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    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.




    Day One

    Help! I was held hostage by the Eagle Rock Road Company. Not exactly true. I was, however, in a self-imposed four-day exile.

    After numerous e-mails, my neighbors and I were notified that the workers at Eagle Rock would seal coat the extremely narrow street in our forty-eight house neighborhood. Peta, do not get your knickers in a twist, seal coat does not mean a nice, warm fur coating, but rather a slick, black, spray-on, oily preservative. Our road is so small (“How small is it?”) that two cars can pass each other comfortably—if both drivers are paying attention.

    In the twenty-five years that I have lived in this community, our street has been sealed three times. The way it was done in the past was to seal one entire half of the community street on the first day, and then seal the rest of the street on the second day. Easy!

    However, this time, the powers-to-be, figured out that a vertical line could be drawn down the center of the entire community street, and one half could be done on one day, and the other half the next day. BIG MISTAKE! Turns out that if one car was going East on the dry side of the street, and another car was driving West on the dry side of the street, one car would have to back up, or drive on the black oily slime, and then turn around on an irritated neighbor’s driveway.

    Being very protective of my little, old Saturn, and my sanity, I opted to stay home, and blocked my driveway with garbage cans, so no one could slip and slide and leave sooty tire marks  on my lovely concrete.

    Day Two

    When I looked out of my window the next day, I noticed that our street now looked like an inky potato chip with ridges. A car had been left in the street on the dry side, and no one could get around it without taking a dip in black muck. The Eagle Rock workers arrived at 7 a.m. The Eagle Rock workers disappeared at 10 a.m. The other half of the road was not even a little bit done. They never came back. I called the company and was told that the big oil truck was broken. No oil. No workers. No finished road. Unfortunately, at this point people had trouble knowing where not to drive, so it was like a slip and slide Indy 500 out there. I stayed in.

    Day Three

    7 a.m. No Show! 10 a.m. Still No Show! 2 p.m. More No Show. At least they were consistent. I called Eagle Rock one more time, and was told that some of workers hadn’t shown up, but they would pull men off of another job, and finish our road before closing time. Closing time was 5 p.m. I figured no one was coming at 4:45 p.m. By now, some of my neighbors were taking up a collection to hire a hit man.

    Day Four

    The crew arrived at 8:30 a.m., finished the job and roped off the wet section of the road, but not before one of my neighbors threw her body in front of a car whose driver, a visitor to our community, decided it  would be fun to drive on the freshly sprayed side of the street. That clueless driver decided to turn around in my neighbor’s driveway…just for the Hell of it!

    Esther Blumenfeld  (Oh, I forgot to mention that the person in charge left town.)



    Telephones used to be easy. You looked up a number, dialed it, talked with the person on the other end of the line, and hung up. The only aggravation was the occasional prank that kids pulled on Halloween. Usually, one of them called, said something stupid such as, “Is Mickey Mouse there?” They all giggled and then hung up..ONCE!

    Last week, my phones were gas lighting me—-trying to drive me crazy!

    Tuesday evening, as I was drifting off to sleep, a loud alarm blew me out of my bed. Was the house on fire? No!  I ran lickity split all over to find out what was happening. The noise quit. I stared at my home fire alarm, but it was silent. The house was dark. I went back to bed, and the piercing alarm went off again. I leaped out of bed and realized that the screeching was coming from the innards of my purse. I grabbed the handbag, opened it, and saw that my tiny, dumb cell phone was shrieking at the top of it’s inner lungs. It was an, “Amber Alert.”
    Someone was missing, somewhere, but obviously not in my house. I disabled the function, and prayed that I could go back to sleep and that the missing person would be found—but not on my property.

    Cell phone problem fixed! However the next day, I got a call on my landline from myself. Yes, my name and phone number were calling me. Strange call indeed, but I was sure that I wasn’t calling myself. I ignored it the first time—the second time—the third time, but on the fourth call, I picked up the phone. No one was on the other end of the call..except me..maybe. Throughout the day, I kept calling myself..NOT!

    I finally called Comcast, my landline provider, and gave the Comcast Robot all of the information about me, my account and life history, before I was finally connected to a live person in the Philippines. When I describe the problem to him, he suggested I block the number. I replied, “If I put a block on the number, no one will be able to call me, because it’s my own number.” “Oh,” he replied, and connected me to the Big Cahoone, in the Philippines,
    who helped me register on my computer to NOMOROBO.

    Now, the phone rings once, and Mr. NOMO gives a karate chop to the ROBO and I am treated to blessed silence.  Finally, I found technology that I like..So Far!

    Esther Blumenfeld



    Twenty-eight years ago (I remember it well), when I still lived in Atlanta, I was about to enter the doors at Lenox Mall, when I heard a man’s voice shouting, “Esther! Esther!” I turned around and saw a man jogging toward me. He had just emerged from the American Airlines Kiosk.
    Smiling, he enfolded me in a bone-crushing hug, and said, “It’s been years. It’s so good to see you.”

    After he let me go, I looked at his joy-filled face and said, “It’s good to see you too,” but I had absolutely no idea who he was. As far as I knew, I had never seen him before. However, with that effusive greeting, how could I say, “Who, in the Hell are you?” I guessed that perhaps he was one of my friend’s discarded husbands. Maybe, he was taller than I remembered, but I couldn’t say, “My, how you have grown!”

    While I was pondering my next move, he said, “How are Warren (my husband) and Josh?”(my son), and I said, “They are just fine.” Now, hoping to get a clue about a name I recognized, I said, “And, how’s the family?” I figured everyone has a family. No clue there because he said, “Just fine.”

