Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two Columbus......

Sometimes it just takes a word or a phrase to make you pause…. And then pause again…. and think to yourself, “Huh?”

Yesterday morning I had to go to the Post Office. Because of Monday’s holiday the line was even longer than usual.

There were more than 30 people in line and none of us was thrilled to be there. People were complaining about how slow the service was and the usual stuff about lousy service at the Post Office.

Now I don’t complain at the Post Office. I smile and compliment them and tell how much I love stamps. Because… well…. There’s a reason they call it “going postal”.

In front of me were two younger guys, maybe in their twenties. They were texting or tweeting or whatever you do with what used to be a phone when one of the guys says, “I don’t see why we had to have a holiday for the Colombians anyway.”

There’s a moment in time where everyone hears the same thing at once. Maybe it’s a gunshot or a slot machine jackpot or maybe… just maybe….. It’s when an idiot speaks.

There were at least half a dozen of us that heard this and we all kind of had this, “he can’t be that stupid” look on our faces.

And then…..

The guy in front of him spoke.

“It’s about the drugs. I think we do it because they’re trying to stop the drugs coming in.”

The first thing that popped into my head was, “What are the odds that I would have two people who were obviously dropped on their heads as infants in line in front of me at the Post Office?”

Or maybe I had just met two of the people that had dodged “No child left behind.”?

Then an older woman in line in front of them said, “No it wasn’t about Columbians it was about Columbus and him discovering America.”

And then someone next to her said, “The Vikings discovered America long before Columbus.”

And someone behind me said, “I think the Indians might have had a thing to say about that. They were here way before either of them.”

A conversation ensued that I didn’t quite catch all of but I heard the words, “slavery”, “genocide”, “disease, “invader”, “colonization”, “explorers” and “hero”.

The two idiots that started the conversation didn’t even respond. They kept texting and tweeting and ignored the whole conversation.

I had stayed out of this whole thing until the older lady looked right at me and said, “What do you think?”

They all stopped talking and looked right at me.

Even the two idiots.

“Hey I’m just happy an Italian guy got me the day off.”

They paused for a moment and then went back to their discussion like I didn’t even exist.

“What is wrong with all of you people? The man gave us a day off. Why do we care whether or not he owned slaves, spread diseases caused global warming or played on special teams for the Chargers? The man gave us a holiday. That’s all that matters to me.”

When I got home last night I told my wife what had happened in the Post Office.

“You know Christopher Columbus was actually Portuguese.”

“What? No he wasn’t he was Italian.”

“Sorry he was a Portuguese Nobleman spying on the Spanish.”

“That’s ridiculous I saw a painting of him eating a torpedo sandwich on the deck of the Santa Maria. That’s an Italian sandwich.”

“Where did you see a painting of him eating a sandwich?”

“In the Louvre. It was on the Discovery Channel or the History Channel or one of those channels that has a show about finding something that they never find.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Monster Quest, Mystery Quest, Destination Truth, UFO Files, Ghost Hunters or any of those shows that suck you in and then never find anything.”

“You’re the idiot that watched that crap not me. And what does that have to do with Columbus?”

“Well I have a theory that Columbus was actually an alien life form that transformed himself into Columbus. I think he was sent here to find another alien, The Lochness Monster, and that the Lochness Monster ate him. Now the ghost of Columbus the alien still searches for other alien life forms on earth. That’s what I think.”

“Uh huh…… Are you done?”

“Nope. Have you ever wondered why none of those shows ever looks for things like ghosts or monsters in the day time? It always has to be dark. That’s because ghosts and monsters never figured out daylight savings time. Think about it.”

“Whatever Calabrese.”

“What if all the so called monsters in the world were actually alien life forms?”

“I don’t care.”

“What if menopause was actually brought to earth by alien life forms? Maybe Columbus wasn’t trying to discover anything. Maybe he was trying to run away.”

“You’re a dead man talking.”

