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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.

     

    Friday
    Apr052019

    THE BIRTH OF AN IDEA

    When my pencil rolled off the desk and followed me out of the room, I knew that I had procrastinated enough, and that it was time to sit down and finally write that story I have been mulling over. However, first I needed to take a hike in the mountains. Up and down the mountain paths is such good cardio-vascular exercise. How could I miss that!

    When I came home, I noticed some weeds in my front yard. Those weeds could be killer weeds, and definitely had to come out! When I finally opened the front door, a hornet accompanied me into the house. So, after trapping it behind a window shutter, I got out my central vacuum hose and permanently grounded the critter.

    While returning the hose to my bedroom closet, I realized that it’s been a very long time since I vacuumed under the bed, so I got down on my hands and knees, and did the dust bunny hop.

    That was a bit tiring, so I decided to make a relaxing cup of herbal tea, and while waiting for the water to boil, it was an opportune moment to check my e-mails.  Oops! my computer notified me that an out-of-town friend was celebrating her birthday, so I got my tea and called to sing her a birthday song, and have a little chat, before sitting at my desk to begin developing the idea for my story.

    I found a writing tablet and sharpened my pencil.  “Yes”, I still write my first draft by hand. Then I had to sharpen my pencil again. Those points always break before I get to the point.

    Oh, I promised a neighbor that I’d bake a banana bread for her party. It didn’t take that long to beat it up and stick it into the oven. While waiting for the cake to bake, I took a book of poetry off the bookshelf, read one poem. Then, I said to myself, “Boy, Am I glad that I didn’t write that!” Not because I didn’t understand it—-but because I did!

    So, I could write a story about how writers avoid writing, because it’s hard work—-Or—-I could wash the garage floor.

    Esther Blumenfeld

    Friday
    Mar292019

    VINTAGE WHINE

    Ponce de Leon searched for the legendary fountain of youth. It was supposedly located in a land called Bimini. He never found it. Today, some people are flocking to Queens, New York enticed by the prospect of living longer.

    Dr. Alan Green has no fountain of youth, but he does prescribe two off-label drugs that he claims could possibly delay aging. George Burns said, “If you live to the age of 100 years, you have it made, because very few people die past the age of 100.”

    Although there’s little evidence that healthy people can benefit from his anti-aging remedies, Dr. Green (who is 76—going on 77) has taken the drugs for three years. The last doctor who experimented on himself was a Dr. Jekyll. As I remember, he developed a split personality and grew lots of hair after dark.

    I don’t know why some people consider aging as some kind of disease. Admittedly, although it’s not contagious, everyone seems to get it.  I’m not sure that aging really matters unless you are a rare cheese.

    In 2019 it is claimed that “80 is the new 60.” Pooh! 80 is 80 no matter how you cut it, and no magic pill will turn back the calendar. Plastic surgeons can help a person defy gravity, and fancy face creams will lighten your wallet. To be extremely thin, a green kale shake for breakfast can make you nauseous enough to avoid further calories, but no matter what, with each passing day, we are all going to get older.

    People say to me, “You don’t look like 82.” What is 82 supposed to look like? I don’t know because I’ve never done it before. And, right now I am working on 83.  Too many people put so much effort in trying to turn the clock back, that they forget to enjoy today.

    Woody Allen said it so well, “You can live to be a 100 if you give up all the things that make you want to be 100.” We know that yesterday is gone, and even with a lot of planning we don’t know much about tomorrow, but we do know that today gives us the opportunity to plan to live as well as possible—to make the most of what we have with a positive attitude.

    You don’t have to go into space as John Glenn did when he discovered, “For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.”

    Might as well enjoy life while we can!

    Esther Blumenfeld


    Friday
    Mar222019

    WHAT A DEAL!


    How many times does a good friend ask you to spend a day in her garage? Well, it was a first for me. My friend, Paula, and I, have spent many enjoyable hours together. So, when she asked me to help her, and her daughter, Karen, participate in a neighborhood garage sale, I said, “Sure!” I really had no inkling what was involved, but I looked forward to spending time with Paula, and her daughter, who sends her MOTHER flowers on her OWN birthday. This is a young woman who could make a bundle giving a course on, “How to Avoid Being a Slacker Daughter.”

    Paula invited me to bring some items to sell, so I grabbed some nicknacks, and arrived at the garage at 6 a.m. to help set up.  The sale was scheduled for 7 a.m. and trucks started rolling up at 6:15 a.m.

    I quickly learned that for many people, “Garage Sale,” is just another sport. It’s not as violent as ice hockey—nor is it as benign as synchronized swimming. It was a windy day, so we set up in the garage. Early bird shoppers  look for specific items. They don’t want to chat!
    They want items such as yard tools and heavy duty equipment that works.

    One guy had a gleam in his eye when he picked up a set of extremely sharp knives. He said, “I know exactly what I’m going to do with these.” He turned to Paula, knives in hand, and said, “Can I get them for $3.00?” She quickly said, “Yes. Take them!” The look on her face made me think she would have paid him to leave.

    At 7 a.m., the people who enjoy human e-bay, began to arrive in their extremely expensive cars. These are folks on a treasure hunt, who have the insatiable desire to see what other people are selling that they don’t want anymore. I suggested that we put out a sign, “My Dreck Can Be Your Dreck,” but my idea was quickly vetoed.

    I learned that people go to garage sales for all kinds of reasons. Most of the time, garage sales are held by people with no sales experience, so people are looking for deals. I learned that if an item is priced for 50 cents, some fool will say,”Will you take 25 cents?” My reaction to that was,”No, but I’ll take a $1.00. These folks really like the “Free Box” and will take anything in there whether they want it or not.

    Other people like yard sales for the sociability. They get to talk to people who would, under normal circumstances, not even say, “Hello.” I sold 10 pairs of unused socks to a woman who showed me her bunions.

    Karen hung a necktie on the lamppost near the garage to garner attention to our sale. When the tie blew off the post, she picked it up, and asked a man,”Would you like to buy a tie?” Whereupon, he replied, “What! I’m not dressed up enough for your sale?”

    I thought it fascinating when another man whipped out his jewelry loupe to see if he could strike gold—-not at 50 cents a pop, he couldn’t!

    At noon we decided to pack it all in and shut down shop. In 6 hours, I had drunk 3 cups of Paula’s delicious coffee, made 3 bathroom runs and sold $31.00 worth of junk. Paula gifted me with a book on the Civil War and a unsold sunshade for my car.

    Don’t think I’ll ever do another garage sale, but the experience was certainly worth at least $5.00 an hour.

    Esther Blumenfeld

    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