Thursday, April 29, 2021

Thursday Photo Funnies

It's been a long, long week, one that included a 4 day jaunt to Pittsburgh, PA. 

But now it's Thursday, or as one of my colleagues calls it, "Junior Friday." A sentiment that never resonated with me while I was a freelancer, and thrilled to be working, and more importantly billing, but has taken on an old familiarity, now that I'm a full time salaryman.

Let's get to the photos and the mildly amusing captions, shall we.

This is a picture of a 1969 Honda CB450. The first motorcycle I ever owned. I paid $400. 
Little did know I had a classic that was now commanding close to 5G's.

Remember drunken Michigan stripper woman and her "eyewitness" account of 
massive widespread voter fraud? Wonder what Chazzztity is up to these days?

There is nothing like a beautiful Southern California winter sunset. 
Fortunately we're 3 miles from the beach and can turn it into a picnic dinner.

Did he actually say this? No he did not. 
Is it out of the realm of possibility, no it is not.

The meme that keeps giving and giving.

I keep getting Facebook friend requests from women that look like this. 
Must be my magnetic Tom Selleck-like mustache. Right?

A clueless Trumpster genuflects before the Golden Calf, 
a paper mâché likeness of Dear Eater covered with Krylon's Finest Gold Spray Paint.

During my pandemic grocery shopping and out of curiosity,
 I picked up a box of Hot Pockets which I sampled for the first, and last, time.

Spotted on the drive home from my vaccination. 
Zoom in the the store on the left. 

A fire hydrant painted in Chiat/Day yellow.
And bearing the name of my boss Lee Clow. Weird.

Stopped in at the minimart up the street from me to get my wife a post dinner retreat.
"Can you get me a popsicle? Any flavor but coconut."


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Hail to the Chief

President Biden's first hundred days in office will be marked on Friday, April 30. But since I don't post on RoundSeventeen on Fridays, I thought I'd dispense with the formalities and pass judgment prematurely. Go ahead and insert your own joke here.

The greatest achievement of POTUS 46 is the stunning speed with which he is cleaning up the clusterfucks of POTUS #45. As of this writing, more than 200 million vaccinations have gone into the arms of Americans to eradicate Covid. 

You know, that pandemic that started as a Democratic Hoax.

The morphed into "something that was worse than the plague, but I like to play it down." 

Then refused to "just disappear with the warm weather."

Then spread rapidly from coast to coast aided by a fuckknuckle president who politicized the idea of wearing a mask.

Then did not disappear a second time when people started taking hydroxychloroquine.

Nor did it disappear a third time when we were told "we're rounding a corner." The only corner we rounded was from the Second Wave into the Third Wave.

And then, finally, took the lives of close to 600,000 Americans who are now taking the bloody Trump-induced Dirt Nap.

As if that weren't enough, President Biden also bailed out millions of Americans who have been decimated by the failure of #45, with taxpayer money that would have otherwise gone into the greedy hands of heartless millionaires and billionaires.

And thanks to this lifesaving Keynesian move, jobs have started returning at a faster rate. GDP growth is up as well. And the stock market has risen close to 25% since the day Uncle Joe was freely and fairly elected.

Need more?

There's a $2 trillion Infrastructure bill waiting to be passed. Similar to a $2 trillion infrastructure bill proposed by Grandpa Ramblemouth. The difference? President Biden is making good on his word and fighting vigorously to move us into the 21st century, not playing golf, making spontaneous speeches at weddings and running his mouth under the chocolate waterfall. 

"Mmmmmm, chocolatey."

In short, I don't think we could've hoped for a better first 100 days. 

It's not just great having a new president, it's great having A President.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

They're stealing from me

A little more than a year and a half ago we helped move my uncle from his house in Palm Springs to an assisted living facility in Santa Monica.

He was scheduled to move in to Studio Royale here in Culver City but they cancelled his reservation and said they could not accommodate him. I can't be sure but I think it might have had something to do with my uncle getting on the phone with them and giving them a full throated display of his cantankeraciouness.

Given the situation and the outrageous expensive costs of assisted living, the Santa Monica facility, which shall remain nameless, was our only choice. It was not a good one. My uncle, a strong man who has survived 43 years of being HIV positive and has travelled the world, including several grueling flights on Aeroflot ("worst airline in the world") as well as several train rides to the furthest reaches of Russia.