    Then I tried, “So, what are you up to these days?” He responded, “You know— This and That.” At that point, I figured, if this dull man wasn’t a discarded husband, he obviously  should be.

    “Well,”I said,”It’s really been something seeing you. Got to run,” and I did!

    I have a very good memory for faces, even if I forget a name, but this time I did draw a blank. It only happened to me one more time, but this one was understandable.

    Here in Tucson, last year, a woman’s voice trilled across a store, “Esther!  Esther!” “Look over here.  Here I am!”  Sure enough, she was there, but I did not recognize her.  However, she greeted me by saying,”I’ll bet you don’t know who I am.” I said, “I’m not sure, but I kind of recognize your voice.”  She said, “I was your neighbor 25 years ago, but I had a face lift, and a nose job after I moved.” Her hair was a different vibrant color, and she told me that she had lost 100 pounds.  Then I said, “I remember who you used to be,” and I did. I remembered the day she was sitting in a tree in my back yard, looking for her lost bird. How could I forget!

    The guy in Atlanta? I’m still not sure who he was, but I do think that he was one of my friend’s former husbands. But, I must admit, that after number FOUR, they all started looking alike.

    Esther Blumenfeld



    Headlines such as, “Asylum Seekers Waiting Along Border,” “North Korea Fires Two Missiles,” and “Break Up Facebook, Founder Says,” announce important newspaper stories, that rightfully grab a reader’s attention. However, if you live in Arizona, the State that bumps up to Mexico, and has a Mexican restaurant practically on every corner, it’s the stories of the shenanigans of our State Legislature that prompts this reader to say, “Are they nuts?”

    Of course, what the Legislature is not doing is taking up a bill for gun safety. What they are doing, as I read the headline in my newspaper is, “AZ Legislature is set to declare lemonade the State’s official drink.” Okay, finally, they are going to squeeze out a harmless bill upon which all Legislators can agree.   But—No! Several days later, I read, “Senators to reconsider lemonade as State Drink.”

    Ah! Ha! The majority leader is flexing his muscles.  Not long thereafter, I read, “Lemonade voted out  as State drink. Senator says it lacks ‘uniqueness.”’ Really? Right now, 26 States and 2 Territories, have declared their official beverage—Are you ready?—“MILK!” How unique is that?

    One Senator suggested that since Mexican food is so popular in Arizona, Margaritas should meet the test. That didn’t work because a Representative pointed out that some people don’t drink alcohol. However, being lactose intolerant didn’t seem to interfere with all the milk decisions.  

    Only 2 states have alcoholic beverages as their State drinks—Alabama—"Conecuh Ridge Whiskey”—and, Virginia—“George Washington’s Rye Whiskey.”  Puerto Rico touts “Pina Coladas.”  Makes sense to me.

    What doesn’t make sense is that there was a march on the Arizona State Capitol last year of 15,000 high school students to advocate for gun safety. That legislation went nowhere fast, but the headline I last read was, “Bill to make lemonade AZ’s State drink reaches Governor.” That rode the fast track and took no time at all. A civics lesson, if I’ve ever seen one.

    My favorite State beverage selection is in  Maine, where “Moxie” is the State drink.
    Hooray! No doubt about it, the citizens of Maine have Moxie.

    Esther Blumenfeld (The Arizona State gun is the Colt Single Action Army)



    Poor Hester Prynne had to wear a scarlet letter “A” for the rest of her life. Her only mistake was that she lived in the wrong place. Had she lived in Tucson, the home of the University of Arizona, she would have been admired as a faithful Arizona Wildcat Basketball Fan, and her fellow citizens wouldn’t have scorned her one bit. They wouldn’t even have asked her, “Why are you wearing a scarlet letter “A”? They would have cheered her, as well as the school color.

    So, Hester wore an “A,” and I, after successful Mohs surgery, look as if I have been kicked in the face by an ass—not the surgeon—but by a petulant mule, who kicked me under my eye and left the 1/2 moon imprint of his hoof. Now, strangers peer at me, and say, “What happened to you?” Of course it’s the big, white bandage on my face that attracts them.

    Covering a boo-boo on your leg or arm isn’t so noticeable, but on your face, unless I’d wear a long black veil, or put a bucket over my head, there’s no place to hide. I know that the scar under my eye will fade, but in the meantime, I had to come up with some snappy rejoinders other than the trite, “You should have seen the other guy.”

    One stranger asked me, “Were you in an accident?” I said, “No, I did this on purpose.”

    My next rejoinder to the curious was, “Oh, Nuts!” Isn’t this October? I thought it was Halloween.”

    Then, “I am a member of the famous Schmeckel Dueling Society.”  That one really worked. The stranger quickly scurried  away.  

    My favorite come-back was, “ I wanted a unique picture for my Holiday Greeting Cards. It will be either this one, or the picture of my colonoscopy.”

    I did find out that it is a huge mistake to tell  people the truth about my surgery, because it gave them the opportunity to tell me how much worse their surgery had been than mine. One woman regaled me with the tale of how she ended up cockeyed.  Not a pleasant story, but the telling made her feel Oh, so much better.

    I tried saying, “The scissor slipped when I was trimming my bangs,” but it left one woman so horrified that I never said that again.

    A person can always answer a question with a question, so I said, “Have you ever slipped while branding a cow?’

    Pretty soon the bandage will be put aside, the scar will fade and the onlookers will lose interest. In the meantime, I have discovered that the best answer for inquisitive people is,
    “Why do you want to know?”

    Esther Blumenfeld (All better and sassy as ever)