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#1 – Why is My Erectile Dysfunction Drug the Same Color as My Cholesterol Medication?

You know the old adage, “shit happens”?  Well it tends to happen to me, a lot. Friday’s fiasco serves as a perfect case in point.  I take Crestor for my cholesterol to keep those arteries unclogged. And beginning last year, I also started taking Levitra for a somewhat different blood flow issue.  Both pills are small, round and pinkish in hue.  If one isn’t sufficiently careful, it’s easy to confuse them.  I guess I’m not sufficiently careful.

I’m a lawyer by trade, and Friday morning I had to appear in court to argue a ridiculous motion in a ridiculous case (neither worthy of more specific mention).  Problem was, thanks to an overnight power outage the alarm failed to go off and I overslept.  In my ensuing headlong rush out the door, I blindly grabbed what I assumed to be the Crestor bottle from its traditional spot in the medicine cabinet.  I popped a tablet in my mouth and sped to the courthouse.  Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, my wife Sophia had “reorganized” the medicine cabinet yesterday in the throes of one of her periodic cleaning frenzies.  By happenstance, medicinal feng shui dictated the repositioning of the erectile dysfunction bottle to the very same spot previously occupied by the cholesterol medication.

Some thirty minutes after gulping the “Crestor” I flew into the courtroom, just in time to hear my case called.  Rushing to the Plaintiff’s table, I sat by while my adversary stood and argued his motion.  He droned on for ten or fifteen minutes and then my turn came.  That’s when my highly-agitated penis began haranguing me.

I call my pecker “Little Richard.”  We speak to each other too.  Not aloud; I’m no nutjob.  Naturally I’d prefer to name him “Big Richard.”  But being white and Jewish … “Little Richard” it is.  

As the moment arrived for me to argue my client’s position, Little Richard alerted me to a growing problem in his general vicinity: “Moron, you swallowed the wrong pink pill!  And since Sophia’s nowhere in sight, it looks like I’m all dressed up and no place to go!”

There wasn’t much I could do at that point except remain seated at all costs.  So I began arguing my case, from my chair.  Before I got three words out of my mouth, the Judge interrupted and forcefully instructed me: “Mr. Stern, here it’s customary to stand when addressing the Court.” 

Glancing down, all I could think was: isn’t that what I’m doing?

Two pills

Two similarly colored pills … with vastly different effects!

#2 – Ah, Youth!

The family’s elder statesman, my brother Frank, telephoned last night.  Mr. Public Defender wanted to amuse me with the tale of the latest miscreant he’d represented, young Thom Forrest.

According to Frank, the testosterone-laced lad of 16 had unwittingly solicited a sexual act from an undercover policewoman, having mistaken her for a whore. The boy hadn’t previously engaged the services of a paid professional and accordingly lacked familiarity with proper prostitution etiquette. As a result, he unintentionally attempted to violate a streetwalker’s cardinal rule: i.e., money first, then sex. Much to the surprise of the rookie policewoman — as well as the other officers standing by to make an arrest — the youngster reversed the traditional system, releasing an impressive boner from his shorts milliseconds prior to thrusting the contracted wad of cash into the officer’s hand.  The exuberant teenager then spun the astonished woman around before she could identify herself and began poking around her posterior in search of the agreed upon receptacle for his Johnson. Of course, the shock which momentarily immobilized the participating authorities quickly wore off. Poor Thom found himself kneed in the groin, tased, and arrested on solicitation and sexual assault charges in seconds flat.  

Thanks to the unparalleled skills of a certain court-appointed public defender, the charges against the young man were reduced to misdemeanor solicitation.  Viewed in that light, Frank summed up the affair as an “all’s well that ends well story, more or less.” 

Predictably, my brother closed his recital with the tried and true: “pretty grisly Richard, but still no orgy at the O.K. Corral!”  That’s the label he coined years ago in homage to the debacle which ended my first marriage.  I’d heard it on countless occasions afterwards too, each time I suffered the ignominy of another dating disaster. Blessedly, my marriage to Sophia had put the kibosh on the calamities, and Frank’s wise-ass reference to them, until now. 