And yet, for all that heartiness, he could not stomach the food that the Santa Monica facility that shall still remain unnamed. It had nothing to do with the dirty carpet, the incomplete kitchen construction, or the inattentive staff, and had everything to do with the limp vegetable lasagna.

And so, we moved him again, to a place closer to Culver City and within a stone's throw of semi-edible food, Terrazza. 

If you're unfamiliar with independent living or assisted living facilities, consider this your primer. But if you have aging parents or aunts or uncles with dwindling savings and boxes of useless files and extension cords, let me suggest you educate yourself.

While all senior facilities appear dismal and depressing, there is a definite pecking order. And if you're lucky enough and well-to-do enough, you'll make the cut at Sunrise, the 5 diamond gold standard in old people living.

I'll spare you the gory details.

But I will share a phenomena that occurs at every senior space, throughout the land. And friends and family who know will most certainly back me up on this.

Due to Covid and my uncle's increasing immobility, he cannot leave the facility and go shopping for his miscellaneous needs. As such we make weekly trips to get him coffee, pears, grapes and whatever odds and ends he has on his list.

Last week, he wanted dish towels. So while at Target, my wife picked him up some dish towels and ran it by Terrazza. An hour later, my uncle called. Not so much to thank Debbie for getting him some kitchen accoutrement, but to put in his weekly bitching and moaning about the staff.

"They're stealing from me."

"They're not stealing from you."

"They are. They don't pay the staff enough so they steal from the residents."

"What are you talking about?"

"You know that packet of dish towels you just brought me? One is missing."

(My wife laughing at the notion that the staff would steal a dish towel)

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. You brought me a packet of four and now there are only three."

"Ronnie, there were only three towels in the packet."


And  so it goes. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

This bitch smells like Eagle Fangs

Maybe I'm late to the party.

Maybe the Eagle Fang phenomena has been dissected, gushed over and memed about ad infinitum.

I don't know because I don't know where ad people congregate anymore to talk about these things. Adweek and Ad Age are magazines from a different era. Agency Spy lost its luster a long time ago. I think that can be traced to the day they decided to stop printing comment section from increasingly annoyed and underpaid ad agency creatives. And Fishbowl, well that's frankly for fish.

And so I'm going to give Eagle Fang the ink it so richly deserves.

It began, like so many viral efforts, with a "random" twitter thread...

I don't know who Ghost Mom is, but given her cutting wit and her righteous indignation, I suspect she writes for a living. Moreover, given her Greater Northwest address, I suspect she writes for Wieden+Kennedy. And, given my ultra sensitivity I further suspect this whole dance is an elaborate marketing ploy to widen the market for Old Spice and capture a growing female audience.

Suffice to say, I love it.

I love it because it reflects a sophisticated and insightful approach to market expansion. And it eschews the standard "best practices" that every packaged good company employs in their paint by number marketing...

"We need to appeal to more women, so let's swap out all the masculine pronouns for something more gender neutral and let's ditch the frat boy humor."

The Old Spice people went the other direction. They took potshots at gender stereotypes and created a playground for themselves to amuse themselves and the thousands of women who didn't play extras in the Stepford Wives.

In other words, they took a marketing challenge and did what brands ought to be doing more of -- they had fun.


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Go Back to Africa

Two days ago this country took a small step towards addressing systemic racism. One would only hope it's the first of many. And to see how far we must go, I would personally suggest a mandatory viewing of HBO's excellent miniseries Exterminate All The Brutes.

Apropos of all this, I came across an ad campaign, from Canada, that I had not heard of. 

It's an incredibly simple campaign that employs an elegant ju-jitsu move, my favorite, on people who espouse hate, my least favorite people.

And rather than explain it, I'm going to post the case-study video that does the job so eloquently.

If my embedding code doesn't work, you can click here.

I love this idea for so many reasons, including my affinity for this amazingly huge continent which is unmatched for natural beauty.

Africa is after all, at least to those who understand evolution, the Motherland for all of us. 

It's also where my people served as slaves for 400 years and gave birth to the original liberation story as well as exquisitely delicious Passover Seder food like charoseth, bitter herbs, and matzo.

