#30 – Troubles Behind

Apparently, not even time and space can prevent me from causing inadvertent mishaps, as evidenced by the e-mail I received last night from Phil Donohue. He’s a partner at Schwartz Meisner, the New Jersey law firm where I toiled before moving to Georgia. He’s also a good friend of mine. Except, last night’s communiqué was not a social call.

Continue reading

#36 – Who Needs Dramamine?

Last night, I got a call from my best friend, Ned Stilzman. We’ve been tight ever since high school, when he introduced me to hockey and the Rangers. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see each other much anymore, with him living in Maine, and me down south. It’s always great catching up with him though, especially when he tells me a tale of blunder worthy of my most ridiculous episodes.

Continue reading

#43 – Hear This

Our friends, Tracy and Ron, live nearby, together with Tracy’s 90-year-old grandmother, Betsy. Although nothing on Betsy works quite like it used to – she suffers from hearing loss and arthritis, and sometimes gets confused – she’s remarkably spry and mentally agile for a woman her age. She also happens to be a real firecracker: a feisty, highly-opinionated, and surprisingly current character, whose love for expressing views to anyone and everyone is matched only by her disdain for listening, to anyone and everyone (a trait explained only in part by her hearing difficulties). Best of all, Betsy has a catchphrase, which she typically employs when advertising a negative opinion about persons or entities.

Continue reading

#55 – When the Kids are Away …

I don’t know why I derive such great satisfaction when my friends screw up in a Richard-like fashion. But I do. Take this afternoon, for instance. One of my closest friends from up north, Ava Fox, called to relate an incident from this morning. Ava and her husband, Danny, have been married for almost twenty years now; yet Danny pursues Ava for sex as if they’re newlyweds.

Continue reading

#74 – Answering the Call

I called Ron and Tracy’s house this morning to fill them in on my sister’s wedding spectacle. Since no one picked up the phone, I had to leave a message on their answering machine. I tried to anyway. After hearing Ron’s pre-beep greeting, I laughed so hard I could barely get the words out. I didn’t think my friend intended to extend that particular message invite, and I was right (as Ron confirmed when we spoke this afternoon).

Continue reading

#82 – Cardinal Sin

Even after a night’s sleep, I still can’t get over my friend’s blatant violation of football’s cardinal rule. Ava told me about her mortal sin yesterday. Naturally, she expected me to take her side on the issue, as she always does, but I was too outraged to remember my place: “You went onto the field … and complained to the coach … during practice!!!!!?”

Continue reading

#127 – The Sale of the Century

I’ve never seen a mother complain about her own kid more than my friend Ava does. Almost every time we talk, she bemoans the failings of her youngest son: he doesn’t listen; he acts out; he goes through her stuff; he doesn’t pay attention in class; he lies; and so forth. Last week, she carped that the twelve-year-old had violated her explicit prohibition against seeing R-rated movies. I responded to the news of this latest outrage the same way I always do; I said: “Why don’t you sell him? I hear the black market for male Caucasian pre-teens is strong this year.”

Continue reading