True stories with a twist!

Originally posted on Eléctrica in the Desert:




“I tell you Alfonso, Flatbush be damned – the world  is our oyster”

“I couldn’t agree more. Our form is absolutely exquisite. One performance with Katherine Dunham will put the dance world at our feet.”

“Meanwhile, I refuse to dance the polka ever again.”


View original


Thank goodness I no longer have young children at home watching prime time TV with us. It was always bad enough to suffer through boring “hard sell” commercials. But now I wince as I watch them.

Where are the sweet jingles of my youth, promising, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.”

Now we have very different tunes and messages. Every time I see a commercial I wonder how parents answer their childrens’ questions about what is appearing on the screen for all to ponder. The extra large, extra wide television screen with surround sound, the better to see and hear the commercials.

I can imagine a child asking Dad what “an erection lasting more than four hours” means. What’s an erection, Dad? And don’t say, “Ask your mother.”

Or the one promising you’ll “be ready when the time is right.” What does that mean, Mom? When the time is right for what? Visiting grandma?”

How about the one assuring there’ll be no embarrassing leaks when you dance? What does our leaky garden hose have to do with dancing, Daddy?

Or the woman rushing off to get to the bathroom in the middle of her daughter’s wedding? “Mommy, where’s she going and why is she in such a hurry?”

The man who feels as if he has rocks in his belly and “can’t go”? “How did that poor man get all those rocks in his tummy, Mom?”

Here’s a typical 50’S ADimages-4

I used to enjoy commercials; I still remember a few. Remember the cigarette ad:

“I gaze into the crystal ball and what I see I like, He’s not so dark and handsome, but he’s smoking Lucky Strike. Be happy, go lucky, go Lucky Strike today.”   Those were the good old days, although the message of the commercials could leave you dead, hacking with emphysema or gasping for breath with COPD.

Please tell me, parents and grandparents of children, how do you answer these questions?Unknown-3


With all the violence, illness and sadness in the world, the bright rainbow seems to be taking a sabbatical.

“I can’t read the newspapers any more.”

“I won’t turn on the TV news these days.”

“I’d rather listen to a Book on Tape than listen to the radio,” are comments I hear everywhere.

The Ostrich Effect is alive and well; if I hide, it must not be happening. If it is happening I won’t know about it and don’t have to watch it unfold, one ugly incident at a time.

But attitudes change when anyone enters our house. Our home is tranquil; the peaceful sights of salt water fish tanks assure the calm of life on earth. Whether a serviceperson, a friend or a deliveryman stops by, not a person comes in without approaching the tank in awe. “Oh, they say. This is so beautiful. So peaceful. If I lived here I would sit and watch the fish all day. It’s therapeutic. So relaxing.”

Really? These words, universal to my ear, are spoken by tourists, who see only external factors and haven’t the slightest idea of what this hobby is really all about. Here is one small example.

This afternoon my husband, Harvey, was troubled because his clown fish were attacking his red hawk fish.Unknown-2

Clownfish, cute as they may be, are fiercely territorial, and any critter with fins and a tail had better not swim anywhere near their self-claimed backyard. Or front yard. Or underwater yard.

Clownfish are those adorable striped fish who starred in Walt Disney’s popular animated film, “Finding Nemo.“   images-1 The fish Harvey has are more rare than the orange and white wiggly swimmers who endeared themselves to the public. Our clownfish have the striped markings of their cousins but are white and chocolate brown rather than white and orange. imagesThey’re called “Designer Clownfish.” Their behavior suits their elite status. It is not relaxing to watch two fishy bullies attack a tank mate who gets too close for their clown sensitivities.

So, listening to the advice of the owner of the “Absolutely Fish” store, Harvey drove down to Clifton, NJ, to buy a pair of Damsel fish to distract the bossy clowns and keep the hawk fish safe. With great anticipation he made the round trip, acclimated the new fish for a half hour in an incubation tank and haltingly put one into the tank at a time.

Did they attract the clowns? Did they distract them? Did they repel them? Hah!

All they did was provide more small fish upon whom the clowns could assert their leadership and show the newcomers exactly who was boss of the tank. They went after the small damselfish Unknown-1

immediately, chasing them under the coral coves and out of sight. Watching the attack was unquestionably neither peaceful, relaxing or pleasant. Now not only is there bad news in the papers, on television, and on the radio.

Now there’s bad news in the incorrectly assumed peaceful tanks somewhere in Morristown, NJ. Civil war is going on even as we speak. I call the salt water fish tanks “The Isis of the Sea.” Brutality knows no boundaries, on earth or in the ocean.

It’s a myth. There is no way men can satisfy dreams of relaxing at the end of the day with their aching feet immersed in soft, warm, comfortable slouchy slippers.

How can they exist when nobody sells them any more? I have checked. They are simply no longer available. My husband, Harvey, and I went into every single store in the Mall. Department stores, shoe stores and every other store except Victoria’s Secret, asking for men’s slippers. Every salesperson told us they do not carry mens’ slippers. “Maybe at holiday time,” some of them offered, but otherwise men’s slippers no longer exist on the open market in the free world.

What happened? When did this travesty befall mankind?






