Monday, July 21, 2014

Super Moon

It is night and I am at Liberty State Park trying to paint this incredible pink super moon that appears sporadically. As the evening progressed, more and more artists arrived with the same agenda. By 9pm hundreds of easels covered the grounds. They were interspersed with food trucks, a motorcycle gang, protestors against using public open space to paint, someone selling time shares in Boca, a dance troupe performing in the moonlight, Swat teams in case the moon drove people nuts, folk singers celebrating Pete Seeger for the 400th time, a stray vampire, and the mayor of Jersey City handing out pamphlets asked for support for more hydrants.
At some point I became frustrated by my inability to capture the true mystery of this lunar sight. So I took out a photo of model Kate Upton and began painting her. The mayor leaned down and informed me her nose was too big. I disagreed. It escalated into harsh words and finally a wrestling match on the grass.
I was arrested and jailed. Here I sit in this dank cell waiting for the sun and sanity to take over.
I really believe the moon belongs to Satan.

Withdrawing My Support

On more than a few occasions I have thrown myself in front of street mimes to protect them from bullies I wrote my Masters thesis on Mime Immigration from Slavic Countries in the 30's and 40's. Their influence on Stanislavsky and The Method school of acting is immeasurable.
I have brought them meals and offered shelter. Talked them out of hurting themselves while in the depths of depression. This was out of respect.
But I have decided, after much deliberation, to withdraw my mime support. Contemporary practitioners have blasphemed tradition by incorporating tap dancing, and not very good tap at that. This is strictly prohibited in the International Book of Mime. This is cheating and robbing true tappers of their livelihood.
Yes, I have transferred my loyalties to tap dancers, although I can't see myself getting beaten up protecting one of them.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Little Crimes

We all commit little crimes on a regular basis. Mother Teresa refused to use biodegradable soap when washing people's feet.
Little crimes eat away at civility. Why don't others notice when I wear a new shirt? I carry that indifference around with me all day.
When someone tells a long story and the ending is flat and unfunny, that is a crime of stealing the audience's time. If you spot a piece of col slaw on someone's chin and don't tell them, shame on you. If a person can't finish their sentences, you must step in and finish. Pronounce words for them.
Peeing in the bushes destroys our common humanity, unless it's your Uncle Ned with a prostate problem.
On the counter at McDonald's, you'll see a penny left behind. Don't grab and pocket it. Put it in the Ronald McDonald House container. Sometimes silence is better than speaking. Do not ever comment on an older person's neck. Something unseemly happens to necks as we age. Frankly, I consider this epidermal outrage one of God's little crimes.

Time on My Hands

I was driving to the library and saw a woman in an apron pacing outside her business. I hate seeing small business people not busy. I imagine them agonizing over paying the rent. I want to buy whatever they're selling.
My dad had a fruit and vegetable store for awhile. I would stand outside, wanting to drag people in so he'd have customers. Kids with time on their hands are a teacher's worst nightmare.
I try never to be at loose ends because then I think too much, always a problem. Folding laundry calms me, but that only takes 10 minutes, including matching up my socks. Sometimes I combine this with sweeping and dusting.
I'll find myself walking somewhere and realize there is no real purpose involved. How many deodorant sticks do you need? I may panic and question the meaning of my life.
Phoning someone combats being at loose ends, but the other person also has to have time on their hands. Maybe I could start a business, employing people to stand around holding signs indicating they are free to spend time with others for a small fee. I'd take 30% off the top.
 I need to get away. How about exotic Turkey? But what if I get there and see shop owners pacing, waiting for customers. I'd buy huge amounts of food, drink, baubles, pastry out of guilt. I'd have to consume all of it before flying back, putting on 20 pounds. Which will make it harder to find people to spend time with me. Time to fold some laundry.

Word Police

They are out there, ears wide open. Listening to every single word you say. Stop being so condescending, is one of their castigation. Another--That is inappropriate. Don't be so smug, or insulting or self satisfied, other reprimands by the word police. How dare you speak with letting me vet your words beforehand.
If you express an opinion, say something ironic, satirical or tongue in cheek, they're all over you. Whatever happened to tongue in cheek anyway? If you have the audacity to defend your position, that only makes them angrier.
At least they listen. What passes for conversation now is two or more people cutting each other off, talking AT each other. If Reagan was The Great Communicator, it seems he was the last.
That's the good thing about a blog. You can't interrupt me.

Spreading Blankets

I hate when people show up at outdoor concerts and just spread their blanket right next to your folding chair, their germ laden blanket. Entire families make themselves perfectly comfortable in what had been your space. Then they remove shoes and socks and take out tons of food and drink. Their kids race around with no purpose, making strange noises and gesticulating like crazed traffic cops.
I get it. You are a loving family living a rich, full life and I'm an old guy in a wide brimmed hat designed to keep my ears protected from the sun. Sometimes they'll stand and dance in place. Then I'll either have to also stand to see anything or sit there and mutter curses, hunched like a crumpled napkin.
When people are that close, you are privy to insipid conversations. What some idiot at work did, what their first cousin said at some stupid wedding.
I'm going to get Lyme Disease from these people. I know one of their kids will run into my shin and I'll get blamed. Maybe I can subtlety trip one.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Movie Day

I attend free senior movies every two weeks in town. They usually choose inane Adam Sandler/ Cameron Diaz comedies, well beneath my intellect. So I wait in the men's room until everyone is seated. Then I explore the other showings in the multiplex to check what else is playing. I just sneak in and watch one of those, usually containing explosions, dismemberment and chase scenes. Right in my wheelhouse.
Recently I arrived at the theater the same time as always, hoping to skip the endless previews. To my shock, Jersey Boys was already a half hour in. Damn. As I stumbled up the steps in the dark I was afraid I'd accidentally mistake a taken seat for an empty one and sit on someone's lap. Some seniors would welcome that. Some would pull a knife.
I ran right into the woman who runs the program, seated in the last row. She told me to stop dead while she flipped on her I-pad and used the light to guide me to an empty seat "before I killed myself."
At that moment I truly felt like a helpless senior and it sucked. The movie was great though.