Navigation
Past Articles
This form does not yet contain any fields.

     

    Esther Blumenfeld  

    The purpose of this web site is to entertain.  My humor columns died along with the magazines where they were printed, although I cannot claim responsibility for their demise.  I still have something to say, and if I can bring a laugh or two to your day, my mission will be fulfilled.

    Everyone I know thinks he has a sense of humor.  Here is my unsolicited advice. If you try to be funny and no one laughs, don’t worry about it.  However, if you try to be funny and no one EVER laughs, you might have a little problem.

     

    Friday
    Mar152019

    COSMIC RAGE

    COSMIC RAGE

    Some people seem to be angry all the time. They have a constant boiling point, and then “BOOM!” I avoid them like the plague. I think I’ve only gone ballistic—maybe—five times in my entire life, and it’s not a pretty sight. It takes a lot for me to lose that kind of control. Also, I can’t stay angry at anyone. It’s too exhausting and self-destructive.

    However, now, in Tucson, there’s a “fun concept” called, THE BREAKING POINT RAGE ROOM, where people pay to, “break, throw, and kick things to release all of that pent up anger.” Being good citizens, the owners recycle old electronics, glass bottles and anything else that’s “fun to smash.” They have even added “Ax Throwing” into the mix. It’s an escape experience to do
    “team building,” and the new place to have a “fun party.”

    Some fun! However, I do admit that sometimes I have been tempted to throw an ax at my television set during the evening news. So, what kind of food do they serve at a rage party? I assume that well-ground meat, smashed potatoes, and pickled beats (Yes, I can spell) are on the menu.

    Also, there should be a doctor on call to entertain while stitching up the party guy, who fell into the debris, while sledding on crushed glass. Surely, party-goers must sign a waver not to hold the owners liable, because a hefty lawsuit, by a person filled with rage and glass shards, could bring the whole enterprise down with a resounding crash.

    And, after a “rage party” who cleans up the mess? It seems to me, that you’d need a fork lift rather than a broom. And, I’m sure the place looks at least as bad as a teenager’s room.

    I don’t understand what makes people want to break things when they are upset. I’d just as soon cough up some humor to ease the situation. For instance, I’ve been waiting for two years, and a few shifts in construction dates, to move into Hacienda at the Canyon, a senior residence —being built across the street from my house.

    By now, I have downsized and packed about all I can without a moving date. My patience is wearing a bit thin, because I can’t order my second bedroom wall bed until I know my move-in date.

    So, when Steve, the cheerful young man, who is in charge of moving all the residents into the apartments, said to me, “You do realize that when you leave the apartment, if the new tenants don’t want the wall bed, you will have to pay to have it removed,” I could have gotten my ax and chased him around the room, but instead I said,”Steve! I will, with my dying breath, as I leave this Earth, sit up, and shout out, ‘Steve, tell my kids to remove the freaking wall bed!”

    Esther Blumenfeld, (Moving On!)



    Friday
    Mar082019

    TELEMEDICINE: THE ULTIMATE REALITY SHOW

    Walmart is giving their employees a—WHAT A DEAL! Their workers can now see a doctor for only $4.00. The catch is that the physician will be a “virtual health care provider,” (Definition of “virtual” by Merriam-Webster,”being simulated”; Oxford Dictionary, “almost or nearly but not completely,”; Cambridge Dictionary, “Can be seen by computer, therefore won’t have to go anywhere.”)

    In other words, if you have a rash on your derriere, you can turn on your computer, and hear, “The Doctor will be with you shortly.” Then you can wait until Dr. Google appears, smiles and tells you to “lower your britches, and put your tuchas against the screen.” He will then make his subjective judgment remotely, and he may be remotely right or remotely wrong, but chances are that you will never see him again. I am guessing that $4.00 gives you a one time visit, and that a follow-up may cost a bit coin more.

    To their dismay, employers are finding out that most of their workers are less than enthusiastic about being diagnosed and treated on a screen by a tiny person wearing a white coat.

