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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.




    I am writing this with one eye, and a computer.  Had cataract surgery yesterday on my left eye. That could be a good title for a movie—-“My Left Eye.” My ophthalmologist has his own surgical facility across town, and every Wednesday, he pops out old cataracts and pops new lenses into the eyes of 30 patients.

    His surgical hospital is across town, and my friends, Paula and Fay drove me there.  I didn’t know until the day before the operation when the procedure was scheduled. That was more stressful than the anticipated surgery, because I had to put my friends on hold.

    Since I was ordered not to eat or drink anything after dinner, naturally, my surgery was scheduled for 12:45 the next day. It was Yom Kippur (the Jewish day of fasting and Atonement) all over again. I really could have thought about being a better person with a cup of coffee. So, what did my selfless friends do? They went out for lunch and had fun without me, while I was wheeled into the operating arena, met the nurses and the 12-year-old anesthesiologist whose name was Dr. Holt. I winked at him because my eye was filled with assorted drops. He came back ten minutes later and introduced himself to me one more time, “I am Dr. Holt.” I winked and said, “Dr. Holt, it’s my eye that’s in trouble, but my brain is perfectly fine.” So, how smart is it to mouth off to the guy whose supposed to make you feel no pain?

    Before being wheeled into the surgery room, my surgeon/doctor came in to check on me. At least I think that masked man was my doctor. I looked at him with my good eye and saw that he was dressed funny.  Finally, I was wheeled into the operating room, and a nurse strapped my head to the table. I said, “Are you sure this isn’t an electrocution? I really wasn’t that rude to Dr. Holt.” (I have seen reruns of those movies on HBO.) She didn’t laugh, but did prop my eye open, and a the masked man began the operation.

    I was wide awake and watched the whole procedure as best I could through a propped open eyelid. I guess that Dr. Holt’s anesthesia worked, because nothing hurt as I watched three little blue and white balls dance above my eye. Later I was told those were lights.

    My friends tossed a coin and lost, so they had to come back for me, and they drove me home.
    That evening, I began my assorted eyedrops, and began to follow the instructions: “Don’t bend down.” I guess that meant that I could bend up.  “Don’t lift anything heavier than a bread box.” “Don’t swim.” It was 40 degrees outside. No chance of that. In other words, “Stay put, and don’t worry if your vision is blurry. That is normal.”

    The last drop I put into my eye came out of the bottle like a clump of Elmer’s glue. No wonder it said, “May cause blurry vision.” Before going to bed, I taped the prescribed pirate-eye shield over my eye. The next morning my eye lashes were glued to the shield and my eye was glued shut. I wasn’t supposed to touch the eye, so I drowned my lashes and the eye in artificial tears, and unstuck everything. My eye was too blurry to drive, so my friend Paula took me for my post- op appointment. I bribed her by telling her she could come into the Doctor’s office with me and heckle if necessary. I told the ophthalmologist that he looked much better without his mask. Happily he was very pleased with the results of the surgery and told me that I might be blurry for another day or so, but that my vision would be excellent.  He was pleased with his work!

    As a clumsy person, I now have to find creative ways to pick stuff up off the floor. I have rediscovered the versatility of my toes, and, since no one can hear me,  I swear a lot!

    That’s the story.  One more eye to go!

    Esther Blumenfeld



    I still believe that all politicians are not scumbags, and that there are still ethical and decent people who want to serve, and contribute their talents, to local and National government in order to make their communities, and our Country, a better place.

    However, dirty politics are not a new phenomenon, and some people will do or say anything to win. For them, the ends justify the means. For instance, in 1950, Richard Nixon ran for Congress against Helen Gahagan Douglas, the wife of the actor, Melvyn Douglas. Nixon called her a Communist, and claimed, “It has been discovered that she is a practicing heterosexual.”
He won.  For him, it was the start of something big, until years later, he left the Presidency in disgrace.

