the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Damn You

This was a long week in real life.  It was also a long week ON the internet. 

I joined Stumbleupon, then inadvertently sent invites to everyone on my Yahoo email list.  The evil application tricked me with their checked “tell your friends!” box as the default choice, rather then the logical unchecked one.   I sent glowing testimonies to 300 people, including a few top producers in Hollywood who have now banned me from Burbank.  One blogger who I haven’t interacted with in two years sent me an angry note.  A nice woman from Idaho was confused about “why I loved Stumbleupon so much.”  Several of you actually joined Stumbleupon because I asked you to!  I felt like a total ass. 

Damn you, Stumbleupon!

A few days ago, I went on Twitter and talked about some minor personal issue with Sophia.  I figured that it was safe because Sophia never goes on this application.   BUT — I didn’t realize that the new Yahoo Messenger 9 Beta has some “cool” new addition, where unless you shut it off, “broadcasts” other applications — such at Twitter — right onto Yahoo Messenger.   So much for being an early adopter.   As I chatted in Twitter, Sophia was sitting in Redondo Beach reading each of my tweets in real time!   She was not happy.

Damn you, Yahoo!

At 3AM this morning, I posted a poorly written post.  My clever idea was to talk about sex under the guise of writing about “passion” in politics.   Note to self:  Do not write posts at 3AM.   When I woke up, I noticed that the first five comments were all about the election rather the real point of the post –  getting laid! — so I just deleted the creative failure. 

Damn you, libido!

My uncle, Milton, was buried on Wednesday, in the spot in the cemetery next to my father.   When looking at my father’s tombstone, I was reminde that my father also passed away in September, in 2005, not long after I started this blog.   Milton was my father’s younger brother.   He was cremated in SF and brought here on a flight by his longtime female companion and my cousin.   It is unusual for Jews to be cremated, so I had never seen something like this before.   I have to admit, that despite the sadness of the event, there was some macabre humor involving the ashes.

Neil:  “Can I carry something for you?”

Female Companion:  (handing me a small shopping bag with a box inside)  “You can hold your uncle.”

I think my uncle would appreciate the humor.

There are some complicated family stories involving him that I would like to tell some day, but for now, let me just say that he was a cool and loving man.  He was buried with his favorite hat and a copy of Sports Illustrated. 

I also learned that he read my blog, and liked the sexy posts.  I wish I could talk to him more about this. 

Damn you, Time, which waits for no one!

After I deleted my post this morning, I slept (that’s what happens when you write posts at 3AM).  When I woke up, I felt guilty for not publishing anything today.  I took a walk downstairs.  It was raining, but I forgot my umbrella.  I was unshaven, my chin with graying stubble.  There was only one place to go — across the street to McDonald’s.

Yes, THAT McDonald’s.  I was going to end the week the same way I began it – by going to my infamously bad local franchise for a cup of coffee.  For some reasons, I seem to magically come up with blog posts when I visit.  Some have a Greek Goddess as their muse.  I have Ronald McDonald.

I ran across the street in the pouring rain.  I entered the McDonald’s, and stood on line.  When it was my turn to order, I stepped up to the young woman at the counter.

“Can I help ya?” she asked.

“A small coffee, please.”

“With the senior discount?”


“Do you want the senior discount?” she asked again.

Now, I’m usually quick-witted, with a ready reply to any comment.  But her question was so unexpected, I just stood there, as silent as a solid as a statue of an aging Adonis, not knowing what to say.  I’ve gone to bars where they have carded me, and I have laughed at the idea of anyone thinking I was twenty-one, knowing that the dude at the front door is just going through the rituals, but WTF — a SENIOR DISCOUNT?!  A senior discount for my cup of coffee?  For me?   Is that what I look like to a seventeen year old girl?  Isn’t this the typical age of the typical bikini girl in Maxim magazine?  I was hoping that this type of girl would be throwing herself on my bed after I publish that best-selling novel?  I never expected that she would SEE ME as a senior citizen visiting from Boca Raton! 

How much is it to color your hair at Supercuts?

Damn you, McDonald’s!   (but at least I got a post out of you again)

When I returned home, I told my mother the story.   She laughed and laughed, combing her white hair back, selfishly enjoying my misery.   But as an woman who has been a member of the AARP for several years, she also had some sage advice:

“Next time someone asks you if you want the senior discount, you say YES!”