I had only one question for Frank before I hung up. Since I knew he labeled everything, I couldn’t help but ask what he’d dubbed the solicitation case.  He responded without missing a beat:  “What did I call it? Why, ‘Forrest Rump.’ What else?”

Forrest Rump

Forrest?

 

#3 – Oedipus Rex

Boy am I pissed! Oedipus has gone missing and all signs point to Sophia as the guilty party. Oedipus is my pet iguana, named after the ancient Greek king who married his mother and killed his father.  Not that I condone such behavior. No, I just thought it fitting to put all the money my parents spent on a degree in Greek history to some use. 

Sophia’s had it in for Oedipus since the day I brought him home last year.  As I recall, her first words on seeing him were: “The only way that lizard stays in this house is in the form of a wallet!” Nonetheless, she vehemently denies any involvement in his disappearance.  But she’s the one with motive and opportunity, especially after last week’s lip-lock fiasco. 

Sure, she claims she was simply making friends with him, yet she clearly didn’t know when to quit. Oedipus behaved the perfect gentleman when Sophia rubbed his flank.  And when she chucked his chin, he even nuzzled her fingers.  She should’ve stopped there.  I know I would’ve.  Instead she took liberties, ones which – I might add – understandably went unappreciated. She kissed the iguana on his mouth; in my opinion an assault no different from a man shaking hands with a woman he barely knows and then grabbing her breast!  The obviously-affronted Oedipus reacted somewhat like the woman would in such a situation; he bit Sophia’s lip … and then dangled from it like a bizarre tribal ornament. 

The timing of Oedipus vanishing from sight the very next day did not escape my notice.  And in hindsight, I’m also starting to wonder about that evening’s supper entrée.  Sophia had never cooked “barbecued pulled chicken” before, and I suspect she’ll never cook it again.

IMG_1125_2

 


#4 – I’ve Got a Secret

I used to keep secrets like a champ, but not anymore.  It’s not that I intentionally spill the beans.  Rather, my ever-shrinking brain lately has trouble remembering which juicy tidbit constitutes a closely guarded confidence and which represents fodder for the general gossip mill.  Take this afternoon for instance. 

Some time ago, Sophia had shared a real eye-opener with me concerning our next door neighbors, whom I’ll refer to as “Lucrecia” and her husband “Hernando.”   It seems Lucrecia told Sophia in strictest confidence how she’d caught Hernando traipsing around their house wearing her lingerie and nothing else (not an isolated incident either).  When Sophia passed on the information to yours truly, she swore me to secrecy. 

Weeks later, Sophia shared further gossip garnered from one of her neighborhood friends; only this time, the story pertained to another couple and it wasn’t a secret.  It seems one of the neighborhood women had caught her husband in bed with their housekeeper, having his “furniture polished” so to speak. 

Both tales sounded similar to me, with women catching their husbands in the midst of unsavory activities. That’s the best and lone excuse I have for mixing up the stories when I spoke to Lucrecia and Hernando this afternoon.  While retrieving the mail, I’d spotted the couple doing yard work and stopped to chat.  Lucrecia opened the gossip lines first, asking me whether I’d heard about the alcoholic shenanigans of a certain individual on our street. I hadn’t. But as I replied, I did know a much tastier bit of gossip concerning our mutual neighbors. 

You can guess what happened next.  Confusing the two stories I’d heard from Sophia as well as their original sources, I made sure to say nothing about Hernando’s illicit affair with the housekeeper (although, having seen the middle-aged matron who cleaned their home, both Little Richard and I deemed Hernando’s behavior doubly disgusting).  Instead, I sought to amuse them with the general gossip I’d heard about the guy who likes dressing in his wife’s underwear. 

The mirror images of stunned embarrassment which greeted my recitation finally sorted out my memory snafu. Though the proverbial cat was already out of the bag, I didn’t exactly help matters by staring intently at Hernando and imagining him in a Teddy.  