    Sometimes, voters don’t listen, don’t care or simply don’t understand what a politician is saying. This leads me to the subject of—-Swamps. President Trump has taken pride in the statement that he wants to “Drain the Swamp.” So, someone needs to defend swamps before we all end up like Louisiana. They drained their swamps (wetlands) and almost drowned New Orleans.

    Besides flood control, swamps are critically important for providing fresh water and oxygen to all life, and are habitats for all kinds of wildlife. They are extremely important for preserving tree species, carbon storage, and fish production. So, draining swamps can cause irreparable damage.

    President Trump used his picturesque  swamp-drainage-language while dismissing many experienced, dedicated employees, who have faithfully served this Country. And, he has decimated many governmental departments such as the State Department. So far, as evidenced by the comings and goings of many of his appointees, he has had problems replacing the  qualified people, who were dismissed.

    Some writers have claimed that Trump has gone from swamp to cesspool, when some of his appointees left in disgrace—-even before they could  get their tentacles into the jobs they were assigned.

    Cesspools are underground storage tanks, and when they start to leech out, the waste is a pollutant. However, in the United States,  most cesspools are only used for temporary storage of doo-doo. These are called “Holding Tanks” and they must be emptied frequently.  For the good health of the Country, it’s time to start emptying.

    Maybe, Swamp Creatures aren’t that bad after all.

    Esther Blumenfeld

     (“Stride with proud disdain through the swamp of human inadmissibility”) Joachim Peiper.



    When I tell people that I am 81-years-old, they seem surprised  and say, “You don’t look 81.” So, what does 81 look like? I have no idea. I’ve never done this before. However, after lifting a heavy bucket filled with soapy water, and getting a several-day back spasm, I can absolutely tell you what 81 feels like.  

    Yes, I now realize that I can’t run around carrying heavy buckets of water anymore, because my back is saying, “What in the world were you thinking?” The answer is, “I wasn’t.” Consequently, I have proven that mind over matter doesn’t always matter, because I thought I still had the back that I had back when—-or is it back then?

    Anyway, stuck at home accompanied by heavy duty ibuprofen, a back patch and an ice pack, I managed to catch up on reading that I had saved for a rainy day.

    The first article I pulled out of my, “To Read” folder, was titled, “It’s Mathematically Impossible To Beat Aging.” How appropriate! The article reminded me that aging is a natural part of life, no matter how good you look, and that attempts to stop the process won’t work.

    Scientists at the University of Arizona published the results of a study in the Proceedings of the National  Academy of Sciences. The article says that it is impossible to halt aging in multicellular organisms. The next time someone asks me about my religion I will now say, “I am a practicing multicellular organism.”

     So, what’s the problem? As we get older, some of our cells get sluggish, and don’t function as well as they used to. The example given in the article I was reading was, “Hair cells stop making pigment.” As a multicellular organism, that’s really not a big problem. If you can lift the bucket, you can always pour some Clairol over your head.

    But, there’s always the person who wants the impossible. In order to defy gravity, she wants  to swallow a rope, then, ask her doctor to tie it to her innards, and, then, ask her doctor to pull that rope out of the top of her head—- lifting the whole enchilada—- so she can look like a kid again. Looking tighter is always an option, but a 90-year-old will never be High School Homecoming Queen again.

    That is really okay. As my friend, Fay says, “Attitude is everything!” And, I’d like to add, “Especially, if you have a good one”.

    Esther Blumenfeld (Staying away from heavy buckets of water.  Pass me a glass of wine.)



    Although our calendars herald the upcoming holidays of Chanukah and Christmas, few people have the foresight to shop in July. Granted that computer and catalog shopping have put a dent into the last minute craze known as the, “Black Friday Mall Onslaught,” millions  of people, most of whom were previously unknown to one another, set their clocks so they can arrive at the same moment to shop together.

    Armed with gift lists, charge cards and sensible shoes, otherwise congenial folks embark shoulder-to-shoulder on a spending frenzy, firmly convinced that this will be the year of the accessible parking space. However, creative parking is only an omen of things to come.

