And when was the last time you cleaned up your room? Or took a bath? 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 she’s already driving me crazy.
STAN’S MOM: I love you Stan.
STAN: I love you too….Mom!
If a movie trailer says, ” Funniest movie of the year,” it isn’t.
Don’t answer ads that say, “How to make a million dollars on the Internet!” (This quote belongs to Seth Godin, the most brilliant marketer on the Internet….when I’m not around.)
Well, it’s almost time to say good-bye. Sorry it took me so long to get this blog up. The next blog won’t be about my Mom, will be more interesting and I won’t wait so long to post it. Don’t forget to leave a comment. Aren’t you happy Stan finally got a Mom to call his own?
And finally, some funny, silly, sometimes stupid signs…