“It’s just a theory. Don’t blame science. It gave us a national holiday.”

Friday, October 08, 2010

My Comeback.......

I’m writing today for the sake of writing. To try to jump start any semblance of my sense of humor.

I stopped writing when I just didn’t feel the funny.

I quit performing three months ago. Oh I was still funny on stage but I wasn’t funny inside. And even if the audience doesn’t know it as a comedian you feel it in your performance.

2010 sucked the funny out of me.

Now we all know the kind of people that say things like, “Sure it’s been a tough year but at least I don’t have………” (Fill in what you want there.)

Those are the “positive” thinkers.

There’s an old saying that says “Positive thinkers grease the axle of the world.”

Well so do careless joggers.

You know people… sometimes things just suck.

That’s it.

Deal with it.

In my mind I’m what might be called a “Fixer”.

But sometimes you just can’t fix things. That’s happened a lot this year. So you suck it up and just deal with it.

What sparked my need to finally write was a conversation I had with my wife this afternoon.

My wife was diagnosed with Lupus a couple of months ago and so far it’s been pretty rough.

I can’t fix this and it kills me.

The conversation went like this.

“I talked to the doctor this afternoon. She’s renewing my prescription for my anti-itch medication for the rash. She says the issue with my veins is unusual and we just have to wait until next week when I see the specialist.”

“Is there anything I can do?”

“Kill me.”

“Not going to happen.”

“Put me out of my misery.”


“If you loved me you’d put a pillow over my head.”

“Sorry you’re not leaving me with your mother.”

“I’ll put a codicil in my will leaving her to my sister.”

“I don’t want to go to prison. I don’t want anything going up my butt.”

“Plus you’d look terrible in orange.”

“That’s true too.”

“Honey is this the way I’m going to have to live the rest of my life?”

“I don’t know babe.”

“I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this.”

“At least they don’t put a finger up your butt for Lupus.”

“So I got that going for me…which is nice.”

“See babe. You can’t quote Caddyshack and feel bad.”

Not my best work but it’s a start. I’ll end it with this photo of my three year old Granddaughter arguing with her father about a call made in her soccer game.

I know she looks a little intense.

But then there are moments.......

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm in hot pursuit!

I’ve done some pretty stupid stuff in my life. This ranks right up there.

As many of you know I’m the president of a local bank. I’ve been in banking for over 30 years. In that time I’ve been involved in eighteen bank robberies. There have been some scary ones but most of the time the suspects are in and out before anyone other than the bank teller that was robbed even knows what happened.

What we tell our employees in the event of a robbery is to follow our normal security procedures, remain calm and always cooperate with the bank robbers so hopefully no one gets hurt.

Under no circumstances are you to chase after the bank robbers.


I repeat.


Yesterday we were robbed.

I won’t go into the particulars of the robbery. I will only say that at some point my bank manager yelled that we’ve been robbed.

Now I’m a little different than most bank presidents. I don’t have my office upstairs where my staff and customers can’t see me. My office is the very first office you see when you enter the bank and it is closest to the door.

I don’t know what possessed me to chase after the bank robbers. Well I kind of know. A good friend and the husband of one of my employees, Donald, happened to be in his wife’s office when we were robbed. He decided to chase the robbers and I decided to chase him.

Now this was not exactly a high speed pursuit.

The bank robbers, two of them, walked…… I repeat…… walked up the street.

My friend Donald was walking behind them and I was walking behind Donald. Donald was about twenty feet behind them and I was about 20 feet behind Donald because I had the good sense at least to run back to my office and get my cell phone.
So as our little parade is heading up the street and I’m on the phone with 911 trying to explain to them that we are in hot pursuit of two robbery suspects.

On foot.

About two blocks from the bank the robbers stopped turned and looked right at us. Donald being closest, but way too thin to cover me if they started shooting stops and folds his arms and stares right back at them.