No one has to tell me a simple “oops” won’t fix this situation.  Once Sophia hears from Lucrecia, it’ll be the doghouse for me.  Oh look, my cell phone’s ringing … and it’s Sophia.  That didn’t take long.

Hernando

#5 – Guns, Wills and Life Insurance, Oh My!

Last week I found my wife watching a forensics show – her favorite nighttime pursuit – with an episode featuring a deadly woman who claimed to have “accidentally” shot her husband between the eyes.  I thought Sophia seemed a tad too interested in the subject; but I didn’t feel overly concerned, then. 

When we awoke the following morning, however, Sophia suddenly announced her desire to buy a gun “for protection.”  My slight paranoia at the suspicious timing of this announcement ratcheted even further that night.  Shortly before bedtime, I overhead snippets of her telephone conversation with an unknown party.  Piquing my curiosity, Sophia informed her unidentified listener: “I know, he needs to sign his Will;” and “I agree, we need to make sure his life insurance is paid up.” 

I didn’t know why my wife wanted to kill me, unless she hadn’t been joking a few weeks ago when she threatened to stab me if I left my dirty underwear on the bathroom counter again. I refused to go down without a whimper though.  After a sleepless night, I locked myself in my office and penned a letter to my brother.  It began: “If you’re reading this then I’m already dead, murdered by the treacherous cur who married me.”  Moving on, I detailed all the evidence pointing to Sophia’s guilt, so Frank could make sure she didn’t get away with my assassination. I sealed the letter in an envelope addressed to him and scribbled a separate note instructing him to open the envelope only in the event of my death.  Except, before I could finalize the package, I had to run to court.  I left everything on the desk, intending to finish on my return. 

As it happened, both housecleaning and garbage pickup were scheduled that day.  I arrived home only to find my desk tidied with no sign of the letter or the separate note.  Apparently, our thorough housekeeper had accidentally tossed them out with the trash.  

Later that afternoon, my initial anger turned to praises of thanks.  Why?  Because I overheard another of Sophia’s phone conversations, and this one clarified certain critical details.  It turned out the life insurance policy and Will I’d heard discussed pertained to her father’s documents, not mine. Sophia and her brother Giuseppe (the now-identified “accomplice”) had grown concerned that their mother might be inadequately protected should her husband pass on.  All I could think was: thank God I didn’t send that letter!

That was a few days ago. Last night my clearly-perturbed wife played back a voicemail she’d received yesterday, from Frank.  His message got right to the point: “You despicable cunt! Richard’s letter explained it all, and I won’t rest until you get the Needle for killing him. My brother’s death will not go unavenged!!!”  

Oops!

MUNTINLUPA CITY, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2004/02/24: A notice at the lethal injection chamber at New Bilibid Prison. Apparently President Joseph Estrada tried to stop an execution in 1999 of a man convicted of raping his daughter, but busy telephone lines prevented the president's call from reaching the prison in time, officials said. Eduardo Agbayani was executed as scheduled, becoming the second person put to death since the Philippines restored capital punishment in 1994. Seven executions took place here between 1999 and 2000, of Leo Echegaray in February 5, 1999; Eduardo Agbayani in June 25, 1999; Archie Bulan, Jesus Morallos and Dante Piandong were simultaneously executed on July 25, 1999; Pedrito Andan, October 26, 1999; and Andres Bartolome, January 6, 2000. The then-president Joseph Estrada declared a moratorium on judicial executions amid pressure from the influential Catholic church and human rights groups. The New Bilibid Prison is a high security prison with about 10,000 inmates, approximately 1,000 of whom are on death row. Of these, 174 have reached the end of their appeals and their death sentences have been affirmed. They now believe they will die after President Arroyo met with members of the Chinese business community and lifted the moratorium on the death penalty on 15th December 2004. (Photo by Gerhard Joren/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Could Sophia be next?

