Showing posts from May, 2023

Au Naturel

After all of the bars in Champaign closed, Cindi and her roommate stripped and made a mad dash for their apartment building. [Whose idea was this? How often did they do it? Would they streak home in the dead of winter, or only on warm, summer nights? Oh, and, just how far was their building from the nightlife? Alas, if I asked these questions, I’ve long since forgotten the answers.]  Then, during a party in their apartment, somebody came up with the wacky idea of group streaking. All twenty revelers shed their clothes and stampeded out to a nearby park. There, they frolicked. Many wound up muddy.  Upon their return, they discovered that no one had the means with which to enter the apartment building. So here we had twenty naked twenty-somethings standing outside of a building in the dead of night, buzzing buzzers with the collective hope of being let in.  What would you do if some stranger buzzed your door in the middle of the night, begging to be let in? And what if you then looked

The Whiff

Don’t be surprised if the first of your five senses to go, as you age, is your sense of smell. By that point you probably won’t give a shit anyway. In fact, you’ll probably be in denial—of your age, your hair loss, your failing memory, never mind your fading sense of smell.  Take Grandpop, for example. He’s in the habit of changing his socks, his pants, his underwear just once a week, on Fridays. Possibly, it’s what he’s done since the Great Depression. Pop bathes no more than once a week—on Thursdays. His baths are brief. He’s not a big fan of soap and water. But then, past a certain age, dry skin becomes more the norm than the exception.  On Fridays, I pick his lady friend up and chauffeur the two of them to an early dinner at the local deli and then to temple for Shabbat service. On Mondays, I return Pop’s lady friend to her “cell,” as she calls it. Before I moved in, she’d journey from Senior Heights all the way to Pop’s house on a public bus.  [Maybe public buses are nice wherever


We know we have evolved beyond the wilds of Mother Nature because we clip our fingernails. Or we paint and polish them. We know we’ve evolved because we pierce our earlobes and fill them with bits of pretty metal. We know we’ve evolved beyond the wilds because we’ve invented toilets and sewers and landfills. We’re evolved because we use Charmin, or White Cloud, or Cottonelle. And if we’re really evolved, we use a bidet. (That’s right, some of us are more evolved than others of us.) Many of us gargle with Scope or Listerine; this is yet another indication of our evolved status in the animal kingdom. We use Speed Stick and Right Guard (but hopefully not at the same time). For these reasons, and many others, we belong at the tippy top of the food chain. Included with the aforementioned “many others”: the fact that we drink bottled water; and the fact that we use Sharper Image gadgets to trim the hair out of our respective nostrils. (Well, I do. Does that make me more evolved than you?) W

"Dying is Easy. Comedy is Hard."

Where we’re at, it’s not even a coffee shop. It’s this funky food shop. But tonight it’s where we find a handful of comics belting out their yuks to a crowd of college kids. The room is made tougher by the fact that you can’t even get a beer here. And the “stage”? It’s a plywood box less than half the size of a coffin. As for the comics, most’ll never get the wet out from behind their ears. (Me? I’m not wet behind the ears, no. I’m soaked through . My sopping shoes squeak with every step. Odds are, said squeaks’ll garner the only giggles I’ll ever get.) There was one washed-up hack, though. He’s fast becoming a buddy of mine. Let’s hope he’s saving his best bits for the paying gigs—assuming he gets those. Let’s hope he’s just here to test drive new material. And the last comic of the night, he wasn’t a “headliner,” no, but he was the best of the lot. I caught his act at a different venue, last Wednesday night. Even bought his CD. But this funky food shop was all wrong for a night of