My daughter spent 5 months living in Kenya on her study abroad program. And later went on to visit Tanzania, Ethiopia and the Seychelles. You'd think after spending all that money, she'd be able to answer every Jeopardy question regarding Africa, but she can't.

And my first book, Tuesdays With Mantu, My Adventures with a Nigerian Con Artist, originated from Africa's second most populous country and home to thousands of wealthy Nigerian princes.

But, perhaps selfishly, the reason I love this campaign the most is because it is tangential to an idea I brought up years ago, on this very blog. You can see it here.

I believe in the palliative value of travel. And to that end, I believe this country ought to start a Birthright program for all African American kids.

Furthermore, and I know my right wing friends will disagree, it should be funded with US taxpayer money.

And it should start now.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Day at the Shredder

The shredding hour is upon us. Or maybe it's just me.

Every April I go through this exercise, attributable to my inordinate fear of Identity Theft. And because I come from a family of Accountants. Meaning, I save paper, in the form of receipts, invoices, healthcare statement, utility bills, and various clippings I tear from the newspaper about sordid Floridians engaged in bestiality. 

I can't help myself.

In my garage I keep a huge plastic tub with about 10 years worth of accordian files stuffed to the gills with the recordings of my life. I sometimes think these paint a more vivid picture than the ten thousand or so digital photos crammed into my iPhone.

As I was shredding credit card bills from 2014 I took a moment to scan the charges. $54.91 from that not so clean Guatamalan restaurant on Venice Blvd., that we had hoped would be an undiscovered jewel in the rough, it wasn't.

There was also a charge for $17.25 from the Boulder Parking Garage. That's from I went up to visit my daughter at the University of Colorado for her sorority's Father Daughter Thigamajig. That was a surprisingly fun weekend.

I also came across a computer readout from my day at the Richard Petty NASCAR School, where I strapped myself into a 600 horsepower land rocket and took the high banked turns at Fontana Raceway at speeds close to 130mph. 

This last piece of now-shredded paper was most interesting because it detailed my performance on each concurrent lap and I could see from the data how I increased the speed with growing confidence.

I bring this up for a reason. Another surprise. 

Because my current job with Honey has me involved with Performance Marketing. I'm not ashamed to admit, this is new to me. Granted I did spend many years writing ads for Nissan, Lexus, Jaguar and Acura dealers and those efforts were gauged against subsequent sales. 

But this is different.

It's more direct and instantaneous. And the feedback couldn't be clearer. As such, when the numbers are good, I'm a little ecstatic. And when the numbers are not so good, that's when the self-loathing kicks in.

I'm almost three months into the job and like to think I'm getting better at this. Time will tell.

But it's also proof that you can teach an old 44 year old new tricks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

On probation, again

I'm getting out of Facebook jail today. If my calculations are correct it will be sometime around 2 PM.

It was 30 days ago, to the second, that I received the Zuckification that my Facebook privileges had been suspended. It came as quite a shock. As I have been especially careful with my sometimes-heated rhetoric that accounted for several stints in FB Jail.

To be completely honest, I was sure the AI machine had made a mistake. I could think of plenty of things I thought, while arguing with an online Trumpster, but none that I actually wrote. 

They were more than happy to point out my infraction. 

Apparently, while arguing with a Red Hat who vociferously insisted the election had been stolen ( I wonder if he got suspended for that insurrection-inciting tidbit), I wrote something to the effect of, "Oh sure, and noisy windmills cause cancer. Go drink your bleach."

Snarky, yes. 

A violation of community standards?

Are you kidding me? 

I'm not the one suggesting Americans put toxic pool chemicals inside their bodies. That was the former president of the United Staes of America. Here, let's look at the clip, because his jaw-dropping stupidity never ceases to amaze.

That was the most powerful leader in the free world spitballing cures for a deadly virus as if he were in a brainstorming session to sell Two Toppings pizzas for $7.99, only at Pizza Hut, No One Outpizzas the Hut.

In any case, it will be good to be released from jail. Though, as many former prisoners will tell you, the break from the doom scrolling and the useless tete a tetes with clueless Red Hats, was a welcome break.

Though I will cop to unleashing my unrelenting political acrimony on Twitter as well as Linkedin. And incurred the wrath of many Linkedin aficionados, "this is not the proper forum for that kind of post. This is for professionals."

And of course they are correct. With one important qualifier.