 

#6 – Porn

My wife’s always denied ever having watched porn, any porn.  After last night, I’m more inclined to believe her. 

Recently she asked me if I thought we should “spice up our love life.”  That’s a phrase I ordinarily view with deep suspicion, owing to an unfortunate incident during my first marriage.  Even so, when the Mrs. finished her thought with “… by watching an X-rated movie together,” I (or to be precise, Little Richard) said: “absolutely!” 

Surprisingly, Sophia volunteered to rent the movie herself so she could sample the full range of the adult entertainment experience.  She even followed through to my much greater surprise.  Last night, she called me into the bedroom and proudly unveiled her special rental.  She’d already cued the DVD to its first scene, having determined to skip “the boring parts.” 

In ten minutes of viewing, Little Richard and I didn’t see anything remotely sparking our interest. I admittedly began to feel a tad bewildered with my wife’s selection.  Finally, I queried: “Sophia, do you believe I have some hidden homosexual tendencies?” 

“Of course not, Honey. Why would you ever think such a thing?” 

“You have to ask, Sophia?  So far all I’ve seen is a bunch of dudes banging other dudes up the ass.  And unless I blinked and missed it, I’m fairly sure there hasn’t been a single vagina on camera.” 

Sophia felt certain that women would appear somewhere in the film, so she grabbed the remote and scanned three more scenes searching for any sign of boobies.  After spotting only a parade of penises, she conceded defeat at last and acknowledged her chosen movie as nothing other than a man-on-man spectacular. 

One particular question nagged me. After belatedly shutting off the DVD player, I asked my wife: “Didn’t the store clerk mention you were renting gay porn?” 

I should’ve known.  She sheepishly replied: “Actually, I was too embarrassed to ask for help and I thought all X-rated movies were the same, so I just looked for a catchy title.” 

Well this I had to see.  I found the DVD case and perused its cover.  Unexpectedly and grudgingly, I couldn’t help but agree with my wife’s assessment. The title was indeed catchy, and fitting too: “Cock-a-Doodle Do.”

cock a doodle doo

Close, but not quite

#7 – Gone with the Wind

I’ve been known to unintentionally voice some obnoxious thoughts at extremely unfortunate times. Until this morning I thought I’d kicked that particular habit.  But apparently not. 

I had a court appearance scheduled in an unfamiliar rural county a long ways from metro Atlanta.   By the time I arrived at the far flung county seat,  my car was low on gas.  On the drive home, my fuel gauge read empty when I finally spotted a gas station. 

I pulled in at a pump next to a much-abused pickup truck from which a Confederate Flag proudly flew. Though I didn’t see the vehicle’s owner, as I stepped from the car my mind nonetheless jumped to an uncharitable — and admittedly stereotyped — conclusion: Who’s the inbred hillbilly flying the Confederate Flag? And doesn’t he know the Civil War’s over and the South lost? 

One moment later, before my hand could reach the gas pump, two large heavily-muscled men stood up from behind the pickup.  Neither gentleman particularly resembled a hillbilly as I imagined one; nor could I spot any obvious sign of a too-close relationship amongst their parents.    

I was about to silently offer thanks for not insulting them aloud when one of the men spoke:  “Mr., do you always go around offending strangers, or is this just our lucky day?”  The guy’s voice may’ve carried a southern accent, but he certainly didn’t sound like an illiterate yokel.  What he did sound like, however, was one supremely pissed individual. 

Meanwhile, the other man didn’t say a word.  He simply stared at me.  Frankly, I found his silent menace more unnerving. 

I felt bad, since I’d never meant to voice my anthropological observations.  Under normal circumstances, I would’ve offered to buy the men a conciliatory fruit basket.  Yet a single glance at the brooding pair convinced me that circumstances were anything but normal.  Not wishing to overstay my welcome, I
tossed off a quick “sorry,” hopped into my car and peeled out of the parking lot.  I heard the second guy belatedly open his mouth as I drove off, yelling at my retreating vehicle: “Down here we call it the ‘War of Northern Aggression.’” 