This was a very surreal moment. In my mind I’m thinking, “BOB AND WEAVE, BOB AND WEAVE, SERPENTINE, SERPENTINE, SIDE TO SIDE, SIDE TO SIDE!!!!!!! But in reality I was calmly telling the police dispatcher on the phone what was happening like I was some kind of on the spot news reporter.

“The suspects have stopped and turned and are facing us. The one with the back pack is now setting it down. They are now walking away from the backpack. They are walking away from the pack back. We are in pursuit.” (I have seen way too many cop programs.)

And here is where I officially turned into a complete idiot. When they dropped the backpack we followed and Donald picked it up. At that moment I was thinking if the cops show up now Donald looks like one of the robbers. So I told the 911 operator…..


You don’t realize how stupid you can sound until you have one of those moments.


I swear the 911 operator laughed.

I won’t go into the rest of the details other than to say about 20 cops showed up, cornered the “suspects” and arrested them.

The rest of the day was spent with the police and FBI retelling the same story over and over again so I could relive my stupidity.

When I got home my wife was not pleased. My staff had ratted me out to her.

“What the hell were you thinking?

“I was….”

“You’re an idiot. What if they had been armed?”

“Um… Donald started it.”

“If Donald ran out into traffic would you run into traffic? These were bank robbers for Christ’s sake. You know better Calabrese.”

“I used my cat like reflexes to……”


“You know the robbers were way less tense than you are right now.”

That’s when she punched me.

Then she hugged me.

Then she laughed and followed her laughter with…….


I will never live this down.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And the three caddies saw a star appear above the 18th hole.

So Christmas is almost here. I’m at that part of the Christmas season where I’m trying to find that gift for my wife that she told me she doesn’t want because we’re not getting each other anything this year.


I’m a marriage veteran I’ll think of something.

So 2009 is almost over. As years go this one will not make the top ten list of fun years. If I was a doctor I would say the side effects of 2009 are likely to cause infectious explosive diarrhea.

It was a crappy year.

But I’m not going to let it get me down. There is always tomorrow, according to the Mayans at least until 2012.

As I plan for 2010 I realize I need a goal that I can most likely achieve so I can feel positive about the new year. So obviously losing weight and getting in shape is out of the question.

I’ve decided that in 2010 I’m going to learn how to properly greet people.

You see I still use the good old fashioned hand shake to greet people unless they look like they have the Swine Flu or they’re just walking out of the Men’s Room. If that happens I just tilt my head up give them a little nod and say, “How U Doin?” or pretend I’m Japanese and bow.

I can’t figure out how to greet young people today.

Am I the only one that’s had one of those awkward moments where you go to shake someone’s hand and they stick out their fist?

What the hell is the fist for? And how do you know when to use the fist? And how come sometimes the fist is followed by what looks like an impression of a seagull flying away or a bomb exploding or some weird type of exercise I’ll never do?

Maybe the first fist bump happened when one of these young guys was trying to hold his pants up and couldn’t extend his hand to shake.

It makes sense.

If I’m going to greet someone with a hand gesture other than a handshake it’s probably going to include my middle finger.

My other goal for the year is to learn Ballroom Dancing.


Not really. But I did just think of my wife’s Christmas present.

And I hope 2010 turns out to be better for Tiger Woods. I know, I know, there’s been enough about Tiger Woods already. I just want to say that while I don’t condone his actions I have do have to say that unlike other celebrities and politicians at least the women he was having sex with were pretty hot.

Well… all but that one cocktail waitress.

Then again I don’t thing Tiger Woods had sex with that woman.

I think she had sex with some other black guy that told her he was Tiger Woods. Hell, haven’t we all been Tiger Woods at least once. I’ve been Tiger Woods and I’m not even black.

I’m going to be in trouble for that last line but it makes me laugh and sometimes it’s all about me.

Trust me people when I tell you that I know for that there’s hope for this country. I know for a fact that everything is going to be fine. I know for a fact that 2010 is going to be a great year.