Thanks to Trump, Trumpism and daily disintegration of our social fabric, including the resurgence of mass shootings, unarmed people of color being shot by police, and now the institutionalization of White Supremacy by the GOP and their foot soldiers in the halls of Congress, I'm thoroughly unconcerned about netiquette and the niceties of decorum on Linkedin, or any other social media.

I'm getting out of jail and fired up for the fight.

Fuck You Zuck.

Monday, April 19, 2021


It's been said that when Life hands you lemons you make lemonade. 

I prefer to make a blog posting.

The behemoth you see above was picked from one of our two lemon trees. We have a Mayer tree that produces juicy, perfectly formed lemons that we use for everything from salmon to my wife's delicious lemon bars.

And then we have lemons from the ugly tree. I don't know what species it is. I often joke that it came from another planet as it yields lemons of an odd and sometimes extraterrestrial appearance.

If I were still pursuing my career as an amateur painter, I'd be tempted to commit these mutants to acrylic paint. But I'm not, so I won't. But despite their many tentacles and ghastly appearance these lemons were no bigger than average, about the size of a baseball.

The Big One, which I have dubbed Le Monster is the Saturn to these minuscule Plutos. It dwarfs my oversized coffee cup, which was given to me by my daughters for Father's Day in light of my unhealthy overconsumption of Joe.

How big is Le Monster? I'm glad you asked.

I got out the tape measure and took its vitals. It's 9.5 inches in height, 5.75 inches in width, and a whopping 17 inches in circumference. You have a grapefruit that can compete with that? Bring it on.

I don't have a scale that measure its weight, but I'm guessing it tips the scales at 5 or more lbs.

Le Monster has been sitting on our kitchen counter for more than a week now. Mostly because we don't know what to do with it. The juice inside of it will be worthless as most of the previous oversized lemons we've picked in the past. And we don't want to just toss it as it feels like we'd be disposing of some kind of art. Or at the very least an incredible conversation starter, you know when we are finally at a stage to have friends and family come over.

I'm well aware of its giggle value. 

Earlier this week, we indulged ourselves with a cleaning crew to make our house presentable after a year's worth of Covid hibernation. In between picking up dust bunnies the size of a bunny and chipping away at the gunk inside our eternity-built Wolf Range, I could hear the two Hispanic cleaning ladies gawking and jabbering about Le Monster.

"Pinche cavron, este es un lemon muy grande."

"Muy grande, verdad."

"Donde esta la biblioteca?"

OK, they didn't ask, where is the library, but my Spanish is not what it used to be.

Still, despite running down all the vital statistics, I'm not sure I've done justice to Le Monster and accurately conveyed its mammothosity. 

But since a picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case a thousand tiny cups of lemonade, I will leave you with this last reference shot, which many would claim is in an improvement for my current visage.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

I'm stupider than a Red Hat

I'm proud to bring you the premiere posting in what promises to be a recurring Thursday Series. 

As the 8 loyal readers of RoundSeventeen know I have, on many occasion, exercised my right to laziness with the Thursday Photo Funnies. Wherein I slap a few photos from my iPhone up on the desktop, hash together a few funny captions and call it a day. 

Mainly Thursday.

I'm sure my fellow bloggers like George Tannenbaum, Bob Hoffman and Jeff Gelberg, will agree that sometimes there are just not enough things to write about. 

This is particularly true now that I am employed full time on the client side and have to be very careful about what I commit to digital ink. Once you've become accustomed to superior healthcare and low monthly premiums it's hard to give that up. Especially for a bunch of cheap laughs on a website no one cares about.

But I digress. 

Today, and because I am incredibly dumb and not hip to the fast changing innovations happening in the 21st century, and quite possibly next Thursday, and all the Thursdays that follow, I give you...

Shit I Don't Understand:

1. NFT 

This is a relatively new phenomena. And truth be told I'm not even sure what NFT stands for. Yes, I could look it up, but seeing as I am on restricted coffee intake due to some searing heartburn, I"m just too lazy. I know it has something to do with turning art, music, or even writing, into an own able digital piece with its own digital signature that can be monetized. But as I'm unclear on the phrase "monetized" I'm gonna leave it right there. I'll take another stab at NFT's when someone pays me to.