  1. Shelli

    I’m wondering why I didn’t get an invite from you for Stumbleupoon. Oh. Could it be because I already belong? Yeah, that’s it. It isn’t because you don’t like me.

    I still got to read your 3am post because it was still in my feedreader. 🙂

  2. Marinka

    I was feeling bitter this morning (comment number 6 and all), but this so made up for it! I said, “THIS SO MADE UP FOR IT!”

    I love the senior discount story! And I also sort of love Stumble sending your enthusiastic solicitation to everyone.

  3. 180/360

    You really need to quit lying about your age, Neil!


  4. *pixie*

    You’re so witty. Makes me feel like a monkey pounding away at the keyboard.

    Damn you, Neil Kramer!

  5. Mattie

    Perhaps deep in your subconscious you secretly hoped that Sophia would see what you wrote. Some say there are no accidents in life only hidden intent. Hmmmm….

  6. amy

    love this! yr so so funny dude! so funny. I am sorry that it has been a hard week but yr just the bees knees

  7. Nat

    You turned it down???? Buddy, you need to spend more time with your mom.

  8. Twenty Four At Heart

    You’ve overwhelmed me today with your posts. I read your sex filled one in my reader this morning. It got me so hot I could hardly contain myself. I clicked thru my reader to comment and it had disappeared. Talk about a sexual let down. Now you tell me us you’re getting senior discount offers. Now you’ve not only frustrated me, but confused me as well. Sigh! Did you read my post about Penis Protectors today? I think you’d laugh. Have a great weekend! Oh and P.S. My person who was supposed to interview me has still disappeared off the face of the earth. Maybe you should do it?

  9. Alison

    I’m sorry, but this post made me chuckle. Next time, take the senior discount!

  10. Kathy

    so I just deleted the creative failure.

    … which lives on in my Google Reader. 😉

  11. blackbird

    You should always listen to your mom.

  12. texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana

    All that misery for a very funny post.

  13. SciFi Dad

    You never say no to a discount, unless it’s from a one legged hooker. Then you just keep on walking… it’s not like she can chase you.

  14. Annika

    I’m with your mom – never turn down a discount. My favorite discount is the military discount my husband and I get every time we stay at a hotel. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY. We’ve never asked for it, and neither of us has ever been in the military.

  15. Jody

    Alas, no invite to Stumbleupon. Have you forgotten about me? 🙁

    As for senior discounts – I used my AARP card for the first time and was proud of it. I too had an aunt pass away this week and went to Savannah for the funeral. The hotel gladly accepted my AARP card and I was happy for the discount.

    Sorry for your loss.

  16. kateanon

    Give a big damn you to everybody. My mother is still scarred from her first senior discount moment back at age 47. My father laughs and sends her to buy the movie tickets

  17. Astrogirl

    Oh poor Neil 🙁 I would offer to throw myself on your bed after you write that best-selling novel, but I’m afraid I’m about 19 years outside your target demographic. Bummer 😉

  18. All Adither

    Turning down online sex talk and turning down senior discounts. What WILL make you happy?

  19. LVGurl

    I’m feeling slightly hurt that I didn’t receive one of your Stumbleupon emails. That’s okay, I already have an account that leaves me totally confused and questioning its merit.

    A senior discount on a cup of coffee? What kind of old Jew do they think you are?

  20. Jane

    Very funny post, Neil. All I can say is maybe McD’s was trying to make up for charging you for sausage you didn’t want on your egg mcmuffin.

  21. Di

    I LOVED this post!

  22. Kate

    Maybe you just looked really really tired? I agree with your mom though – I would retaliate by beating the system.

    I’ve had similar experiences to several you describe above. So I had a healthy measure of sympathy and relived mortification in my laughter.

  23. better safe than sorry

    i knew you sent out a blanket invite to stumbleupon, i was one of the 300, and i have no idea what to do with this application.
    i got asked twice in one week if i wanted a senior discount and said i didn’t know i was eligible and both cashiers put it through for me without asking for a senior card! saving money, i thought it was great! i’m surprised you didn’t jump at the chance.
    (i read the post you pulled, i thought it was about sophia, not politics)

  24. Marinka

    Wait a minute! Most of these comments suggest that you should lie about your age, and in the wrong direction, for a net gain of what, 10 cents?!

  25. Gentleman Savant

    Yes, I agree with Kate’s above suggestion.

    Perhaps you don’t just look like an old coot, maybe it’s the fact that you just looked very, very, very haggard at that particular moment, which in turn led that young filly to believe you to be slightly older than you currently are.

