Friday, October 31, 2008

It must be Election Fever....

“Hey Tone can you believe it? Japanese explorers have found proof of the “Abdominal” Snowman.”

“Abominable Snowman.”

“That’s what I said the Jap…..”

“You said Abdominal.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Well unless the Japanese found a huge hairy man beast that likes to work out at 24 Hour Fitness in Nepal I’m pretty sure it’s “abominable”.”

That was an actual conversation I had yesterday with an “intelligent” college educated friend of mine in his mid thirties.

I’m worried.

Maybe it’s just me but do people seem just a little more stupid than usual?

Here’s another example. Here’s an e-mail my wife sent me today:

“I called Dr. Roth this morning and he actually called me back! Gave me the name of a Dermatologist to go see called Dr. Mofid. First available appointment is Dec. 15th! Told the receptionist it was for an ongoing, current problem. She asked if I “anticipated” it lasting until December!!! Anticipated? Can you believe it? Stupid %$#&%#!” (I had to edit that last line.)

So what is it?

Global warming?

The fall out from No Child Left Behind?


Now for those of you that may be upset at me for that last line I believe it was Gandhi or possibly Emeril Lagasse that said, “Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.”

Come on we all know at least one child that needs to be left behind. I saw one yesterday screaming his head off in Vons. Trust me that kid needed to be left somewhere.

Stupid kid.

Maybe it’s the need for everyone to be winner. I blame the current financial crisis on recreational soccer, tee ball and self esteem. How do you learn from your mistakes if you aren’t allowed to fail?

So we just create stupid.

Or medical office receptionists that expect patients to predict the future.

Maybe it’s the election flu that’s making us stupid and we’ll all be cured after next week.

I think the election flu is really affecting me. I don’t have anyone to vote for. I’m a disgruntled Republican.

I guess I need to explain what a disgruntled Republican is. A disgruntled Republican is a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. I better give you an example. A disgruntled Republican doesn’t care if two gay people want to get married as long as gas is under $3 a gallon. Get gas under $2 a gallon and they can marry a donut. We don’t care.

Disgruntled Republicans look at Sarah Palin and say…. Well I can’t say what they say. But I can tell you this. I watched her speak last night. That was only the second time I ever touched myself while I was watching C-Span.


No one remembers Margaret Thatcher?

Have I gone too far?

I don’t care.

I sick and tired of all this election crap. All I have to say to both parties is be careful what you wish for. Who the hell would want to be president now?

See…. Another example of just plain stupid.

But my top example of stupid is… well… It’s me tearing my house apart trying to figure out where my wife hid 50 pounds of Halloween candy.

I know I’m not supposed to eat it I just want to know where it is. Just in case. What if Al-Qaida attacks and the food supply is wiped out? I’m going to need that candy.

Dammit I know it’s here somewhere.

“What are you doing Calabrese?”


“You’re going through my lingerie?”

“Um… I was just picking out something for our anniversary?”

“Really? So you’d thought you’d wear some of my lingerie for our anniversary that’s in June?”

“It wasn’t for me… I was… Uh… I like the red one…..”

“OH MY GOD!!!! You’re trying to find the Halloween Candy!!!!!!”

“No I wasn’t. I was worried about Radon poisoning and I was checking the levels in our bedroom and…. Never mind that’s too stupid an excuse even for me. I just want one of those little Nestle’s Crunch Bars. They’re so small and they seemed so lonely in the store.”

“Calabrese you are not going to get any candy!!! Period!!! You know you’re not supposed to eat candy so just get over it and have a carrot or an apple.”


“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. You want to take my hard earned candy and just give it away. Share the candy. Did those kids earn that candy? I’m just supposed to take my candy and spread it among the people that don’t have candy is that it? Let me guess 95% of the people won’t have to give their candy away and I’m just in that lonely 5% that gets screwed is that it? Well let them go out and earn their own candy!!! This is America!!!”

“Uh huh…. You’re just pissed because McCain is behind in the polls.”

“This isn’t about politics this is about fairness. I earned that candy. What if I wasn’t there to earn that candy? Then what would those little costumed commies do?”

“They’d egg our house.”

“Oh really, with what eggs? The eggs from chickens that were kept in those cramped cages or the expensive eggs from those other chickens we’re supposed to be voting on?”

“You’re just a bitter Republican with no Nestle’s Crunch Bars.”



“Fine. But if Al-Qaida attacks and we starve it’s on your head.”

“I won’t starve.”


“I know where the candy is.”

“You’re such a Democrat.”

“You’re such a Republican.”

“Screw the candy. Want to order pizza?”

“Nope. You can’t have that either.”

“Obama eats pizza.”

“McCain eats vegetables. He needs the fiber.”

“This is just stupid.”

“Yep. Now have an apple and get out of my drawers.”

“I miss Ronald Reagan.”

“Ronald Reagan. Please…”

“He always had jelly beans.”

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let me stand next to your FIRE!!!


Latin for “Men… think before you speak or breathe.”