2. Cryptocurrency

Even though our parent company deals with these, and others like Bitcoin and Etherium, I couldn't name one of the denominations that promise to replace C-Notes and Benjamins. Keep in mind, I come from a family of Accountants, scored exceptionally well in Math on my high school SATs and minored in Calculus while attending college. But I'm pretty sure that part of my brain got injured when I fell off a step stool trying to change a light bulb recessed into our ceiling. 

If someone offered me $1000 in Bitcoin, I'd probably spurn their offer with, "No thanks, do you have any donuts?"

3. Blockchain

Having attained the ripe old age of 44 and having spent more than 30 years in advertising and the corporate world, I have by the process of osmosis picked the rudimentary elements of business. There's a certain timeline, not unlike the way a story or a screenplay unfolds, that all businesses follow involving, design, engineering, manufacturing, inventory, sales, marketing, growth. It's pretty straightforward and even an imbecile like me who has made a living with "Just show me where you want the funny words to go" can comprehend that. But now there's this new blockchain thing-- it's actually been around for a few years -- that has me stumped.

I've looked at the diagrams, read the wiki pages and even took a gander at Blockchain for Miscreants 101, and still have no idea what it means.

This is just the digital tip of the iceberg. I assure there are many more things that leave me befuddled, bemused and bewildered. Like how does that neighbor not get bothered by her own barking dog?

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Turn your head and cough

I'm dating again.

This is something I haven't done for a long, long time. But it's important that I find a good match. Someone who can handle my quirks, my ticks. Someone completely at ease with my most intimate details as well as my excessive ear hair.

Of course, this is nothing more than a thinly veiled misdirect. Though perhaps after this morning's argument with my wife she might be reading this with a glimmer of hope.

The truth is I need a new doctor.

I have a full time job now with full time benefits and the new coverage does not include my fancy personal physician of more than 25 years. With his fancy, and expensive, Century City offices.

I'm going to miss Dr. _____. 

Though I won't miss paying the nearly thousand dollars for "concierge services." I'm sorry but a thousand bucks on top of the exorbitant office visits just got too rich for my blood. However, I did appreciate all the little extras, like free inhalers, free sample packets from the good folks at Cialis, and the many refills of codeine-enhanced cough medicine when I would get struck by a virulent case of West LA bronchitis, which has thankfully subsided.

Mmmmm, codeine.

And there was always the possibility of a good celebrity sighting at his Beverly Hills adjacent office. 

One time, while I was waiting for my car (mandatory valet parking) I found myself standing shoulder to shoulder with James Gandolfini. My car arrived first so I didn't see what he was driving. But I can tell you he was much shorter than you might assume. 

I was quite disappointed.

I was also disappointed, perhaps diemboweled is the more accurate word, when my doctor, of close to 25 years, took note of my enlarged prostate and sent me to a specialist in the building. A Urologist who stood about 6'5" tall, weighed in at 300 lbs. and had hands the size of a small anvil. 

The last thing you want to hear from a man who resembles a Russian made bulldozer, looking at an X-ray of your prostate is, "we're gonna have to milk you."

I'll pause here for you to cleanse that image from your brain.

There ought to be an app or a service for people in my predicament, I told my wife. Like a or a Tinder.

Maybe one of my thoughtful 8 loyal readers can set me up with someone. A doctor that is geographically desirable, has experience with needle-averse patients, enjoys liberally dispensing narcotics and has extremely small hands.

I'm even willing to go on a blind date.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Have you ever flown on a private jet?

I am quickly becoming a Masterclass addict. 

A couple of months ago, my wife bought me a subscription. You know for my 44th birthday. And since cracking open this treasure chest of advanced thinking I find myself watching less TV, particularly now that it lacks the nightly horrors of former Precedent Shitgibbon, and spending more time listening to the likes of David Sedaris, Gary Kasparov, Joyce Carol Oates and David Mamet.

If you haven't sampled a Masterclass, I suggest you do. 

It's my understanding that I have a few guest passes. Let me know and I'll try and send you one. After I figure out the html scripting and QR code encryption needed to make the transaction.

Currently I'm enthralled by Sedaris, who is my favorite beach day writer. He's not fancy. Doesn't work hard to impress. And amazingly readable. Yet each of his stories unveils a simple human truth that tends to linger like a delicious cup of fudge brownie ice cream.