    Also, what were you wearing? Perhaps that contributed to the scene. A sweater vest, or perhaps a cardigan? Did you have a walker with you, or were you wearing any of your WW1 medals? These things must be taken into account, my good man.

    (All in good fun, of course, Neil.)

  26. JanePoet - JP/deb

    Damn all those things.

    Your humour keeps the challenges of life bearable.

    Many condolances,

  27. teahouseblossom

    I love that your uncle was buried with a Sports Illustrated.

    I was one of those suckers who signed up for StumbledUpon! And here I was feeling so special to be singled out from among all of your admirers.

    I have never been offered a senior discount. But we Asian women keep ourselves looking young with that pearl cream from the infomercials.

  28. Neil

    Gentleman Savant — I would love to have some WW1 medals. Can you imagine what I could get for that on eBay?

  29. sassy

    Shikes, and I thought that I was having a bad day !

  30. always home and uncool

    Well, she could have asked if you wanted the senior discount “ma’am.”

  31. dea

    Well, *don’t* senior citizens always complain about how they can’t grasp those fancy new technologies?

    Just kidding.

    I remember being shocked the first time a teenager in a supermarket called me “ma’am.” I’m sure I’ll freak out the first time someone asks me about the senior discount unprompted, even if I *am* a senior by then.

    But your mom is totally right. And hey, *maybe* the McDonald’s chick just felt like giving you a discount for whatever reason, and that was her “code” that she could use without getting caught.

    And I’m very sorry to hear about your uncle.

  32. Neil

    Dea — Maybe she was looking at my old, wise soul.

  33. dea

    Also: once, in my 20s in NYC, after a really intense night out clubbing and about two or so hours of sleep, I entered the subway to go to work, still in my clothes from the night before (I was planning on changing clothes at the office before it opened).

    And I was approached by a shady looking guy, who took one look at me and said quietly, “I’ve got crack,” in a voice that indicated he was SURE I was buying.

    That’s probably a worse moment than someone thinking you’re a senior, no?

  34. mary

    I don’t know what I would have been more horrified by, the mass email or the Yahoo/Twitter thing. Probably the Twitter thing. I’m so sorry you had a bad week, Neil. 🙁

    And I’m with mom, if they’re offering a discount, I’m taking! *hug*

  35. Annie

    That same thing happened to me once and it made me sooo angry :-), I snapped at the poor 16 year old and I would probably do it again next time someone asks.

  36. TorontoPearl

    I’m with your mom; of course you say “YES!”

  37. V-Grrrl

    Neil, my daughter’s bus driver thought I was her grandmother. Her freakin grandmother. As in “Is your grandmother going to be waiting at the bus stop for you again today?”

    Yeah, baby, I want my sexyback.

  38. churlita

    Thank god crappy things happen to us, or we’d never have anything to write about.

  39. vodkamom

    yeah, that’s good. I fucked myself on email yesterday, as well. (see my post) I didn’t even get a cigarette or a thank you ma’m. DAMN the internet.

  40. Anissa@Hope4Peyton

    I did that EXACT same thing with Linkdin and got emails from all over the world, including people that were directly involved in the changing of my email address a while back…but whose emails were in my address book because I was too lazy to delete them when I transfered everything over.

    The McD’s thing? I got nothing, except maybe it was karma’s way of softening the weekly blow by offering your some cheap java.

  41. Ginger

    As you know, I had a similar experience where my Evite invitee list was used to send out another message. To everybody.

    So may I please join you in this refrain?

    Damn you, Evite!

  42. Carolyn Bahm

    Great post, Neil. I think we’ve all been caught by “helpful” technology as you have. :o)

    I’m catching up on some blog reading I’ve neglected recently, so I just learned about your uncle’s death. I’m so sorry. It’s great that he was keeping up with you via your blog. Sounds like he would have laughed along with your mom at your “senior discount” offer, too.

  43. patois

    I am 47 years old; my husband is 50. I teased him mercilessly when he got his AARP card in the mail on his birthday a couple of months ago. What did I just receive? Yeah, an AARP card. Not so funny now.

  44. maggie, dammit

    I want to eat every word of this post like m&m’s.

  45. Pamela Detlor

    Technology can bite us in the ass – no more Twittering about ex’s… Mine would FREAK – therefore I refrain from talking about her at all.

    I agree with your mom: Take the discounts where you can get em!

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