Where have they gone? Has organized crime taken over the mens’ slippers distribution operation? Who do you have to know to be privy to the stash of this valuable commodity? Is there a secret password to whisper? A secret knock on the door to gain entry to the rich cache of mens’ slipper stock?

If slippers are no longer available, what do men wear on their feet when they get home from work and want to relax? What do they slip their feet into when they get out of bed in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning? Do men walk around barefoot Behind closed doors? Even in frigid winter weather?

What happens to the loyal “man’s best friend,” when Master returns home at night? Has the dog’s role changed? What does he bring if no slippers are in sight?

And that’s not the only notable change. Podiatrists are suddenly swamped with male patients flocking to their offices for from splinter extractions. These splinters were acquired from clomping around barefoot on wooden surfaces.



Sales of air fresheners have tripled since options to hide feet in slippers have disappeared. Naked bare feet are shockingly stinky. And ugly! So stock up on slippers when the holidays come around to guard against the threat of mens’ bare feet appearing in your home.

As for the rest of the saying, “slippers and pipe,” I’m happy to tell you that pipes are not yet considered contraband. Although they cause health concerns they are still available for purchase in a store near you.

Your dog will be so grateful; and relieved to have his job partially restored.


Where are you, my creative blogger friends, when I need you? Please put on your thinking caps and come up with some great answers to my problematic question.

Here’s the situation:

A few blogs ago I wrote about my broken ankle. It’s still broken, still imprisoned in the hard boot, on crutches and still keeping me from driving, hiking or decorating for Halloween.

But when I do get out, due to the kindness of my driving friends, I am besieged with questions like:

“How did you do it? What happened? Did you have surgery?” And other obvious, curious and nosy ones.

I feel as if I owe these intrusive curiosity seekers an answer. But not just an ordinary answer: the truth would be too boring. Why bother to intrude on someone’s privacy unless you can get an interesting response? Here are a few I came up with; can you give me any other ideas?

Question: How did I do it?


“I think it must have been something I ate.”

“It was during a sky diving accident.”

“I got thrown from a wild stallion when I tried to help a friend break him.”

Please don’t let all the pain and inconvenience of this unfortunate accident be for nothing. Let’s give them something to talk about!


ISH KABIBBLE Back in the day, I heard the expression, “ Oh, Ish Kabibble.” It’s a silly phrase, and one that nudges a smile to delight your lips. It was used as a way of saying, “Oh, C’mon.“ as in Oh, C’mon; you don’t expect me to believe that, do you?”

Or if someone were to prepare for a trip and was stumped as to what else to add to the suitcase, they might say in frustration, “Oh, Ish Kabibble!”

Those were the “go to” words to denote something absurd, something confusing, or something considered plain old nonsense.

Uttering the words, “Ish Kabibble” was frequently the term used. Everyone seemed to understand the phrase by context and by battering of the eardrums interpreting this silly term.

UnknownSo imagine my shock one day at the hairdresser’s, hearing one of the clients say, “Ish Kabibble was a real person: did you know that?” I had to know what she was talking about as she became beautiful-ized at Salon D’Karant.

On her way out I stopped her. “Excuse me, but would you mind telling me about Ish Kabibble? I’m sorry for eavesdropping, but I heard you mention it a few minutes ago.” She was more than pleased to enlighten me.

“There was an orchestra leader named Kaye Kyser 220px-KayKeyserStageDoorCanteen    back in the 40’s who had a comedian appearing with him named Ish Kabibble. How do you suppose his friends referred to him? if a lull in the conversation forms Ish, or Mr. Kabbible, played the coronet with the orchestra but mainly told jokes. The audiences loved him. He was a funny looking gentleman, like Moe of the Three Stooges; the one with the hair cut into bangs, hanging over his forehead.”   Unknown-1

The memory of him must have been pleasant, because describing him brought such an animated expression to her face.

So now if a lull in the conversation forms I have some new small talk to make with any AARP ( American Association of Retired people) member I may run across. To a person above a certain age I ask, “Did you ever hear of “Ish Kabibble?”

And that starts a whole new dialogue.


Everyone knows what color a tree is; ask any nursery school child and you’ll hear the answer: “green.”

That’s what I used to think, but it’s not that simple. Green is not only green. It shares its color with other shades, tones and hues. Now when I look out at the garden I see a rainbow of yellow-green, blue-green, and lime-green. The maple trees are red and golden yellow. I see a beautiful collage of colors although flowers are no longer blooming.

The most glorious tree in the garden, reigning high above the others on top of the hill is the Cryptomeria. This conifer soars above the other trees in it’s size and majesty. It’s not only the height of the tree that is so striking: it’s the color. This rare version is known as “The Rust Tree.” Nothing else in our garden or any other one in the neighborhood flaunts this unusual shade. It’s not brown, not red, not orange and not yellow. Rust comes the closest to describing it.

Here is its picture:




But the joke is on me, and perhaps on you also, if you believed in my “rust tree” because there is no such thing as a rust tree. But there is such a thing as Death, and this cryptomeria is dead! It got browner and browner and then lost its needles. Sadly, the tree had to be taken down. And that’s the story of how I, the eternal optimist, sees a dying tree and thinks it is a rare new species, alive and thriving.

Reality can be so disappointing.

Tag Cloud


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 695 other followers