He opens his multi-class series with a stunner, the blessing of being a writer. And it has nothing to do with being famous or making money, though few of us reach that level. It is more fundamental. I'm paraphrasing here...

"Being a writer means you have within yourself the means to take the bad stuff in life and make something of it. You can excise it from your body. It is a self healing mechanism. Frankly, I feel sorry for people who aren't writers and can't do anything with tragedy, heartache or getting a flat tire on the way to an interview."

Perhaps this is not as revelatory as I had imagined. Perhaps it was the three finger's worth of Bulleit Rye whiskey having its way with me, but it stopped me in my tracks. Because it correlates to so much of what I've taught my daughters. That is, to absorb life in all its ups and downs and find the humor in the downs. It's there if you look for it.

I told the story of our absolute worst day of vacationing in Mexico about 6 years ago. And since that time, have employed the technique many times over. Particularly in 2020, perhaps the worst year of living for all of us.

My keyboard is my therapist.

Sedaris shares many tricks of the trade. For instance he abhors small talk. In its place he makes a habit of striking up conversations with people with odd questions that defy typical responses like, "I'm fine , how are you?"

Questions like:

"Have you ever touched a monkey?"

"Did you ever run for public office?"

"Do you know many people in wheelchairs?"

I can't begin to tell you how much I love this. In fact, I'm going to walk my dog now. And stop at the Minimart where I have this very routine relationship with the cashier, a very pleasant Hispanic woman with two kids and a chihuahua and I'm going to ask her:

"Have you ever eaten rattlesnake sausage?"

I'll let you know where it goes.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Beatts working for a living

It will probably go unnoticed by the Oscar's In Memoriam tribute, but it won't go unnoticed by me. Last week Anne Beatts passed away.

For those who don't know, Anne created and wrote the TV show Square Pegs. I never watched a minute of it. But I am intimately aware of her earlier work as one of the original staff writers at National Lampoon. 

She had an incredibly sharp and dark sense of humor. Penning the infamous ad about how Ted Kennedy would have been president if had been driving a Volkswagen. As well as many iconic pieces in Lampoon, the magazine that literally shaped my life. Including a not-to-be-missed piece about Hitler escaping the Allies in World War and taking up residence on a South Pacific island, a la Robinson Crusoe, with his Man Friday, who he dubbed Freitag.

Anne was also a writer on Saturday Night Live, the original SNL. In fact, if you were to watch the old reruns of those classic shows you'll see her name pop up first when they list the writers. 

I know this for a fact because when I was stupid and stoned student at Syracuse University and had naive and stupid and stoned dreams of joining the show post-graduation, I actually wrote a letter to Anne Beatts. And unsurprisingly, I took liberties with her name and made stupid and stoned masturbatory jokes at her expense. 

Come on, Ann Beatts, that's some low hanging fruit.

Surprisingly, however, Anne Beatts wrote back. 

We had a short correspondence of several letters. All written on IBM typewriters and all gone, now sitting somewhere in a landfill in East Syracuse Minoa.

Fast forward a few decades to the age of social media. 

That's when I found out that Anne and I had several mutual friends. And so I reached out to her again. And unsurprisingly this time, she accepted my Facebook friend add and we chatted a few times via Messenger. 

Apart from Joel Murray, who I hired to be the voice on El Pollo Loco commercials, completely unaware that he was Bill Murray's younger brother, Anne Beatts was my most direct connection to National Lampoon/Saturday Night Live royalty. But Anne was completely unroyalty-like, she was approachable, warm, and genuinely interested in other people.

During our initial Facebook chats, I found out Anne started her career as a copywriter in Canada. And she thoroughly enjoyed our ABC campaign.

I found this tidbit on her Wiki page...

The only reason I know to convert to Judaism is to appease a nagging mother in law. But she did so willingly. That's a commitment to comedy.

Thank you Anne for a lifetime of making other people laugh, rest in peace.


PS. Some might question the wisdom of using a Hitler photo for a tribute, I like to think Anne would have it no other way.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

The bagel war

A few weeks ago, there was a big brouhaha. 

Or shall I more accurately describe it as a Jewhaha?

You see some newspaper wrote an article about Culver City's newest eatery and had the chutzpah to declare that the bagels at Pop's could compete with, and indeed surpass, the bagels from the Big Apple. Naturally this sent some tongue's a flapping. 