Needless to say, I had no chance to get gas before my hasty exodus.  I instead filled the tank at a station one town over … a couple of hours later, after the tow truck finally arrived.

pickup truck with flag

Long live the Confederacy?

#8 – The Stuff that Dreams are Made of

I’ve heard there are two types of dreams: those springing from recent personal events; and those fulfilling wishes.  Last night I experienced both types in a single dream, after speaking to my sister. In the dream, Lisa called to announce her engagement again at the age of 54.  She apologized for wrongfully harboring a grudge against me the past twenty years.  As she explained, she’d finally realized that her deep mistrust of men caused the blowup of her first engagement, and not one of my innocent though admittedly disastrous pranks. Only now could she acknowledge her fault, and only because she’d seen her behavior mirrored in her fiancé – a divorce lawyer every bit as jealous as she.  Even as the dream ended and I awoke, I could still hear her begging forgiveness for her decades of unjust cruelty against me. 

The telephone conversation in that wonderful dream contrasted substantially with its much briefer real life counterpart.  As in my sleeping interpretation, Lisa did in fact announce her engagement to the divorce lawyer. She also gave me the date for the couple’s black-tie wedding.  But that’s where the niceties ended.  Unlike her burst of self-awareness and pleas for forgiveness in my subconscious, Lisa limited the balance of the actual phone call to a single succinct warning, before hanging up on me: “And Richard, if you screw up this engagement too, a kick in the nuts’ll be the least of your worries!”

dreams

#9 – One Lucky Bastard

I began this morning sorrowfully boxing up Oedipus’ aquarium and heat rock, all while flashing my evil eye at Sophia.  Then I sat down to breakfast … only to find that the (alleged) lizard slayer had added insult to injury by drinking the milk I’d intended for my Grape Nuts.  The result was an unscheduled trip to the supermarket for yours truly. 

After completing my lone purchase, I exited the store and headed for my vehicle: a two-door, silver Mitsubishi Eclipse which the (purported) reptile killer sarcastically refers to as “your girlie car.”  Problem was, I remained distracted by thoughts of the good times shared with my iguana, and I walked through the parking lot oblivious to the surroundings.  I inadvertently relied on autopilot alone to direct my feet — a mistake in hindsight. 

Autopilot steered me to the silver girlie car.  Reaching it, I opened the door and plopped myself onto the driver’s seat.  I was about to put the key in the ignition when I suddenly became aware of a young woman occupying my passenger seat. Studiously typing a text message, she ignored my presence, acting for all the world as though she belonged there. 

Before I could begin to ask why she’d chosen to loiter in my automobile, the woman finished texting, looked up, and glanced over at me.  Then she screamed, loudly.  While that auditory assault alone knocked ten years off my life, I probably lost another ten when the woman’s shrieks awakened the rear seat’s as yet unnoticed occupant.  A dog the size of a small pony raised its hackles, bared it large pointy teeth and growled at me. 

Eventually matters got sorted out, but not before I’d flung myself from the car (belatedly acknowledged as “not mine”) onto the pavement, inches ahead of snapping jaws. Once I’d breathlessly explained the case of mistaken vehicular identity and remotely popped the trunk of my nearly identical auto sitting one row over from and almost directly ahead of hers, the woman calmed down and called off her guard monster.  I profusely apologized for the mixup, locked myself in the proper car and drove home. 

I realize the word “lucky” doesn’t immediately come to mind when reading this story.  But as it happened, I’d caught one of the luckiest breaks ever.  While pulling out of my parking spot, I spied the other silver Mitsubishi’s driver returning to his vehicle.  A strapping young man, he wore military fatigues and army boots and sported a buzz cut atop his head.  Had this soldier arrived at his car two minutes earlier, I undoubtedly’d be writing today’s entry from a hospital bed, if not from the hereafter.  I call that “lucky;” don’t you?

mitsubishi

What’s “girlie” about this?