    Surging with the pack, you will dive through the doors into the Mall and run smack into sensory overload. I’m not just talking rock-and-roll here—-This is planned bedlam! At one end of the Mall a high school band plays its holiday version of “Start-Together-Finish-Together-But Heaven-Help-The-In-between.”

    At the other end, bells are clanging, a hurdy-gurdy is grinding and muzak carols duel with an elementary school’s rendition of Leonard Bernstein’s, “Mass”—- accompanied by the “Ach Mein Gott” cloggers. Some happy little tots are clamoring for Santa Claus while others are shrieking to escape.

    Dodging your last Elf, as you stumble into your favorite store, you are greeted by a sign, “Pardon Our Dust.” So where did they move the escalator? Swirling marble and flashing mirrors cleverly conceal all direct paths to anywhere, and rest assured, there is no way out!
    Elbowing your way to the Information Desk, you may ask, “So, where did they put the merchandise?” At this, the clerk smiles, smooths his spiked blue hair and answers, “Like, I don’t know. I’m just temporary. But, Merry Christmas!

    When you eventually reach Menswear, the only shirt sizes left are 14 x 35 or 17 x 30. Time to settle for a bathrobe, “One size fits all—-Almost.” Finished at last, you end up with 14 little bags inside one big bag, guaranteed not to tear until you reach the parking lot.

    Now, the ultimate challenge: Where is your car? Perhaps, you’ll borrow the technique of an elderly couple who simply hailed a cab and cruised the lanes until they located their Buick.

    So, if you don’t want to shop in July, what’s the solution? Many people do resort to computer or catalog shopping, but where’s the fun? After all, that kind of shopping has its hazards too. What if Aunt Emily ends up with a power saw instead of a cake cutter. Now that wouldn’t do. That wouldn’t do at all!

    Esther Blumenfeld, (Based on “Coffee Break Column, Esther Blumenfeld and Lynne Alpern, BUSINESS ATLANTA MAGAZINE, December, 1986)  c. Esther Blumenfeld



    There is a one-of-a-kind grocery store near Fairfax, VA called Wegmans.
    They are headquartered in Rochester, NY, and several Wegmans are located on the East Coast. In all of my food shopping days, I have never experienced a store such as this. So, I wrote a letter to the owner in Rochester and told her how much I enjoyed my shopping experience. I added, “Rochester is so cold in the winter. Why don’t you move to Tucson? And, please bring your store with you!”

    It’s a good thing to send compliments when kudos are deserved. However, I have also been known to express  complaints, but when I do, I go right to the top. Never mess with the middlemen!

    Companies can ill-afford to turn a deaf ear to complaints. According to A.C. Nielsen Company data, that for every written complaint  one company received about its product, another 16 unhappy customers returned the merchandise directly to the store where it was purchased. Another 33 suffered in silence. However, when the customer was satisfied with the response to his complaint, twice as many bought the product again, compared to those who didn’t voice their grievances.

    Companies can also uncover customers who use great latitude in interpreting  product directions. Rectal suppositories are not to be swallowed, powdered sugar is to be sprinkled on cookies after they are baked, and the plastic bag with turkey innards should be removed before the turkey is cooked. As Robin Williams said, “At Thanksgiving, my mother used to ask, ‘You want dark meat, white meat or plastic dip?”’

    Although most people would rather stew than squawk, even the most reluctant among us are driven to action when it affects our pocketbooks. The decibel level of tax grumbling crescendos to epic proportions on April 15, and most gripes are leveled at the Internal Revenue Service. Of course, this is misdirected. The IRS doesn’t take our money—-Congress does!

    So the next time you complain, to a dinner companion, at a restaurant, “My soup is cold!” Send it back!  

    And, the next time members of  Congress promise to fix a problem, and they do not do so—-
    Send them packing!

    Esther Blumenfeld  (“Dogs bark, but the caravan moves) Arab proverb