The Chia Obama.

That’s right they now have a Chia Pet in the shape of the head of the President of the United States. There are two versions, the “Determined” Chia Obama (because nothing says determined like a ceramic head with a plant growing out of it) and the “Happy” Chia Obama.

Don’t believe me? Take a look.

I bought two of the Happy Obama’s to give to my communist liberal friends as Christmas gifts.

I think this is the best gift since the “Tickle me Cheney” doll.

Seriously, how bad can it be if a Chia Obama exists?

Or maybe the only thing left to do is laugh.

I’ll leave you with this last thought. Yesterday I overheard to people complaining about how their luck was terrible. Nothing was going their way but a friend of theirs was the luckiest person on the planet. Everything he touched turned to gold and it just wasn’t fair that he was so lucky.

It always amazes me how the luckiest turn out to be the ones that do the most work, have taken the most risk and have learned from the most failures.

So if you’re going to have a good 2010 don’t just rely on luck. At least once during the year pretend you’re Tiger Woods.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and "lucky" New Year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Try This at Home...

They say that 90% of all fatal accidents occur in the home. Usually because someone did something stupid.

They don’t say anything about flesh wounds.

I don’t know what’s worse. Doing something stupid that causes injury to yourself or having to tell your wife that you’re an idiot.

As if she doesn’t know already.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I don’t think I was able to close my eyes for more than a minute.

You know how the sounds of the ocean, of the waves crashing against the shore can help you relax? You know how just the sound of raindrops can make you feel totally at ease and at peace with the world?

There’s something about water that’s just calming.

Apparently it’s not a good idea to get that calming feeling when you’re in the shower.

That’s right.

I fell asleep while I was taking a shower.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had perpetually running hot water.

But I don’t.

When the hot water ran out….

I woke up.

In what only could be described as a “WAAAHAAAA!!!” moment.

In a “WAAAHAAAA!!!” moment your body is not connected to your brain. Because if it was it wouldn’t have jerked my head back striking the tile causing me to momentarily go back to sleep.

Oh I woke up again. But not until I had dropped to my knees. My brain at this point was saying to my body, “HEY ASSHOLE GET OUT OF THE SHOWER!!!!”

Using my catlike reflexes I jumped out of the shower. Well I started to jump and then my brain remembered that I don’t do that.

So now I’m wet, cold, naked and wedged between the toilet and the sink which is the spot I fell into coming out of my reverse 2 ½ with 2 ½ twists in the pike position while holding my ankles… or something like that.

I believe it had a 3.9 degree of difficulty.

“I’m okay!”

That’s what came out of my mouth a second before I realized I wasn’t okay. I don’t know why I said it. There was no one home to hear it accept me. Maybe I was trying to reassure myself that I had a shred of manliness left.

I felt the back of my head to make sure I wasn’t bleeding, saying out loud to myself, “I may have a concussion. Maybe I should go to Urgent Care.”

Then the remainder of my stupid kicked in and I called my wife. Because I needed the loving, caring, sympathetic ear of my soul mate of 35 years.


“It’s not funny I could have been killed.”

“That would have made a great episode of CSI.” (hahaha…)

“Thanks babe.”

“Okay I’m done laughing. (hahahaha…) Are you bleeding?”


“What hurts? (hahaha…)

“Other than my pride? Everything.”

“Do you think you should go to the (hahahaha…) doctor?”

“You’re still laughing.”

“I’m just picturing you explaining this to Dr. Roth.”

“With my luck he’ll want to use the “finger”.”

“HAHAHA!!! I’m sorry babe. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I can’t help myself.”

"Would it help if I told you I was limping?"

"Yes.... (hahaha...)"

"In sickness and in health babe."

"In sickness and in health maybe. But I don't remember anything about being stupid in our wedding vows."

"Ouch... Maybe we should renew them..."