    Personally, I like to study medical diplomas hanging on my doctor’s wall, and having a one-on-one face time discussion, in an office, with a professional, whose hand I can shake—-unless he’s a proctologist. And I want a doctor who views me as a patient, has a record of my medical history,  and with whom I can have a long-term relationship.

    In case of an emergency, or if you are really sick, do you really want to trust a doctor who costs less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  At $4.00 a visit, I am sure that he will pay off his student loan at Flinkus Medical and Bible School on his 130th birthday.

    And, what if your computer gets hacked by some guy in Nigeria, who then blackmails you by threatening to send your derriere photos to everyone on your virtual season greeting cards? A smiley photo is nice, but it should be from the right end.

    Wishing you good health,

    Esther Blumenfeld

    Friday
    Mar012019

    LOSING BY A NOSE

    Some people are truly irritating. They have an ingrown toenail ability to be painful, and they invariably get under my skin. For instance, I find nosy people who like to meddle most annoying.

    When I was engaged to be married, my mother-in-law treated me to a day of pampering at a famous beauty salon in Chicago. The hairdresser told me that I had beautiful eyes and eyelashes, but that if I’d get my nose “done,” I’d be drop-dead gorgeous. I said, “I don’t want to drop dead, and I think I am gorgeous enough!”

    Barbara Streisand did every girl of Semitic origins a great favor when she didn’t have a “nose job”, because it could affect her million-dollar voice. Shortly after that, Vogue Magazine put her on the cover, stating that she was as beautiful as Nefretete, the Egyptian Queen, and  Semitic noses became fashionable. From then on, Jewish girls could thumb their noses at plastic surgeons and feel like Egyptian Queens.

    I know that the nose is designed for breathing and blowing, but unfortunately some women use it as an escape valve for the voice. Granted, women's’ voices are pitched higher than most male voices, however, I find a high pitch through a nasal passage vexing.

    Also, when a person wears too much perfume or aftershave, it makes me sneeze, and is especially upsetting when I am sitting in a crowded theatre or in a  restaurant. And, it is well to point out that when in a restaurant, linen table napkins, as well as tablecloths, belong way under one’s nose—not wrapped around it.

    Sometimes, I think I’d be better off staying home, because the minute this well-adjusted, happy person leaves the house, it seems as if someone is out to ruin my day,—-If it’s not the guy speeding past me, so he can get to the red light ahead of me, just in time to pick his nose,—it’s the Mariachi band that arrives at my table in the restaurant (playing “Vaya Con Dios”) just in time to drown out the punchline of my joke. And, then, the waiter shows up saying, “Are we enjoying our meal?”

    A friend and I were having lunch on the terrace at a fancy restaurant. We enjoyed the view until two children started hitting each other on the head with croquet mallets.  Their mothers had their noses deep in their second or third martinis, and refused to recognize those kids.  It was indeed a sticky wicket.

    So to sniff out  an answer as how to exist in this irritating world, I looked up Warren Buffet’s philosophy. It was simple. He suggested, “Be lovable.” What can I say about that except,
    “Be rich enough to pay someone to go away.”

    Esther Blumenfeld

    Friday
    Feb222019

    THE CRUELEST CUT OF ALL

    I cut my finger again!   But before you become too upset, let me fill you in on my first encounter with a very sharp set of knives.  

    A few months ago, my son, Josh was visiting with me and tried to slice a loaf of bread.  He said, “Mother, these knives are so dull, I don’t know how you can cut anything.” So, he gave me a gift certificate, and for the first time in 25 years, I bought a new set of sharp kitchen knives.

    A few weeks later, I had some new neighbors over for dinner. They moved to Tucson from Canada, and I like them very much. Canadians are such reasonable, calm people, and seem to adjust to the shenanigans of we folks down-under with a smile and a shrug.  As a matter of fact, my friend Paul said, “To cure our government ailments, we should declare war on Canada—and surrender immediately!

