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Putting Lipstick on a Pig

December 1, 2017

As someone who’s written professionally for a number of years, I always try to avoid euphemisms, choosing vernacular the average businessman or woman understands. Instead of going back to the drawing board for each game plan, I like to hit the ground running by thinking outside of the box.

I’ll usually begin by going after customer-centric, low-hanging fruit, getting my manager’s blessing with subject matter, to avoid getting thrown under the bus. After years of working with difficult editors, I’ve found drilling down and touching base with management helps deliver more bang for the buck when the marketing department keeps moving the goal posts. For instance, last week, I got the following note from my senior editor:

“I got your email and wanted to let you know that you’re on my radar. This time of year, I usually don’t have the bandwidth to circle back around with all hands on deck; especially when there’s an 800 pound gorilla in the room. But that’s par for the course. I want to take time to run your idea up the flagpole to see who salutes, before you spend time getting your ducks in a row. While I understand that your idea has legs, I think it’s important to slowly move the needle forward by putting on the record to see who dances. read more

All Entries Humor Life and Death

After I’m Dead

November 26, 2017

Even though I’m well into mid-life and already straddling the age when men start dropping like flies, I still haven’t drawn up a will – living or otherwise. I haven’t had “the discussion” with any of my friends or co-workers and none of my relatives will return my phone calls, so if I suddenly meet with my demise, no one will know what do to with all my earthly belongings, money, assets and more importantly, my corpse.

Granted, there’s not much to haggle over. The list probably wouldn’t fill a double-spaced Post-it, but they’re all I have and I don’t want my TV and water pique going to someone I don’t even know at the Salvation Army. So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to spell out my final wishes. All of you survivors can fight over who gets to implement them.

What you end up doing with my body has a lot to do with the way I go. While I’ll admit that I haven’t exactly treated my body like a temple, my cholesterol is still lower than my I.Q., so there’s not much chance that I’ll have a heart attack during a bowel movement. On the other hand, I am into a lot of high-risk activities like running with scissors and asking women how much they weigh, so there is a good chance that the body you end up with for viewing won’t necessarily be completely intact. If I die playing around with my chainsaw, you’ll need to borrow an arm, leg or a foot from the mortuary to shove into my funeral suit. If one of my handguns misfired, you might need to fill in the damage to my face with some Spackle, then cover it with a heavy layer of Maybelline. All I ask is that the parts match and I retain a modicum of my original ethnicity. read more

All Entries Education Family Home Life Humor Medicine

Monkey in a Pink Canoe

November 11, 2017

“Where did I come from?” asked Shadrach as we pulled up to his football game at Fleigenbaum Field. Having never been married, I thought I’d be exempt from ever having this discussion with a 6-year-old quarterback, so I never put much thought into what I’d say if asked. Looks like I was going to have to punt.

“Well, Shadrach, each month, in one of your mommy’s two ovaries, a few immature eggs develop into follicles. The mature follicle releases an egg during ovulation, which turns into the corpus luteum. Progesterone prepares the endometrium in anticipation of the embryo. Then, your daddy’s sperm travels up the fallopian tube where it fertilizes your mommy’s egg, mixing her X chromosomes with his Y chromosomes to create a zygote and blastocyst. Thanks to Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, nine months later you were born!”

“I just meant what town was I born in?” said Shadrach. “Meshach said it was Toledo, but Abednego thinks it was Cleveland.”

Since I’d already opened the door to the wonders of human reproduction, Shadrach had me cornered for “the discussion.” Evidently, neither of his parents wanted to get involved. I don’t blame them. My father never sat me down, either. Instead, he just sent me into my bedroom with a stack of National Geographics and told me to figure it out myself. I learned the rest from Tommy Flugelman while walking to school. read more

All Entries Communication Entertainment and Show Business Health History Home Life Humor Life and Death Medicine

The Golden Era of Cigarette Ads

October 22, 2017

When Sir Walter Raleigh helped to popularize tobacco during the 16th century, he probably had no idea that he would be responsible for one of the largest and most profitable advertising campaigns in the history of Madison Avenue. Campaigns that would see a single product go from lifestyle enhancement to a pariah of the medical community within a matter of years.

Give Me Your Young at Heart

Before their negative association with health, cigarettes were marketed to successful young men and women as a way to relax and get more out of life.  Advertisements were filled with virile, athletic men and women prancing around tennis courts in snow-white shorts exclaiming,

“WHAT A DAY… what a game… what a cigarette! Why is Lucky so much a part of moments like this?”

Like any other product that clamored for the consumer’s attention, the multi-million dollar tobacco industry embarked on a constantly evolving campaign to come up with original reasons why smokers should buy their brand of cigarettes over the others: read more

All Entries Family Home Life Humor Romance

Speed Dating Cougars, MILFs and Chihuahuas

September 11, 2017

Ten minutes after my divorce was final, I decided that I’d waited long enough to go looking for the woman of my dreams. Or, at least the next woman of my dreams. The first one was the sausage  jockey I left in 1973 after I came home early and caught her playing “Twister” in the buff with the UPS driver.

I heard from my friends that dating in the 21st Century might be a tad different than I remember it. Guys don’t cruise the boulevard looking for chicks at the malt shop anymore and it’s not cool to leave large hickies on their necks. So, I decided to do some research before I got busy.

The Internet has made dating infinitely easier than it used to be. Thanks to my Comcast account, there’s no longer any need to shower and stumble up to my date’s front door with sweaty palms. I can cut right to the chase from the comfort of my Lazy Boy while eating Doritos in my underwear. Through the wonders of online dating, I can pretend to be anyone I want to be – just like all of the divorced Betties spending their Friday nights glued to the computer screen. There are thousands of helpful articles to help you navigate the world of cyber-necking. Online dating is safer and easier than traditional dating because you never have to worry about actually coming into physical contact with people. By the time they’ve figured out who you really are, they’ve probably already taken out a temporary restraining order against you, blacklisted your email address and changed their telephone number. read more

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