Tuesday, May 28, 2024


I've been joking that I'm ready to become an actual retiree, wear Bermuda shorts and Banlon shirts, eat in cafeterias, drink martinis, and play canasta.  Half kidding.  But I need to be more careful who I joke with.  Yesterday, at my mother's neighbors house where we ate dinner, I said that.  Now I'm expected to play canasta.  I shit you not.  WTF?  I don't even know what canasta is other than a game retirees used to play.  

I did have on a new pair of cheap Chinese shorts, though, that have quite the look of Bermudas, so I guess they took me seriously.  

There is nothing to report from dinner except that he did have a $200 bottle of bourbon of which I partook.  I'm not a bourbon drinker, but it was pretty good.  

After I posted the hillbilly pictures yesterday, my conservative buddy wrote, "Jesus, that looks like something out of a horror movie."  I wrote back, "You don't appreciate my people?  You share a lot of the same values.  They don't believe in climate change, are anti-vaxers, and don't trust the government.  I'd think you'd be onboard."

I'm always trying to get him to see the folks who share his values, but he just sends me back pictures of Progressive's marching in protests and claims they are mine.  There's no getting through to some people.  

But the factory was full of hillbillies who got degrees in an effort to get out of the holler or the hills, and so, in tribute to our heritage, I sent them a link to "The Dancing Outlaw" which has suddenly reappeared on YouTube (link).  It had been unavailable on any broadcast or cable outlets for years, and I wonder how long it will stay up this time.  The only way you could see it in the past was to send Jessico money to buy his DVD.  

I always wonder if anyone clicks on the links I post.  I post a lot of them.  No matter.  

I don't have a lot of writing time this morning.  I have lunch with some peeps up in Factory City today, and I have to get the house ready for the Wrecking Crew who will be here while I'm gone.  In between, I need to get to the gym.  

"Why?  I thought you were just going to quit that and play canasta."

It sounds nice, right?  Get up, have your coffee and half a grapefruit or some low fat yogurt and a bagel, then go out and meet the gang poolside and play cards until it was time for a nap.  

"Every day is a good day at Boca del Vista Retirement Community. " 

But nope.  I have to go be a hero.  My bones are broken but my mind is sharp and I'm not willing to give up the belt without a fight.  Well. . . I HAVE given up the belt and have gone with elastic now, but you know what I mean.  

I've been told my entire life, "You are too self-deprecating.  You are always putting yourself down."  Then came Howard Stern who stole my gig and got filthy rich saying, "Sure, I'm a schmuck.  Let's talk about you."  

Oy.  The story of my life.  

I'm reminded.  At breakfast with my friends on Sunday, I was talking about meeting Peter Matthiessen who, like many famous male authors I have met, didn't like me.  But, I told him my idea of making a coffee table book of pictures and anecdotes about "The Tall Young Men" in Paris who started The Paris Review.  Some time later, I was invited to the Kennedy Library in Boston for the PEN/Hemingway Writing Awards (yes. . . invited).  I was standing with Caroline Kennedy, Patrick Hemingway, Annie Proulx, George Plimpton, and two "famous" literary critics you would have never heard of when John Updike walked up.  I said hello, and he turned away without saying anything.  I panicked as I was trying to get Caroline to ask me out (I didn't know that she had only recently gotten married).  Plimpton, however, draped his long arm around my shoulder and said, "Oh, don't worry about that.  Updike's an asshole to everybody."

Plimpton was a nice guy and was one of the Tall Young Men in Paris, of course, who started The Paris Review, so I told him about my book idea.  I said that I had mentioned it to Matthiessen and he had thought it a good idea.  He hadn't said that, of course, but I was still trying to sell the idea.  

As I say, though. . . the story of my life.  I never followed up on it though I met both Matthiessen and Plimpton again.  After Plimpton died, however, I found a documentary made by Ablbert Maysles of "Grey Gardens" fame, with George Plimpton.  WTF?!?  He took my idea.  Just took it.  Well, he didn't make a book, rather a pretty shitty documentary.  I swear I could have done a much better job than that.  


Oh, yea. . . the link (link) that you may or may not check out.  I'll never know.  

O.K.  That took longer than I intended.  Now I have to dash.  I must go to lunch so that I have more tales to tell of adventure and of daring.  Ho!

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