If there's one thing my people enjoy -- perhaps enjoy is not the right word as we tend to deprive ourselves of enjoyment (more on that later) -- it's a good argument.

Now the whole East Coast v. West Coast Bagel/Bialy Battle just happens to be in my wheelhouse. Some would argue, given my excessive girth, it IS my wheelhouse.

When I was a kid, living in Flushing, Queens, my father would rustle my brother and I out off our 22nd story apartment, into the old Pontiac, held together with spit and duct tape, and head east on Horace Harding Blvd, the access road that ran parallel to the Long Island Expressway. Until we reached Oasis Bagels, ranked one of the Top 5 bagel makers in the World.

Did I mention we would do this on a Saturday Night? Always about midnight. Yet there'd still be a line around the block. But it was important to my father to wake up Sunday morning and have the bagels, the lox, the schmear, the whitefish salad, and the Cod Wings (you Gentiles will have to look that one up), all ready to go.

And who can blame him? 

That man worked harder and more hours than anyone I've ever known. He gave himself two hours off on Sunday morning and then it was back to pushing his oversized aquiline nose back on the grindstone.

A few years later, when we moved to the suburbs, he ran the Men's Club at Monsey Jewish Center. Every other week he'd put out a similar spread for the CPAs, lawyers, dentists and unhappily married men so they could kibbutz and kvell about their lives. 

Oh and smoke cigarettes inside the temple. 

At the end of the breakfast, there'd always be leftover bagels and lox and fixings. And guess who snatched them up to bring home? 

Yeah, I know a little about bagels. And schmears. And schnorers.

So were the writers of the controversial article correct? I can't say. 

The Pop's bagels are damn good. And they even have a superb whitefish salad. But there's something it the is the it some, it's New York City.

The Horn and Hardart people might have won a ton of awards for this ad.

 But when it comes to lox and bagels, atmosphere is everything.


For an especially tart takedown of Jewish food, I leave you with this

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Cool, clear water

Following last week's deep dive into my daughter's newly installed Tushy Bidet, one of the eight regular readers of RoundSeventeen suggested I bypass all that installation mishigas and get myself The Bum Gun.

The Bum Gun is stunning in its simplicity.

All I need to do is get another 3/8 inch T adaptor at my my local Lowe's Hardware Store; I could go to Home Depot but their CEO is a major right wing loonie and he won't be getting any more of DIY money.

Having successfully plugged in the adapter in my daughter's bathroom, my confidence level with this part of the operation is quite high. Then I'll need to attach some flexible tubing. Add a stylized nozzle that meets with my wife's approval. Then hang the apparatus on the wall. 

Unlike the picture above, I won't be drilling holes into any tiled wall. That's a recipe for Clunky Jewish Home Repairman disaster. The tile will crack. The grout will chip away. And I'll have a bathroom mess worse than any episode of explosive diarrhea.

Or my wife's remodeling rage.

Soon I'll be free from toilet paper and cleaning my nether regions with cool refreshing water. And unlike the standard settings on the immobile Tushy Bidet, I'll have the freedom and flexibility to get into all those annoying nooks and crannies. 

My bum will be cleaner than a hospital operating room.

This is in no way a knock on the Tushy Bidet. This is just the Siegels upping their Ass Hygiene Game. 

And speaking of Tushy, last week, as more of a lark, I forwarded my blog piece to the good folks at Tushy. Their PR people said it made their day. 

Lifestyle Influencer 101, complete.

And they wanted to show their appreciation. One, for my daughter requesting their ever popular Tushy 3.0 Classic bidet. And two, for writing about it.

So they sent me 2 T-shirts.

Suffice to say, the T-shirts are completely unwearable in public. 

By me and especially by my daughter.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Letter from Cell Block FBJ


Day 17,

Still holed up in my cell. 

The Facebook screws won't even listen to my case. Stuck me in this rotten hole for 30 days of Solitary Refinement, for posting shit other dogs are out there still posting.

Sure, I told some Trump-humper to "drink his bleach." So what. Hell, the president of the United States suggested the same, "...kills the covid virus in a minute, a minute. What if we get this on the inside of the body...for a cleaning. Like a cleaning."

He's at his country club, signing hats and giving wedding reception speeches and I'm still in the can. 

With no First Amendment rights.