    But back to my finger:

    I have learned to never serve bread with dinner, because when I started to slice it, my new knife sliced bread like going through butter and then through my finger.  Luckily, no spurting blood hit the bread. My guests suggested that I keep pressure on the wound, cover it and then keep my hand up very high. When the finger turned blue, they suggested that I loosen the bandage.
    Neither of them are doctors—just reasonable Canadians!  Irene is a world famous artist, and Lewis a prominent attorney and law professor. So, we talked about art and law and stayed away from discussing my finger.

    We had a really enjoyable evening, and they didn’t seem to mind that I pointed at the ceiling throughout dinner. We laughed and talked and ate and laughed some more. The evening was a success—especially when my finger stopped bleeding.

    So, one would think that I had learned my lesson.  Yes, I did!  Now I only buy sliced bread. However, I did not buy a sliced onion. Yes, it was a really big onion and a very big knife.  Happily, I still have five fingers on each hand.  Experience, even bad experience, does have an advantage, because I now know the bleeding finger drill..bandage, not too tight, pressure on wound and keep pointing up.

    Then, I remembered what a movie cowboy does, when he gets shot. He is bleeding and the bullet has to be dug out. He pours whiskey on the wound and bites down on a thick piece of wood. I had no wood in the house and used an anti-biotic cream.  So, I just drank the whiskey. It works!

    When I told Josh that I had cut my finger again with the knives he had bought me. He replied,
    “Don’t worry, Mom. I’m never going to buy you a gun!”

    Esther Blumenfeld

    Friday
    Feb152019

    SOCIAL OPPROBRIUM

    I don’t own a smart phone. I have a dumb phone. With a little flip, I can open it and take a picture—-but I have a very fine camera that I prefer—- and with lots of patience, I can text. The only thing I can’t do is to call Uber, and that’s okay with me, because my Mother always told me not to get into a car with a stranger. I rarely use my cellphone, and few people have the number. I prefer a land line because, by voice mail, I can screen my calls, and talk to the people with whom I want to speak.

    Admittedly, smart phones are a wondrous invention, but people’s inability to disconnect is an increasingly serious problem. Common Sense Media found that “69% of parents and 78% of teens check their devices at least hourly,” and, according to a global survey by Counterpoint Research, “Smart phone users spend between 3 and 7 hours a day on mobile devices”.

    So, communication with a friend now means Face-time with a screen, not with a human being. And, the harvesting of personal information has revealed the dark side of Silicon Valley’s let’s-all-get-connected idealism.

    Recently, when reading an article about technology, I had to look up the meaning of “dystopia.” It is the exact opposite of “utopia,” and a not so good place. Dehumanizing and extremely unpleasant, there is a long list of problems with data mining of information, and the insidious exploitation by bad players to manipulate information, influence national elections and foment violence. Lawmakers are beginning to take a hard look at unbridled technology, but they are not the only ones.

    On October 1, 2018, Wyndham Grand’s five U.S. resorts gave families a 5% discount on their stay, if they managed to put their phones in timed lockboxes. They knew they had a problem when guests, sat in beach chairs and had to check their mobile devices, “roughly every 12 minutes.” Some vacation!

    Wyndham started to offer perks to guests,  who managed to exist without their mobile devices. Lisa Checchio, Wyndham Hotel’s Chief Marketing Officer said, “Everyone wants to be able to disconnect. They just need a little courage.”  Are you kidding me? Courage is dismantling a landmine—NOT LOOKING UP FROM YOUR PHONE!

    I recently showed a young woman my flip phone. She said, “I am going to get one of those. My smart phone is taking over my life.”

     I suggested that she start a group where people stand up and say something like, “Hello, My name is Lisa, and I am a smart phone addict.” Whereupon, other members will raise their arms, wiggle their thumbs, look directly at her, and say, “Hello, Lisa.”

    Unfortunately, like all other addicts, smart phone users will fall off the wagon, but not to worry, they won’t hurt themselves ,because they are always looking down.

    Esther Blumenfeld