There’s no secret that I live in fear. Living with a woman going through menopause is like living with a, well….. I can’t think of anything scary enough.

Here’s the thing. For the first thirty years of our marriage I knew that one week a month I needed to disappear. It was a fairly regular week of the month and I could plan appropriately.

Sure I was a day or two off every once and awhile, and I’ve got the scars to prove it, but for the most part I got the hang of when Attila the Hun was coming to visit.

But this…..


You haven’t really lived until you’ve survived the hot flash of a menopausal Portuguese woman.

I could fry eggs off my wife’s butt.

I’m talking hot.

Fifty seven years ago Mary Reeser, aka the “Cinder Lady” was one of the first people to have thought to have spontaneously combusted. All they found of her was ashes in a chair and on the floor part of her left foot. Nothing else was burned. The FBI called it the “wick” effect. Basically she became a human candle. I’m not kidding, look it up on Wikipedia.

Wick effect my ass! You don’t need the FBI to explain what happened. It pretty obvious to me that Mary Reeser was going through menopause!

Last night I get home from performing and my wife is sleeping sideways across our bed. She has an industrial fan pointed at her and the TV blaring over the sound of the fan.

I’m tired. I need some sleep. But I’m not crazy. If I wake her up I’m a dead man.

So the first thing I did was look under her pillow to see if by any chance the ovary fairy had stopped by.

You never know when this menopause thing will end.

Then I grabbed my pillow and went downstairs to sleep on the couch.

The sound was so loud coming from our bedroom upstairs that I couldn’t sleep downstairs.

Apparently menopause causes women to go deaf.

So I creep back into our bedroom. I could have tromped back in. I mean she probably wouldn’t have heard me over the fan and the TV but I was afraid.

So I’m creeping.

Ever so lightly.

Using my cat like reflexes I moved around our bed so I could get to the TV to manually turn it down. I wanted to use the remote but she had a death grip on it in her sleep. I don’t know what she was dreaming about but she was choking the crap out of something or someone.

I swear I turned the TV down one notch. Just one little white bar and she moves. Crap! So I freeze. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do when confronted with a wild animal.

But then I realized that I was just a stationary target. So then I thought of that episode of Mythbusters where if you run in a zig zag pattern an alligator is not supposed to be able to catch you. I was about to zig when it dawned on me that there was not enough room to zag.

By this point my heart is beating through my chest. If she wakes up….. Oh god….

Then my survival instinct kicked in and I started to bob and weave. So I’m bobbing and weaving, weaving and bobbing trying to make myself as skinny as possible and I stub my little toe on that F%&*#+g fan.

The pain was unbearable. I make a muffled groan and whimper sound.

My wife rolls over.


That’s what my brain was telling me.

I dropped.

It wasn’t a clean drop.

And I forgot to roll.

It was more like Tiiiiimmmmmbbbbbberrrrrr!!!!!

So I’m on the ground and because the TV and the fan are so loud I don’t know if she’s awake or not and I’m too afraid to get up and look.

I start to belly crawl out of our bedroom like I’m a Navy SEAL in Vietnam. I’m trying to blend into my surroundings. Become invisible. I am the night. For a brief moment I became Rambo.

A very brief moment.

“What the hell are you doing?”


“Idiot. Get up off the floor and give me a good, I repeat good explanation for why I shouldn’t kill you.”

“I didn’t want to wake you up so I came in to get my pillow and sleep on the couch.”

“So where’s your pillow?”

“Uh… it’s on the couch.”

“So you came in and got your pillow, put it on the couch, and decided you needed to come back upstairs and crawl around on our bedroom floor because why?”


“Exercise? At 1:00am?”

“Exactly! I don’t have time to exercise during the day so I thought I do my required 30 minutes a day after I got home from my show.”

“You’re so full of crap Calabrese. You were going to turn my fan off weren’t you? Admit it.”

“No I swear I wasn’t going to turn off the fan I was going turn down the TV. The neighbors were complaining about how loud it was and after the Police came by and warned us twice I thought I better come up here and turn it down.”

“The Police?”

“Uh… I think it was the police. I may have dreamt that part.”

“This isn’t funny Calabrese. I’m hot, tired and irritable. Do you think it’s a good idea to screw with me right now?”

“No… not a good idea.”

“Now I’m awake. And because I’m awake you’re going to be awake. Capiche?”

“Yes Godfather.”

“You know if men had to suffer through menopause you couldn’t handle it. You’d be whining and crying all day. You’d go out and buy the most expensive air conditioning unit you could find and sit in front of it 24 hours a day.”


“Excuse me?”

“If I was going through menopause I think I would try acupuncture. There are about 500 million Chinese women. Now if the average life expectancy is 80 years that means that about 60 million Chinese women are going through menopause at any one time. 60 million hot flashes. Think about it. That could be the reason for global warming all by itself. But it isn’t. Why? I figure it must be acupuncture…or iced green tea.”

“Come over here I’ll show you acupuncture.”

“I can’t I pulled a muscle while I was working out.”

“Tell me again why I married you?”