Hell, you can do a Facebook search of Drink Your Bleach and you'll find some garage band in Indiana using that as their name. There's a community page about drinking bleach. I wouldn't be surprised if some enterprising hillbillies in the backwoods of West Virginia hadn't opened a saloon named Drink Your Bleach, "Don't forget to try our Tide Pod Potato Skins."

The good news is, the chow isn't bad. 

And I probably could've used the month off to cool my jets and slowly excrete the Trump toxins that have taken over my body for the last 5 years.

They say jail has little or no rehabilitative powers. But I'm slowly discovering it does. 

Nevertheless, I'll probably get out and go back to my old ways. I'll find the biggest, stupidest, braindead Trumpster -- a triple redundancy -- and foot stomp his or her head to the curb with a relentless list of verifiable facts and well aged Shakesperean insults. 

And I'll be back in the hole writing more letters from Facebook jail.

But until then, Serenity Now.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Q & A

I am halfway through my 30 day sentence in Facebook Jail for telling a braindead Trumpster to "drink his bleach" and web traffic is considerably down here at R17. 

Consequently I feel free to take another deep dive into one of my favorite rabbit holes -- Q and Qanon.

Considering all the outrageous theories stemming from this cult and the colorful cast of characters behind this psyop, like the Fredrick Brennan (pictured above), a wheelchair bound, toy dog aficianado, former Jew turned born again Christian, I frankly don't understand why more people are not as fascinated as I am.

If you haven't been watching the HBO documentary series, you have no idea what you are missing. And when I say no idea, you have no idea of how idealess you really are. This shit is strange. Dark. Surreal. worthy of repeated viewings.

It's so weird, I don't know where to begin, particularly since I'm only 4 episodes into the series. 

Suffice to say, the cryptic Q-drops, little messages that regularly appear and drive the Qanon people wild with loony bin theories and plans and storms, all in service of their Dear Leader, Captain Ouchie Foot, are not what they appear to be. 

The aim of Q and the folks who created Q is not political. At all. They are simply leveraging the current discord for other purposes, the one that predates power by centuries -- the original sin, greed. Because let's be honest, Republicans have no interest in governing. 

They've said as much.

Mind you, this is just my estimation, but when you hear the tales of Mr. Brennan (above) and the backstory of wizardchan, 2chan, 4chan and 8chan, all sites on the dark web, you can see that Q and the evolution of Q are nothing more than an elaborate marketing scam. 

All created to keep Qanon, the Q followers, glued to the message boards and exposed to paid advertising at 8chan, a growing platform of "free speech" that is the new home of Nazis, amateur porn, and I'm sure Russian intel officers gathering data and dishing out disinformation.

8chan was once owned by Fredrick Brennan, who annoyingly overstrokes his pet doggie, but is now owned by Jim Watkins and his son, Ron.

And oddly enough, this is where the story gets interesting.

The younger Watkins, is a tech genius and knows more about coding than I could ever learn in 100 lifetimes. He's also, I suspect on the spectrum, and comes across on camera as very distant. Not surprising since his father Jim is one of the creepiest characters you will ever have displeasure of meeting.

In addition to his dalliances with gay and child pornography, his chumminess with Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, his numerous Internet enterprises, he lives in the Philippines and raises pigs. He casually jokes that he feeds his political and business enemies to the pigs, and somehow that doesn't seem too far fetched.

He also has an unexplainable fetish for fountain pens. Expensive Mont Blanc pens that do nothing for me, but get Mr. Watkins all hot and bothered. His cloying manner is undeniably Hannibal Lector-ish.

If you haven't dipped your toe in the Q water, I suggest you do.

Oh and if you haven't argued with Qanon follower online, I suggest you do that too. 

It's like your own little movie. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April fool

Perhaps you've heard, our former GOTUS, Grifter of the United States of America is now available for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and bar mitzvahs (hopefully.)

As if this shabby, bloody-handed clown hasn't denigrated the presidency enough, he is now storming the internet with his party appearance con. If you go to, you can catch whiff of this merkin-sporting flim flam. BTW, Captain Ouchie Foot would do well to hire himself a professional website designer, the white-on-white type is quite amateurish.

As you might have guessed I was first in line to get my booking with the ex-prez.

Let's take a look, shall we? (a multi-part photo series)

Please let me know if you'd like an invite.