How to fix a flat tire

  1. Marry a smart person whose father is a mechanic and crazy about her.

  2. Have flat tire while she is driving
  3. near her parents’ house
  4. preferably while alone in the car.
  5. Being smart, she notices immediately and parks car on a hard surface away from traffic.
  6. Her father arrives before you do, even though you were only about 100 meters away waiting for her to pick you up, thinking, “where the hell is she?”
  7. Look through car for jack etc. It’s under the back seat.
  8. Look through car for spare tire. It’s under the car, in the rear.
  9. Look through car for car manual. Look through manual for instructions on getting spare tire from under car.
  10. Loosen lug nuts. Better yet, let father-in-law loosen lug nuts.
  11. Put jack in right place, let father-in-law jack up car because you know how these old guys are, have to do everything themselves.
  12. This is a piece of cake!
  13. Drive to service station to top off air pressure in spare tire, which happens to be the same kind of tire as the rest so you can just leave it on.
  14. Mechanic says the flat tire has a bad valve, which he can fix. Visions of visits to the proctologist go through your head, but he only charges you

Attack of the very, very small spiders

  1. The sunny sides of our house – south and, um, east were very seedy looking with hundreds of little black spider nests. After some debate it was decided that I would sweep them off with a broom with a long stick attached to the handle to make it longer, rather than squirt them off with a hose. It didn’t take as long as I’d expected, nor was the slapstick as pronounced as I’d thought it would be, and the house looks presentable again with no spiders on it.

  2. Sitting outside on a balmy evening at a nice wine tavern out in the country, orange sunset fading to etc etc, we were plagued both by waitresses bringing us plates of Grammelkn

Two questions

  1. Do gynecologists have nice handwriting? Or not? What does it mean when someone tells you that you have handwriting like a gynecologist’s? Is this a good thing, girls? If someone told me I had a urologist’s handwriting, I wouldn’t be as enthused as I was when I heard the above. On second thought, a man said that. Does that change the meaning?

  2. You are an exotically beautiful young woman at a garden party in a European capital on the grounds of an ambassador’s residence aswarm with diplomats, international civil servants and various VIPs. It is a warm, pleasant evening, food and cocktails are good and the orange of the sunset is gradually fading to purple etc etc. Your dress is fucking fantastic, great colors, great style, best outfit at the party and your hair makes you look as if you were drawn by that one Playboy cartoonist in the sixties and seventies, not Vargas, the other one, I think I mean Phil Interlandi. A man, say, oh, 44, with a Cuba Libre in one hand and two more inside pays you a compliment, without the Playboy cartoonist part. Does this make you feel flattered, or just, “not again?”

What a Martian

[PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR ALL YOU GUYS COMING HERE LOOKING FOR JANIS JOPLIN'S MIDDLE NAME: HER FULL NAME IS JANIS MIG JOPLIN, ACCORDING TO VARIOUS WEBSITES WITH WHICH I AM NOT AFFILIATED. I WAS NAMED AFTER HERPS: how about one of you drops me a note in the comments below and tells me what this is about - I don't normally get dozens/hundreds of visits a day looking for Janis Joplin's middle name, you know? Just curious.]

She asked me what were the lyrics to Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz.”
“Go to Google and type in Janis Joplin Mercedes Benz lyrics,” I told her and went back to my newspaper. She went around the house singing the first verse over and over. “We sang that in choir in school last year,” she said.
Later, after dinner, and after she squirted iced tea and a blackberry out her nose we got on the subject of strange names.
Amaryllis has got to be the worst,” my wife said.
“Well, flower name for a girl, that’s not beyond the pale yet, but yeah,” I said.
“What about William Yeats, what was his middle name?” the kid asked.
“Butler,” I said. “You’re fourteen, what are you a Martian? Yeats?”
This morning she showed me the new ring tone on her cell phone, Bob Marley singing “I shot the sherriff.”


I’m sitting here all sad.
Sitting here at the window
Watching grey clouds roll in
Thick cloud cover shading big
parched trees but not

Just kidding. I could use something though. A vacation. I just had a vacation. Psychotherapy. How do you pick a psychotherapist?

Is crack really as addictive as they say?

I saw a painting by Gustav Klimt once. “Am Attersee” I think it was called, but I can’t find anything on the Internet with a color balance approaching what I saw. Beautiful, dark but with this hidden glow to it, pure genius.

The Danube was like that last night when my wife and I took a stroll along its banks. The sun had gone down and the river was calm but for a few ripples from the occasional boat. Some rowers rowed past. The orange glow faded to purple yadda yadda yadda.

We held hands and walked and sat on a bench when we got tired of walking. The air was full of romance.

“The first thing my mom said when I finally told her because I knew you’d eventually tell my parents because you’ve been bugging me so much about it was, ‘what’s he so upset about, what about the time he wrecked two cars on his way home from the Erotic Industry Fair?'” she said, gazing into my eyes.

“I know, I know. It’s not about that. I also rearended that VW in the snow that time. I know. This is…”

“This is what? I didn’t see any dent. You allege the dent is from her hitting the car.”

[And then it got complicated. Etc etc. Post edited due to dictates of common sense.]

Also, first it’s decent rock icons dying, Joey Ramone and whatshisface, that Clash guy. Now Bob Hope and Idi Amin – guys you didn’t realize were still alive. Who’s next? What will the next cluster be?