“Huge hands.”

“Go back downstairs numb nuts. And don’t you dare wake me up again. Am I clear?”

“Yes darling.”


“Um… Could you turn down the fan and the TV?”



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Times like these......

I’ve been so busy with running a bank, standup comedy and radio that I’ve been remiss in my writing. I was about to shut down this blog figuring I’d written enough to give me material for the next five years when I received several e-mails and comments saying essentially that in “times like these” we need a laugh.

“Times like these.” I wondered if I was ever going to have a good “I lived through the great depression” story that was anything other than my wife missing a Nordstrom Half Off Yearly Sale. Now I do.

The world is very tense right now. Times are tough. We adults stress about finances, 401k plan values and job security, yet kids for the most part are oblivious to what is going on outside of their world. And they see the world a whole lot different than we do.

So I give you a conversation with my oldest grandson, Alex age six, that we had this weekend before the Charger game.


“Yes Alex.”

“My teacher says that humans evolved from monkeys 20 million years ago but I don’t think that’s right.”

“Uh…. What grade are you in again?”

“I’m in the first grade.”

“And they teach you this in the first grade?”


“But you said your teacher said that humans evolved from monkeys 20 million years ago.”

“She did.”

“I’m confused.”

“She said it but she didn’t teach it to us because I didn’t learn it.”

“If you didn’t learn it then how did you remember to tell me?”

“Because I remembered that I didn’t evolve from a monkey.”

“Uh… What did you evolve from?”

“A shark!”

“A shark?”

“Yep. Some people evolved from monkeys. You can just tell. But some of us evolved from other stuff. You know, like sharks.”

“What makes you think you evolved from a shark?”

“Because I like to eat things and I’m mean.”

“You’re mean? I don’t think you’re mean.”

“Well I’m not mean all the time just when I’m dealing with the evil Justin or the evil Lucas.”

“And they evolved from monkeys?”

“Nope, they evolved from spiders.”

“So I take it you have an issue with Justin and Lucas.”

“EVIL Justin and EVIL Lucas. I don’t have a problem with normal Justin and normal Lucas.”

“So you have two kids named Justin and two kids named Lucas in your class?”


“Poppa is a little confused here Alex.”

“Sometimes evil Justin and evil Lucas aren’t evil.”

“They’re normal?”


“So when they’re evil you act mean to them?”

“I used to bite them.”

“Well that would explain the shark thing.”

“But I get in trouble if I bite them so I punch em instead.”

“But sharks don’t have fists.”

“I know that Poppa but I told you that I “EVOLVED” from a shark. I’m not a shark now.”

“That’s true.”

“What did you evolve from Poppa?”

“Your grandmother, she made me what I am today.”

“You’re funny Poppa. You didn’t evolve from Grandma. Grandma has a uterus. She has actual babies. She already evolved so you can’t evolve from her.”

“Um… You know about the uterus?”

“I know about a lot of things Poppa, I’m in first grade now.”

“And they teach you about a woman’s uterus?”

“Nope. Jeffrey taught me about that.”

“Oh… okay.”

“Jeffrey evolved from a snake.”

“It certainly seems that way.”

“I think you evolved from a bear Poppa.”

“A grizzly bear?”

“Nope. I think you evolved from a polar bear.”

“A polar bear?”

“Because you’re big and white.”

“That’s what your grandma keeps telling me.”

“Grandma evolved from a parrot.”

“A parrot?”

“Yep, because she says the same thing over and over again.”

“She does?”

“Yep. Sometimes I don’t listen the first time so she has to tell me again but because I’m a man I don’t listen the second time either so she has to tell me again only that time it’s louder.”

“I know what you mean.”

“I know. Grandma told me. She says you never listen.”

“I listen it’s just that I don’t always hear her.”

“You have to pay attention Poppa. You have to hear with your eyes too. That’s the secret.”

“That’s the secret? I almost spent $39 on a DVD to find out about it when all I had to do was ask you?”

“All you have to do is pay attention to people Poppa and you can learn everything.”

“I think you may be on to something Alex.”

“I know. It’s a first grade thing.”

“That must be it.”

“Poppa, you want to know some of the other stuff I know?”


“I think Angelina evolved from an angel.”

“That’s a very nice thing to say about your baby sister Alex.”

“When angels get mad they shoot lightening bolts and laser “beans” from their eyes and fry people and then they cry a lot.”

“Who told you that?”

“Nobody, some things I just know.”

“So do your mom and dad know about his evolution thing?”

“What’s evolution?

“The stuff you just told me about monkeys and sharks and snakes and stuff.”

“I told you about EVOLVING.”

“Oh… I see… So do your mom and dad know you used to be a shark?”

“I didn’t use to be shark.”

“But you told me you evolved from a shark.”

“I did.”


“You just don’t get this do you Poppa?”

“No I guess I don’t.”

“You need to watch the Discovery Channel.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“And pay attention.”

I give you my pledge to post a new story at least once a week during "times like these". Maybe I'll just let Alex write this for me.